Playtex Campaign Embodies The Misery Of Bra Shopping

Do you love getting measured and hearing you're wearing the wrong size bra? Well, you're in for a treat: Playtex's website is the virtual equivalent of being trapped in a smelly fitting room with an overbearing saleslady.

Today Maura Johnston wrote a post on The Awl about her discovery that the Playtex website, "Seems to be the result of some brainstorming session during which the phrase 'a more self-aware Cathy' probably cropped up. Ack!"

Johnston was particularly disturbed by the video below, which is embedded on the front page. It starts out with a woman joking about the dangers of putting on a bra while drunk. Then she advises:

You also don't want to put on a bra in front of a man. Because you really want to get those suckers in there, you know what I mean? And when you put it on in front of a man, you have to go, 'Oh my God, look how cute and perky I am!' ... Never do anything in front of a man that you don't have to. That is my rule for life."

As Johnston points pit, "If one is in a position to put a bra on in front of a man, the whole illusion of cute perkiness has been kind of stripped bare? No?" She's also right that the bra being loose enough to store a cell phone isn't really a selling point (though I'll admit, I actually have crammed a phone, lipstick, and a contact lens case in there when the situation called for being purse-free). Warning: If like most American women you've have had a traumatizing run-in with a department store saleswoman, this video will give you flashbacks.

Though the first video is definitely bizarre, the worst part of the website is definitely "Roz." Johnston wasn't joking — there literally is a Cathy-like character in a video that plays on a loop. When you first try to check out Playtex's various bra styles, this video pops up above the menu:

First Roz asks if you know what bra size you wear. Size?! For all these years I've been picking up random bras from the sale bin and forcing my breasts into them. It's best to just enter a size quickly though, because if you take too long to answer Roz knocks on the screen and says, "How you doing? Heeeey. Yoo hoo." If you still won't answer, Roz babbles about how much she loves coffee, goes psycho and rips apart a daisy, then continues continues smiling at you like a moron.

Like all bra sellers, Roz has an insatiable desire to measure women and tell them the size they're currently wearing simply won't do. If you don't admit you have "digging straps" or "bulging cups," she'll go ahead and measure herself.

Roz has bras ranging from size 32 nearly A to 54 DDD. Just don't tell her you want a larger bra with whatever "stretch foam cups" or "undercup support panels" are. In that case, you're just shit out of luck:

It's just like being in a real dressing room!

Playtex Bras Website
Playtex: Lifting And Separating The Ridiculous From The Even More Ridiculous [The Awl]

Earlier: The Marketing Woes Of 36DD