If LEGOs for girls took us a step in the right direction to help little girls make smarter toy choices that empower them to create, Skechers shoe company just tripped up teens with its high-heeled Daddy's Money sneakers (and they spell it Daddy$). The whole campaign is pretty sketchy, driving a wedge between girls and the belief that money is earned via work and not feminine wiles.
The new commercial, which appears on a host of channels, including kids' HUB channel, is filled with teenage girls striking coy, come-hither poses as the ka-ching sound punctuates the catch phrase, "Get spoiled with Daddy's money, ultra cool shoes that will put you in the spotlight."
Also, the blinged-out, often cheesy animal print shoes have lifts inside that form the “wedge," promising to make girls two-inches taller.
“That's not the child I'm raising,” Amanda Cole Hill, a Norfolk, Va. PTA mom with two boys ages 13 and 11 and an 8-year-old daughter, tells The Christian Science Monitor. “My daughter won't be getting those and I am pretty sure we won't be buying Skechers anymore either. I am very disappointed in the Skechers company for taking this direction.”
Skechers went all the way down the rabbit hole of bad judgment on this campaign, giving names to the shoes themselves: "Gimme Wicked" (a leopard-print), "Gimme Kisses" (a lip-print), "Gimme Starry Skies" (a star-print), and just plain "Gimme" (a flower-print).
Also, I would not want to be around a mom the first time her daughter sashays up to her father and actually uses the word, “Gimme!”
“I think the whole idea of mommy's money vs. daddy's money is dumb,” Ms. Hill said of the marketing. “ But, 'Gimme?' That's truly at the core of what bothers me, is 'Gimme!' It plays into the whole entitlement generation.”
Norfolk's Commissioner of the Revenue agreed that as the mother of girls she was not likely to increase Skechers' coffers with her personal money anytime soon.
“Women have worked so hard for so long to get where we are and then ads like this just bring all of us down,” Sharon McDonald said. “They [Daddy's Money shoes] are insulting and degrading and definitely send the wrong message to teenaged girls.”
It sounds to me like Skechers really put its foot in its mouth with this campaign. I have boys and it looks like Skechers will be off the budget line for us too.
Weather the money is Daddy's or Mommy's, the kids belong to both of us and we are not stepping into something that smells as bad as this idea.