homophobic Super Bowl ad
Mood: irritated
Posted on 2007-02-05 09:25:00
Tags: activism
Words: 337

I know that's a somewhat strong accusation, but I think it's justified in this case. I'm talking about the Snickers ad shown during the first quarter.

Here's the synopsis: Two guys working on car with open hood. One guy pulls out a Snickers bar, sticks it in his mouth, and starts to eat it as he leans over the open hood. Other guy sees this, puts other end of the bar in his mouth and starts to eat it. They meet at the middle (a la "Lady and the Tramp"), then recoil after a brief pause. They then discuss how they just kissed, and one says "Quick! Do something manly!", they they pull out some of their chest hair. The End. Or, an AP synopsis:

BEST AD FOR A LOUD BAR: Snickers. In this spot from Mars Inc., two auto mechanics accidentally kiss after being unable to resist chomping on opposite ends of a Snickers bar. The cure for this inadvertent moment of intimacy? "Do something manly!" says one. Both proceed to rip out handfuls of chest hair.

You can see the ad at afterthekiss.com, which features four different endings. ("Chest Hair" is the one that aired during the Super Bowl)

I'll admit, the endings are a little funny - I'm reminded of the Futurama episode "Amazon Women in the Mood" which featured Bender, Fry and Zapp Branigan making a number of women jokes. In the commentary, the writers said that they decided it was OK because after every single one of them, the joke-teller got physically hurt somehow, which sorta reminds me of this ad. But seriously, come on. Two guys kissing is a horrible accident that must be rectified by a super-manly act?

So, screw you, Mars, Incorporated. I will write an angry email soon. I'm surprised GLAAD isn't on the case already...

Edit: I may have misinterpreted the ad, as others are suggested it was meant to be mocking of homophobic attitudes. If that is the case, sorry for getting all riled up for nothing.


Comment from omega697:

I don't know if I would call that homophobic - it almost pokes fun at homophobia itself. I mean, the guys aren't exactly portrayed as great minds. I only saw the "chest hair" ending, but that ending screamed "being this homophobic is stupid and results in pointless pain and suffering".

Comment from gregstoll:

Hmm, I guess that could be the intention of the ad. Maybe I won't write a letter.

Comment from omega697:

Then again, not everyone seeing the ad will be as insightful or thoughtful about it. But I definitely got the "oh no, unless we rip out our own chest hair, we're going to turn gay!" vibe, which came off as sarcastic to me.

Comment from copperwolf:

I guess I missed the first few seconds of that ad. I thought they were chewing on a cigar, and the whole thing struck me as very strange.

Comment from barilosopher:

I tend to agree with the suggestion above -- those men were comically ridiculous. I'm not sure that having comically ridiculous people with homophobic attitudes is a terrible thing to do. The ad was particularly funny because as a matter of sad sociological fact, lots of American men are really ridiculously homophobic in that sort of way.

Comment from pegamoose_g:

I'm still trying to figure out why ripping out chest hair is considered "something manly"? It's something, alright. But, manly?

Overall, I wasn't too impressed with this year's SB commercials.

Comment from wildrice13:

Yeah, that was my reaction. Maybe it was funny (a little), but manly? No. I thought it was a good and funny setup. I mean, homophobic guys inadvertently kissing? That's funny, because while it's not a problem they react like it's the end of the world. Hyperbole. Funny. But it was totally a missed opportunity with the punchline. That was the best of four? I'm not sure I want to see the other three!

Comment from llemma:

I think most people will read it the way you did: "Ew, two guys kissing!" I hate that shit.

Comment from jdarius:

I think you should write a pissed off letter to Virgin Air, instead

The Virgin Air ad says: "riding coach is gay. If you ride coach, you are gay."

Comment from djedi:

I totally agree. Even stuff that subtly makes fun of homophobia can strongly reinforce homophobic attitudes adn be uncomfortable for gays to watch. Read the recent studies on anti-drug campaigns for more info. It turns out that advertising drugs with a short message of "don't do drugs" actually just reinforces the idea that lots of people do drugs and it's a common place thing, and actually encourages kids to try it (not joking). Same thing with these subtle commericials or jokes of that sort - they reinforce and perpetuate the stereotype.

This backup was done by LJBackup.