NZ Pork aims to give mums a break from the cooking, gets some more grief for gender stereotyping

Whether it’s the objectification of women (and, to a lesser degree, men) or the representation of male dunces incapable of doing the simplest of tasks, much has been written about the role of gender stereotypes in advertising. And now NZ Pork’s latest campaign, which aims to get men back into the kitchen, cook some pig and give their ‘missuses’ a break, has earned the ire of some for taking things back to the ’50s. 

As it says on the website Mum’s Night Off: “We reckon it’s time more women got out of the kitchen, and more men started to man them. But we know it ain’t easy. So stop scratching your nuts, get your apron on, and let’s get cooking 100% NZPork.”

The website offers meal suggestions for males, with the ability to rank the recipes on a difficulty scale of burping after a beer, backing a trailer and remembering the missus’ birthday. The website can also switch between blokes mode and mum’s mode so women can rank their male partner’s skills and find an appropriate recipe (for example, Your Big Pork Balls or Dog Box Escape Pork Steaks). It also allows users to Dob in a Dad who isn’t pulling his weight, offers tips on how to stay manly in the kitchen (“always use an axe”) and features a glossary explaining kitchen terms (“recipe book: thing you wife stands on to reach things”). 

According to the NBR, the campaign, which is funded by the industry body’s levy and is expected to run for a year, is costing $1 million and the idea behind it stems from a survey of 1000 people that found women do the cooking and shopping 90 percent of the time and 86 percent of women said they would prefer their husband or partner to do more cooking. 

So they seem to mean well. And it is intended to be tongue and cheek. But the execution has riled some on NZ Pork’s Facebook page. And while NZ Pork says it expected a negative response from the “activists” that attempt to raise awareness about animal cruelty in the pork industry, an issue that has gained more prominence in recent years after incriminating videos have been made public, its chief executive Owen Symmans told the NBR New Zealanders had a bold sense of humour and would see the funny side. 

Shine was behind the ad (and it has some history in the realm of manvertising after the launch of various Mammoth products, most of which have been discontinued). It took over from Ogilvy, which produced a series of ads featuring slightly less OTT gender stereotypes a few years back in an effort to get pork into more trolleys. 

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