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43 Responses

  1. cacophonies
    cacophonies July 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm |

    I especially love the “spread the warmth” right at the end of the commercial, because it’s so very opposite and… well, warm sounding in contrast to the rest of it.

  2. Nentuaby
    Nentuaby July 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm |

    That spot does a remarkable job of pointing up the difference between satire and parody.

  3. Lauren
    Lauren July 21, 2009 at 10:31 pm |

    I alwayss thought Dinty Moore was the manly soup, or stew, or whatever. I get the feeling that stew is more manly than soup.

  4. DW
    DW July 21, 2009 at 10:32 pm |

    Worst. Commercial. Ever.

  5. kb
    kb July 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm |

    I don’t know, I liked the rigatoni and meatballs. admittedly, I am not now, nor have I ever tried to be a man. so I guess that’s a soup failure.

  6. Anna
    Anna July 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm |

    Ah, I can step up as “haven’t already tried being a man, currently a woman.”

    *cracks womanly knuckles*

    *eats dull soup*

    Well, still a woman.

    It’s really funny. In our family, of course, I’m the meat eater (Don being a vegetarian), and all those “eat this manly meat NOW!” ads make me go “Let’s go get some meat!” and he’s just repulsed by them.

    Obviously this is because I’m the one who wears the pants in this family. (He wears shorts.)

  7. lilacsigil
    lilacsigil July 21, 2009 at 10:36 pm |

    It’s a direct parody of a Solo ad, not just of masculine HOT SOUPS in general.

    (But I don’t like salty foods, and also I’m a girl, so I guess this isn’t aimed at me anyway!)

  8. Henry
    Henry July 21, 2009 at 11:19 pm |

    I can’t speak to all this other stuff, but Chef Boyardee is freakin delicious. Almost as good as Spagettios w/ meatballs – cold, straight out of the can.

  9. lilacsigil
    lilacsigil July 21, 2009 at 11:41 pm |

    Yes, the ad is Australian! I didn’t know Solo wasn’t sold in other countries! But yeah, solo ads were hilarious, and “a solo man” was slang in my high school for “a wanker” both in the literal and figurative senses.

  10. Kai
    Kai July 22, 2009 at 1:48 am |

    My god, Holly, how are you supposed to get well if you’re eating this crap?! Now I’m not trying to Asian-shame you or anything, but come on: clear broth, ginger, silken tofu, wood-ear mushroom, noodles. Green tea. All that salted-up drained-out starchy-creamy-chunky stuff produces mucus and extra digestive exertion!

    As for that “black can” label, wow is that a confused font combination or what? “Campbell’s” is 50s Beaver Cleaver. “Chunky” is 60s Rawhide. “Creamy Chicken Alfredo” is 70s Howard Johnson’s. “Fully Loaded” is 80s motor oil. “New!” is Olde. And yeah, just to accentuate your point about “liquids are for girls”, they’re eating soup with a freaking fork. It’s like a bad acid trip while watching Howdy Doodee or something.

  11. Michael
    Michael July 22, 2009 at 3:43 am |

    DW, it’s a bad commercial, but not nearly the worst commercial ever. I doubt it’s even the worst soup commercial ever.

  12. norbizness
    norbizness July 22, 2009 at 7:49 am |

    Fully loaded is a phrase I’d expect to hear in a Kaopectate or high-fiber cereal commercial.

  13. attack_laurel
    attack_laurel July 22, 2009 at 9:21 am |

    I have, at my husband’s request, tried these damn soups – several flavours. He readily admits to not having much in the way of a discriminatory palate, but I can’t take the stuff – in addition to being bland, and having that terrible canned meat taste, they give me awful indigestion. He thinks they’re okay, but only in a pinch, and only if there’s nothing more appealing on the shelf. The supposed manliness of the cans doesn’t seem to affect him either way, except that he’s unwilling to pay more money to be manly.

    I dig the aesthetic appeal of the colours – more products should be packaged in black and red, then they’d match my kitchen – but again, I don’t think of black as that manly. It’s more of an emo soup, which is appropriate, since the only time either of us mainline soup is when we’re feeling poorly or mopey.
    For that price, I can buy several cans of Chef Boyardee and get basically the same results, so bleh. Anyway, I prefer it when he makes his awesome tuna salad for dinner.

  14. amandaw
    amandaw July 22, 2009 at 10:01 am |

    Holly, I love you. (In a non-threatening-to-your-girlfriend sorta way.)

    Stroganoff soup sounds, um… interesting. Stroganoff has been one of my absolute favorite dinners for much of my life, but watering it down enough to make it count as “soup” sounds disgusting. Sort of like those flavored waters – if I want water, I want water. If I want flavor I’ll drink a damn juice or soda. I can already get “flavored water” at the Coke fountain at McDonalds.

  15. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane July 22, 2009 at 10:04 am |

    I wonder if ex-gay groups will try to extend their business into fixing trans women with stew. It could happen.

    I propose we film a documentary, where we eat NOTHING but manly stews, Yorkie bars and Pocky for Men, and see if after a month it has done anything to our self-concept of gender. We could call it Super Gender Essentialize Me As A Marketing Tactic and play the festival circuit.

  16. amandaw
    amandaw July 22, 2009 at 10:05 am |

    I’m waiting for Hand Soap For Men, by the way. And Toothbrushes For Men. And then Pillows For Men (preferably filled with rocks and covered in camo dye). I suppose they already make Nose Hair Clippers For Men…

  17. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane July 22, 2009 at 10:30 am |

    Well, they already have toothbrushes for meterosexuals, so it can’t be far off. It also seems manly soap is finding a place as a niche market.

    Remember, in the words of Homer Simpson:

    “I’m a white male aged 18 to 49, everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are.”

  18. eastsidekate
    eastsidekate July 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |

    I love this post! I’m confused at the gendered reprocutions of soup, though. Can masculine women eat this soup? Should I tell the butch lesbian at one of my fave local restaurants that she needs to toughen up her soup by getting rid of all those dainty spices? Lastly, what about meeeeee? I’m femme. Is there a company out in Oregon or Vermont that makes an holistic, organic floral soup in a glitter-based broth? ‘Cause I’d totally buy some if it would give me longer, shinier hair.

    Of course, this reminds me on the SNL advertisement for “Schmidt’s Gay” beer, featuring Adam Sandler and Chris Farley. I’m not a huge fan of comedy aimed at 10 year-old boys, but I still smirk at the thought of ‘If you’ve got a big thirst, and you’re gay…’

  19. Thomas
    Thomas July 22, 2009 at 11:20 am |

    manly soap
    Ha! Manly soap — the very idea! Real men smell like days-old sweat and motoroil. If they need to get cleaned up, they either spray themselves with a powerwasher or scrub down with steel wool and lye.

  20. Harumph
    Harumph July 22, 2009 at 11:25 am |

    I’d actually be interested in making that “documentary”… could be fun and subversively delicious.

  21. scootermom
    scootermom July 22, 2009 at 11:29 am |

    Didn’t have my glasses on and thought the soup can was a joke because it said “Fully Larded.”

    I do often wonder what IS in canned soup ….

  22. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe July 22, 2009 at 11:42 am |

    Give them a break. They’re trying to make guys feel good about the fact that they can’t cook and can’t afford to go to a restaurant for meat and/or pasta.

    Attention scootermom: I’d worry more about what’s in frozen pot pies, which came up earlier in this thread. I’ve seen them being made, and let’s just say that “fully larded” would not be much of an exaggeraton.

  23. Dreamweasel
    Dreamweasel July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |

    I couldn’t watch that clip without being reminded of this classic from The Onion:

    >New Texas-Style Yogurt to Feed Man-Sized Hunger for Yogurt

  24. Thom
    Thom July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |

    “And Toothbrushes For Men.”

    I have one of those. It’s like using a jackhammer on my teeth. And I feel far more manly after brushing. But no flossing, dental floss seems so…girly. ;)

  25. nonaWA
    nonaWA July 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |

    Haha dude, now that Campbell’s label is just making me think of semen. Chunky? Fully Loaded? Photo of creamy white stuff? Ew! Guess that’s one way to evoke “manliness”!

  26. Nentuaby
    Nentuaby July 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm |


    Oh, you think you’re joking. :P

  27. Thomas
    Thomas July 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm |

    I am out-ironied by reality. Again. It’s so hard to keep up.

  28. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane July 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm |


    You know… *wheels turning in my head*

    You could only watch Spike TV, read FHM, and consume products and media specifically and implicitly marketed as a Men’s products (as opposed to, say, sports, which are just assumed to be only of interest to men)…

    Oh, if only I was one of those people who followed through on ideas instead of just having them.

    p.s. How could we forget the granddaddy of them all, Swanson’s Hungry Man Dinner?

  29. Kai
    Kai July 22, 2009 at 1:29 pm |

    Hehe, there’s really no way to out-irony reality when it comes to branding and selling Manliness. Okay I haven’t seen a Pillow For Men yet, but you know it’s coming! It’ll be like a stiff dark form made of NASA space-foam technology or something. Maybe Tempur-Pedic will sell it on TV showing a woman in a bikini jumping up and down on it while a can of motor oil doesn’t spill.

    As for Soap For Men, I will admit that those Irish Spring commercials always annoyed me. These days, however, we have Hard Working Hands hand soap for men, which actually looks like a quality product!

    What didn’t work out so well was the attempt to sell dolls for boys. Kinda fell flat.

  30. Henry
    Henry July 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm |

    They already have soap for Men. Gojo, Lava, Fast Orange, to name a few.

  31. Reader
    Reader July 22, 2009 at 4:02 pm |

    Too bad it isn’t really Steve Zahn. I’d eat a can for Steve.

  32. Nentuaby
    Nentuaby July 22, 2009 at 6:09 pm |

    You know, in retrospect, I brought up Boraxo because of Thomas’s mention of Real Men “scrub[bing] down with steel wool” and then Henry mentioned a few other similar brands… But none are gender-targeted at all, unless I’ve missed an ad campaign. They’re just ‘heavy duty,’ mostly meant for cleaning up after things like mechanical maintenance or landscaping. Calling them ‘for men’ is more reinforcing the ‘power tools vs. laundry’ stereotype than anything.

  33. Ariel
    Ariel July 23, 2009 at 1:18 am |

    So I guess then the only thing for me to do is eat half a can of this and half a can of regular, wussy, broth-based soup. androgyny in a bowl.

    I think there is a book deal in that, @gudbuytjane. MY YEAR AS A MAN. Only not.

  34. exholt
    exholt July 23, 2009 at 2:24 am |

    I alwayss thought Dinty Moore was the manly soup, or stew, or whatever. I get the feeling that stew is more manly than soup.

    My family and those of my childhood neighbors literally lived on large cans of Dinty Moore whenever they were on sale. We’d buy enough to last 3-6 months and often used a can as a base for creating a watered down beef stew with some form of pasta like pasta shells thrown into the mix so one can can last for 3-5 days worth of meals. Mmmmm…brings back tasty memories…:)

    Comparatively speaking, most of these chunky soups are too watery….and the can sizes have noticeably shrunk. Would think that if it was supposed to be manly that they’d INCREASE can sizes and drop the smallest portions from their product line…..

  35. exholt
    exholt July 23, 2009 at 2:34 am |

    Like far too many “be manly” ads, they play on cultural anxiety over masculinity, but also while poking fun at the whole thing. I mean, what choice do they have, really?

    Wonder how this video is related……

  36. Meg
    Meg July 23, 2009 at 3:31 am |

    LOL. This has to be one of the most ridiculous marketing trends ever. Especially in this case! I remember when Campbell’s Chunky Soup was advertised as a man-soup, as opposed to that watery, wimpy regular version of Campbell’s Soup. Now, once they’ve realized that nobody has really bought their genderized ideas about Chunky vs. Regular soup… they’ve decided to rectify this by trying it all over again? It didnt work the first time; do they really think it’ll work now that they’ve recolored the label and added the words “fully loaded”?

  37. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane July 23, 2009 at 1:45 pm |


    Obviously we need to develop binary-smashing food items, like stouwp, or androgycheese.

    We would do well to follow the progressive lead of Goober, which has been striking down the peanut butter/jelly binary since 1968!

    Also, I think that book would more accurately be titled My Year as Jimmy Kimmel (unless you included a tendency to believe in moon hoax conspiracies, then it could be My Year as Joe Rogan).

  38. Renee
    Renee July 23, 2009 at 4:32 pm |

    I cannot believe this is not some sort of ridiculous comedy skit…Honestly soup is manly?

  39. Napalm Nacey
    Napalm Nacey July 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm |

    Solo lie. It IS fizzy, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s freakin’ tangy and it’s VERY lemony. My favourite lemon squash lemonade, actually.

    This soup ad really reflects a thread in Australian culture of mocking the 70s/80s “Manly Sweaty Outdoorsman” stereotype of Australian men, but it strangely, at the same time, reinforces it. Aussie men have a lot of pressure to be these tough extreme-sports types, as the outdoors is an expected way of life here, especially including any sort of sports. So I find ads like the Chunky Soup one a welcome relief to the background noise of media. Plus, I think, as the city-dwelling Aussie guys strive to be more sophisticated and urban, they’ll continue to mock the ol’ Crocodile Dundee idea of the Australian man. It’s a celebrated idea but I think most guys know that it’s a rare man that can measure up to it. Maybe Steve Irwin. Or Harry Butler. Or the guy that is like Harry Butler but goes fishing a lot up north.

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