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We went to the Stowe Antique and Classic Car Show today, held in, of all places, Nichols Fields in Stowe, VT. This is its 57th year, and it's the largest car show in the state.

Read more... )
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Janna and I hit the Dollars for Scholars Train Show this morning, conveniently located blocks away from where we now live. I spent hours making panorama shots and correcting the nasty yellow fluorescent cast on all these photos, so witty captions will be sparse.

Read more... )
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Lewis Buchspics set up the layout below at about 3 feet off the ground so that kids could easily view it. Since most layouts were at least 4, if not 5, feet off the ground, kids flocked to this one, attracted as well by the copious flashing lights, sound effects, fake smoke and motorized set pieces.

Read more... )
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I came across a text ad on Amazon.com that said:

Transgender Voice Surgery -- Travel to Korea for Cutting Edge Voice Feminization Surgery. Call us. <Web site>

"Cutting Edge?" Yikes!

They could have said "new and improved" or "technologically advanced" or "the latest techniques," but no...they had to use slice-and-dice imagery. How gruesome and unattractive. I don't think the creators of this ad took a moment to think about the implications of their phrasing. Blech.
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Hulu is playing ads for the Samsung Focus Flash smart phone these days, and both ads that I've seen so far piss me off because they both contain mockery of men who dare to deviate from culturally presecribed masculinity.

In one ad, a man tries on a pink shirt and black tights, then asks his friends via phone, "Do I look like an ice skater?" Despite his female significant other's assurance that he looks fine, his social network [whom he calls "the guys"] respond with jibes such as "Man down." These comments imply that Pink Shirt is losing his manhood by a) wearing such an outfit and b) allowing his female significant other to select clothing for him. Pink Shirt's peer group polices masculinity by teasing and shaming those who deviate from the machismo of current U.S. masculinity.

In the other ad I've seen, two men are threatening each other with things to post to Youtube. Friend A shows a video of Friend B crying at a movie, calling it a video of "a sad, sad man," with sad meaning both "unhappy" and also "pathetic" here. When Friend B teases Friend A about a comment from Friend A's girlfriend, Friend A threatens to post a video of Friend B in a shower cab in bathtub, washing his legs. Friend A impugns Friend B's masculinity by showing Friend B doing "effeminate" things such as crying at a movie or wearing a shower cab in the tub. The social network, like Friend A, who calls Friend B "a sad, sad man," responds instantly with derision.

I can't believe this campaign. The whole point of this phone is to easily update one's social networks, and the best way the execs can think to do this is by having the characters insult one another's gender expression? It's a sad, sad ["unhappy" + "pathetic"] view of social networks as promoters of rigid joyless conformity. It's also a sad, sad view of friendship as superficial togetherness masking secret wells of nasty criticism.
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I just came across an outrageous online ad for Mastercard. It said that, if you sign up for this special, you can spend $200.00 online and get a $20.00 gift card. I have no objection to the particular promotion itself, but it's the framing of the promotion that enrages me. It's targeted explicitly toward moms, including the text in the subject line of my entry.

This ad assumes that...

1) Everyone viewing it does holiday [i.e., Xmas] shopping.

2) Those who do shop are mothers. Other people don't shop.

3) The best way to reward people for undergoing the aggravating, time-consuming, frequently stressful, often anxiety-producing business of shopping is to give them more money so they can do more shopping. That doesn't sound like a reward to me.

This ad just recapitulates the tired sexist trope that mothers are responsible not for a family's support or earning, but for a family's consumption and happiness [in the form of gifts]. The gift card that urges its recipients to spend $20.00 more than the $200.00 they already have, to mother more, to consume more, to do more for the holidays, to somehow be better mothers.

The kyriarchy is never satisfied. It denigrates women, but then expects them to achieve impossibly high standards of feminine "perfection." One can't win!
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Clearly this SNL commercial for "Estro-Maxx" trades on the expected amusement value of the male actors playing trans women as if the trans women are really men in unconvincing drag. The vignette in which the woman goes through the full-body scanner, causing the security officer to make lewd, unprofessional expressions, also makes light of actual, real-life concerns about such technology's abuse and invasion of privacy.

Confession

Aug. 4th, 2011 11:14 am
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My favorite part of Ms. Magazine was always the last page, showing a collection of sexist ads sent in by readers.
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How awful is this commercial? Not only does the male protagonist clearly privilege the alcohol over the woman, but he doesn't give a care that the woman is smothered in the couch. That's not funny.
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This literal drug commercial parody is pretty hilarious, especially if you take drugs. Watch the little text on the bottom of the screen.
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Latinworks made a series of ads for activelifemovement.org, each depicting sedentary, fat versions of childhood toys, surrounded by the detritus of junk food. The tagline is "Keep obesity away from your child." Yup...because we all know that fat is a horrible contagious disease invading from outside, and body shape and weight have nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with sitting around and stuffing your face, and, with enough willpower, you can enforce skinniness! Besides its misinformed, moralizing scare tactics directed towards weight, the version below the cut also features a problematic reshaping of a fashion doll body, a plastic icon already well analyzed for its vexed cultural messages. Nasty, misogynist, anti-fat piece of drivel.

I do want that doll, though, as well as some of the fat little Playmobil pirates seen in another ad in the series. This series makes me think that I should try again to make a fat doll. My first fat doll, Margie, came out pretty well, but I couldn't sculpt fats on her because I didn't have the right modeling compound. Now that I have some Sculpey, I can add fats to a doll's head and body!   Beware! Eeeeeeevil fats! )
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This beautiful collection of ads, centering on U.S. ads from the 1930s through the 1950s, portrays the tobacco industry's cover-up of their drug's deadly effects on users. Note how the manufacturers target especially vulnerable populations such as teenagers, college students, women and people of color. Bastards.
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What do you think of these ads over on SocIm? Frankly, they creep me out. This is what I said over there:

People of color as backdrop! Gun as penis! Murder as victory! YAAAAAAAY!

Beyond these things, I’m trying to articulate why this series is disturbing to me, perhaps because it brings cartoon characters into the non-cartoon world and gives them realistic remains. Most of the characters shown are heavily anthropomorphized, which adds an extra layer to their death. The trope of “big game hunt” doesn’t really fly for me when I see a tree with a sad humanoid face with its limbs amputated. What do other people think?


I'd like to hear opinions from other people.
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Thanks to Sociological Images' post about makeup for men, I found the KenMen Web site, where appear many types of makeup and skin care products for men. Or, at least, they are aimed at men, with language that connotes machismo and aggression. The defensive deployment of language all over the site -- in a strident attempt to convince consumers that the products are not coded either feminine or queer -- is enthralling. Interestingly enough, despite KenMen's exertions to heterosexualize and masculinize makeup, it still sells foundation with the name Cream Me Face Base. To me, at least, the phrase "cream me" says "ejaculate on my face," which, if the implied consumer is a man getting ejaculated on, sounds rather gay.

P.S. Someone needs to take an international poll about the associations of the name Ken. My first association is with Barbie's boyfriend, who is connoted as an anatomically incorrect, bland, largely useless and even outright stupid character. Therefore, I don't find KenMen an auspicious name for a men's makeup company. But perhaps the name has different associations elsewhere around the world.

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Is it porn? An anti-abuse PSA? An ad for a kinky sex club? Nah...it's just part of Declare Yourself's "controversial" print campaign to encourage voter registration. I take it to task on SocIm.
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As illustration for a dipshitty article about "Mistress Palin," the dipshits at Salon added a dipshitty Photoshop of Palin dominating a moose, which is supposed to represent the country.Read more... )
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An ad for "Spam Fiesta Peach Cups" in Family Circle, April, 1956, would have you think so. Even given some of the gloriously flamboyant casseroles of this period, this recipe still sounds like the half-baked brain fart of a desperate, hung-over promotions board hopped up on Vivarin.Read more... )

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So implies this ad for Goodyear Tires from the August 2, 1937 issue of Life. Everyone looks depressed about the fact that the boy's in a wheelchair, from the boy himself to his sister and even the dog. I'd be kind of depressed too if I were teetering on the edge of a porch [notice that Sis has one leg up on a step] without a freakin' guard rail.

Besides the equation of wheelchair use and complete cessation of enjoyable life, also note ad's use to guilt to sell you tires: "Buy these tires or your son will end up CRIPPLED and MISERABLE because YOU didn't by blow-out-proof tires."

Thank you, Gallery of Graphic Design, for this ad, along with an endless bounty of other 20th-century ads.
Read more... )
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Oh joy, there's more misogynistic goodness added to my SocIm post about anti-Palin sexism, including more heinous examples contributed by commenters. There's enough material to criticize her on, including her anti-choice, pro-guns, anti-sex-end, pro-abstinence, politically corrupt, nepotistic wheeling and dealing. One's sex is not a point of criticism, mockery or contention. Grow up, you stupid bigots! Man, I get so exhausted at societal stupidity sometimes. 
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You know how I was talking about the Old Spice centaur recently? Well, apparently, the Web site for the Double Impact shower gel shows the male model in hybrids with other animals and things [YouTube video here].

1. Man/slug. [Why are his pecs heaving like that?]

2. Man/cannon [aimed right at you, ready to fire balls].

3. Man/"mighty redwood tree."

4. Man/cobra.

5. Man/octopus.

6. Man/fishstick.

7. Man/tap-dancing cowboy.

8. Man/tank [gun pointed directly at you].

Eurgh. That video made me want to throw up. I love therianthropes, even if they are people combined with tentacular things or snakes, so I'm certainly not puking at the combination of humans with non-human animals. I'm puking at the crappy artistic values of the hybridization and the undiscriminating stupidity of the philosophical concept behind the commercial. Not only are all the non-human parts obviously static and image-doctored, but they are also completely inconsistent, including living things, non-living things, other humans, non-human animals, plants, food and weapons. Pick a class of objects and stick with it, people. Seriously, watching that video gives me a stomach-turning case of thematic whiplash.



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As of this weekend, I'm a member blogger at Sociological Images, a blog staffed mostly by people with advanced sociological degrees who collect pop culture images for sociological commentary and analysis. In my inaugural post, I discuss the sexist "McCain/MILF '08" crap that's already being marketed mere seconds after the news that Alaskan gov Sarah Palin is McCain's VP pick. I'm looking forward to blogging there; I think it will be a lot of fun.
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Yay! I love centaurs. They are one of my favorite therianthropic creatures. Here's one shilling for Old Spice Double Impact body wash. Watch the commercial on YouTube, and see a screencap below.
Hung like a horse? Nah. )
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Thanks to humorist Dave Barry, we are all aware that the Hillman Minx is one of the silliest cars in existence. The hilarity ratchets up a notch when you look back on this ad from a time not so long ago [1955] when the first meaning of "gay" was NOT "homosexual."
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La La A Go Go has a whole Flickr set of beautiful repros of 1960s Barbie ads! More later after I flick through them...
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We frequent several grocery stores within walking distance of our apartment: a Whole Foods [for produce], a Trader Joe's [for frozen food], a local co-op [for milk and quick trips and a Shaw's/Star Market [for prepared foods and to recycle bottles and plastic bags]. All of these stores sell reusable cloth shopping bags, which we use about 75% of the time. But only Whole Foods sells the reusable bags that piss me off.

As shown in this online store, the annoying reusable bags are bright yellow with the following message on them: I'M SAVING THE PLANET. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

This conspicuous, confrontational environmentalism pisses me off because its point is not just to "save a tree," but also to "look fashionable while doing it" [quote from organize.com]. I have a problem with pro forma environmentalism where the appearance of environmentalism matters more than actual actions, as is the case with this bag. The text on the bag equates "saving the planet" with using this particular bag or, by extension, making a show of one's environmentalism. 

Furthermore and much more problematically, the implied contrast between the owner who is "saving the planet" and the audience who is being interrogated suggests that the audience is not doing anything to save the planet. The audience may be doing environmentally conscious activities in other areas of life; or the audience may have mitigating factors that prevent them from spending extra money in order to flaunt their environmentalism like white urban bourgeois hipsters. The bag will not admit of these possibilities. In the limited calculus of the bag, bag = saving the planet = cool. No bag = harming Mother Earth = evil. At first this bag seems like a minor irritant, but it's actually an explosive mess of classist [and possibly racist] assumptions.
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From Duke University's Ad*Access, a digital collection of many ads from the 20th century, comes a 1950 ad for Zonite vaginal douche. Playing directly on fears of ostracism, the ad warns that dire consequences will befall those women who do not douche: "homes broken up, few social invitations, the feeling of being shunned without knowing WHY!" Beware, ladies -- heterosexual HELL will be yours unless you harass your vaginal canals with a liquid that removes the self-cleaning mucous secretions of the canal walls themselves and leaves you susceptible to infections. Your husband won't want to have sex with you; no one will even want to talk to you; society will collapse, and it will all be YOUR FAULT.

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The entire back catalog of Jump Cut, an analysis mag of pop culture, is online. Ooooooh.

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This is what I have to say about the racist, sexist New Yorker cover portraying Barack and Michelle Obama as militant Islamic [?] terrorists: 

1. It's only satire if it's obvious to intelligent, discerning viewers that it's satire. Intelligent, discerning viewers at Feministing and Michelle Obama Watch [and other blogs rounded up by MOW] do not, at the very least, think it's obvious. If it's satire, then it's bad satire. It hits the rim of the SATIRE basket and falls into the trash heap.

2. Privileged people hardly ever make innocent fun of people who do not have a certain privilege. Whatever its actual editorial make-up, the New Yorker represents dead white male power; so the cover represents dead white male power making fun of African-American people. Since dead white male power and all those who support it have a long, sordid history of making fun of African-American people, this cover joins that tradition of sexist, racist bigotry.

I E-mailed the New Yorker and the cartoonist [Barry Blitt] with the above message, which will do exactly shit.

EDIT: HAH! Blitt's mailbox is full. Looks like he's being roundly criticized [and probably praised from some quarters] by many others.

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In the spirit of The Gallery of Regrettable Foods, Wendy Mclure mocks revolting 1970s vintage Weight Watchers Technicolor recipe cards. Hilarious.

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From Shakesville. The Times Online covers a thriving tangent of the toy industry in its article "Disability dolls become more popular." Dolls like this are nothing new, as far as I'm concerned, so what interests me about this article is the people who object -- OBJECT -- to the very concept of dolls portraying people with disabilities. 
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From Shakesville, Paul McAleer of Big Fat Blog posting...This horrid TV commercial on the Realize Gastric Band site equates the controversial stomach reduction surgery known as gastric banding with happiness, success and fulfillment. It does so with dramatized examples of 1) a fat man playing with his karate-learning kidsy and 2) a fat woman slow-dancing with her [also fat] romantic partner. The fat man in 1) says, "I want to watch my little warrior do karate" or something very similar. The fat woman in 2) says, "I want to kiss him [romantic partner] under the Eiffel Tower." 

The commercial goes on to tell viewers how the Realize Band can help them get what they want. "Ask your doctor if bariatric surgery is right for you," the voiceover encourages. The commercial concludes with how wonderful the Realize Band is, especially since you can track your success and have a support group. Incidentally, "tracking your success" is accompanied by a picture on a user's computer screen of a line graph showing a steady trend downward. We also see an animated female morphing from fat to less fat.

This ad is offensive for so many reasons. Where do I start?
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While poking around online, looking for more information about DiD's Hitler Youth figs [one of which, Timo Ducca, will be supplying Davry's head], I found another Hitler Youth fig [Hermann Weber] sold at a site called PzG. Billed as "Your Third Reich Nazi Adolf Hitler HQ!," this site promises products "void of distracting propaganda and politically correct distortions." What does that mean? Uh, that means you can get reproductions of anti-Semitic posters put out by the Nazi regime, mouse pads with Hitler portraits, costumes for reenactors and 1:6 figs of WWII German soldiers.

Why yes -- it's an Internet storefront run by white supremacists, a fact reinforced by the photos of satisfied customers giving straight-armed salutes. The militant, defensive, unreasoning hatred oozing from this site -- even though it pretends to be reasonable and balanced -- makes me feel queasy. I am distressed that some weirdo extremists want to glorify and relive what other people find interesting for historical, admonitory or just military reasons.
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With Barack Obama cinching the Democratic nomination for President, he and his family now suffer even more scrutiny and bullshit from those who can't bear the thought of a black guy in the world's most powerful office. Michelle Obama Watch, a newly instituted blog, stays on top of one form of prejudice in particular: those attacks directed at Michelle Obama and the "wee Michelles" :D, Sasha and Malia. Stay on top of the poo-flinging from all quarters with this rapidly [and tragically] expanding Web site.

P.S. Ever since developing a minor obsession with the notoriously shielded Chelsea Clinton, who moved into the White House when she was a teenager just a few years younger than me, I've been particularly vigilant about the mainstream media's use of Presidential or possibly Presidential kids. I supported the Clintons' decision to privatize Chelsea as much as possible, and I continually applaud Chelsea's opacity and reserve in the face of the press constantly asking her stupid prying questions. I think that her parents' attempts to create a Poo-Flinging-Free Zone around Chelsea in her childhood allowed her to develop into the tough character that she is today. Now that she is an adult and the anti-poo shields are down, she clearly has a force field of determination and composure that allows her to resist the intrusive idiocy of the mainstream media.

I see the Obamas creating the same Poo-Free Zone for Sasha and Malia. While Sasha and Malia appear with their parents at campaign events and while their dad refers to them in interviews, both Sasha's mom and dad protect them from direct interrogation. They also do not exploit their girls as campaign symbols. I have hope that they will keep such vigilant protection around Sasha and Malia for as long as the Obamas remain in the political arena, not because the wee Michelles :D are delicate feminine flowers that can be shattered easily by animosity, but because they are kids who deserve a healthy environment in which to grow up. A healthy environment means one in which they can build realistic self-concepts without people constantly questioning and criticizing them.

All of this is to say that one of the recent entries in the Michelle Obama Watch especially unnerves me. It's the entry about an artist whose exhibit, The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama, included a picture of Sasha and Malia labeled "nappy-headed hos." It's bigoted and stupid and racist and objectionable to launch such nasty aspersions at any member of the Obama family, but it's especially bigoted, stupid, racist and objectionable to use these terms to describe the Obama daughters, who, as children under the age of all marks of adulthood [voting, driving, drinking, consenting], are minors without power or recourse to defend themselves from such stupidity. The artist's statement that he wanted to "raise dialog" about "substantive things" misses the point that name-calling people who are littler than you actually kills the opportunity for civil discourse, even if you think you're doing it ironically. Inflammatory language like "nappy-headed hos" makes you look like an insensitive douchebag who's so out of touch with reality that he doesn't realize the punishing power of language, especially when wielded by the powerful over the powerless.

I'm trying to think of a tag for entries that discuss "race," ethnic background, skin color and related stereotypes, bigotry, beliefs, etc.

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Feministing links to a recent PETA  "demonstration" outside City Hall in Memphis during Vegetarian Week. With a mostly naked man and woman splattered in red paint and wrapped in plastic wrap on an 80 degree F + day, PETA is apparently demonstrating that inhumane, degrading treatment of non-human animals may not be okay, but inhumane, degrading treatment of people is perfectly fine. Mike Brown, photog for the Commercial Appeal, who photoed the event, agrees with me on the astounding levels of hypocrisy and sadism demonstrated in PETA's stupid, sexist tactics. Aforementioned photo is below the cut. Take the link about Mike Brown for complete context. I previously discussed objectification of women as meat here. 
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Have you seen the banner ad below, featuring a wiry, muscular and thoroughly cool-looking guy in a wheelchair? This ad [my copy comes from www.lovebyrd.com, a dating site for people with disabilities] promotes Disaboom, a site of news, networking and such for people with disabilities and their hangers-on. 
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Sociological Images drew my attention to Viktoria [interview and photos here], the May 2008 cover model for Bizarre, a British glossy about fetish activities and style. Viktoria is a woman in her early 20s who designs and models fetishwear. Her left leg is amputated below the knee. As Lisa asks in SocIm:

What makes Viktoria “bizarre”?  Is it her amputated leg?  Is it the fact that she has an amputated leg and is still incredibly sexy?  Or is it that she has an amputated leg and still considers herself a sexual person?
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Excuse me while I sit here drooling over the way the man dramatically wipes his lipstick, making it trail across his face like an exposure of his secret skin and the way the woman discloses her bound breasts with a fluid movement, shucking her shirt as if it's petals of a flower. Found at Sociological Images.

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Check it out. The first creature that appears in this commercial, the krasue, is a variant of the self-detaching, flying mananagal or penanggalen -- a southeast Asian type of vampiric creature -- that I've mentioned earlier. I love how dismissively the family reacts to the mythical beings. 
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So I was flipping through the "Orlando Official Vacation Guide 2008," a glossy publication of the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Most of the pages cover conspicuous consumption, such as resorts, golf and shopping, although there are 6 pages about "Heritage," including a pitch for the Orange County Regional History Center, which tells the "story of Orlando -- from the Seminole Indians to Mickey Mouse -- through interactive exhibits."

Anyway, the "Attractions" section is fronted by a two-page spread that tries to guilt readers into consuming said attractions. I've scanned the pages below because I'm most interested in the way that the ad copy defines childhood, the supposed "problems" of childhood and "Attractions" as the cure.
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The two ads for Barska binoculars are part of a print trio that trivializes stalking. From Ads of the World, as noticed by Shakesville. To compound the creepiness, the supposedly female stalker is actually a guy in drag [note Adam's apple], a move that adds extra layers of dismissal and degradation. While some commenters opine that the series is creepy [see Shakesville comments], sexist and stupid, the majority seem to think it is funny [see Ads of the World comments or that it deserves "kudos." No, it doesn't.

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Over on wtf_japan, I discovered a beautiful life-sized doll of an elderly woman, apparently designed to help personal care attendants practice caring activities for elderly people. She's beautiful! She looks like she is going to tell you stories. Go here for translations, in case you couldn't get the gist from the pictures.
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...I never thought I'd see them copping to it in an ad of theirs. Can you guess what the ad below [by Haye and Partner, Unterhaching, Germany, ganked from Ad Goodness] is selling? Frankly, my first guess was "shit sandwiches." Fossilized sandwiches? Coprolite sandwiches? Answer below ad.

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Subject: Vacuum cleaner ad below, ganked from Inventorspot. Sorry...I don't have a larger version, and the only context that I have is that it's an ad for a German appliance. Too good to pass up, though.

Topics of discussion: "sex sells," objectification, gender roles, mainstream commodification of BDSM subculture, differences between advertising norms in different countries.

Ready, set, discuss!!
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Sociological Images posts images, primarily ads, specifically for people to tear apart in an academic context. Lots of fun! I should become a contributor.

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Dunkelziffer creates a viscerally effective PSA about the importance of helping kids who experience sexual abuse. A slithering arm/penis thing, covered with hair and moles, appears at various points in a woman's life, leaving only when she's dead. Ad accurately transmits the deep disturbance and revulsion that survivors of abuse can feel in almost any situation, as well as the feelings of disgust, invasion and violation. Also great use of the arm/penis thing to depict how the abuse seems to take on a life of its own. One and a half minutes of pathos and horror.

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Yeah, I'm probably really behind the curve here, but here's a British ad for Heinz Beans. I like that the transman seems confident, relaxed and happy, while the bio man's head looks like it's going to explode. His confusion and trans-related anxiety seems to be the butt of the joke more than anything. Your sex may change, but never your love for baked beans.

The transman's self-ID as Christine rings false, though. Even though he says, "It's Christine!", it's NOT Christine. It USED TO BE Christine. Now it's whatever his current name is. If I were in that situation, I would say something like, "Hi, [FormerClassmate]! I'm [MyName]! We went to school together." Then I would talk generally from that commonality and explain a bit later that I used to be [MyFormerName] if [FormerClassmate] was still confused about how he knew me.
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As a follow-up to my analysis of Svedka Vodka's stvpid ads targeted toward straight viewers, here's an equally pathetic attempt by the same company to target gay viewers. 

According to the copy, Svedka Vodka is right up there with clipping your toenails, taking out the trash, watching paint dry, doing laundry and all those other value-neutral activities that gay men would rather be doing than having sex with women. That's hardly a ringing endorsement. Heck, I don't even think this endorsement can reach the bell. If it does, it just bounces off like a foam ball, having made no sound on impact.

Svedka Vodka: Making useless, gratuitous, confrontational and meaningless comments about your sexuality since 2006.
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Phoenixmasonry, a Web site for and about U.S. Freemasons, contains scans of a fascinating catalog, DeMoulin Bros. Fraternal Supply Catalog No. 439. Published in 1930, this pamphlet contains elaborate, expensive gag devices designed to trick and entertain people at Masonic gatherings. 

Many of the pages feature items containing goats, such as the Ferris Wheel Coaster Goat, which combines a blindfolded rider, a toy goat, bleating sound effects and a starter's pistol, all in some gyroscope-like device, for maximum disorientation sadism larfs results. 
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I got this for Copyranter, a copiously illustrated stream of snark about modern advertising. Fun fun.

Last year Svedka Vodka [?] advertised on phone booths in New York City with some transgender robots. Svedka_Grl, a cute robot, claims, "I'm a gay man trapped in the body of a fembot." I don't buy it. He should just be able to buy some mechanical attachments. If humans can modify bodies that they feel trapped in, why can't robots who are made to be modified?

I will accept the trope of using the objectified female form to sell something unrelated, like alcohol, but why mention gay men? To do so puts the viewer's mind into a series of mental contortions to figure out what exactly that means. [It means that the bot will come on strong to straight guys because it's a "trapped gay guy."] It may be memorable, but it's not clever or humorous or useful. [Here's an example of a funnier use of transgender imagery -- offensive, yes, but also funny. Incidentally, why is it the vodka ads that show such penis-o-phobia?] Svedka apparently wanted to put "gay" in there to be edgy and hip, but they come across as copywriters flinging words wildly against a wall to see what will stick.

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