If I were to describe mornings in our house in a single word, it would be “godless electro-mayhem robot poop diaper oatmeal chaos.” Kid no. 1 spends the breakfast hour lying in wait for an Internet-enabled device to be left unattended. Kid no. 2 seizes even the briefest moment of parental inattention as an opportunity to repast on crayons. By the time I drop the two of them off at school, I am less a functional adult being than a smattering of ragey tics stuffed into a slept-in shirt.
While I don’t find our morning “routine” all that pleasant, it’s far worse for my wife - who, after leaving the house/asylum, is treated to a commute via the least reliable provider of mass transit in the history of locomotion. This, perhaps, is why she’s more or less incapable of being friends with non-working parents. It’s one part envy and five parts an utter inability to relate (“No, really, I honestly want to know. What is this ‘sit-down meal’ of which you speak? Share with me its secrets and customs,” etc.).
Much to her credit, she rises above the situation. My lite-conversational oeuvre begins and ends with chit-chat about the weather. She, on the other hand, will graciously share intel about nutrition, soccer classes and vacation destinations with parents of all stripes, whether made up to the hilt or dressed down in advance of a workday workout and jeez don’t you just hate their dumb stupid lucky do-nothing faces.
In any event, I dedicate this column to her - well, I dedicate everything to her, given that she’s my primary source of happiness and (relative) stability - because today’s video, Organic Valley’s “Organic Balance: Real Morning Report,” gets her in a way that no other piece of recent marketing has. The clip opens on three women in beautifully appointed living spaces, one indulging in some early-day yoga, another journaling in her “journaling nook” and the third noshing on a “wholesome, farm-fresh breakfast with a tiny spoon” procured from “a company that gives tiny spoons to underprivileged children.”
Cut to: Reality. We’re treated to a series of scenes in which working moms return work emails before dawn, pick up toys strewn about the house and cloak scarves over morning-activity-related stains. They conserve precious minutes by using dry shampoo and make the bed by tossing pillows in its general direction. Also, they swear. A lot.
Amid all this, they recite findings from Organic Valley’s Real Morning Report survey of 1,000 women. Among the highlights, conveyed in a ferocious deadpan by the clip’s breakout performer: “Only 16 percent of women would describe their morning with the hashtag ‘#blessed,’ and that seems kinda high.” Oh yeah - there’s also a product to sell: Organic Balance, which the clip bills as “an organic breakfast in a bottle.” We see the bottle briefly and hear a bit about its protein and calcium content, but that’s all.
What I love about this video is its blithe willingness to offend a not-small part of the potential buying audience for Organic Balance. It tells the three women at the start of the clip (who reappear briefly to discuss the fermentation of small-batch kombucha and “real-life Pinterest boards,” otherwise known as corkboards) that they are ridiculous. At the same time, these women, exaggerated as they may be for comic effect, probably wouldn’t pass up a product like this if it came their way. I mean, without hitting the stereotypes too hard, they ostensibly have errands to run and children to ferry as well, don’t they? Probably?
That Organic Valley absolutely nails the silliness of so much marketing targeting women, and does so while subtly plugging nearly everything about the Organic Balance product that a consumer might want to know, is one hell of an accomplishment - and that’s before one takes into account that it runs a mere 98 seconds long. Has any other marketer gotten it so right in such a short time span? I’m off to the store now to buy six cartons.