Thursday, July 27, 2006

Get your Manhood Back

I can't imagine how on earth the recent ads for Hummer SUVs were actually approved, and who on earth thought they were "smart" or "edgy" or even acceptable. I saw these a few weeks ago and was taken aback by the bizarre idea that buying an enormous, gas-guzzing SUV monster Hummer was going to let you 'Reclaim your Manhood" or "Get your Girl On" . Wha?

If you haven't seen these -- a man is in line at the supermarket and the camera carefully scans the things he has bought: tofu, vegetables, healthy food. He furtively pays for these and the camera pans to the man behind him, buying manly-manly MEAT. Obviously, Mr. Health Food Vegetarian is somehow Less Manly. BUt then he get to the parking lot and gets in his Hummer and he is once again restored to the ranks of Manly Men becuase he has a huge, overbearing and ridiculous car. "Reclaim your Manhood" You can see this ad at Hummer World > Televis

The second is a woman standing at the bottom of the playground slide with another woman. The other woman's child pushed rudely into line and gets on the slide. 'Excuse me, my little Bobby was next' she says in a tiny voice. "Well, now we're next" snotty-bitch replies. Next cut: snubbed woman is driving her enormous SUV. No one is going to mess with her again. "Get your Girl On!"

[You can see both the commercials (in their later, less offensive slogans) at under Hummer World > Television Ads. The ads are 'Tofu' and 'Slide']

I don't get it. I mean, sure, I definitely equate the need to have an enormous SUV or ten-cylinder Hemi truck with some sort of deficiency in the male-genital-area, but these are just stupid commercials, no matter how you look at them. Nothing like insulting half the population in one fell swoop, eh? Women are either bitches or doormats, and men who don't eat meat and chips are wussies?

And the funny thing is -- the ad slogans apparently didn't go over well for anyone except the scary group they used as a focus group or test group. Within a week or so, the slogan has changed on both ads to a much less offensive "Restore the balance"

Which prompted another round of "Wha???" Restore the balance by buying the biggest vehicle you can drive on a Class C license and that will make you...better? smarter? Who knows.

A better tagline? "We know you're compensating for something."

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