Friday, April 16, 2010

Why I won't shop at Home Depot

For the past, oh, seven months or so, I've waged a silent war against Home Depot. Not because I don't like their prices -- they don't seem any more expensive than any of the other home improvement stores. And it's not that I don't dislike the location. In fact, I have to pass Home Depot in order to get to Lowe's. It's not even the fact that Lowe's offers a 10 percent military discount (which we rarely use, because the hubbs isn't the "in your face type" that demands the discount, and subsequently, demands to see a manager if the sales clerk denies that the discount exists).

It's because of their ads.

I looove commercials, whether on the radio or on TV. I'm the type of person that would fulfill an advertising guru's wildest dreams. With few exceptions, commercials almost always make me want to buy the product (exception one: Taco Bell's shrimp taco - if they used frozen meat that they thaw in vats of warm water; which I know to be true because I worked there for two days when I was an undergraduate, how can I trust them to properly handle shrimp?!?).

The new Bounty commercial makes me want to tackle my cast iron skillet with a paper towel. The new Audi/Iron Man commercial makes me want an Audi Spyder, despite my aversion to 2-seater sports cars (and lack of Audi money). And nearly any food ad, save for the previously mentioned shrimp taco commercial (ugh!), draws me in, even to the point where I want to go get a Big Mac/Zaxby's basket/milk shake at 11 p.m.

But back to Home Depot. I already have a problem with ads trying to "sound" black. And Home Depot is one of the worst.

"Gurl, what you doin'?" "'Bout to go to da Home Depot Girl!"

The affected speech that is intended to be that of two girlfriends in the midst of a home repair literally disgusts me.

First of all, why should it matter if a person is black or white when it comes to the store at which I want to buy my shrubbery? Why must a woman be addressed as "girlfriend" in order to entice me to come in to buy paint?

Incidentally, I happened to hear back-to-back ads: Home Depot, then Lowe's.

The Home Depot commercial was full of "gurl" and "MMhmmm" -- so much so that I could practically see the necks rolling and fingers snapping as the one woman tries to convince the other woman to purchase items that will help her save on her utility bill. ("Close the door JoJo! You letting all the air out!")

Lowe's was a normal conversation -- no "girl," no "boo," just a discussion about a woman who advised the husband on what products to buy and who identified bugs in the yard. Although I could tell the couple was black (don't get me started on how I can "tell" a black person by his or her voice. It's a long story, and actually something I'd like to get a scientific basis for), there was no need to "prove" the characters were black by adding slang to the conversation.

I'm not offended by the ads, I just find it unnecessary and contrived. And I don't like it.

So, for now, I'm giving Home Depot the boot. Next time I buy my flowers, guurrrl, I'm going to Lowe's.

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