Ads gone bad: Super Bowl, super misogyny

Posted at 9:05 AM Feb 08, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

Last night while watching the game, I let out the occasional yelp and squeal and cheer, as I am wont to do when I view sports (#geauxsaints). A dude friend of mine couldn't get enough of my outbursts. As he said: "I've never seen a girl invested in the outcome of a football game before." (With which I took issue, but that's not the point here.)

Because I don't think anyone working on the man-tastic, mostly banal, generally misogynistic advertising that aired during the game has ever seen a woman watch a sporting event, either. Masculinity was a major theme throughout the commercials, wherein men were encouraged to quit being such wussy turds and man up and BUY STUFF!

Exhibit A:

If your reward to yourself for being a normal, functional human being is a Dodge Charger, sir, you have missed the boat.

A number of commercials were no better, illustrating that, as one of my Twitter friends put it, "If a dude does things that make his partner want to have more sex with him, he's clearly a homo."

Because really, what is more pathetic than going sexy underwear shopping with your hot girlfriend? What an asshole, amirite guys?

But what of this Mark Sanchez commercial? Looks to me like it's going the way of the breast cancer "save the titties" bit, wherein women are valuable because men care about them (and their body parts, specifically) and not because they are, you know, humans.

Most of the media crit response has been, well, critical. But I figure it's only a matter of time before some high-profile jerk decides to get all thoughtful-contrarian and ask, "Well, isn't there something to this? Haven't men been emasculated by all this feminism and what-not?"And then the masses will lament that men are apparently now being asked to act like something other than beer-swilling, beard-bearing nutcases whom it is beneath to pick up a pair of underwear off the floor. Yawn.

Here is a thing I just don't understand, with regard to all this: nobody likes or really wants to be friends with the kind of guy (if he does exist) that is supposedly the Super Male Ideal aspired to in these man-ified commercials. The Super Male Ideal is the kind of dude who's throwing TV's off the roof and shotgunning beers at every party and smells like a trash can because dudes don't shower. He's a self-absorbed asshole to his girlfriend and her family, and eats nothing but Chef Boyardee straight out of the can, because dudes don't cook. He's got the emotional maturity of a 13-year-old. He can barely stop himself from masturbating in public. All he cares about is sports. I don't care if you're man, woman or vegetable, being friends with that guy sounds sucky. And yet this is who we're supposed to believe all men really want to be, deep down? I don't buy it.


getnice said:

on the other hand:

that quirky chair!

(not super bowl related)

BorgQueen said:

You know, I agree for the most part but I didn't get "misogyny" from the Mark Sanchez ad. I thought it was a very simple, sweet and sincere message for Women's Heart Health Month.

But most of the other ads sucked.

Andrea said:

That chair is so quirky, I don't know how it can get along with its more conventional sofa friend. I hope they make a wacky sitcom about their relationship.

manup said:

I think most of the ads were anti-men, not misogynistic at all. The ads made the men look like beer swilling buffoons. I think women did a whole lot better.

Tasha said:

Gotta agree with manup, men came off looking baaaaaaad (the Bud book club commercial comes to mind especially when it came to making men look remarkably stupid). Not that women came off well - the Flo Tv shopping ad in point. Lots of "What were they THINKING???" moments during the game.

Didn't have a problem at all with the Mark Sanchez ad tho. Reminding women that they need to know what women's symptoms of heart attack are different from men's is cool by me. Many women don't know what the symptoms are for women's heart attacks. Seems to me to be a different flavor than the save the ta-ta's campaign, because a woman can live without her ta-ta's, but without a heart it gets pretty tough (thus showing concern for the entire person).

El said:

Some reason men come off as buffoons. (NOt all guys drive Dodge Chargers, some of us gals like the muscle cars!)

comicshopgrl said:

I didn't care for the Mark Sanchez commercial but mostly because I hate Mark Sanchez. Ooh a rookie taking his team to the AFC championship. Joe Flacco did it last year and he looks like Bert from Sesame Street which is totally awesome. Also, Mark Sanchez never mentioned what the different symptoms were for a woman's heart attack.

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