Homophobia Sells???

A while back, in this space, I commented on the Dodge commercial with the little Tinkerbell type character who flew around, changing big powerful things into cute things, but she couldn’t change the Dodge automobile, which apparently was so tough that the blast from her magic wand knocked her into a brick wall, where a tough-looking guy laughed at her, calling her a silly little fairy.  She then zapped him into a wearing a matching sweater and shorts ensemble, and changed his macho dog into a group of three pekingnese or poodles, as he squealed "Ohhhhhh!"

Well, apparently, Madison Avenue still thinks homophobia is a big hoot, and will sell product.  During the Super Bowl a few days ago, where companies roll out their big money commercials, the Mars candy company ran a commercial for their Snickers brand candy bar.  The ad had two big burly guys working under the hood of a car.  One guy popped a Snickers in his mouth while working, and the other guy was so enamored with the candy bar that he bit the other end of it.  Then both guys proceeded to take bites of the candy bar until it was all consumed, and their lips briefly touched.  They were horrified when they realized what had happened, and decided they needed to do something "manly" to compensate for this accidental buss.  So they decided to rip out handfuls of their chest hair.

Curious.  Is this funny?  Is it zany?  Is the thought of two men kissing so preposterous to some ad writers, producers, and executives, that they think it will sell candy bars?  I continue to be stunned that in this day and age, homophobic ads still get written, and more incredibly, produced and approved, for airing on national TV.  And for the Super Bowl, where millions are viewing, and the ads cost gazillions of dollars… what genius decided that Snickers would do well to be known as they official candy bar for homophobes? 

Political correctness aside, is it good business to alienate anyone? 

Tonight, I heard on the news that Mars has pulled the ad.  I did not hear that any apology was given. http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/06/news/companies/snickers/?postversion=2007020614  Basically, all they had to say was that the intent was not to offend.  Wonder what the intent was?

  — Chuck Dennis

One Comment

  1. Posted February 7, 2007 at 10:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Gay rights organizations that are now well funded to react at times like this laid down the law, and said this advertisement was unacceptable. The candy company to their credit yanked the ad at once. But the question remains as to how this ad ever made its way through the process that ended up on national television during the Super Bowl.
    We would not expect to see jokes made at the expense of African- Americans, the Jewish community, or Catholics. But to some it was just fine to promote homophobia on national television. As for the website showing football players who displayed the effects of too many brain-rattling tackles, I was not surprised.
    But let it be shown that even though some may slip homophobia on the airwaves it will be slapped down. Society is making progress and I know that many in our country are coming to better understand the meanness that is homophobia.

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