Advertisers use a lot of techniques to goad us into buying their client’s products: fear; boobs; fear of boobs; Billy Mays. But one time-honored method of sneaking brand loyalty into our cerebral cortex is by appealing to our utter disdain for the opposite sex. Whether it’s the idiot dad so inept that in attempting to fit a diaper on his infant child he sets said baby on fire; or little girls who want nothing more than to become ice cream parlor golddiggers when they grow up – grotesque sexual stereotypes move product. Some of the worst offenders aim right at kids and parents. And if you don’t think advertisers still stoop to such man-bashing and misogynistic ploys in 2010, guess again.
- Cole Gamble
Well, here is a young lady who knows how to get what she wants. Sadly, what she wants is free dessert in exchange for disturbing underage innuendo. Incidentally, why is this boy hitting on girls? Isn’t he still in that “girls are icky” phase? Someone should tell that to his undecended testicles. This girl has no idea what she’s getting into. Dude probably sits there all day at Dairy Queen buying Peanut Buster parfaits for every prepubescent lady that walks in the door, like he’s the Hugh Hefner of soft serve.
Original Script to this commercial:
Dad: What is that?
Son: Some kind of liquid.
Dad: Normally I’d know what to do in these situations, but whenever I walk into the kitchen I become a total moron. Just like all dads do in cute thirty-second increments.
Wife: Those men of mine. Luckily I have a real man around . . .
[Bounty Man Enters and begins to make out with wife. The Green Giant watches through the window.]
The video has been taken down, but we hope one will go back up.
Got PMS? Milk Ad
Why are all these men buying milk? Because according to the milk council, milk can dampen the effects of PMS. Watch the guy intrepidly enter the house armed with milk like it’s a sword to slay his wife’s fire-breathing hormones.
Mattel Tommy Burst
Back in the day, kids were put to work at an early age. Many worked sixteen hour days in factories and, as we can see here, some became private eyes – Or more succinctly, murderers. Notice how that kid killed that guy? I mean, yeah, there was a wacky slide whistle sound effect, but it was still cold blooded murder. (Note to my family: If I am ever tragically killed, do not accompany my death with a slide whistle or any other zany musical instrument such as the piccolo or kazoo.) The message, however, is clear: boys like killing stuff with guns. Sorry ladies, if you want to take somebody’s life, you’re gonna have to stuff their head into a Easy Bake Oven, ’cause if you want to shoot someone, you have to have a penis.
A wife’s work is never done, especially when you’re married to a donkey. And those pig children? What did you expect? You mated with a donkey. Thank goodness you have a small disk-shaped robot to comfort you and fulfill your needs. Wait, am I watching a David Cronenberg movie?
You probably never got a chance to see this commercial on television because A) it’s foreign and B) it was banned. Thanks to the internet you won’t miss the important message behind this spot: every time a father looks at his child, he sees a condom he wishes he’d bought.
Folger’s – Pretty Wife, Ugly Coffee
In the ’60s, Folger’s was the king of sexist commercials. In this one the dutiful wife waits on her man with skin-crawling obsequiousness. The man tells her she makes crappy coffee and she looks at him like he just snapped a kitten’s neck. Luckily the wife has a vaguely foreign neighbor who turns her on to the the magic of Folger’s. The next morning wifey serves it and daddy approves, sending her into such a paroxysm of delight she looks like a puppy who got into your meth drawer.
Pizza Hut – Dad’s Dinner
Dad: “Who says I can’t cook?” Apparently Pizza Hut.
National Airlines – Fly Maggie
Just a few decades ago, little girls only saw two career options in the movies and on TV: receptionist or stewardess (now known as the less gendered “flight attendant”). During the golden age of air travel, airlines used the attractiveness of their stewardesses as a selling point. This commercial just cuts to the quick and says, “If you fly National, you get to bang Maggie.” You hear that? Reach for the sky, aspiring little girls!
Jif Peanut Butter
“Choosy Mothers Choose Jif.” Yes, a woman’s most vital role in today’s society is selecting high quality peanut-based condiments. Lord knows you couldn’t leave Dad up to the task. He’d make you spread your toast with motor oil or Nutella.
Winston Cigarettes – The Flintstones
Ah, those womenfolk sure do work hard, but hey, the guys do too. Somebody’s gotta develop the lung cancer around here. After all, lung cancer doesn’t develop itself. Oh, and hey, we’re marketing cigarettes to children here, because those little shavers are gonna want a smoke after a long day of murdering people with their Mattel Tommy Gun.
Combos – Man Mom
In a not-so-distant future women will cease to exist, and without their wise influence, men will feast only on processed cheese paste-cracker hybrids and sports drinks like Brawndo, leading to the fall of human civilization in a scurvy-riddled plague.
Rose Petal Cottage
Little girls, realize your dreams of growing up to do household chores. There’s no glass ceiling in the go-go world of homemaking. If that sentiment sounds antiquated, think again: this spot came out last year.
Sometimes a commercial is sexist because the product itself is sexist. And so we come to Mystery Date. It’s hard to tell to whom this would be more offensive. Is it more degrading to girls and their depiction of waiting for a cad with seventeen ponies worth of swoon? Or is it worse for the guys, who get reduced to either tuxedoed studs, perpetually skiing douchebags or duds who, because of their inability to tuck in a shirt, are completely unacceptable for procreating?
The Game of Life
Who let the squares in? It’s like chess club versus the Aryan society. (I’m rooting for the squares, but only because I wear glasses just like those.) This commercial lays out the life options for boys and girls pretty simply:
Boy: Become a stock trader or millionaire.
Girl: Have twins (every player in Life must get married), go to the poor house or become a star (i.e. spend the best years of your life being hospitalized for “exhaustion” and the remainder as a talking head on VH1 specials).
The game of Life is supposed to mimic the real lessons of life. And in many ways it does:
1) Life is essentially based on random chance (you spin a wheel and pick cards that decide your fate).
2) Going to college does practically nothing to help you win the game of life.
3) And as this commercial ably demonstrates, in the end it’s all about getting revenge. And thus, marriage was defined for the baby boomer generation.
Any other ads from today or yesteryear that made you stop and say, “damn, that there is sexist” come to mind?