Sexist Superbowl Ads

UPDATE: Non-U.S. readers can now view the videos. Apologies for the originals; I had no way of knowing that Hulu.com was so stupid.

Oh yeah, you knew it was coming. I knew it was coming before I sat down to watch the big game. (Though I usually don’t care, the Steelers were playing, and my dad is the world’s biggest fan. We went over for moral support; and thankfully the Steelers not only won, but it was also a pretty good game.)

For the record, I think that my 21-year-old brother and his friends laughed at every one of these commercials. My dad, knowing my political leanings well from many fights, looked nervously my way but also laughed a few times. Which was, you know, awesome. I sat there and grumbled to my thankfully non-laughing husband that each of them was going up on the blog. Which now, they are.

Firestone: “Taters”

Shorter Firestone: Haha, women nag and talk to much! Wouldn’t it be great if they never spoke again?  And isn’t it even better that enough men apparently still think this way for us to be able to profit off of it?  Oh my, we’re so incredibly original.

Doritos: “Power of the Crunch”

Great, publicly ripping a woman’s clothes off without her consent. Even though it was initially unintentional on behalf of the dude eating the Doritos, he still clearly thought that it was awesome.  And the guys in the room with me thought it was hilarious.  Sigh.

Teleflora: “Talking Flowers”

Shorter Teleflora: Haha, women judge their worth based on their relationships and physical attractiveness, and they judge their relationships and physical attractiveness based on how nice the flowers they get are! Which is why it’s especially funny when we openly mock women based on their physical attractiveness.

GoDaddy.com: “Enhanced”

I don’t even know what to say to this one.

GoDaddy.com: “Shower”

Yup, GoDaddy.com wins the offensive award by a mile, with two ads in the running! Shocking. Remember that ladies, in case you didn’t already, when buying your domain names. Aside from the general blatant objectification, and the very intent to be offensive, the best part is the ending, where “the German woman from the Dean’s office” pops in and looks surprised and appalled to be there. Haha — getting women naked without their consent for male pleasure is hilarious! Doritos already taught us that.

Anything I missed? And on a less depressing note, though I wouldn’t say that there were any “feminist” ads, which ones were your favorites? Though heteronormative, etc., I will admit to enjoying the Budwiser “Clydesdale Circus” ad, and though I’m still really pissed at the other Doritos ad, the “Crystal Ball” one made me laugh — at least the first half of it, anyway.


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89 Responses to Sexist Superbowl Ads

  1. Nikita says:

    Those of us outside of the US are unable to view the vids.

  2. Cara says:

    Really? I’m just so surprised and appalled that I don’t even know what to say to that. WTF? Anyone else having the same issue?

  3. Jovan1984 says:

    I didn’t watch the game at all. I only watched Bruce Springsteen perform. I haven’t watched an NFL game since the Lions finished 0-16.

  4. Cara says:

    Okay, looks like Nikita is right. God: fuck you Hulu. Sorry non-U.S. readers, I had no way of knowing! I’m looking for an alternative as we speak . . .

  5. You can look at all of the ads on MySpace, even if you’re not logged in. They have embed codes too.

  6. Jim H from Indiana says:

    Don’t know about the Enhanced ad, but the tables get turned in the Godaddy Shower ad’s conclusion. This conclusion is available only on the Internet on the Godaddy website.

    The conclusion doesn’t make the ad any less sexist but does show Danica and the German teacher getting back at the boys.

    I would suspect something similar happens with the Enhanced ad, although I won’t be able to watch the Internet-only ending to it until I get home.

  7. Cara says:

    Okay everyone, all should be fixed with the powers of YouTube!

  8. You know, I don’t think that there’s any way for GoDaddy to fix the ads no matter how they end online; the fact remains that in the part which they poured megabucks into to air, they went for the surprised-naked-woman-for-male-lolz. The only way to redeem that is with another TV spot – clearly, there was enough money in the budget for two spots.

    I will point out that whoever is in charge of the Feministe.us domain name might want to find a different registrar (it’s currently registered with GoDaddy).

  9. Cara says:

    I will point out that whoever is in charge of the Feministe.us domain name might want to find a different registrar (it’s currently registered with GoDaddy).

    Ha. Guess you learn something new every day.

  10. NicoleGW says:

    GoDaddy is gross. It also drives me up a wall, because I’ve designed a few webpages for my friends to use professionally, and I’m pretty sure at least some of them are registered with GoDaddy. I always let people I’m designing for choose their hosting and domain name registration.

    I’m planning on writing them an e-mail letting them know I’ll be directing all my clients towards other providers in the future.

  11. Nikita says:

    Thanks for making those viewable Cara…
    Although I feel a little ill after watching them. This is what they spent millions of their marketing budget on??? Yikes.

  12. betsy says:

    This is perfect. I watched the superbowl with a bunch of guy friends, and I’m pretty sure you found every single one that they laughed at while I cringed. It’s nice to know someone else is on the same wavelength…sigh. College boys…

  13. Daomadan says:

    I was the only one in the room who didn’t laugh at the ads you’ve highlighted here. Sometimes it’s lonely when other people haven’t yet seen the light.

  14. SarahMC says:

    None of these ads is original or innovative. There is nothing surprising or unexpected about them. I don’t understand how anyone would laugh at them. You’d have to be really, exceptionally stupid.

  15. William says:

    Although I’d still rather drink a frosty glass of cat-pee and carpet tacks then their product, I think Miller’s tiny High Life ad took the cake for me.

  16. Cara says:

    Yes, the one-second ad! How could I forget? Made my night!

  17. woodland sunflower says:

    I insisted all our domain names changed after the sexist godaddy superbowl ads 3 years ago. Told them so, too, iirc. It’s too bad, because the service and price are fine. But I couldn’t stand the ads.

  18. Hawise says:

    Doritos seems to like encouraging its fans to steal their product which seems to be a bad business plan longterm and means that I will soon be needing to do a review of basic economics with my little Doritos addict.

  19. woodland sunflower says:

    I insisted all our domain names be changed after the sexist godaddy superbowl ads 3 years ago. Told them so, too, iirc. It’s too bad, because the service and price are fine. But I couldn’t stand the ads.

    We don’t even watch the superbowl. I found about their horrid ads on the internet. Talk about your negative advertising! They lost satisfied customers to ads we obstensibly didn’t even watch.

    Oh well. (Hope this edit button works…)

  20. Jovan1984 says:

    Food Lion ranch flavored Tortilla chips are better than Doritos. Maybe I will start getting those for now on whenever I’m in Aiken or Barnwell.

  21. woodland sunflower says:

    Which I see it didn’t. Sorry about the doubled part of the post.

  22. INTPagan says:

    I think you called every single last one I did, with the exception of the “Enhanced” one – I didn’t see it; I was not in the room for some reason.

    Yuck.

  23. SarahMC says:

    The production quality of the GoDaddy ads is so second rate and amateurish, too. Hideous, any way you slice it.

  24. Axiomatic says:

    Oh, wow, talk about (hopefully) unintentional subtext – in the Doritos ad, not only is it hilarious that women have their clothing forcibly ripped from their bodies, but the only black guy gets TURNED INTO A MONKEY. Thank god only white males own television sets, that’s all I’ve got to say. Otherwise, they’d seriously have egg on their face!

  25. polerin says:

    Axiomatic: I’m glad someone else caught that. I was a bit.. Floored by that.

    Ugh @ that commercial and at any number of other things.

  26. Cara says:

    You know, I’m really not the type to go around claiming “I don’t see race,” because that’s bullshit . . . but I somehow seriously didn’t notice that the guy playing the cop is black. Maybe it’s because all the money flying around is distracting, but I just saw “cop.” But now that it’s pointed out? Um . . . yeah. Whoa.

  27. Tom Foolery says:

    Non-U.S. readers can now view the videos. Apologies for the originals; I had no way of knowing that Hulu.com was so stupid.

    They don’t have non-U.S. rights to distribute anything. Not stupidity, just their contracts.

  28. redredrose says:

    I didn’t see he was black either…I still don’t see that he’s black, lol.

  29. K McGrath says:

    absolutely unbelievable…and I must add that males are represented as bumbling idiots and if I were a man I would be equally disgusted. I will not be purchasing any of the products advertised. I also can’t remember, but suspect that in the Hyundai ads women leadership in the boardrooms of high-level car companies, were also incognito. I guess they were too busy having their lips plumped.

  30. fourthwave says:

    One of the Pepsi ads, for Pepsi Max, was pretty obnoxious, too (which is here) as it’s making a statement about “real” men (i.e. masculine men). That said, I really liked the other Pepsi ad, which was deliberately trying to be egalitarian on a number of fronts. Also, I thought the Hulu ad was hilarious.

  31. Jovan1984 says:

    I don’t like a single one of these ads. They are all either pathetic or sexist. This is why the NFL should let every media market cut their own local ads for the Super Bowl.

  32. Axiomatic says:

    Cara, I didn’t think much about it until he got turned into a monkey, after which my brain went all WAIT A MINUTE, WHAT JUST HAPPENED. I mean, at first it seems like he just got blasted out of existence as his empty clothes fall to the floor, and that somehow…is okay. Weirdly.

    But then it’s revealed that there’s a monkey hiding in the fallen clothes of the cop.

  33. Jessica says:

    Now that I watch the Doritos ad again, it looks like something’s weird with the cop– when he gets out of the car he appears black and then it seems to switch to a white actor in the next shot. Confusing.

  34. FashionablyEvil says:

    I didn’t even notice the thing with the cop (he looks white to me, but the idea of policeman=monkey isn’t terribly flattering, and if he is African American, that’s appalling). I was sitting why he didn’t eat another chip in front of the woman–shouldn’t that have taken off all her clothes?

    I don’t remember Super Bowl ads ever being this aggressively and egregiously sexist as these ones. Blech. (And I will never be buying Bridgestone tires).

  35. FashionablyEvil says:

    *Firestone

    (And why did I just get chastised for posting comments too quickly? Is that new?)

  36. RoRo says:

    I just watched the commercial 5 times in a row, and I’m fairly certain the cop’s not black.

  37. Jennifer S. says:

    I watched a chunk of the Superbowl with a friend who was watching it “for the ads” (seriously, he’s a geek about these things and was jotting down the order/notes in a notepad). I left because I got tired of all the sexism in them.

    Friend is a soc major and understands these things so we were able to discuss it… he could point out two spots in the hour that we watched together that definitely weren’t sexist, when I complained that I didn’t feel like I had seen any that weren’t. I personally thought the Clydesdale/Circus ad enforced gender roles, until he pointed out that we don’t actually know that Daisy’s a girl horse, which is now my preferred way of thinking about it. Note that all of the manly football-watching men around us thought that ad was “stupid,” and just there to cater to girls.

    I admit I did laugh at the offensive Dorritos ad, when the guy gets mowed down by a bus.

  38. Cara says:

    Now that I watch the Doritos ad again, it looks like something’s weird with the cop– when he gets out of the car he appears black and then it seems to switch to a white actor in the next shot. Confusing.

    I agree with this, actually. It’s what I was thinking at first, but kind of thought I was just seeing things? But in the scene where he morphs/melts, he definitely looks white to me. And in the scene where he first appears, he still also definitely looks black to me.

  39. Sara says:

    While we were watching the Super Bowl ads, my mom commented that a lot of them had violence of some sort in them. A koala was punched, a man was hit by a bus, a woman (granted she was a potato head) lost her lips, a man was hit in the crotch with a snowglobe, all were based on violence humor. They didn’t strike her nor I as funny.

    We thought the best commercial was the tire one on the moon. Our second funniest one was the pepsi ‘then and now’ ad towards the start of the game. Overall the ads went for the lowest common denominator and left the bar there. I wasn’t impressed.

    When the GoDaddy commercials started, I called exactly how the commercials would play out.

  40. Axiomatic says:

    Rewatching the Doritos ad, it does appear that the guy could be of any race you want him to be, so I suppose I retract my accusation.

    Mind you, if it had been up to me, I’d have probably had the cop turn into a pig, because, you know, cops and all. Hee.

    You’re not laughing, are you…

  41. Thank you for giving me another reason to thank Lord Reith (creator of the BBC, and designer of the no-commercials PSB ethos).

    Our Superbowl coverage had the inimitable, incomparable, and most of all intelligible (and intelligent) punditry of Mike Carlson as a result. And no adverts.

  42. Pingback: Super Bowl Ads « The Critic at Large

  43. Henry says:

    When I caught the bridgestone ad, my first thought was “feministe is going to have a fucking field day with this one”. And I laughed at that one, although I know I shouldn’t have. My apologies.

    Then when I caught the doritos add, I thought, “wow, that’s kind of inappropriate and creepy”. I wondered if we’d see complaints not just from feminists, but from moral majority types not real comfortable with women in lacy underwear during a “family event”.

    Once we got to the godaddy stuff, I wasn’t really surprised, what with that kind of being their m.o., but it still struck me as odd.

    Maybe I’m spending too much time reading this site.

  44. shah8 says:

    I loved the Coke one with the insects and flowers. I was only pissed that there weren’t any ants.

  45. Elena Perez says:

    What do you guys think about this one?

  46. Pingback: easyVegan.info » Blog Archive » Delivering her from the “happiest place on earth.”

  47. Evie says:

    What did everyone think of the Bud Light ad where the only woman in the meeting room makes a suggestion of buying Bud Light for every meeting, and you hear what is meant to be the sound of the glass ceiling breaking?

  48. Bernadette Marcum says:

    It is as if the male conspiracy realized that Hilary was close to being president and had to really slap us as hard as they could. This was one of the worst years ever! I will never buy anything from Frito Lay, etc.

    I liked the “adopt a dog” ad.

  49. Wish says:

    Kate Harding had a little piece on the sexism of the SB ads at…Salon, I think. The comments she got were incredible! I see these ads and think, “These are horrible, stupid, sexist, insulting, who could ever enjoy them?” and apparently it’s Salon readers, because they flamed her hard. I could not believe the chest-beating and denial of the commenters there.

  50. grapeshot says:

    I watched the second GoDaddy ad with no sound, and lolled at the brunette woman washing her hair in the shower. Clearly that is how women wash their hair. Also, they always wear cheerleader outfits while masturbating and never blow their noses.

  51. Redstar says:

    Elena – thanks for linking to the Cheetos one. I thought that one was sexist also – catty women, superficial women, etc. etc.

    There was not a single positive portrayal of women at all, as far as I could gather – they were either cartoons or toys (literally) or sexualized beings or catty, superficial b*tches. Or they weren’t even in the majority of commercials AT ALL.

    Also, the commercials were so big on sexist imagery and then aliens, toys, make-believe, violence, I finally asked my boyfriend if he thought 12 yr old boys were designing the ads.

    Unbelievable. I’ve watched S’bowls in the past and can’t tell if either my gen-dar (heh) is heightened post-2008 or if they were just that much worse this year.

  52. Cara says:

    Unbelievable. I’ve watched S’bowls in the past and can’t tell if either my gen-dar (heh) is heightened post-2008 or if they were just that much worse this year.

    I was thinking the exact same thing, Redstar!

  53. rosa says:

    I was so offended by the godaddy ads I can’t believe they continue to make such sexist ads but then again on some level it is effective because they are getting free advertising on this site right now and people are still discussing them. The telaflora ad was both sexist and just a bad ad overall for other reasons. The Doritos ad is some what threatening how many Superbowls do i have to sit through where some poor woman is having her close ripped off against her will? It is violent and not funny. I did like the taters, is it a stereotype? sure but it is also well executed satire which is more than i can say for the other ads. I think that humor has its place and shouldn’t be judged by traditional standards, like art.

  54. Rosanna says:

    I didn’t watch any of the Superbowl so this is my first viewing of the commercials. Doritos and others: way to symbolize rape culture here….these just left a bad taste in my mouth.

  55. RacyT says:

    What did everyone think of the Bud Light ad where the only woman in the meeting room makes a suggestion of buying Bud Light for every meeting, and you hear what is meant to be the sound of the glass ceiling breaking?

    Maybe there’s a different ad, but the one I saw on YouTube had a young guy suggest it and then the glass breaking was him being thrown out the window of the boardroom…

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  57. MJ says:

    A note on the Doritos ad:

    The worst thing is that Doritos had a competition to pick the ad that would appear in the Superbowl. There was a choice of 5 ads, and from what I remember, none of the other 4 involved women’s clothes being ripped off, or women being degraded in general. I recall watching the options and instinctively going “Ugh, I hope that one doesn’t get picked.” Of course, that’s the one that ended up winning the vote. (You could vote on their website for the spot you wanted to appear.)

  58. ethan says:

    The thing that stood out about the cop was the fact that he was turned into a monkey vs having had his clothes stripped off down to the underwear. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to have that difference…unless you factor in sexism and racism (the monkey itself strongly implies race, regardless of what the actor “looks like”).

    Classism more than strongly implied by the ATM machine — of course all of us desire wealth. Duh, how could I be so stupid.

    PS I tried suggesting a little constructive approach to all this in anticipation:
    Drink responsibly

  59. Scatterbox says:

    Three things we learned about advertising from the Super Bowl ads:

    1. Animals still sell.
    2. Insipid is still strategy.
    3. Women are still objects.
    Things haven’t come that far.

  60. Bene says:

    Not to be an apologist–that one pissed me off so very badly–but I saw at least one other Doritos ad, the one with the crystal ball. Wasn’t as bad.

    Between that, GoDaddy and their continued unapologetic misogyny, and Ms. Potato Head losing her mouth…I was pretty well set for horrible.

  61. Jennifer says:

    In the Doritos ad, the reason the cop turned into a monkey instead of losing his clothes is because whatever the Dorito-eating guy thinks, happens. See, there he is just undressing that woman with his eyes, like all men do you know, and suddenly his dream comes true! Right down to the ridiculous undergarments! Then he very deliberately looks at the ATM, so you know he has something specific in mind, and BAM! money! Same thing with the cop- he chose to turn the cop into a monkey.

    Somehow realizing that the woman’s clothes flew off because that’s what he was already picturing made the ad that much worse to me.

  62. 'stina says:

    Ya’ll outside of Texas didn’t get to enjoy this one. AshleyMorgan.com A dating site for married people.

    I got the distinct impression that this site is to be used without spousal notification.

  63. HurricaneCiao says:

    I didn’t watch any part of the program, so this is the first I’ve seen of the ads. Did anyone else notice that during the Doritos ad, when her dress goes flying off, the woman has a rather wide smile on her face? Kind of as if to say “Tee hee! Being publicly exposed/humiliated is such giddy fun! I love it! Hahaha!” They only focus on her face for like a fraction of a second, but that’s kind of what I took the director to be saying. *wretch!*

    Also, and I hope this won’t come off as being to sensitive or contrarian, I kind of had differing feelings about the ad Cara linked to about the horses in the circus. I hesistated even before clicking the link because when I even peripherally hear mention of the circus my skin just CRAWLS. It’s not that the ad wasn’t cute. It’s just that I can tell you from experience (my father ran a livestock clinic that saw many…”performers”) that horses, and all animals for that matter, go through a living hell in the circus every day of their lives. Horses, normally very SHY, are confused by the tricks they have to perform and terrified of the noise of the crowds, which leads to a difficulty in getting them to comply with their “handlers”. In order to get horses to learn their routines FAST, rather than rewarding forward progress, circus trainers realize it’s much more efficient to get the animal to learn to FEAR the consequences of a mistake. My father saw equines (including shetland ponies and donkeys) that had thier legs and knees bashed by rebar and iron rods, had been maced in the eyes and ears, they had been shocked in the face, ears, and genitals with a cattle prod, had enormous infected welts from being whipped, had been beaten with 2x4s, folding chairs, and golf clubs, had been pelted with bricks, and had teeth broken and missing from being punched in the face as if they were in a bar brawl. And that’s not to mention how many he treated for HUGE flea/tick/parasite infestations, dehydration, and malnourishment. The wrongness factor is exponentially heightened when he KNEW that alerting the authorities would mean, at BEST, a light fine for the circus, any only IF they decided his concern (or medical observations) was worth the hassle. I mean, they’re just animals, right?

    I don’t mean to be all PSA. It just slays me when something so hellish as those animals are forced to go through is glossed over to look like a fucking fairy tale.

  64. Mireille says:

    Wish – Yeah, a lot of Salon commenters are, um… unenlightened. I almost never read the comments for any of the Broadsheet articles because there are always comments from MRAs that don’t even bother reading the articles before posting some comment about how feminists are keeping good men down and so many of the men who comment are just knee-jerk defensive apologists that get all offended and huffy. Like commenters at HuffPo… or Kos… or any super huge “progressive” site.

  65. Sam says:

    The potato head and GoDaddy commercials annoyed me the most. I really can’t stand GoDaddy advertisements. I was surprised to see the women in our party laughing at those ads. What was most annoying to me personally, however, was that whenever I brought up the topic of sexism regarding the commercials I would inevitably have my sexuality questioned. As if thinking garment-removing doritos are rapey somehow makes me gay.

    I thought the second Bridgestone ad on the moon was funny, though. I also liked the Dorito’s crystal ball ad.

  66. Torri says:

    thanks to Vanessa for some good adds XD being a video game nerd I loved the coke-avatar one a lot ^^

  67. Tanya says:

    Unfortunately, so long as woman are willing to accept money to perform in such ways, ads like this will continue to exist.

  68. Morningstar says:

    “Oh, wow, talk about (hopefully) unintentional subtext – in the Doritos ad, not only is it hilarious that women have their clothing forcibly ripped from their bodies, but the only black guy gets TURNED INTO A MONKEY. Thank god only white males own television sets, that’s all I’ve got to say. Otherwise, they’d seriously have egg on their face!”

    wow, that kind of just shows how oblivious i am to race sometimes. i was wondering WTF was up the monkey being there, and now that i see that he was black, that scene comes across as extremely bizarre.

  69. Morningstar says:

    shoot, guess he wasn’t black. looks like my racedar wasn’t awry, i just needed to read the thread and watch the video again for myself. doh.

  70. mdl says:

    Straight guy here and a marketing copywriter. I hate to admit it, but I found the Dorito’s ad to be incredibly erotic, despite knowing exactly what message it was sending, understanding why that is very wrong, and being somewhat shocked that a product with such a wide consumer base would choose to send it. The Go Daddy ads on the other hand, were just dense and incredibly unsexy in a Maxim sort of way. And I don’t even understand the purpose of their campaign, since theoretically half of their customers would be women and it’s not like there’s a ton of competition among domain name registrars and providers.

    Overall, the Super Bowl ads were a huge letdown but the game was excellent.

  71. Bitter Scribe says:

    I dunno, I kind of liked the GoDaddy “Shower” ad. Yes, it was sexist, but as Jim H notes, in the long (Internet) version the tables get turned. Anyway, if Danica Patrick doesn’t mind, why should I?

    The “Baseball hearings” one was just stupid, though.

  72. catfood says:

    The Potato Head ad was offensive even before the lips came off. When your driving is scaring someone shitless, maybe you should listen and slow down. But it’s supposed to be funny that Mrs. is terrified while Mr. is flooring it.

    No. Putting your partner in fear isn’t funny.

  73. AshKW says:

    Hurricane beat me to my commentary about horses in the circus, but leaving that aside, I frankly shouldn’t be gnashing my teeth throughout every single commercial break. My dentist will not approve. ;)

  74. Lynn says:

    I didn’t even bother. And I’m sort of reluctant to even click, because that just adds to the ‘most viewed’ hype and increases the likelihood of more stupid ads.

    I did watch Sarah Haskins special, though. Total awesomeness.

  75. urbanartiste says:

    Design and advertising are officially dead. When companies have to sell to the lowest level they have decreed they have no more ideas.

    The superbowl commercials has turned into pop culture similar to the sports illustrated swimsuit issue. We have advanced as humans technologically, but it seems intelligence for some is still in the dark ages.

  76. Irian says:

    I admit I did laugh at the offensive Dorritos ad, when the guy gets mowed down by a bus.

    That’s okay. I was glad it had a happy ending too. *tear*

  77. other orange says:

    I had kind of an interesting viewing experience. Sitting around with my husband and guy friends; the first GoDaddy ad comes on and we kind of all groan at the tastelessness. The Potato-head ad comes on and they giggle and I roll my eyes. And then the Doritos ad comes on and something funny happens… there’s silence. My friend Mike goes “…um, what ?” And then the Teleflora ad OMG. My husband turns to me, and my face is obviously set in a Death Ray expression, and he turns to the guys and says “there’s something up with the ads this year, huh ?”

    And then all of us actually had like a six-minute discussion about misogyny in advertising. During the Superbowl. I am not kidding. They were uncomfortable with the imagery and they could plainly see that I was extremely uncomfortable with it, so we actually talked about it, what it’s like to see that day after day, how they’d feel if guys were treated like that by commercials, etc.

    It was nine kinds of awesome.

  78. Cara says:

    And then all of us actually had like a six-minute discussion about misogyny in advertising. During the Superbowl. I am not kidding. They were uncomfortable with the imagery and they could plainly see that I was extremely uncomfortable with it, so we actually talked about it, what it’s like to see that day after day, how they’d feel if guys were treated like that by commercials, etc.

    It was nine kinds of awesome.

    Um yes, that certainly SOUNDS nine kinds of awesome! Wow.

  79. KJ says:

    Teleflora offered me a $15 gift certificate to make up for offending me with their commercial.

    I told them to shove it.

  80. Kinaya says:

    Come On!!!! Women must be able to laugh at themselves like everyone else. Some (not all) of the above were sexist. But, please, stop portraying us as victims. If you don’t like, turn it off and tell your boyfriends that they’re idiots. There are far more serious issues for women rights.

  81. Sarah says:

    Something that bothered me about the Mr/Mrs Potato Head commercial before it even got to the lips flying off part:

    Did you notice that he’s driving like a maniac; she’s scared they’re going to die; and she has time to comment about her hair getting messed up? Yeah, lovely. Obviously, a disrupted hair-do is just as important to us Mrs Potato Head types as driving off a cliff.

  82. Mau de Katt says:

    I’m sorry, I saw the Budweiser Circus ad as, if not as overtly sexist as the others, belonging at least in the same category as them. Yes, it was heteronormative, but that’s not the problem. The problem was that it reinfoced the “girls are property of their fathers until A Man comes along and rescues them, i.e. claims her for his own property” meme

    OK OK, yes, it’s horses. Horses are animals, and thus property and owned. But look at Daisy’s owner — a rough, derisive, hints-of-abusive man who indignantly drags his female property (come on, “Daisy” is definitely a recognizeably female name) away from Big Studly but “different people” male suitor (and this horse was ~definitely~ male), while snarking at him with taunts of “lover boy” and “Romeo.” And the two clowns at the end say “I didn’t even know Daisy was dating.” So even though horses were the protagonists, this ad was ~not~ about horses-as-animals.

    Here’s how the ad read to me when I first saw it, and still does: Big Studly Masculine All-American Guy falls for pretty little country/ethnic virgin-in-white, but angry father “doesn’t like his type,” yanks her away, and hauls her pretty little ass off to new climes. Her protests are ineffectual, because all good little girls must obey daddy, and so she has no authority or independence of her own. Big Studly Manly Man doesn’t want to give her up, though, and so tracks her down, performing Manly Man feats all along the way (nothing’s gonna stop him!), but only when he is there can she escape, and she then runs off with her New Man.

    It’s a Fifties supposedly-romantic movie plot, and I found it even more disturbing than the others because its misogyny was hidden under the innocent-seeming layer of “Romance of Circuses and Pretty Horses” rather than blatantly in-your-face like Go-Daddy and Doritos.

    Now, IF Big Powerful Clydesdale was a mare, and IF “Daisy” was “Dennis” (and obviously male as male horses are wont to be), and IF the circus people weren’t all so Obviously Sinisterly Ethnic, then that would be a commercial worth watching.

    ***

    I liked only one commercial this year — the “get a dog” Funny Pets ad.

  83. catfood says:

    Here’s a business magazine article by Bob Parsons, GoDaddy CEO, on “The Way I Work.”

    The Go Daddy girl was my idea. I told the ad agency, “I want a really well-endowed, good-looking gal in a tight T-shirt, with our name right across her breasts.” We did a nationwide casting, and then the agency called me and said, “Bob, we just found your next ex-wife.” At that point I had been divorced once — for the record, my second ex-wife was not a Go Daddy girl.

    It’s… beautiful. Not.

  84. topaz says:

    SInce I live in the hills and only have an ancient dial up connection, I can’t re-watch these commercials on the internet, but like some of the people posting here, I was completely unimpressed with the mediocre quality of ALL the superbowl ads this year, and definitely noticed a stink of misogyny here that I thought was passe in American pop culture. Pyoo!

    I could write a whole piece on the subject, which I won’t do here since the Superbowl is over and everybody’s moved on, but my basic points is that nothing was really that innovative, clever or funny – let alone SMART and PROGRESSIVE. I can forgive almost anything if its actually funny- or very fun to watch. Not! Even the sno globe in the balls ad got a groan at our house Instead of a big laugh – and this is the ad that won those guys a million dollars for supposedly being so hilarious! Ionly time when we all laughed out load was the one – I think it was for Monster – where the camera pans around from the opulent richly appointed room with a moosehead on the wall to the poor schlunk working security around the corner with a moosebutt and legs in his face. Need a new job? But again; kinda funny- not a touchdown or whatever the admen call it.

    But the real reason I wanted to join the conversation was to rant and see if people were commenting about the hatefulness of that talking flower commercial!!! OMG is right! I hate to even use the brand name but I guess it was teleflora. While I can remember the sharp sting of some of the insults – disturbing and SO un-funny-(whoever wrote that ad, man or woman, has probably been the victim or perp of some nasty verbal abuse in real life to have come up with some of those zingers) what I still haven’t been able to figure out is WHY? I don’t get who the target audience was and what was the point of the little skit- I guess it ends up with the voiceover saying that you can’t always trust the flowers that are sent – and then the office nerd trying to make her feel better by saying “I’d like to see you naked” which is only more humiliating to the poor woman…. God.

    The only thing I can think of when I think of developing an ad like this is that they wanted men, the majority of their flower sending customers, to recall some of the meanest things that one might possibly say to a woman and to mentally attach Teleflora to those things for sending flowers when apologies were forthcoming. Beautiful.

    Kudos to the person KJ above who wrote in to express her disgust, which I will do shortly. Anyone else find this ad to be THE most offensive? At least Godaddy is predictably neanderthal. Oh, and by the way, you don’t have to use TELEFLORA anymore; you can simply look up and contact a local florist via internet and mobile! Happy Valentine’s and don’t use Teleflora!

  85. Pingback: Sore Points » The Tragedy of Humor

  86. Enough. says:

    Hi there :)
    I’m 13 years Old and this is the crap i have to put up with and will be putting up with for the rest of my life… sigh. Well, maybe theres hope, if guys finally learn we won’t take they’re crap… it may seem wrong, but i fight fire with fire :)

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