St Valentine's Day Challenge For Kiwi Men
February 13 2004
New Zealand's new cleaning products company, B_E_E, has issued a challenge to Kiwi men: show your woman you love her by cleaning the house for St. Valentine's Day.
A Colmar Brunton survey commissioned this week by B_E_E shows that the average Kiwi man spends only 1.7 hours cleaning the house each week, compared to the 6.3 hours put in by women.
Of the larger centres, Auckland had the most reluctant cleaners. The survey showed Auckland men spent only 1.5 hours per week cleaning.
Hamilton men were more likely to help out, averaging two hours a week. However, Hamilton women put in nearly five times that amount of cleaning - an average of 9.9 hours a week.
Men from the smaller centres tended to put in more time, with those from Palmerston North and New Plymouth averaging 2.9 and 2.4 hours each week.
Overall, 63 percent of men spent an hour or less cleaning each week.
Brigid Hardy from B_E_E says that Kiwi men can no longer get away with the excuse that St. Valentine's Day is just commercial - the fact that it falls on a Saturday gives them a chance to be romantic anyway.
"Our survey shows that lots of women would just love their partner to do some cleaning. Of course, we'd hate to put you off a red rose, a romantic breakfast in bed or candle-lit dinner, but there are extra bonus points to be scored on doing the dishes afterwards. She might just smile longer in a clean home."
B_E_E's products, dishwash, surface cleaner, laundry liquid and whitener, fit in perfectly with the occasion, flaunting sexy pick-up lines like "I'll give you some sparkle", "I promise I'll be gentle" and, one for the unassuming Valentine - "I'm good around the house".
The provocative labels are complemented by groovy, translucent packaging, which was recently short-listed for a prestigious 2004 Design Week award.
Given B_E_E's use of essential oils and natural ingredients, including New Zealand Kawakawa (pepper-tree), the odd Kiwi male could perhaps be forgiven for imagining that the products were a Valentine's day gift in themselves (not bad for those in the three dollar price bracket).
"Knowing that the recently launched cleaning product range is all about irresistible environmentalism could help satisfy his conscience," Hardy says.
The survey involved interviews with 250 New Zealand women living with husbands or partners.
Valentine's 'Cleaning Habits' Survey
Commissioned by B_E_E (Beauty Engineered Forever)
Run by Colmar Brunton
Survey of 250 women aged over 20 living with partners
* Women say they spend on average 6.3 hours per week cleaning the house:
o 41% spend 3 hours or less
o 31% spend 4-7 hours
o 28% spend 8 hours or more
* Women say men spend 1.8 hours a week cleaning the house:
63% spend 1 hour or less
o 21% spend 2-3 hours
o 16% spend 4 hours or more
Regional averages - number of hours a week cleaning the house
Auckland 1.5 hours
Christchurch 1.6 hours 5.7 hours
Dunedin 1.6 hours 4.3 hours
Hamilton 2.0 hours 9.9 hours
Hawke's Bay 3.1 hours 9.5 hours
Invercargill 1.8 hours 6.0 hours
New Plymouth 2.4 hours 11.6 hours
Palmerston North 2.9 hours 7.3 hours
Wellington 1.6 hours 4.7 hours
Whangarei 3.3 hours 7.5 hours