idea blog

Marketing commentary for better. Or worse.

Earlier today we linked to a great summary of some of the shortcoming’s of Whole Foods’ aesthetically gorgeous new marketing campaign — namely that it still makes them look expensive and pretentious, two things they should probably at this point be trying to avoid.

Well, we missed something: the stunningly off gender messaging of some of these ads. For a campaign that is primarily about “Values” … Whole Foods’ agency, New York based Partners & Spade, messed this one up pretty bad.

The ads — all of which seem to feature women, save for the one with a possibly male farm worker shown in the distance, with his back to camera — pair whimsically typefaced headlines with an image.

Some are totally fun and great:


Nice, right? Translation: Healthy food is yummy — and your family is a conscientious trend setter.

Some, though, are a little weird/off:


Harmless? Translation: Hey girls, you can look strong, totally! As long as you don’t challenge the status quo or really assert yourself or anything.

And some are downright creepy:


Translation: Your body belongs to someone else. You better take care of it better, so you can make them happy!


Values do matter to your consumers, Whole Foods. And your marketing agency is pushing brand messaging that is weirdly anti-feminist. Who shops at Whole Foods again?