Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shallow Eyes

The Super Bowl hip-hyped juggernaut has left town. Joe Flacco is off to Disneyland and the 49niners are off licking their wounds and electricians are off to the Super Dome. The only things left are the second-guessing and the criticisms.

One of the weird phenomena created by the Super Bowl is the Super Bowl Commercials. These have become almost as anticipated as the game itself. It has also spawned the bizarre annual TV Show where people sit for an hour watching commercials only interrupted occasionally for a commercial by the sponsors. Is that an only in America moment or what?

I find a lot of people liked the Doritos Goat ad this year. I thought the Ram Truck ad was a perfect ad. It was like a little History Channel show, a beautifully photographed collection of farmers shown against the narration of Paul Harvey in praise of these men and women of the soil. It was a two-minute tribute and only at the very end did you find out who it was for and that was brilliant. Not only a matching of product to a targeted audience, but after it was done I actually knew who the sponsor was even though Ram Trucks was mentioned only briefly.

Another ad that drew a lot of comment was for Go-Daddy. I do not know why, but some years back Go-Daddy's ad agency decided to go with the tasteless, somewhat sleazy, sex-tease ads. I suppose on the theory that sex sells. Many of their pitches featured scantily clad models promising you could see more by going to the website. They even hired race driver Danica Patrick as their pitch person What any of this has to do with a business that registers domain names and hosts websites I do not know. (Somewhat incongruous, my church's website is registered by Go-Daddy.)

To many, though, Go-Daddy stepped over a line this year with their Sexy meets Smart ad. I have read a  number of critical comments on the social networks concerning this one and every one I saw was very negative. The general feeling was of a mutual disgust with the presentation. In case you did not see this particular little display it went this way. Danica Patrick, dressed in her racing leathers stands off to one side of a bench. Seated upon this bench are two people, a model that is introduced as  Bar Rafaeli. I never heard of her and her name sounds much like a Key West watering hole where Hemingway might have hung out, but she is called Sexy. Next to her is an obviously short, overweight young man called only Walter. He wears glasses, has blotchy skin and is dressed in stereotypical nerd fashion. He is called Smart. After this introduction, Danica said, "Together they're perfect."

We are now treated to a close-up of these two kissing accompanied by a lot of slurping sound effects. It really is rather disturbing to watch and one would expect there might be some protest about this prolonged and intimate kiss on a show where kids are watching. At least in this Go-Daddy ad everyone keeps their clothes on. There was protest, too. However as a long ago Sociology Major I was fascinated  by what the criticism focused upon.

It wasn't what one might expect. Most of the reaction was repulsion that this (allegedly) beautiful woman would engage in such a kiss with such an (allegedly) repulsive looking man. "Eww, how could she lock lips with that ugly nerd?" was even stated.

Oh how shallow we are. This was not people reacting to some moral breakdown. It was people showing their prejudice against someone who wasn't considered good looking. If this kiss had been presented between Bar (who names their daughter Bar anyway) and one of those gyrating gentlemen in the Calvin Klein underwear ad (on right and another inappropriate ad for the game) would there have been as much negative comment?

This ad was so objectionable on so many levels besides bad taste. For one, look at the idea that to be smart you must also be homely or socially awkward. For another, the idea that two people who are far different in their appearance couldn't seriously be in love. But yet, so many people embraced those two bias and were turned off by this beauty and the beast match up. Go stand in the corner with the ad execs of Go-Daddy and be ashamed for your shallowness...and take Calvin Kein with you.


Ron said...

Bar was the Israeli girlfriend of Leonardo DiCaprio. I wasn't put off by the "beauty and beast" aspect of the lip lock but the slurping, overlong kiss. What was that all about. Even if Bar was kissing the Calvin Klein model, I would have been equally offending by the slurping sounds as I am whenever I see and hear it in movies. Even if it were two gay men, I would think it is tasteless (no pun intended). But GoDaddy got the publicity and maybe that's what they were after so the terrorists really did win. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I'm a blogger friend of Ron. I've been reading some of your stuff, and enjoying it.


Sean R.

John Gray said...

I will echo Sean
I especially enjoyed your previous post.....
I met Shirley steel fox when she was visiting a family member in hospital
She was a real diva even then, and had as I recall a bottle of champagne in her hand