The short: Those “handmade” Hockey Mom signs weren’t actually made by the people holding them. They were most likely made by someone on the campaign staff, then placed on potential “Moms”. The author (Yamuna Ramachandran) argues the sign design negatively impacts the GOP and the perception of women within the political environment in general. You can check out the full article at AIGA Voice Magazine site. Worth the read, only about 950 words.
After the jump- a formal reflection on the article (I did it for class, but it isn’t that bad).
Although the author concedes at one point and admits she might be reading into the situation too deeply, I definitely agree with her retort (to her own doubts) that marketing is all about the deeper lever, subconscious effects on individuals. It is there to create an easy pathway for someone to reference in the future. So by labeling these women as “hokey” we in turn are absolutely “dumbing down” the political arena artificially for the sake of over humanizing women in politics. To me, this is actually a backfired attempt at creating a love-mark and instead results in further possible sexism and discrimination. On top of the fact that it is completely manufactured and artificial, which further deepens the would and really brings a throw back to bad product placement. Part of me thinks of The Truman Show. That being on the deeper subconscious level, however the design implications are just as apparent.
Even on the surface level, this homegrown tactic is completely misguided and draws negative implications. It sends a message of lack of respect, time and caring. This is not a ballgame where you and your friends decided to paint up a funny sign at the last minute in hopes of getting on the Jumbo-Tron. This is perhaps one of the most important events and turning points of essentially the next 8 years. Love-marks and emotions aside, even if that is your goal, this is not the way to do it. The author gives a great example, which I’ll add to. This homemade approach would be great for a lemonade stand, cute, citchy and approachable, but not professional at all, but that’s because no one over 12 years old operates a roadside lemonade stand. However, no one under the age of 18 votes, so you have an entirely different audience. These people are sophisticated, mature, intelligent and expect more. This is a serious decision. As the author writes, “Could you imagine if, say, the “for sale” sign on their homes had the same elementary-school approach?”
These signs have clearly on failed two key aspects. They have neither furthered the parties image and platform nor have they communicated a positive and respectable image of women. In fact, I would agree with the author and argue it is more than a small step backward. Not to mention, all while doing this, it really hurt my eyes.