Getting a Rise Out of Television Ads

Written by Cathy

My husband has a pet peeve, and I think he just might be right about this one. Have you noticed the abundance of, to put it mildly, unflattering portrayals of middle-aged men on t.v.? This is not a new development, think Fred Flintstone or Ralph Kramden, neither one very attractive (I know, I am referring to a cartoon as unattractive, but bear with me), but both had smart, knock-out wives.  The King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond and Malcolm in the Middle followed this tradition, but there was something lovable about them. The Simpsons and Family Guy capitalized on in-your-face stupid dads. Did cartoons make it more palatable? Perhaps.

Now it seems you can’t watch t.v. without being hit over the head with dumb men commercials. Have you seen the Oikos commercial with the strikingly unattractive bather? His wife eats Oikos so that she envisions him as John Stamos:

Or how about the dad in the Hanes sock commercial? He believes the future lies in dipping feet in some kind of silicon goo.

Of course, his wise wife knows better.

My personal unfavorite is the guy in the Cottonelle toilet tissue ad. He gets a lecture from his ever-so-patient wife on how to back-up the roll. Yuck. Isn’t that the same man who plays the doofus in the Progressive ads? He and his partner in crime are the liar-liar-pants-on-fire competitors. He’s also the insurance man who can’t seem to remember his client’s name even after “knowing” her for years.

I really hope they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Then there are the dads who are posturing as authoritative and in control. In the Lowe’s ad, the father brags about the demands he made to the company while his teenage son views those “demands” stated on the delivery truck as standard practices.

This is the same tactic used in a Volkswagen ad. The dad is seen gesturing as if he is being a tough negotiator when in fact he is discussing baseball’s designated hitter and accepting the car deal–no questions.

As a wife and mom, I don’t want our men to be diminished. I don’t need them to be belittled so that I can be empowered. And I certainly don’t want to think that the only confident men on t.v. or elsewhere are those taking Cialis.



Categories: Emily

Tags: , , ,

6 replies

  1. I heartily agree! It makes me angry to see so many ads put men down, as I have so many times pointed out to Dave. Is this a female-run society? Why are they doing this? Why don’t men complain?

  2. I’m not sure the women look much better! We’re the knuckleheads who fall for these dolts in the ads. Ha!

  3. Thad wants to be this guy when he grows up…

  4. Let me try that again. Thad wants to be this guy when he grows up…

  5. Kathy, do you think this is another example of an unfortunate stereotype whose political correctness goes unchallenged?
    Thanks for checking in!

  6. Ali, is there any similarity that you can see?

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