Have you seen the ridiculous Old Spice commercial on TV? Just had to blog about it because it does a great job poking fun at gender stereotypes. Sure, it’s silly and isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still analyze it for kicks. Every message sheds insight on what goes tick tock upstairs.
The beginning is steamy. Literally. In the back, there’s a hot shower going, but nobody’s really paying attention to that because a handsome buff man’s speaking directly to us from his bathroom, clad in nothing but a towel. And he knows he’s hot…unless he’s overcompensating for an insecurity, of course.
Overly confident, the sex symbol says, “Hello, ladies! Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me.” (Yeah, because our man is real, and you’re a recreation of a cheesy leading man on a drugstore romance-novel cover.)
And he continues his profound soliloquy: “But if he stopped using lady-scented body washes, switched to Old Spice, what he could smell like is me.”
(So our man is less manly due to the body wash he uses because apparently there’s a certain type of body wash that real men supposedly use. Funny. I thought stereotypically masculine men were covered in oil and soot or held babies who look very uncomfortable being near bulging biceps. Firefighter calendars fail to depict reality? Consider my mind blown. Yeah right.)
“Look down. Now back up. You’re on a boat with a man your man could smell like.” (Hmm…when I think of sailors, I don’t think ‘fresh’. More like rum. And then rum makes me think of pirates. And then pirates make me think of unwashed men. And then unwashed men make me think of sexy Viggo in The Road. He’s the only man who can make being absolutely filthy look good.)
“What’s in your hand? Back at me. I am.” (Wow, he’s so full of himself! Is there any room for more love?)
And then he pulls a Houdini and performs a magic trick. “It’s an oyster,” he states the obvious as he holds it up, “with two tickets to that thing you love.” (Because apparently even mentioning musicals or concerts diminishes masculinity. Heck, better down a chili dog with a bottle of beer to regain face should you let it slip.)
“Look again. The tickets are now diamonds!” (Whoa, dude! Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. *rolls eyes*)
Now, I’ve been joking around with my side commentary, but the next thing he says completely rubs me the wrong way: “Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady.” (I hate being reminded that it’s a ‘man’s world’. Women need to do more than wipe the Glass Ceiling with Windex. Get a hammer. Call for reinforcements. Roll up those sleeves. Shatter the shit out of crippling expectations. Anything is possible when you have ambition!)
Despite all that, he still manages to make me laugh when the camera pans out, and he states the obvious (again) by saying, “I’m on a horse!”
While there are a lot of crappy or annoying commercials on TV, I really enjoyed this one because quite simply, it’s amusing and it puts the spotlight on some pretty ridiculous conceptions of what women want in their men. It also left me feeling slightly irritated (but not enough to dislike the commercial) because it paints women as being overly simple-minded and easy to influence. So really, this is a smart commercial that pushes buttons without setting off the smoke detector.
Watch the commercial. Now back to Glockoma. Now back to the commercial. Now back to Glockoma. (Groan! Hehe…I couldn’t resist saying that.)
Do ads like this that exaggerate gender stereotypes make you laugh? Or do they get under your skin because they’re scratching at the surface of something more serious? I’m so curious to hear what you think!