Watching last night’s Super Bowl, with the exception of the actual football being played, was like getting a blast from the past. And I’m not just talking about the geezers who played at halftime, though seriously, seeing Pete Townshend’s midriff multiple times was at least as traumatic as Janet Jackson’s nip slip ever was. I’m also talking about the fairly disturbing ad content.
The most disturbing was probably this one from Bridgestone:
Another bizarre ad was this one from Dodge:
The entire ad really confused me. If your life is that miserable, if it’s that hard for you to bring yourself to be an adult, you’re in the wrong type of relationship. Do yourself a favor and break up/get a divorce, and please, live alone, for the sake of humanity. The fact that the voiceover was Michael C. Hall from Dexter made the ad even more creepy to me. Like, if you don’t get that Dodge Charger, you might be forced to channel your emasculated rage into cutting women up into tiny pieces instead. Dodge in particular seemed to forget that women are also watching the Super Bowl, and we like cars, also. Maybe even Dodge Chargers, if the company weren’t going out of its way to let us know that they’re just for men.
And then there’s Flo TV. Maybe they’re overcompensating because Flo TV sounds like it should come with a complimentary iPad (see what I did there?), but this ad was also quite strange:
Perhaps all the dudes that Dodge and Flo TV are marketing to would be happier if they lived out in a field, with other men, away from the meddling influence of ladyfolk with their lingerie and recycling and crap. Then they could all get together and “wear the pants,” instead of a skirt, like poor emasculated Jason:
And then there was the sexism that wasn’t on TV, but in the room where I was watching the game:
There were more women than men at the watch party I attended, and even my husband noticed the creepy vibes in the ads, suggestions that women are just looking to trap men in relationships, and that no man could be happy in an egalitarian relationship. Perhaps someone should tell these ad agencies that if they want to sell us on something, they should stop relying on these neanderthal premises. Want to see an ad that truly worked? Leave it to Google: