Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category


The Other Woman

16 April 2014

My wife and I saw yet another ad for the revenge-flick, The Other Woman. In it a woman discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her. He has another girlfriend and, as it turns out, a wife. The three become conspirators, gleefully torturing the adulterous man, usually through demeaning sexual pranks.

I told my wife that men would never be able to get away with that sort of thing, making a movie about systematically humiliating a libido-driven woman in such ways.

But I was wrong. That’s the script of most every porno ever made.


Manly Candy Flavors

4 October 2013

Candy companies have for a long time marketed to boys. Aside from rockets and bombs and superhero packaging, confectioners know that boys can’t resist gross-out foods from the innocuous gummy worm to candy boogers to the all-important barf-flavored jelly bean. More recently, products have been rolled out that cater to grown men – well, men who straddle the line between hobbyist gourmand and playground kiddo. Here are a handful of the more creative candy efforts:

1. Gummy Bacon
A bac candy

The 6.75″ strips are savory, smokey – and to be served raw.

2. Tequila Worm Lollipops

A teq worm

Tequila flavored (naturally) with actual worms imprisoned in the sugar shell.

3. Ugly Raz-Stout Fudge Balls

Chocolate chips, almond bark, and frozen raspberries congealed in Alaskan Brewing Company oatmeal stout. Find the recipe here.

4. Breast Milk Lollipops

A breastmilk lolli

While the company Lolliphile does not use the actual product, they swear their own flavor went through rigorous testing to make it taste as authentic as possible. Designed for children? Not at $2.50 a pop. Surely they are targeting those men willing to regress to Freudian simplicity for the sake of culinary science.

5.’s Manly Jelly Beans

Alright, so they never went through with it, but came up with a whole line of hypertrophied flavors: leather, chili dog, rattlesnake, war medal, gravel, hot wings, and (my favorite) headbutt. See them all right here.


Can Women Propose to Men on Leap Day?

29 February 2012

Of course, women can propose to men on any day they please, provided they are willing risk rejection and/or strange looks from general society.  But according to a  tradition dating to the 18th century and popularized during the Victorian period, women are especially permitted to propose to their man on February 29.  Leap Day proposals are discussed as possibilities in the USA, UK and Scandavian lands (though, from what I gather, rarely practiced).  Urban legends sometimes claim that she-proposing harkens back to Sts. Patrick and Bridget, but Patricia L. Richard claims it was only in 1864, with the advent of mass advertising, that any noteworthy number of people actually defended the right of a woman to pop the question on the rarified February day.


Hitman Sniper and Zombie Blood: Drinking Masculinity

6 September 2011

There was once a day – I’m thinking of the late 19th century – in which special drinks with dubious medicinal effects were sold on the basis of overconfidence in scientific breakthrough.  What has changed isn’t the wild claims and general quackery, but the kind of willful ignorance we as American consumers exhibit as we buy such products.  We know that 3 mg of Echinacea isn’t going to restore our entire psycho-somatic equilibrium.  But it sure feels good to buy a pretty can of sugar water labeled “Overdrive.”

As long as we’re buying 16oz containers of fantasy, why not market them with a gendered identity in mind?  With gender is more and more an ornamental accessory to our lives, we can finally drink ourselves into manliness.  Such has become the reality of 7-11 stores everywhere.  Marketers have pegged young males as the primary consumers of energy drinks, so much so that you’ll never see something advertised as “manly.”  That would unpoetic, stating the obvious.  Instead companies sell the feeling, offering something akin to the experience of primitive hunters amplifying their own power by consuming the life-essence from the slain.  Accordingly, we’re offered a veritable smorgasbord of dude-drinks with names like “Mountain Dew Game Fuel,” “Adrenalyn Stack,” “No Fear Bloodshot,” “TAPOUT,” and (my personal favorite) “Zombie Blood Energy Potion.” 

“Of course I’ve been awake for four days straight.  I’m an assasin-dunkmaster-executive-rockstar-bodybuilder-fratboy-ninja-warlord-executive who drinks zombie blood for breakfast.”

Not to leave anyone out, there are a handful of opened up for women’s energy drinks: “Redline Princess,” “Pink,” “Vixen Energy Drink.”  But the fact that these libations broadcast their femininity as loudly as possible just underscores the fact that marketers by and large have oriented sales to the peddling of masculine identity.  Kathleen E. Miller found that college undergraduate men on average consumed 2.49 energy drinks a month, compared with a modest 1.22 cans of the stuff among women (Journal of American Journal Health 56:5 [April 2008]). 

Miller does not claim a 1:1 correlation between energy drinks and irresponsible risk taking, but she warns that energy drink consumption is a good predictor of “toxic jock identity.”  I wasn’t aware that “toxic jock identity” was a condition, but, dear me, it sounds serious.  If only the energy drink industry would devise thirst-quenching technology with extracts to offset the symptoms of such macho ridiculousness in the first place.


Targets Your Gender Right Where You Need It

6 May 2011

It made my day to find this gem in Good Shepherd Episcopal’s rummage sale, totally unused and only a dollar.  The receipt, dating to 1971, was even in the box. 


Doritos, Undesireable Women, and Dude-love

11 February 2011

The Doritos Superbowl commercials were like Aaron Rodgers quarterbacking: some questionable decisions along the way, but dominant overall.  If any theme could be detected, it was a) the superiority of Doritos over all things, and b) the superiority of Doritos-fueled dude-love over relationships with women.  Consider with me the following.

Adam chooses Doritos over Eve and her apple:

A woman is unimpressed with her boyfriend and his Doritos games:

A man requires a girl to be covered in Doritos to fulfill his fantasy:

Indeed, Doritos found a way to shock us with cheese-coated homoeroticism:

Tres homoerotique:

Not without being ironic about it, of course:

But yes, dude-love triumphs once again in the Doritos domain:


Praying to the Virgin… in a Manly Way

3 April 2010

Even as a practicing Roman Catholic, David Calvillo had felt for years that praying the rosary was for old women.  But for men?  Manly men? 

Then, at a retreat, he went through the 59 beads (53 “Hail Marys” and six “Our Fathers”) with a large group of men.  It changed his attitude, and now he is trying to change other men’s minds about the vital importance of praying to the Virgin Mother. 

Calvillo, himself an accountant (and champion of his fantasy football league, he is quick to mention), encourages men to take up their rosary as part of the solid platform for being a godly man.  Praying to Mary, rather than being a capitulation to feminine power, is actually “a weapon of spiritual warfare” to help men overcome their temptations (Wall Street Journal, 2 Apr 2010, A5). 

Catholic men are taking notice, sometimes trading in their unused, feminine beads for newer, manlier ones.  One man has made a rosary out of ball bearings.  One manufacturer has come up with novelty designs for boys, including a rosary with football-shaped beads.  Calvillo, who himself has been known to use an iPhone rosary application, sells products and encourages this masculine subculture on his web site,