This Real Morning Report video is an advertisement by company Organic Valley for their product Organic Balance, which is a milk-based protein shake in a convenient on-the-go bottle. The commercial splices scenes that show unrealistic representations of women and their morning habits, images often used by other advertisers, and contrasts them with scenes of “real mornings” which are shown to be much messier and more hectic.
These satirical “unrealistic” scenes include a perfectly made-up woman peacefully doing yoga in her underwear and another “journaling in her journaling nook” while the sun shines on them in their spotlessly clean homes. The “real” scenes include a woman rushing to pick up her children’s toys from the floor, a woman using an accessory to cover a clothing stain as she rushes to get ready for work, and another woman joylessly checking her work email on her mobile phone while still in bed. These “real” scenes are contrasted with the glossy fantasy examples of what is usually portrayed in other advertisements so that those companies’ portrayals seem foolish and inauthentic because they are not accurately portraying the life most women lead. To further emphasize this point, statistics such as “33% of us never make our bed” and “only 16% of women would describe their morning with the hashtag #blessed…and that seems kinda high” are stated by the actors in the commercial as they rush to get ready for their days.
The commercial concludes with one of the “real” women digging in her purse, asking, “you know what 100% of us do have time for?” After some answers from the unrealistic morning actors (“a real life pinterest board?,” ”fermenting your own small batch kombucha?”) the answer is revealed to be the Organic Balance product as it is a mobile meal that could accommodate the busy lifestyles shown throughout the video. The end of the clip also urges the audience to read more statistics at www.RealMorningReport.com, which links to a survey of 1,000 professional women that Organic Valley conducted, asking women about their typical mornings and lifestyle choices. The results from this survey are the statistics displayed throughout the Real Morning Report video advertisement.
Advertisers usually portray people in socially acceptable or “normal” ways, and use commonly understood stereotypes in order to quickly advertise and sell their products. In the “unrealistic” scenes of this commercial, women were relaxing in their homes, crafting, cooking, and doing yoga, without rushing around getting ready for work outside the home. What assumptions and stereotypes about women are shown in the “unrealistic morning” scenes? How does this commercial point out biases in the typical kinds of media representations of women’s activities, income, identity, family life, and other aspects of their lifestyles?
One important thing to consider about media is who is making it and for what purpose. In this case, Organic Valley is making social commentary about how women are shown in media as a way to sell their own Organic Balance protein shake. Does this make their message about celebrating “real” women’s lives lose credibility? Why or why not?
Did any of the statistics given in this video surprise you? How realistic do you think these “real” mornings were? Consider who was surveyed and what may have skewed the results.
How was racial and ethnic identity used to contrast the “real” versus “fake” morning scenes? What does this say about Whiteness and how it is often seen and represented as “normal”?