Coldwater Creek and Stereotyping Girls

I have to start out by saying I'm normally a fan of Coldwater Creek's advertising. So I was intrigued by their new TV commercial, "Sisters." It's a great premise, a family of 5 girls and the story of how they try to outdo each other.


I was waiting for great things, until the spot listed out what the girls competed with each other about –

  • Who had the prettiest haircut
  • Whose jeans fit the best
  • who got the highest grades
  • who had the cutest boyfriend

Wow. Coldwater Creek missed a real opportunity here – an opportunity to break out of stereotypes, and negative messages about girls. Yes, they tossed in good grades, but that's the only competition that isn't a negative stereotype. Yes, sisters can fight about these things, but there are SO many ways sisters compete with each other:

  • Who got their training wheels off first (bicycle)
  • Who did the best in sports
  • Who got to help dad work in the garage
  • Who the family dog loved the best
  • Whose mother's day gift mom liked the best
  • Who got into the best college
  • Who had the best Halloween costume
  • Who read the most books in one summer

The list is endless. Since Coldwater Creek 's audience is women and moms, there was an opportunity here to paint girls in an authentic, but positive light. There was also an opportunity for more of their trademark humor like these commercials….



Here's a tip for everyone who markets to women – after you write your first draft, go back through and look for any stereotypes or cliches and replace them with specific, authentic and positive details. Then watch women flock to your product or service.


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18 Responses to Coldwater Creek and Stereotyping Girls

  1. Kat Gordon says:

    Great insights, Holly! Even better would have been if they had casted for a real family of 5 girls and let them narrate their truths without scripting. Authenticity, authenticity, authenticity, folks.

  2. Nadine says:

    Hi! Great article! The videos are set to private though, is there anyway that I can view them? Thanks!

  3. JanetEngel says:

    Great points on this! They could have done something so much more authentic and leading edge at the same time!

  4. I can’t watch the videos!!! help!

  5. Rosalba Ioppolo says:

    intriging articles – bu videos are private. WHY??? it’s a pety

  6. Holly Buchanan says:

    Here’s the link to the reunion spot

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  17. Italo says:

    I’m very late to this conversation, and I’m sort of seirrpsud at the extreme generalization in here. The truth of the matter is that I am rarely attracted to Jewish men, but not because I care about how much money they make! Doctors and lawyers make money and have status, sure, but I’d rather date a teacher, social worker, or academic any day, because I find that I have more in common with them. (I’m an academic.)Yes, my ideal man would be Jewish, but the chances of finding a guy who is kind, funny, intellectually curious, physically fit, interested in me, AND is Jewish is clearly small. (No, requiring physical fitness is not shallow it’s a lifestyle choice. I’m extremely active, and want someone with a similar lifestyle.) Something has to give, and the only part of that that isn’t involved in attraction is the religion. I’ll let that part slide.

  18. Jessy says:

    JJ, I heard all that before at chaabd.Problem is, did you say a marriage between 2 jews is holy approved by hashem and forever?Why did you divorce your wonderful jewish wife? Even after you had kids?Cold unconnected and so sad.I gave up everything when I became religous, but I didnt find a jewish wife right away not because I couldnt have, but because I knew I needed to understand where religously I was going to be before I chose one. Not fair to the wife to marry while eating shrimp at the local Reform place and then expect her to become orthodox over, any jewish girl that thinks she is rejected because of her jewish looks isnt facing reality. Its not that sister!

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