Selling Sexism: Smart Credit Card Concept Designs, Stupid Stereotypes


The prestigious Red Dot Awards designated the design concept “Live Checking Card” a winner in their productivity category for combining mobile banking and portability. But why are some tech sites using gender stereotypes to discuss the card’s potential?

The concept itself is actually really cool. How it would work and function is detailed in the following video:

The concept of a credit card that displays a different color light to alert you to a preset spending limit, and allows you to check your balance on the card, all while being powered by solar energy seems like something out of the Jetsons. (Then again, it is 2010 – we’re only 52 years from personal robots and flying cars, so perhaps the time for this has come.)

And yet, gadgets blog Oh Gizmo seems to think the only use for the item would be to keep the womenfolk in line:

Clearly, the concept itself is nothing short of a nightmare for wives and girlfriends as it displays real time information of their shopping adventures. […] I’m pretty sure that there would be no shortage of husbands and boyfriends lining up to buy these cards once and if the concept is implemented.

You know us silly shopping women, always taking our husband’s cards to the store!

Gizmodiva goes one better, applying her stereotype to celebrities and mortals :

The Live Checking Card is a dream come true for boyfriends and husbands and a device that will keep WAGs from spending without a care in the world. So that’s not a very good thing after all.

For contrast, here’s the copy from Yanko Design, the studio who came up with the card concept:

Do you know who the Green Monster is? It’s that skunk-of-a-bill that you get at the end of the month; it devours all your Dollars because you overspent! Only if you could use something like the Live Checking Card! A Credit Card won’t let you go beyond your limits. It’s a digital thang with an E-ink display that allows you to check your payment history on it. It even tracks your bank account’s transaction through RFID. A cumulative amount shows up on the screen every time you swipe the card; giving you your account balance on your finger tips.

Nice and gender neutral, like the marketing of financial products should be.

But there is one bright spot in all of this: if the Live Checking Card ever gets made, Oh Gizmo and Gizmodiva demonstrated exactly how not to sell this product.

Live Checking Card [Red Dot Online]
Kick The Green Monster [Yanko Design]
Live Checking Cards: Watch Your Bills, Honey! [Oh Gizmo]
Live Checking Card gives you a reality check! [Gizmodiva]

Earlier: “Shrink It And Pink It” Gets Slaughtered By The Femme Den

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