An underwear retailer has launched a new product which, they claim, is intended to get more women interested in the World Cup.
The lingerie company, Vicky Form, have created a pair of knickers that vibrate every time a goal is scored during this year’s tournament.
The new product is called ‘Siente el Juego’, which translates to ‘Feel the Game’, and was unveiled ahead of the first World Cup match on Thursday, June 14, in an advert, reports the Mirror.
You can watch it here:
In a move that’s bound to raise eyebrows, the patronising advert not only reduces men to the stereotype of only caring about sex and football but, worse, simultaneously suggests that women should pander to this by literally mixing the two.
The commercial begins with by saying ‘every year, four million couples separate because of football’, before cutting to a man and woman discussing their football-related issues in their relationship.
The woman describes her partner as ‘sick’, saying ‘what’s wrong with him? Because of football?’
The narrator then interjects again, informing the couple that Vicky Form have come up with a way of getting them both excited about football.
The narrator says:
We have created the first pair of knickers that let you feel the passion of the game.
The knickers are linked to a robot that interprets the action and transforms it into vibrations in real time. The robot makes the knickers move.
The advert then shows the woman, who is now wearing said underwear, taking an interest in the game, gripping the sofa cushions and shouting at the TV. All of which makes her partner take her hand and move closer to her on the sofa as they’re both seen to be ‘enjoying’ the game.
It’s a baffling watch, especially as the advert also shows scientists analysing the couple and seemingly controlling the underwear until they reach the desired effect.
Predictably, the ill-judged advert sparked serious backlash on social media, with almost every comment criticising its poor judgement and apparent sexism.
One viewer wrote:
This advertising is painful. Clearly it does not depend on gender being able to understand or have a taste for sport.
To which Vicky Form themselves replied:
This is not about understanding, it’s about feeling the game.
Others called for the advert to be removed altogether, while another wrote:
This is what happens when there are men creating products for women […] if there was equality in the industry a woman would have said what a bad idea it is.
It does make you wonder how products like this go from being dreamt up to actually being marketed and sold (that’s if anyone is actually buying them).
While the World Cup may be a stressful time for football fans and an awkward time for non-football fans, I’m going to go out on a limb and say vibrating underwear is probably not the answer to either dilemma.
If you’re after a better way of getting through the season with your faculties still intact, check out our helpful guide here.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.