Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shitius Altius Fortius

I'm not even sure what to say.

An anonymous commenter a few posts ago was the first to bring this to my attention, although frankly I would have been just as happy to go the rest of my life without knowing this commercial existed.

We've talked in the past about how commercials dealing with "gross" subjects tend to be somewhat circumspect, with my go-to example being the Metamucil "Beautify your inside" campaign from 2007. This commercial... is the opposite of that.

We open on some sort of shitting contest. I mean, that's actually what is happening here. Three babies are involved in a contest to see who can fill their diaper with the most shit. For real. That is the ad. So the first one goes, and gets scores of 6, 5 and 3. Whoa! Not nearly enough shit in that diaper, Baby #1! You knew this was the World Shitting Championships, right? Step your game up.

Baby #2 steps up and drops a much larger shit - while being recorded on cell phone cameras in the front row - and gets scores of 8, 7 and 8. But Baby #3... he came prepared. His diaper expands with shit until it is nearly as big as he is! Yeahhhhh! All 10s! He is the Nadia Comaneci of shitting!

Voice-over: "What happens in diapers should stay in diapers."

This now presents us with the alternate mental image of some non-Luvs-clad baby taking a monster dump the size of his own body and having excrement fly everywhere. Thanks, Luvs.

Voice-over: "New Luvs Ultra Leakguards with Heavy 'Dooty' Blowout Protection. Outstanding protection for your little 'heavy dooty' champs."

Have you ever seen "dooty" spelled that way before? I have not. Meanwhile, the second and third-place babies are for some reason putting their hands on the winner's still-full diaper, like they're in awe of his shitting prowess and want a little reflected glory. This is really exceedingly vile.

I know this ad is directed at parents. And I know that for the majority of parents, your kid taking a crap and you having to clean it up becomes so commonplace that it ceases to be disgusting; it's just a thing that happens that has to be dealt with, one of the things you sign up for when you decide to have children. (And if you glance over the YouTube comments, it's pretty clear there's an opinion divide between parents and the childless over the merits of the spot.) But even with that in mind, did this commercial really need to be this graphic? These are cartoon babies, after all - you're not actually proving the durability of the diapers by showing the massive shit expansion, so why show it at all? And did you really have to play "Whoomp! There it is!" in the background?

This is the place where I'd normally do some joke about what it would be like if other companies advertised this way. But how can I? There really is no analogous situation to watching a baby (even an animated one) fill its diaper onscreen - only a handful of other products even deal in an area this nasty, and none of them would ever advertise so directly. The only commercial I can think of that's even vaguely similar is the one for Oops, I Crapped My Pants, and that's a joke ad for a product that doesn't exist. So congratulations, Luvs, for being only slightly less gross than a fake ad that's intentionally over the top about its pitch.

You know, as long as we're talking about diapers, I just realized I never dealt with this one:

Eurotrash Voiceover: "My diaper is full! Full of chic!"

Ha ha! It's funny, because "chic" sounds kind of like "shit," which of course is what the diaper is actually full of.

Eurotrash Voiceover: "When it's a #2... I look like #1."

Diaper companies really just don't care, do they? Metamucil talks about primping your colon, but Huggies is just like, "Yeah, whatever! Babies shit all the time, and we all know it. We're not dancing around anything."

Eurotrash Voiceover: "I poo... in blue!"

Good God. Couldn't you try to be even a little cute about what diapers are for? I mean, we all know anyway. It really has to be shoved in our face like this? For good measure, the tagline is "The coolest you'll look pooping your pants." I love the use of the second person as though anyone truly capable of watching and understand this commercial is going to be the one using the product, as opposed to buying it for their child. (By the way: jean diapers? Seriously? This was something that needed to exist? Were there really people complaining that boring ol' white diapers were making their baby look dangerously uncool?)

I know this whole thing is kind of tongue-in-cheek, but I mean, no, it really isn't. You make that product and sell it, you can't really claim ironic license. This is something you want to sell. And again, okay, the people you're trying to sell to probably won't be fazed by all the talk about babies taking craps. But couldn't you think for a second about the non-parents out there, the people who were just hoping to watch television without being confronted with the image of someone taking a dump? We're people too, dammit.

Attention parents: babies are cute. (Most babies.) But they are not as cute to the rest of us as you think they are. And not everything they do is cute just because they're babies. Taking their first steps? Cute. Babbling happily? Cute. Filling a diaper with shit? NOT CUTE. There's a reason why bathroom stalls have doors on them - no one wants to see someone else taking a shit. I don't care how tiny and precious you are, I'm not interested in being informed about what just came out of your ass or where it's now residing. So maybe we could sell diapers without having to talk about how constantly full of shit they are? Is that possible?


Tyler said...

How'd that first baby even make the championships? Pitiful performance under the bright lights.

Jen said...

I'm sorry, I love your blog, bu I have to totally disagree with your assessment of the huggies commercial. It's about the dumbest product I have EVER seen, but that commercial is so stupid/funny it almost made me like the product. And that was long before I had kids.

Honeygator said...

both of these commercials are extremely disturbing. One sexualizes a 1 something year old baby, and the other one is extremely tasteless. If I was a mother today, I'd be complaining to the CEOs and not buying those products.