Snickers ad pulled
Mood: tired
Posted on 2007-02-06 15:41:00
Tags: activism
Words: 14

Snickers ad pulled. (as a followup to my earlier post) Good? Bad? I dunno.


Comment from wildrice13:

Kinda indifferent that they pulled it. I mean, I'm glad that they were quick to reassure that they weren't intending to offend. But I'm unhappy at the activist groups' response. Maybe they felt like they had to say something--I kinda understand that, I guess. But every time I see such a quick reaction to apply the homophobic label, I become concerned that it'll eventually be like crying wolf. My opinion: stick to fighting obvious hate crimes, not the minor slights which may or may not be seen/read that way.

A definite parallel, in my mind, at least, is when a black person screams discrimination at the slightest thing. Over the years of my life, I feel like I've seen less of this occurring. Why? Because slowly but surely, the Black Rights movement that started so long ago has become social mainstream. I'm not saying racial discrimination is over--far from it, unfortunately. But racial discrimination isn't socially acceptable to the majority. Eventually sexual preference will be the same way. In the meantime, we should ride it out without screaming discrimination. Ya know? Some people might argue that the whole "pointing out discrimination" thing was part of advancing the rights movement, but I don't feel this is (entirely) true.

Comment from fartingmonkey:

"As with all of our Snickers advertising, our goal was to capture the attention of our core Snickers consumer"

I would love to sit through the meeting where they whiteboard this stuff. I imagine some sort of pyramid structure, color coded by age and gender. The pyramid is surrounded by a circle labeled 'Living', which is further surrounded by a diamond labeled 'body hair'. Part of the diamond overlaps with a octagon called 'movies' and the overlapping part is shaded with an arrow pointing to it labeled "Core Snickers Consumers"

They then proceed to decide core consumers really love Lady and the Tramp. And chest hair. That much is at least clear in their diagram.

Comment from djedi:


Comment from tehfanboi:

I think the whole thing was overblown. There are two ads I saw once, maybe twice, before they pulled them that I thought were hilarious.

First in 1995 early April, Jack in the Box had an ad where he blew up the old board of directors to show that "Jack is Back". Well mid April there was Oklahoma City, and they thought it was in poor taste. Ok fine whatever

Second was a nike ad where this girl comes in from running in the woods to a log cabin. She is wearing shorts, a sports bra and her nike running shoes when a chainsaw weilding (or maybe it was an ax) psycho bursts in ala Friday the 13th or generic horror movie with a remote cabin in the woods scene. She initially is running in terror and screaming like you'd expect from a horror movie, but after a few seconds she has gone from scared running to athletic running without looking back, whithout screaming and the camera turns to tehpsycho who is obviously panting, is out of shape and unable to keep up. He quits an dthe camera turns to her running off even further. The ad got pulled because women's groups said it promoted the vicitimization of women with violence, but what I saw was a)a funny comercial and b)the empowerment of women. The main character took control of the situation and fled like anyone should do in that situation. I was rather miffed at the ad pull.

So how does this relate here? Well I saw the snickers ad, and I laughed. I can see why some "might" be offended, but in all honesty I think it is on par with all those beer ads that portray straight white guys as "unhip mysoginists who only care about getting their bud light". And the thing is they are portraying a stereotype of our culture, a parody. And when I saw the mechanics kiss and their subsequent reactions I thought, a parody of the dumb closed minded macho mechanic stereotype, not an endorsement or condemnation of any particular subculture within our society.

Comment from winocas:

I would say the commercial is funny.

I'm going to digress here for a moment. What is funny? Funny is something unexpected, something rediculous, or something socially unacceptable.

Humor is politically incorrect by nature. If you take offence at the message of the commercial, I think it just goes to show that you are insecure about your status in society.
Accepting it, chuckling, and moving on is what most of us do, and lets everyone else know that you are accepted, and valued, and are comfortable enough to not resort to the tactics that thos who hate you do.

Sorry, just speaking my mind.

Comment from cifarelli:

I don't agree with socially unacceptable = funny.

I know a lot of people find such things funny, but I never have. I guess my sense of humor just isn't quite in line with the mainstream.

Comment from gregstoll:

Fair enough. But I think saying anything socially unacceptable OK is a bit of a cop-out. What about an ad that showed a lynching from the 1930s and the white men all making black jokes? That's certainly socially unacceptable - would it be funny just because of the jokes?

Comment from winocas:

I don't know about that. It's a gray area. Take South Park for example... or Blazing Saddles, or Borat, or Mind of Mencia, or the Daily Show, or Family Guy, Chapelle Show, etc. ad nauseum.
All of these shows are politically incorrect and almost always portray socially unacceptable behavior. It's not so much about what's shown as it is about how it's being shown. Perhaps it was on your last post that someone pointed out just how imbecilic the two guys in the snickers commercial were made out to be. That's part of how it was portrayed.
Now, same commercial, were portrayed in a serious manner, would be offensive. As to your example of the lynching... it would all depend on how it was portrayed. Keep in mind that in this kind of humor the fun is always being poked at the discraminator, not the discriminated, so you're example doesn't quite follow the model. Now if instead there were a lying showing how idiotic the lynchers were, then yes, it would probably be quite funny... something like Blazing Saddles I imagine.

I think that pressure applied to Snickers by activist groups to get them to pull the ad is on the same level to stores changing their signs from "Happy Holidays" to "Merry Christmas" because of threats made by the Christian Coalition.

Comment from djedi:

I disagree. You forget that the marginalized members of society aren't evaluating it solely on a rational basis. Take someone who was raped traumatically and then show her videos of girls getting raped while a guy stands in a corner saying "bad rapist! bad! bad rapist!". Yes this sends the message that rape is bad, but it can be very unpleasant for the person to watch - and it's very insensitive for someone to put that on the air.

And yes, it has been shown that in general JUST the act of being insensitive, violent, or socially unacceptable is technically funny. That doesn't make it fair game for television necessarily. Just cause something's funny doesn't make it fair game for broadcast. Network tv can get away with a lot more, but it doesn't mean we have to like it or appreciate it. I rarely think somethign shoudl actually be pulled from network tv - it's part of freedom of speech, but I"ll also not shy away from making my disapproval of something insensitive or of something that's using deeply held beliefs, fears or issues to make money.

Comment from winocas:

side note:
I keep getting false parallels. I just want to point out that getting raped cannot be compared to being a homosexual. Getting raped is an action which causes one's life and perspective to be changed, while being a homosexual is a (predetermined or learned, whichever you believe) social (or biochemical) disposition. It's like comparing an amputee to a hispanic. It makes no sense.

To the main point. Ok, even if I admit to all your points in this post. The commercial is not saying something insensitive about your deeply held beliefs, fears or issues. It is making fun of those of the guys terrified that they might be kissing. It's analagous to making fun of little kids who are terrified that because they touched a girl they have the cooties and need a cootie shot.
Furthermore, let me work off an assumption here:

1) The main goal of the homosexual community is to end discrimination and to be treated like every other member of society, with the same rights and responsibilities.
(If this is not the case, I'm wasting my time)

With this assumption in mind, is the community not in fact working contrary to its own goals by objecting to trivial commercials where the insensitivity of the matter portrayed is ambiguous at best? Worse yet, by making this discontent very public, merely serve to undermine and ridicule the homosexual community as hyper-sensitive while other, much more serious and real discriminatory practices are detracted from and even ignored?

These are the main reasons I find all this brouhaha over a commercial so... sad.

Comment from djedi:

As far as pressure from people who find the ad offensive, I think that falls under their right to free speech (within reason of course).

I do think activists can take it too far, and someone will always be offended by something and I am not often personally offended (I make a distinction between finding somethign stupidly unfunny or appealing to the worst in people and being offended.), but it's their right to speak their mind as well.

Comment from winocas:

I think it's more than that when it takes the form of lobbying and government pressure is brought to bear. After all, isn't that what we complain about with corporate lobbies? It stands to reason that the rules would have to be similar.
In any case, I think everyone already has a feel for where I stand, so unless there are specific questions, I'll leave it at that.

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