10 Worst Crimes Recently Committed Against Womanity By the Advertising Industry

Posted at 5:00 AM Sep 09, 2009

By Kathleen Willcox

Charlie Revlon Ad1.jpg

Do you sometimes feel like a wrinkly oil-spill who's also a gaseous, period-bloated, frizzy mess who happens to be suffering from that not so fresh feeling while simultaneously having to go ... gotta go gotta go gotta go right now? It's no wonder, but don't worry: Just dial 877-393-4448, Optimum Voice, call your mom, call your date! (And your shrink while you're at it).

We are exposed to more than 5,000 marketing messages a day, up from 3,000 in 1990, according to the most recent numbers from the International Television and Video Almanac. And while their insidious jingles enter our dreams, cloud our already info-overloaded brains and generally pollute our quality of life, sometimes the underlying message the ads are broadcasting about womanity are more deleterious to our sanity and way of life than their irritating ($5 foot loooong; Activi-aaaaah!) slogans.

The good people in the advertising industry are essentially being paid to make us feel insecure and buy the products they're selling to "fix" whatever problem they made us "realize" we have - an important thing to keep in mind the next time we find ourselves dashing out the door to purchase that wrinkle cream being pushed by a 15-year-old without pores. Below, the 10 worst ads recently making their rotations somewhere way too close to you.

10. Burger King

The message: Even innocuous cartoon characters want a piece of your booty - give it up girls!

It's rare when an aesthetic creation manages to degrade women, a cheesy rap song, a beloved cartoon character and a creepy mascot without being even passably funny (just think of all of those South Park, Seinfeld and Simpsons skits that are universally offensive to animals, vegetables and minerals but have you helplessly tittering despite your inner protest fist-pumpin' Gloria Steinem). But Burger King succeeds. Its latest commercial is more music video than ad; it's an insipid depiction of your grandma's idea of what Lady of the Night-like hoochie mamas would look like shaking their "square booties" around to a reworking of Sir-Mix-a-Lot's Baby Got Back. Meanwhile, a newly lascivious Sponge Bob gives em the middle-aged fat drunk man hairy-eyeball treatment and the "King" runs amok doing the splits, "rapping" and measuring their thrusting, grinding square sponge "booties" with a measuring tape. What this has to do with, um, burgers, is anyone's guess.

Ogle the offense.

9. Carl's Jr.

The message: Hot women like hot beef injections

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Padma Lakshmi, international supermodel, former wife of Brilliant Man Salman Rushdie, author and TV host extraordinaire. It's one thing if Paris wants to flit about like a floozy with Carl - we expect that of her. But when you sensually collapse onto the front steps of a New York City brownstone (a la Carrie from SATC -- all busty bra, casually splayed legs and uber high heels) and lick up links of dripping bacon, chunks of wet beef and stray spurts of ketchup from your wrist as you purr, "It reminds me of being in high school. Sneaking out before dinner to savor that sweet, spicy sauce. Leaving no evidence behind," I kind of die inside. But then a male voice over dorkily intones: "100% Black Angus Beef. More than just a piece of meat." And then I just croak. Literally, like a hoarse, crazy frog. And scare my dog. Thanks, Padma.

Ogle the offense.


8. Schick

The message: Pubic hair is too obscene to acknowledge, never mind possess

Apparently, the fact that women have pubic hair can't be openly discussed, so it has to be ridiculously alluded to through a series of vignettes showing a woman in a suit (and a big bush that is digitally manicured into submission before our very eyes!), a woman jogging (in front of big bushes that are digitally manicured into submission before our very eyes!), two women meeting on the street (next to big bushes that are manicured in creepily different styles before our very eyes!) and a woman in a bikini (in front of a big bush/treething that's manicured into submission before our very eyes) before a narrator assures us that the New Schick Quattro Style allows you, lady of the unruly pubic hairs, to "shave, trim and transform ... whatever your style ... free your skin!" And enslave your mind. Mwah hahah!

Ogle the offense.

7. Twix

The message: Women are date-obsessed morons who will jump at the opportunity to ask out attractive jerks

Two guys--one nebbishy chubster, one slick-haired frattard--are seen poring over the classic tome, "How to Score a Mega-Hottie." In walks Princess Charming who looks like a, well, Doll, and asks (in a horror-stricken voice) "What are you reading?" The frattard "needs a moment." That's where Twix comes in! He crams the sugary goodness into his craven maw and we can see the wheels (verrrrrryy slowly) turning. The candy's magic is working! Rapidly gaining at least 200 IQ points, he derides "his friend's" reading material, is asked out by P.C. and rides greasily off into the sunset. I don't know what's worse: that an apparently cogent lady blithely buys his transparent schtick or that the frattard sells out over a chick (I mean c'mon, bros over hos, that's your motto, right?).

Ogle the offense.


6. Motrin

The message: It's all about me! Shut up, baby!

Just ask any new mom: having a baby is all about you. Riiigh-eeeeeeeeet? That's where Motrin comes in. Because all of that holding, hauling, "wearing" of the baby gets old. As the whiny narrator explains, "supposedly it's a real bonding experience. Babies carried close to the body cry less than others. But what about me?" What about you, indeed, dear? Luckily, Motrin (and probably gin, Valium and crack-cocaine) are here to dull a bitch's pain. Thank God for that!

Ogle the offense.


Jack Olson said:

When your product is just like your competitors', the only way to distinguish it is to advertise it with ads that don't look like your competitors'. This is why you can buy your insurance from a duck, a cave man, or a lizard with a Cockney accent. When your panty hose is just like your competitors's, you don't hire Cheryl Tiegs to model it, you hire Joe Namath. The cumulative effect of all the advertisers striving to stand out from the roar is a media world which resembles "The Garden of Earthly Delights" but there is a reason why each advertiser struggles to look more distinctive than his competitors even if the result is emetic.

Diana said:

Is Della no more? When I follow the link it just redirects to Dell's main site...

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