Last one. This is too funny. @_Pandy storyboards #PatronisingBTLady ad. @robertflorence pic.twitter.com/Oq4IsIqSVs
— James Lees (@jamesvsburger) August 26, 2014
You might wonder what they were thinking.
The "no" movement in the Scottish independence referendum, Better Together, recently released this video ad featuring a woman soliloquizing at home after sending off her husband and kids:
Almost immediately, a backlash began. Under the hashtag #PatronisingBTlady, an explosion of memes started circulating to criticize the gendered clichés around a stay-at-home housewife who finds politics confusing:
Perfect summary of the new @UK_Together campaign video. Targeted at woman - but so patronising? #PatronisingBTLady pic.twitter.com/FePthazKYB
— Greg indyref (@YesIndyref) August 26, 2014
MISSING: Brow-beaten male, late 30s-early 40s, last seen in Co-op buying "Ricicles"... #indyref #PatronisingBTLady pic.twitter.com/uEUIp6nZ4s
— Oisean (@OssiansDream) September 1, 2014
Better Together's new ad sees ridicule and #PatronisingBTLady meme backlash on Twitter http://t.co/UIZHIv16M0 pic.twitter.com/1J8njhFIXw
— The Drum (@TheDrum) August 27, 2014
I had to… #PatronisingBTLady pic.twitter.com/oCOEimOgHU
— CakeQuestEdin (@CakeQuestEdin) August 26, 2014
The viral activity has since spilled over into mainstream media in the UK. However, the people behind the campaign defend it:
Despite the fact the film has created a vociferous internet response punctuated by a series of caustic retaliatory memes, campaign director Blair McDougall has defended the piece’s cinematic integrity. McDougall suggests the piece is flavored with social realism.
The ad uses words“taken verbatim from conversations on doorstops with undecided women voters,”and from the“opinion of women in dozens of focus groups around the country,”he claimed. While the ad has heightened the campaign’s profile considerably, the precise nature of publicity it has garnered may not be warmly welcomed.Certainly, there are individual women in Scotland who resemble the stereotype. But does that mean it's something that should be reinforced in a national advertising campaign?
Scottish social anthropologist (and "Yes" man) weighed in with a meme of his own:
#patronisingBTlady #indyref pic.twitter.com/shpcb5vt8O
— Michael Swann (@notarealswan) August 26, 2014
But the real question is whether this ad will sway any voters. And moreover, which way will it sway them?