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Friday, October 21, 2005

DormAid Ad

Has anyone seen that DormAid ad on facebook.com that has a picture of an attractive woman in a French maid costume, above whom it says
Tips from Sophie, the cleaning professional: Why clean when there's someone else who wants to?
I've been facebooking like mad hoping to come across it again so I can show you guys. But to no avail. (no longer true! more in extended post)

Anyhow, in light of the pretty heavy controversy that DormAid was embroiled in (it originally launched itself as DorMaid*, and came under criticism from the Crimson and others for encouraging the already existing gap between students of different socioeconomic backgrounds at Harvard), I would not have expected something quite so potentially controversial from them...

Also, on the DormAid website, under the description of room cleaning I found this curious paragraph:
natural born cleaners
Each cleaning team consists of one or two trained and courteous cleaning professionals. They all have a good history of work in the industry and we have performed all necessary background checks.
...which I dislike, mostly because of the unintentional but definitely present suggestion that these employees are "naturally born" to clean...your room. Not so nice.

*I originally wrote MaidAid, which is incorrect

EDIT: Thanks to my compulsive logging in, I came across the DormAid ad again. Here it is for the sake of completion more than anything:


At 6:11 PM, Blogger Alex Slack said...

DormAid actually launched as DorMaid (with the "m" capitalized instead of the "a"). Have you seen that Daily Show bit? The guy from The Crimson is hott.

At 6:25 PM, Blogger andrew golis said...

I HIGHLY recommend the daily show clip. It's hilarious for three reasons:
1. the guys who run DormAid clearly had no clue they were being mocked (and still don't, it's linked on their website)
2. Slack makes a kick ass umbrella holder, and
3. the final question and answer: "How many guatemalans do you think you can fit into the trunk of a cadillac?" ... "It would depend on how you packed them..."



At 7:16 PM, Blogger deborah ho said...

Oops, my bad. Thanks Alex Slack.

At 11:16 PM, Anonymous sarika said...

what's being said about sophie and the "natural born cleaners" bit is valid to an extent... but honestly, i think this whole discussion is another example of harvard students being overly sensitive about small issues. there are so many more insidious ways classism and sexism assert themselves in our society; why not focus on those, instead of putting our time and energy into a cleverly designed ad campaign?

At 10:40 AM, Blogger deborah ho said...

I just put this up as something I came across and thought twice about, not really as a big deal, but I agree, Sarika--in the end, it is a small issue and is really just another example of something we see all the time, except this time created by Harvard students.

There was an FM article this week about the 24/5 party at Lamont on Monday night and how we can't get Harvard students to come out and show support for important causes, but a free burrito or a whiff of finale's will get hundreds swarming... I think the opposite happens too, where every little thing is blown up to be huge and earthshattering when really, it doesn't matter all that much...

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that some of this fuss is because so many people know the DormAid founders/executives and don't think so highly of them, so this just adds fuel to the fire, fairly or not.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger andrew stillman said...

"1. the guys who run DormAid clearly had no clue they were being mocked (and still don't, it's linked on their website)"

i disagree.... i'm pretty sure they knew they were being mocked and just went along with it. as for the link to the clip from their website, i don't know.... maybe they were thinking that any publicity is good publicity?

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Alex Slack said...

The funny thing about Daily Show inteviews is that they last for like 1.5 hours, but the actual segment only uses about 1 minutes of footage. So basically they have you on tape saying all sorts of stupid things (and smart things). It's up to them which things they take.

I certainly was worried about being mocked. Depending on the footage they chose to use, I could have come off much worse in that segment. And I suspect the Dormaid people could have come off much better.

You're right though. Any publicity is good publicity.

At 3:08 PM, Anonymous LPSE said...


At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I run DormAid in Canada; I’ve been looking on your website for the past our hour and I think you guys are missing the point. The ‘point’ is that DormAid is out to improve the quality of life for our customers. We see with ‘benefits of trade’ specialization increases the amount of goods people can consume. Students should specialize in doing school work, and cleaning people should specialize in cleaning and Laundromats should specialize in doing laundry. When I get hungry I don’t grab my gun and go hunting for animals. I walk down to the local grocery store and buy the food from the store. In turn the store buys it from the farmer. With specialization people can do more things. No one person is completely self sufficient. That is why business focus on providing specific services.


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