Thursday, March 5, 2009

Melts in your mouth, not in your pants

Having talking spokescharacters can get a little weird if the characters are items of the food product you're selling, and using sex to sell candy creeps me out. So when M&Ms manages to make an ad that goes wrong in both of these ways? I'm not a fan.

There are about a million ways this is wrong. Let's enumerate just a few of them:

1. The attempted sexuality of the bare legs and high heels.
2. The purring, bedroom-voice voice-over.
3. The horrible "seductive poses."
4. The wink.
5. The fact that an M&M is eating other M&Ms.

Why, M&Ms? Why do you think it makes sense to sell your product with creepy, utterly repulsive "sexually appealing" candy? Your audience is not made up of M&Ms (even if it were, M&Ms quite clearly lack genitalia, so I fail to see how they would put their desire into action). Your audience is humans, and humans don't want to have sex with M&Ms. Therefore, you do not need your main spokescharacter to be a "sexy" M&M; really, there's no such thing, in spite of how you pretend otherwise.

Now yes, I'm aware of the longstanding rumor (spread by complete idiots) that green M&Ms serve as some sort of aphrodisiac. And I'm also aware that M&Ms started to use the "sexy" female green M&M to play on that (only, what, two decades behind the curve of the urban legend). But if you're going to do that? You use sexy humans and regular green M&Ms. You do not use sexy M&Ms. This would still be terrible - because when I think of sex, I do not think of M&Ms - but at least it doesn't make me think that you think I want to fuck your candy.

The cannibalism subplot of this ad is underrated, by the way. This is the same company that ran a surprisingly sadistic ad ten years ago in which Diedrich Bader mockingly consumes Crispy M&M's entire family while Crispy watches helplessly; now, however, it's apparently okay for new M&M brands to be eaten, even by existing M&M brands. Unless that's really why the other M&Ms are staring at the end of the ad. "I can't believe she ate Jerry in cold blood! I mean, in cold chocolate! Just right down the hatch! Also, do we even have digestive tracts? Where do you think he went?"


Tyler said...

These ads are creepy.

In other creepy ad news:

TRichter said...

"Your audience is humans, and humans don't want to have sex with M&Ms."

If only I could believe this is true. Unfortunately, I'm sure that out there, somewhere, likely cataloged in some dim corner of the internet, is an expression of the desire held by a collection of deviant minds to have sex with chocolate candy products.

To be serious, though, while these commercials are pretty awful, sex and food have a long, storied history together. Eating has long been described in sexual terms by culinary experts and novices alike. Despite the frequent protestations here about attempts to combine food and sex in advertising, I don't think starting from that sort of premise is necessarily flawed, it's just the ham-handed execution by marketing companies that results in such terrible outcomes. I'm not saying I'm longing for Oscar Meyer to starting advertising it's hot dogs with penis euphemisms, but selling chocolate with sex isn't really that far fetched.

Windier E. Megatons said...

Okay, but not sex with the M&Ms itself. Or that Reese's ad where I have to think that the chocolate and peanut butter fucked to create the Easter peanut butter egg candy. Again, an ad with humans having sex as a result of green M&Ms, while it would have annoyed me, might have made some sense. Sexy candy? Gross.

TRichter said...

You don't even have to go so far as to have people fornicating after eating candy. It's been done before, just equate the taste of your product with an orgasmic experience. The notion that "this (food product) is so good, you'll make an 'O' face" would probably resonate with a lot of people.

That said, I cannot envision the advertiser that would handle such a premise with any degree of tact or grace, so maybe it is better if they stay away from sex and food, and leave it to the over-emoting hosts of cooking shows.

Quivering P. Landmass said...

I'm sorry but Premium M&Ms shouldn't even be called M&Ms -- if it doesn't have the crisp candy shell, it just isn't an M&M in the first place. Also, I think they taste like cheap crap. A disgusting commercial for a disgusting product? Sounds about right.

Anonymous said...

There is now a T-shirt out there that reads, "I want to f--- the green m&m." Mission accomplished...for someone....

Trent said...

Really? I dont see why its so bad, "OMG theyre corrupting our children making them want to have sex with candy" " We dont want to have sex with candy" Well im sure these are not what the folks at M&M wantd you to think, im sure they just wanted you to thikn "haha wow" and laugh at the hilarity that M&Ms can have people like personalities too! Seriously ppl chillax

Anonymous said...

You really don't strengthen your argument when closing with the word "Chillax." Or use "ppl" to mean "people." Fucking hipster.