Sunday, December 1, 2013

Edgy restaurant branding, or terrible new euphemism for "vulva"?


The question is, of course, rhetorical. The web site's feature image shows a woman splayed over a butcher block, hanging an agonizingly vaginal steak by a meat hook. It's about the most awful advertising image I've seen in ages. (Apparently, it's also a billboard.)

The Ottawa Citizen reports that this upcoming suburban steakhouse is owned by the Rooney Group, who also own Tosh Steakhouse & Bar in Arnprior. The Rooney Group would not talk to reporters.

The work is featured in the portfolio of Ottawa's Light Switch Creative.

The restaurant's site is all about hiring right now. Here's how they describe themselves:
Skirt Steak is a steakhouse redefined. The sleek, contemporary atmosphere combined with unique menu selections and cuts of meat, leave guests with little to desire. [...] This sexy and edgy take on today’s steakhouse will keep you wanting more.
 Sexy, edgy... and almost literally dripping with misogyny.

Julie Lalonde, director of Hollaback! Ottawa, told the Citizen, “I rolled my eyes. How unoriginal, you’re using women as a metaphor for meat. If you can’t advertise your business without objectifying women then you don’t have a good business model. It turns people off and it’s offensive.”

Barry Nabatian, director of market research for Shore-Tanner & Associates, added that the location — close to the hockey mecca, strip malls and technology businesses of Kanata — may be right for this kind of approach, saying “a lot of the people are engineers who go out looking for those things.”

Doesn't really say much about the profession, does it?

The women as food clich√© is already tiresome. This one is gruesome as well. The woman with the cleaver offers us her "skirt steak," freshly butchered. Are we supposed to want to eat it or...? I don't intend to find out.

Thanks to Paul for the tip.

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