Asda Christmas Ad – MartyrMum Strikes Again

I am flabbergasted at Asda’s Christmas ad.


There are people in this country who sat down, thought up this ad, presented it to another group of people, one or several of whom said, ‘I love it, darling!’ and then went on to produce it and put it on national TV.

Did no one think, ‘Hey, hang on. Isn’t this a bit sexist?’.

And bloody insulting to men.


I have a massive problem with crap ads that show MartyrMum doing everything to make Xmas special. Dad is relegated to helping to carry the Xmas tree (cause of course silly Mum can’t be expected to know that the tree won’t fit in the car, or make up her mind where to put it) and looking on with pride as his wife carries in the turkey.

Mum, after setting the table, peeling a mountain of spuds, preparing the turkey and all the trimmings doesn’t even get a seat at the table. She collapses onto a pouffe.

‘The supermarket used insight from its rolling ‘Mumdex’ survey of 4,000 mums to produce the advert as part of a wider strategy to reshape its business around what it identifies its key customers, mums’ according to Marketing Week.

As an aside, I find the word ‘Mumdex‘ horribly twee, and a bit reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s ‘binders full of women’.

I would be very interested to know how they surveyed the mothers, and why they decided to go for mothers in particular. And why they thought that this ad would do the trick.

I am fed up with the MartyrMum image that we mothers are being shoved into.

There are great mums and crap mums, there are mums who have the support of a fabulous partner – who might SHOCK HORROR – even be another woman. There are mums doing it all alone, and mums who would be as well alone for all the help their useless husband gives them. There are mums who are caring for their parents, for sick children, and mums who are being cared for by their families. There are families without mums, single parents, one dad, two dads.

What does this advert say about families? That we are all in a traditional set up with MartyrMum and DIYDad.

What does this ad say about motherhood? That we are doormats who do everything to make the family Christmas great.


I also have a huge problem with advertising that perpetuate the myth of useless Dad, who can’t be trusted to cook the dinner without burning it, or do a load of washing without dying everything pink. This in turn perpetuates the myth that housework is women’s work cause they are better at it. Which is absolute fecking nonsense.

My husband is convinced that there are men who deliberately make a total hash of chores, in the hope that their wife/partner will roll her eyes and declare him to be hopeless, ‘You just need to scorch your wife’s favourite blouse to never be asked again to do the ironing, he insists. (Not that he has ever done this, he is a dab hand with the iron, I have to say).


You want to know how Christmas is in our house? I order the gifts online, wrap them last minute while shouting at whoever had the sellotape last. The tree is chosen and decorated together with the children, and we share the preparations. I do most of the cooking, because I like to cook while he amuses the kids, sometimes taking them on a walk to run off some steam. We clear up the kitchen together, not as in the Asda ad, where MartyrMum slaves away while the rest of the family lounges around.


This ad reduces families to a simple and patronising stereotype, ignoring the realities of life in 2012. I don’t see myself, or my family when I watch that ad. Do you?


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