Ads gone bad: The Dockers man-ifesto

Posted at 10:27 AM Dec 07, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

With their "Man-Ifesto" campaign, Dockers has just released the advertising equivalent of a guy with a tiny dick driving a big truck. Somebody at the company figured out that Dockers are more for dorks than for dudes (has it really taken them this long to figure that out?), and now they're trying to reclaim a manhood they never really had with a wanky, bro-tastic and sexist rant that's explicitly against boyhood, androgyny and plastic eating utensils.


A little clarification after the jump:

Once upon a time, men wore the pants, and wore them well. Women rarely had to open doors and little old ladies never crossed the street alone. Men took charge because that's what they did. But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed men. Disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny. But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers for. The world sits idly by as cities crumble, children misbehave and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street. For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes. We need grown-ups. We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. It's time to get your hands dirty. It's time to answer the call of manhood. It's time to wear the pants.

The Heartless Doll take:

Once upon a time, men didn't have anyone questioning their shit. They wanted to be congratulated for opening doors and walking across streets. Men were in charge because they kept everyone else down. But somewhere along the way, women wised up and were like, these dudes are fucking assholes and we'd like some freedom and autonomy now, please. Somehow, dance music and delicious coffee made it so that men couldn't wear the official pants of middle management, left stranded on the road between ageism and misogyny. But today, there are questions scholars, feminists and other people who speak truth to power would like some answers to. The world does not sit idly by as activists fight against the actual evils of the world while some pants company complains about coffee. For the first time since bad guys, we realized that the heroes were often the bad guys. We need grown-ups who don't whine about dance music. We need men to not be ushered into oppressive gender roles and to eat salad if they want to, and ladies, too. It's time for everyone to get their hands dirty. It's time to answer the call of gender equality. It's time to wear whatever the fuck you want.

[Via Sociological Images]


e.b. said:

I really like your version. You rock for turning that into something fucking awesome. Dockers, I'm laughing at you. John Wayne never wore fucking khakis. That ridiculous male ideal you laud would laugh at the idea of wearing khakis. Didn't you know that real men don't work in offices? Real men are construction works, cowboys, and misunderstood CEO's (they wear suits).

Silly Dockers, I would feel bad for you getting it so wrong but instead I'm never buying your shit again. I don't know if I ever bought something labeled Dockers but now I will make sure I don't.

Kiala said:

Wait. So does this mean that, as a woman who (I guess)needs her doors opened for her and her pants worn by Men, I am also "stranded somewhere between boyhood and androgyny"?

Should I be scared?

ebony said:

now print your counter-strike on 10,000 tshirts and hand them out on the streets of new york!

Angela said:

Your version of this ad made my whole day--LOVE it!

Susan said:

Did anyone else notice that at the bottom of the ad it says, "Shop Men's" AND "Shop Women's"? Speaking of androgyny, why are they offering the option to shop women's after this little rant?

TwoBodySolution said:

We just found you and already we love you. Well done!

Paul 2 said:

The jackassery on Dockers' part continues here:

This choice quote is included:

"His partner on the campaign, Julie Scelzo, also a senior vice president and creative director at the agency, said the campaign was tested with women 'to make sure it’s not sexist.'

'It's not about men taking over again,' Ms. Scelzo said, nor is it about whether men are 'gay, straight, whatever.'"

Hmmm, well, it makes me wonder what self-hating women they pitched the campaign to if they really tested it at all (I highly doubt it). The other ads described hold the same ironic-or-not douchebaggery one would expect from Maxim, etc. Hey, it's totally not sexist if we're winking, right? Or are we winking? What's our stance? Hello?

The ad Andrea posted about is pretty obviously hostile towards women, men who don't fit into archaic modes of masculinity, gays, and transgender folks, and while I'm sure Dockers will counter with the fact that they haven't necessarily mentioned these groups outright, the subtext is blatantly there. I'm really not sure how Dockers can defend this as being a "send-up" of gender roles. Maybe someone should let them know that irony/satire requires actual effort and intelligence, but then again, this is a corporation we're talking about.

Paul said:

So... Dockers are trying to horn in on the Wrangler crowd now and appeal to a different demographic? That's about all I can think of. Happily, I will continue to buy my pants from higher quality sources.

Additionally, I wish I could edit other people's names.

Paul 2 would become Paul 2: Paul Harder. And then we could get Paul Hard with a Vengeance, and Live Free and Paul Hard.

And now that I'm reading what I typed, it's a terrible idea and I need to confer with my bottle of rum on a better one.

TylerInCMYK said:

I also like Andrea's version better. Much funnier.

May I just say, as a door-holder-opener that many of us gentlemen do this as a gesture, not just because your arms are spindly and weak. Seriously though, am I offending all smart women when I get a door?

Raven said:

i must say i'm appalled and disgusted with dockers and their sexism. specifically throwing out androgyny as something to be rallied against? what the hell did the androgynous folk ever do to you, dockers? androgyny is beautiful.

ahem. /twocents

and tyler, no, you are not being offensive. as a smart female, i appreciate it when ANYONE walking close ahead of me is kind enough to keep the door open for me. i find it quite rude when someone allows a door to slam shut in my face, and i go out of my way to keep doors from slamming in the faces of others. if you're worried about it, try it with a set of double doors (heavy outside set and cursory inside set of doors). gives the person you opened the door for a chance to reciprocate. i've had many a small amusment from that situation.

kcwc said:

I'm with you on the doors. I, too, have gained much amusemend from double doors. I actually think they should be mandatory, in order to give averyone a turn to be polite.

defenestrated said:

I particularly adore "Men were stripped of their khakis," as though that were the pinnacle of emasculation. I mean, I don't get the big problem with emasculation anyhow, but jeez, your khakis were the symbol you had for your penis?

And Tyler, please, open the door for me if you get there first. Just, if I'm first and open it for you, don't reject the favor by being all "Oh no, ladies first." That's the only thing that can annoy me in a door-related scenario. Like, I'm standing here holding the door for you, doofus, and now you're making me feel like an idiot for doing so.

Paul 2 said:

I personally hold doors for anyone, regardless of gender, if they're following me close behind. Politeness is politeness.

Amy said:

I love it. Love. It.

Jefferson said:

The ad is adressing the fact that too many men, husbands and fathers in our society carry their adolesence into adulthood. Too many are indecisive, indifferent, and irresponsible. Their lives are saturated with porn and video games. Their wives go without focused, loving attention. Their property goes unmaintained. Their children go without consistent affection and interaction. Men need to love and treasure their wives, giving them respect, honor, time, and significant conversation. Men need to carefully watch over their children. Men need to be kind and helpful to the people around them. Weakness and passivity need to be replaced by strength, kindness and honor. I liked the ad.

Equality said:

First they use sexism and now they use racism. I guess we'll be seeing a homophobic version too.

"Once upon a time, white men wore the pants, and wore them well. Black men rarely had to worry about measuring up and little old black men were happy on the plantation. White men took charge because that's what they did. But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed white men. Urban by urban, wigger by silly pride-free wigger, white men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and racial equality. But today, there are questions our race-free society has no answers for. The world sits idly by as cities crumble, children misbehave and those little old black men are left longing for the plantation. For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes. We need grown-ups. We need white men to pull up their pants, turn off the rap and hip-hop, and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. It's time to get your hands dirty. It's time to answer the call of white male supremacy. It's time to wear the pants."

Evamom said:

THANK YOU Jefferson!

I'm an independant woman who believes strongly in the strength of all women. I also believe that, while I'm trotting elderly women across the street, it would be nice not to get run over by a guy who's forgotten courtesy in lieu of road rage. And, after he's had his latté & salad, it would be good of a man to hold the door open for me, especially since I would do the same for him.

Ms_Fu said:

Sorry people, this woman LOVES this Dockers campaign. I am not a self-hating woman and I don't believe that strong men are a threat to me as a woman, and I don't think there is anything sexier than a traditionally-masculine self-confident man. Some of the phrases are obviously misguided stereotypes; manliness is not dependent on a man's diet per se, but I assume that is humor. I am single, but I will definitely look into buying Dockers women's pants for myself.

Lynn Thompson said:

Absolutely fanfreakintastic!

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