Share This

Wonderfully Awful: MANvertising


a blogumn by Robin Rosenzweig


Dear Advertising Agencies of America: who hurt you? Why does it seem like you hate women all of a sudden? I ask because I’ve noticed a recent trend in television commercials in which women are portrayed as everything from shrill, annoying harpies to the keys to the downfall of man. Let’s analyze, shall we?

Of course, there’s no better place to start than Super Bowl Sunday. Millions of Americans gather around their televisions on this one day not just to see the NFL championship game, but to also see highly anticipated commercial unveilings. And although I understand that the overwhelming target audience is men, it seems that advertisers this year forgot that women were even watching at all. The biggest culprit earned the distinction of being Exhibit A, and for the purposes of this examination I will call it Your Life Totally Sucks, Dude, But Hey, At Least You Have Your Precious Dodge:

So let me get this straight – with a sad, pathetic, blank face, the men of America will put up with year after year of annoying woman crap because, in return, they get to drive the car of their dreams? And that car is…a Dodge? Wow, that annoying woman crap must really break you down, fellas, if your dream car has been reduced to a Dodge. I suppose that part of the annoying woman crap that you deal with on a day-to-day basis is her telling you that you can’t afford a more high-end sports car. And you will accept that with a blank face so that you will settle for driving as fast as your Dodge allows.

Oh, and while you’re out in your Dodge, can you stop at the store and pick up some tampons?

Although I didn’t see our next example on Super Bowl Sunday, I have been bombarded with this series of ads in the last several weeks, and it has been driving me CRAZY – so much so that I have actually been considering changing banks. The ad campaign I speak of will be labeled as Exhibit B: The Trade Off For Being Rich Enough to Have a Chase Sapphire Card is Having to Date Awful, Money-Grubbing Women.

The commercials revolve around one couple where the man is repeatedly attempting to make use of the convenient features of his Chase Sapphire card only to be thwarted by his at times second-guessing and doubtful, and at other times downright sneaky lady friend. Here are two prime examples:

In the first, the man is simply trying to use the telephone concierge service that is provided to Chase Sapphire’s rich cardholders, a feature I would assume he’s used a hundred times before. And his former VIP cast member girlfriend responds in about the most daffy and inane manner possible, to which he responds with a smile. In the second, the man wants to take his hot lady friend on a vacation, but is thwarted in his plans after she maxes out the Chase Sapphire card on an expensive dress. And he responds with…a smile. I don’t know what’s worse: the portrayal of women in these commercials as gold digging bitches, or that the men are willing to put up with the gold digging bitchiness just to get a piece of hot ass. Now I’m no card carrying feminist by any means, but every time I see one of these ads I end up being needlessly filled with rage and want nothing more than to quit my bank. Is that really the desired effect?

At least this parody gets it right: