Saturday, February 13, 2010

Manvertised!

I watched the Superbowl on the DVR with about a fifteen minute delay. I was able to zip past the at least half the commercials. Afterward, I heard commentators talking about the misogyny of the commercials this year.

This site has an appendage of the controversial commercials. A single commercial might be just a silly ad executives idea, but eight commercials might be a trend.  I think commercial #3 from Dodge is a good example. I like how the man's promises go from reasonable to ridiculous. Chrysler does not have any decent products this year because of their severe austerity, so they are reduced to pop sociology.

Speaking of pop sociology, Peter Alilunas, as grad student at nearby University of Michigan wrote this essay on the genre of ads that seem to channel male resentment into commercial purchases. His article draws out this strange netherworld between irony and reality that these commercials come from.

The Docker's Men Wear Pants campaign commercial on the superbowl seems just stupid to me. Check out the Facebook page for the real sarcasm, especially "The Emasculating Truth" video.

The Dockers web ad, above, is more edgy, but it also has a link to shop for women's pants. [The original web ad has been taken down, and this is the current one. The link to the store has been broken, and they want you to chat about the ad on Facebook.]

I tend to think that there is a lot less here than mets the eye. For example, the Dove-for-Men commercial is trying to get men to use moisturizing soap, which does not sound like a return to primal manhood to me.  News stories said that Google searches for Docker's spiked after the Superbowl -- proving there is no such thing as bad publicity.