Let 'em eat beefcakeDoug French
During the game, a lot more tweets related to the ads than the game itself, and most of them came from women I follow. Perhaps the men were too busy watching one of the most compelling Super Bowls EVER. (And the boys, too: Both my sons are indifferent to football, and neither could look away. My 6yo, TwoBert, spent most of it bouncing like a bedbug on the couch.)
(And attention naysayers: Eli might not look or act the part, but he has two rings. The same as his brother and Frodo Baggins combined. He’s an elite quarterback. Go pick on somebody else.)
Twitter was pleasantly a-flitter until it blew up over the GoDaddy ad. People hate GoDaddy anyway, because they suck. For the eighth Super Bowl in a row, it tried to lure guys to the site with nearlynudes and the promise of MORE NUDITY! (There wasn’t.)
No, really! This year’s even HOTTER THAN BEFORE! (No it isn’t.)
It was embarrassing, and stale, yet it still seems to work. Otherwise, why would they still be shoveling out this same crap year after year?
Women were universally appalled, and rightly so. Soon afterward, however, we saw nearlynude David Beckham showing off his new line of boxerbrief/hotpants, and these same women who decried GoDaddy were anointing the Becks ad as “their favorite, by far.”
I brought this up to some female friends, and they argued this is not a double standard. It’s OK to ogle Becks instead of babes because of “context.” Women appreciate sex appeal when it’s relevant, but men are visual and will instinctively pursue boobs wherever they lead, in whatever context, like a dog after a car.
That is sort of true. But still. What?
I know there’s a lot of complicated backstory to all this:
- Women have been portrayed as objectified meat since forever, and seeing more hot guys in ads is turning the tide toward equal-opportunity exploitation ((like Toyota’s “redefined” spot, which took pains to include both);
- Nudity is a lot more relevant to underwear than it is to domain names;
- Beckham owns this brand, which he is selling through H&M, so he stands to profit directly from sales the ad generates, whereas the GoDaddy girls are just stripping at the bidding of their perv overlords.
But I submit that if Becks had been hawking cough syrup instead of tighty-whiteys, the reaction would have been very similar, and more bottles would have flown off the shelves the next day.
And that is progress.
Ladies, it’s no secret that men respond to sex appeal in commercials. We’re not always proud of it, but most of us are wired that way. And when a pair of tight soccer buns gives you the vapors, you don’t need to get flustered and hide behind “context.” Based on all the positive tweets about Beck’s Buttocks, beefcake can be just as effective as cheesecake. It’s all just cake: awesome and sugary and nutritionally lacking. And it gets us to open our wallets.