Can’t you folks create any campaigns that don’t hinge on some form of insipid, othering, sexist objectification? It shouldn’t be that difficult, considering your stated aims. Here’s an idea: rather than euthanizing a vast majority of your rescues, how about hiring ’em to come up with some new marketing and promotional material for ya? Argh… I’m halfway serious. It’s entirely possible that a golden retriever could provide something more palatable than the dehumanizing dreck you keep churning out like, well, sausage.
Seattle Stranger commenter CrankyBacon puts it well: “This isn’t a sex-positive vs. prude situation. Women can be engaged in policy issues, make coherent arguments, be persuasive, protest, etc. They have more to offer than standing naked outside a butcher shop, or pretending to give a blow job to a cucumber and titty fuck a carrot.” Female activists have more to offer than going nudetotitillate for the cause. Women can aid your agenda in ways that don’t require them to be depicted as battered, pantsless-in-public, grocery-buying/fanny-flaunting fuckholes for ubersexed males. (Sure, naked men sometimes feature in your campaigns, but not nearly as often, and never presented in a remotely similar context.)
“Chicks Agree”? No, actually. Not this “chick”. Not with the persistent, lazy, women-as-meat misogyny, anyway. C’mon, PETA, don’t you owe it to human beings and animals alike to try to encourage more responsible and respectful discourse?
A quick Google search shows that this video is pretty much everywhere, but I just can’t resist putting it here. Following up their Star Wars themed Passat commercial for last year’s Super Bowl, Volkswagen returns this year, and once again puts “The Imperial March” to excellent use, in this case having it performed by twelve dogs, some in various forms of Star Wars costumery. It’s so very silly but I love it so very much; especially the grand entrance of the twelfth and final member of this canine chorus. So. Good.
Don’t get me wrong, dear readers, I love me some pizza, but that love has its limits. Take, for example, the boomerang shaped pizza featured in this “ad” by Sofa Experience Communications. Hurled down from the heavens by a Fabio-esque, greased up, and bespectacled man-god it seems delicious enough, but around the time it severs the genitals of a creepy gentleman exposing himself to a young lady in a park it loses some of its luster. In fact, it is exactly at that point that it loses all of its luster.
In all seriousness though, I have no idea what is supposed to be going on here. It’s like someone took a bunch of random ideas and a rubber dick, threw them in blender, and called it an advertisement. It’s the [adult swim]/Old Spice, Absurdist aesthetic taken to its logical conclusion, really. Where you would go from here, well, best not to imagine it.
A deftly crafted satirical fauxmercial by Jesse Rosten sings the praises of an beauty industry secret known as “Fotoshop”:
“You don’t have to rely on a healthy body image or self respect anymore. […] There’s only one way to look like a REAL cover girl: Fotoshop by Adobé.” OH SNAP.
Rosten’s piss-take nails the spooky Stepfordian tone and presentation of the average beauty commercial. He’s so crafty, in fact, it takes a few seconds for the “I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE” to kick in. Just in case anyone’s confused, a statement beneath the Vimeo embed reads: “This commercial isn’t real, neither are society’s standards of beauty.”
Invasive, absurd digital manipulation’s not going anywhere. Still, it’s nice to know we’re at the point of not just openly discussing its ubiquity, but mocking it mercilessly!
In this advert, an exquisitely beautiful and powerful yogini, Briohny Smyth, clad in fetching skivvies, moves through her acrobatic morning practice in a million dollar Manhattan apartment for all us wistful voyeurs while her oblivious bedroom companion snoozes away in the background:
Well played, Equinox. Manipulative as hell –as many have noted— but still. Well played, ye bastards.
EDIT: (Mon, Dec 5th, 6:45 NZT) Hell Pizza’s webmaster has just remarked on their Facebook page: “We’ve taken what you and others have said onboard and realised we crossed the line with some of our biggest advocates. We apologise.” Thank you for taking responsibility, Hell Pizza.
Hell Pizza is an international food chain that started here in Wellington, New Zealand in 1996. They’ve since expanded within NZ and brought stores to the UK, Australia, Ireland, Canada and Korea. They’re no strangers to controversy. Entirely depending on your perspective, they’ve made some really shocking dick moves in the past, and pulled off some darkly satisfying campaigns as well.
But the following “Misfortune Cookie” stunt seems especially mean-spirited, even for them:
I bought [it] on the 26th of November. I just got around to opening the last one last night, 2 December, and that was the “misfortune” that I received. I resized the photo to post it online, but aside from that have not manipulated it at all. I still have the original packaging and the misfortune, though not the cookie as I ate it because it was delicious. Please spread this as much as possible, Hell Pizza need to know that this sort of thing is not okay.
I’ve since made some calls to Hell Pizza. Two days ago, I spoke at length with a Strathmore shop manager, as well as their Wellington division marketing manager. Both employees denied knowing anything about that particular message. The latter, a very professional and lovely fellow named Jason, assured me he’d look into it, and we should keep in touch. Today, he was able to confirm that yes, this is a product Hell Pizza sells, which was signed off on by their marketing department. Apparently, they’re already getting a lot of complaints about it. And they should. Jason tells me Hell Pizza is working on an official press statement which should be out shortly. I’ll update here when it does.
I’m hardly a humorless hardnose. But for many reasons, the thoughtlessness of a product like this, especially placed in context, really fucks me off. So here’s my open letter to Hell Pizza. If, like me, you’re weary of seeing at-risk minorities be treated as the butts of hateful “jokes” (and then often further insulted by “it’s just meant to be funny; lighten up” backlash reactions) please feel free share this letter, and to join me in boycotting irresponsible franchises who stoop to this level of pandering cruelty.
If you check your Strathmore location’s online order logs, you’ll see that I’ve spent several hundred dollars on your food over the past couple of years. I love it. I love YOU! I love how yummy your many dishes are. I love that you take chances. I love that you root for underdogs and outcasts. I love your creativity. I love that you hire inked up, pierced up people with funny-colored hair. I love that you’re so irreverent and cheeky, poking fun at overbearing religious traditions and obnoxious public figures. (Granted, those Hitler and “Brownies” billboards were bullshit, but you took ’em down after enough people said “oh HELLS no”, and all was forgiven.)
Which makes this letter a bummer to write: I can’t buy your food anymore.
I almost loathe posting this video, purchase produced, sickness as it was, by a production company calling themselves The Viral Factory. It kind of makes me feel like a sap, duped into doing exactly what they wanted. Regardless of such inane, personal trepidation the video they produced for the soon-to-be open Westfield Stratford City is pretty impressive: A history of East London fashion over the last hundred years, set to music by Tristin Norwell. If it lacks anything it is, perhaps, some sort of indication of the decades as they rush by for the fashion ignorant, such as myself.
There are, on this staff, any number of people who are, without a doubt, more well spoken and better qualified to comment on this subject than me. Many of them are in possession of the biological equipment that this product is, uh, aimed at. One of the staff has even commented on this brand’s questionable advertising only a few weeks ago. I must apologize in advance then. In the end you are not getting the insightful, well-reasoned and well-informed commentary that you, the loyal and erudite Coilhouse reader, deserve. Instead you are getting the blathering of the Catacombs’s most puerile and juvenile prisoner occupant.
“Hail to the V” is a new commercial for Summer’s Eve “cleansing wash and cloths”. It features an authoritative sounding voiceover by a woman with an authoritative British accent. (Which is redundant, really, because as any American and, of course, Summer’s Eve knows, a British accent is, by its intrinsic Britishness, authoritative. That is why it is in this commercial.) Anyway, this voice leads us through a number of different “historical” scenarios meant to illustrate just how gosh darn important vaginas are. Especially your vagina. Yes, you there, miss.
So, first we are shown a Neolithic woman, clothed in the skins of animals, holding aloft a neonate (also clothed in animal skins) while British Lady intones stoically about the cradle of life. Flashing forward in time, we are presented with another woman, costumed in order to suggest Egyptian royalty. Looking out over her subjects, she throws up her arms in a massive V (like the one in vagina) and British Lady refers to “it” (also, your vagina) as “the center of civilization”. Do you see where this is going, ladies? Do you? “It” (or, your vagina) is pretty damn important. But how important? Relax, we’re getting to that.
Now we come to the longest part of the ad. We find ourselves in a bamboo forest. There are two Asian gentlemen in this forest with us. One has a sword, while the other has a long, rubbery looking staff. They are fighting in a manner that Americans associate with Asia. There is also an Asian woman in the background, looking on, dressed in a manner that Americans associate with Asia as it was long ago. British Lady begins to pontificate on how, throughout history and all over the world (hence the excursion to Asia), men have “fought for it”. Quickly, we cut to Medieval Europe. There are knights on horses. They are jousting. They drive their horses towards one another, their immense, phallic weapons undulating angrily in front of them. There is a woman here, too, looking on. Some men, British Lady informs us, breathlessly, some men have even died for it. One of the knights falls, which pleases the woman who has been watching. As the victorious knight raises his visor to look at her, British Lady concludes with “One might say, it’s the most powerful thing on Earth,” which is true, I suppose; one might say that. But, then again, one might say all sorts of things when trying to market douche.
Finally, we are approaching our terminus, the payoff for this weird trip through time and space. We have, at last, been returned to the present. Inside a store, a woman is thoughtfully pondering a Summer’s Eve product. She nods her head and mutters to herself, presumably to signal her agreement with that last line from British Lady when, suddenly, American Lady — familiar, jovial, and friendly — cuts in and gets to the point, saying, “So come on ladies, show it a little love,” which, again, is something you might say when trying to market douche.
I’m just not sure it’s something you should say. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with a full minute of advertising that repeatedly references disembodied genitalia. “It” is the cradle of life, but isn’t “it” attached to someone? “It” is the center of civilization, but “it” isn’t the one throwing up its arms. But the strangest, most uncomfortable section is that last part, the longest part, the part where men are fighting for “it” — killing to possess “it”. That section is really weird because what I get from that section is that men have made war upon one another for your vagina. They have killed each other for your vagina. They have leveled cities and razed the land for your vagina.