This isn’t a post that is about pro-gayness vs. gay-bashing, the consumer vs. big bad evil news networks, Focus on the Family vs. the Pro-Choice Mongers, or Colts vs. the Saints. This isn’t about black vs. white, Team A vs. Team B.
This is a post about advertising and perception.
Most people following either football or gay rights issues have already heard of this growing controversy about Mancrunch.com looking for airspace on the Superbowl, only to be rejected by CBS for any number of convoluted reasons, including its “gayness” factor and the credit score of Mancrunch.com.
If you haven’t seen the ad, here you go:
Let’s discuss this marketing for a second.
First of all, ManCrunch.com? If it has anything to do with sex, I can’t think of one thing in related to sex or romance I would want to associate with using the word “crunch”. If something is crunching, you’re likely doing something absurd or illegal in 22 states. Here’s my thoughts of what happened:
“We need a name. Something catchy. And it needs the word “Man” in it.”
“How about ManCrush? Men having crushes on men. It’s cute, it’s simple, and implies romantic fun some gay men are seeking.”
“Hmm… ManCrush.com. But what if they think it’s about Crushing men? You know, like UFC or Boxing or something?”
“Good point. <pause> Ah hah! Men like eating potato chips. And potato chips go “crunch.”
“Oooooo, ManCrunch.com. I can see the Superbowl commercial already…. register that hot domain name at GoDaddy.com while its HOT!” *See GoDaddy’s effiminately-charged TV ad that was also rejected
So now that we’ve derailed the whole basis of this brand name, let’s delve further into this ad and why it’s total tripe:
First of all this ad sucks because, well, it’s just plain cheap. They must’ve spent all of their money on a single run of Airtime during the Superbowl because the ad looks cheap. It’s a backdrop that looks like it’s been attacked by roadsigns (including a “No Entry” sign), a couch and a bag of potato chips.
Secondly, it’s stupid. Only the most brain-numbed nincompoops would even possibly by amused by this boring and mediocre ad, which unfortunately make up about 80% of Superbowl advertising anymore. There’s nothing intellectually clever or stimulating about it, it’s just two guys watching football who randomly decide to make out to an equally non-clever lyrics “I wanna kiss this guy, I really really really wanna kiss this guy”. So to all of the lofty types, the better-than-thou-because-I’m-not-homophobic crowd, this ad sucks. For a social group stereotyped to be classy, fashionable, and artistic, even the least classy, fashionable, and artistic homosexual can’t even pretend this kind of dumbness does anything to aid the gay community.
Third, and most importantly, let’s evaluate what this ad implies to its audience of 100 million about homosexuality. First we see two men, presumably acting “straight” (because “straight” guys are eating potato chips and watching football in rooms full of road signs). After insulting his buddy, their hands touch reaching for potato chips and the lustful frenzy begins as blondie leaps on top of baldy and starts stage-kissing him. Cue music, cue logo, then we see a curious, confused, and bewildered guy staring from an armchair.
What makes this message different from any other public reaction of homosexuality? Wake up: This isn’t a message of social justice, social rebellion, or even being contrary. They’re trying to sell a product, in this instance a Website membership, drooling to ride a wave of dollars using the same tired perceptions and social controversy of homosexuality used over and over to get attention. In fact, the point of this ad seems to perpetuate the belief that all gays are first and foremost lustful attention-seekers and secondly, well maybe secondly, looking for meaningful relationships.
So you’ve got a mediocre ad that’s stupid and misrepresents the people it claims to represent, going so far as appealing with gay advocacy groups.
In a world of advertising boner pills, financial ads with close-ups of smiling humans, cheap watery beer, and processed corn chips, do what you will with this one. Just do it with common sense, forward-thinking, and principle.