Thursday, February 11, 2010

Grab life by the balls

Good news, ladies. You won! You're not just equal to your male counterparts - you're ahead of them. You control everything. What's that? You don't believe me? You say men still regularly make more than women, and hold the vast majority of positions of power in this country, and really the world? Well, that can't be right. I mean, did you not see that Dodge Charger ad that aired during the Super Bowl?


Man 1: "I will get up and walk the dog at 6:30 am. I will eat some fruit as part of my breakfast. I will shave. I will clean the sink after I shave."

Maybe they should have chosen a guy who hadn't clearly already shaved for this one. Anyway, let's keep a tally of which of the things mentioned in this ad are (a) completely normal, (b) common courtesy, or (c) actually maybe emasculating in some way.

Walking the dog: I mean, it's probably your dog, asshole. If it's her dog, and it's some yappy toy poodle or something, I guess that's annoying. Still, I would class this as (a).

Eating fruit: Yeah! Fruit is for pussies! Normally it's all I can do to choke down half a banana. Plus eating a banana makes me feel kinda gay. Lord. This is clearly (a).

Shaving: Yes, how unusual. Guys never shave unless women make them, right? (a).

Cleaning the sink: God forbid. (b).

Man 2: "I will be at work by 8 am. I will sit through two-hour meetings. I will say yes when you want me to say yes. I will be quiet when you don't want to hear me say no."

Okay, those first two things are completely normal and have little to nothing to do with women. Bitches, man - always forcing you to... work... like a normal human being would... (a). As for the latter two... maybe work on your communication. If you're in a relationship with a woman and you're too afraid to contradict her, you have bigger problems than your car. But, I guess that's a (c) for each of those.

Man 3: "I will take your call. I will listen to your opinion of my friends. I will listen to your friends' opinions of my friends. I will be civil to your mother."

The first and last are, again, things that I think any reasonable person would not be off-base in expecting. Both are either (a) or (b). The middle two... I guess they're (c). But this hypothetical woman sounds kind of unpleasant. Maybe you should just break up. Though I call bullshit on this dude even having a girlfriend. He needs to take Man 1's advice and find a razor, just for starters.

At this point, by the way, the commercial is half over. What's it for? Who knows?

Man 4: "I will put the seat down. I will separate the recycling. I will carry your lip balm. I will watch your vampire TV shows with you. I will take my socks off before getting into bed. I will put my underwear in the basket."

B, A, who fucking cares about a lip balm tube that weighs half an ounce, I guess C, you're a ridiculous asshole if you wear socks to bed, and B.

Man 4: "And because I do this... I will drive the car I want to drive."

"Yeah, honey, I know that buying a new car is a big decision. And I know you want a minivan because of the kids. But I clean up after myself - only for your benefit because I'm perfectly happy living in filth, I should clarify - and occasionally carry your lip balm. Therefore I'm getting a car that is completely impractical for our family."

Announcer: "Charger: Man's Last Stand."

Not to get all heavy on you, but did you ever wonder why the divorce rate is so high? It's because of shit like this. Man and woman are not natural enemies, Dodge, you assholes. A relationship involves give and take, yes. But it really shouldn't be about scoring cheap points that you try to cash in later by holding them over the other person's head and demanding some form of equity. And no one can reasonably argue that doing things that any halfway considerate person should understand are just normal parts of life with another person constitutes just cause for buying a muscle car. I mean, if you have enough money to have two cars, and you already have the family-friendly car, then whatever. You want to drive a Charger, that's probably fine. But the entire implication behind this commercial is "Your wife is not going to want you to drive this car! Point out that either you're going to drive it or you're going to toss your underwear over the blades of the ceiling fan, and she's going to like it!"

And honestly, "Man's last stand?" I do have to applaud Dodge for the sheer balls it takes to be an American automaker - doing really well lately, as we all know - willing to say a big "Fuck you" to half the population right off the bat.

Final tally of things mentioned in the ad as emasculating reasons why dudes need to drive Dodge Chargers:
(a) Completely normal: 7
(b) Common courtesy: 6
(c) Actually maybe emasculating in some way: 5

C is less than either of the other two and way less than the total of A and B. I mean, fuck. Eating fruit? That's the best you can do? Fucking going to work like everyone does? These are the sacrifices that deserve the complete silence of your partner when you decide that you're going to be making the automotive decision unilaterally? Jesus.

Did you think that was it? It's not.

Announcer: "What is that thing?"

Some sort of car! What do I win? Is it more cheap jokes about being whipped and/or gay? I sure hope so!

Announcer: "Well, I'll tell you what it isn't. It isn't a 'man-bag.' It isn't 'man-sandals.' It isn't a low-cal plate. It isn't a yoga class. It isn't an exfoliant with added moisturizer, it isn't a couples cooking class, and it certainly isn't a small dog that needs to wear a jacket if the temperature drops below 70."

"It isn't picking up a box of tampons. It isn't being in the same room with a box of tampons. It isn't brushing your teeth before bed. It isn't not hitting on your wife's sister, right in front of your wife. It isn't washing your hands after you pee. It isn't remembering your anniversary. Oh, and it certainly isn't ever doing anything that would make you seem like less of a man in the eyes of a faceless corporate entity that is just trying to sell you something."

Announcer: "That's what it isn't."

Going to sell it at all? No? No price, no specs, the car doesn't even move. The entire selling point is, "If you don't buy this car, you're a total pussy who does everything your wife tells you to. Buy a fucking Charger or we're calling your friends and telling them you didn't have a huge, greasy hamburger for lunch every day of your life, but once ate something under four thousand calories, like the weenie you are." Why, you're probably the kind of spineless wimp who would drive a minivan!

Yeah! Wait.

Announcer: "There are guys who will smirk at you for buying a Dodge Grand Caravan."

Are you serious? Those guys are you. The entire point of the first ad in this post is "As a tradeoff for yielding incremental amounts of my masculinity in service of a long-term relationship, I ain't driving no minivan."

Announcer: "For some reason, having a minivan that happens to have the 2009 dependability award from JD Power and Associates isn't manly enough."

Yeah, I bet they see that and they think you're the kind of guy who orders the low-cal plate. Or carries his wife's lip balm. Fag.

Announcer: "Think about that for a second. Filling a car with five of your offspring isn't manly enough?"

Fuck that! Squeeze the kids into the trunk of the Dodge Charger. That's a real man's car! Unless we've decided that we want to sell you on a different model. Forget the Charger! Buy a Grand Caravan and prove your virility!

Here's an interesting tidbit. According to Road & Travel Magazine, "women purchase more than 50% of all new vehicles, 48% of all used vehicles, [and] influence 80% of all sales." Is that the kind of demographic you want to be completely ignoring, Dodge? Especially when it comes to selling a minivan, a family car, a car that a woman is almost certainly having a big say in deciding to purchase? You're going to sell it as "a good place to stash the fruit of your loins, the better to look virile in front of other men"? And then your other ads not only ignore women as purchasers, but actively mock men who dare to participate in anything you deem "too feminine." It's like this campaign fell through a wormhole from 1957, when women were expected to live in the kitchen and the only commercials targeted at them were for ovens and aluminum foil. With that in mind, here are some possible slogans Dodge may want to use going forward to address some of their marketing toward women without sacrificing their core message:

"Dodge: No girls allowed"

"Dodge: Bake me a pie"

"Dodge: I work hard all day to put food on that table"

"Dodge: Shut your whore mouth"

"Dodge: I'm going to the bar and dinner had better be ready when I get back"

1 comment:

Knitwear M. Groundhog said...

Your count-for-count breakdown really says it all. When did the smallest common courtesies start to require a reward?