Who Would Want To Watch Smart, Interesting TV Anyway?

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | December 8, 2009 9:01 pm

Picture 5Can anyone verify if this is, in fact, a real advertisement for the Discovery Channel in the Netherlands? According to Gwen at Sociological Images, the poster reads:

Not for women’s eyes. Discovery Channel has television men want to watch. Exciting, smart, interesting, adventurous, and most of all real. Watch for yourself.

Seriously? Can anyone reassure me that the real meaning got lost in translation? Please…

H/T Ed Yong

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Media and Science

Comments (17)

  1. I can’t confirm the source of the image, but unfortunately I can confirm that that translation is correct…

  2. Tom

    as real as can be. Discovery Channel in The Netherlands aims specifically at men for it’s target audience. Quoting Alco de Jong, VP of Channels, Discovery Networks Benelux : “..Discovery Channel biedt televisie waar mannen iets aan hebben en waar zij over kunnen praten met hun vrienden..” which roughly translates to : “.. DC offers men television they want and they can talk about with their friends…”.

  3. Chris TMC

    Yeah because every woman watches nothing but Dancin with the Stars and John and Kate Plus 8 right?


  4. Yes, I think it might be real, check out their twitter page http://twitter.com/DiscoveryNed

  5. debbie

    i can confirm that that translation is correct. i am from belgium so i speak dutch. what the …? discovery channel is on here all the time when i am home lol. that is just total discrimination to me !

  6. Dave24

    Just speculating here, but if that translation is accurate, I’d say it’s meant to be a (very) dry attempt at attracting female viewers. Saying “Not for women’s eyes” is a great way to attract “women’s eyes.”

    The ad (again, if the translation is true) may or may not be effective, but in the end everyone just might have to lighten up a bit. I doubt the Discovery Channel, which has excellent programming, really intends to offend and isolate its viewers.

  7. laserboy

    If it is, it is not in wide circulation. I certainly haven’t seen it here on billboards or on television. That doesn’t make it impossible, especially since almost every show on discovery is presented by nearly all male casts.

  8. Harman Smith

    I can also confirm the translation is correct. I agree with Dave24 that this is an attempt to attract female viewers. But it does seem like a poor attempt.

  9. Blogger

    “Yeah because every woman watches nothing but Dancin with the Stars and John and Kate Plus 8 right?”

    You have to admit that the majority do.

  10. okaasan59

    I’d say it’s a campaign to try to get more women viewers. It reminds me of the Nestle Yorkie “Not for Girls” candy bar. I bought one of course. And I’m a girl.

  11. Amy

    You really think they expect to attract women by insulting them? Because . . . we like to be insulted? What?

  12. Marion Delgado

    That marketing involves flattery is not news. It’s a little unusual with its choice of stereotypes, but only in that way.

    Sheril, what do you think of the Australian woman whose bank targeted women depositors with the slogan “don’t trust your money to a man?” She took off with all the bank’s assets.

  13. Marion Delgado

    It’s definitely targeted at men only. It’s invariably those the flattery is aimed at that are the targets, and reverse psychology is almost vanishingly rare – it’s just too low-percentage.

    By the way, Sidney Padua, an Ada Lovelace (and Chas. Babbage) comic historian, found a great letter from De Morgan (*the* De Morgan) to Lady Byron saying that Ada was too brilliant and innovative and at some point her mathematical abilities would, in essence, short out her frail womanly body and he wasn’t telling them what to do, but they should keep that in mind.


  14. Hader

    Commercials these days have really become creative. I like the concept of not letting the viewer know what they are trying to advertise which prompts them to go view a website about it, Google it, etc. I like incorporating these marketing strategies in my own work here in Kansas City Missouri at

  15. Thanks alot, for sharing this great post!
    i found a youtube video about watching tv online that I would like to share: International TV channels online..
    But seriously, great post and thank you alot !!
    I look forward to your next post !

  16. Yeah, real lost!

    What’s the connection on “Not for woman’s eye”? geez!

  17. “Yeah because every woman watches nothing but Star Plus?”

    You have to admit that the majority do.


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.com For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.


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