I Know a Guy Who's Tough But Sweet/ He's So Fine, He Can't Be Beat

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Nick Gillespie already took this year's lame Superbowl ads to the woodshed, but Americablog's John in DC noticed that the "gay mechanics" ad for Snickers was part of a much larger promotion that went to a pretty ugly place. In the ad that aired, two mechanics eat the same Snickers bar and accidentally lock lips. They try to erase the shame by doing "manly things" like rip their shirts off. Here were three alternate ads that Mars filmed and put on a promotional site:

Ad 2 (Ad 1 is the original ad that aired): "Love Boat." After the guys kiss, a third guy walks up, effeminately brushes his hair out of his eyes, and says, "Is there room for three on this Love Boat?" as if he's gay.

Ad 3: "Motor Oil." After the guys kiss, they say "I think we just accidentally kissed—quick, do something manly," and proceed to drink motor oil and I think anti-freeze—they guzzle it down, screaming at the top of their lungs, making them sick to their stomachs.

Ad 4: "Wrench" (these are the actual names Snickers gave the ads). The two guys accidentally kiss, they say to each other again "quick, do something manly," and one guy proceeds to pick up a huge oversized wrench and violently attack the other guy, while the second takes the first and throws him under the hood of the car, slamming it down on his head.

I suppose Mars could have argued that attempting murder or chemical suicide are, indeed, "manly" actions. Instead, they've yanked the ads and their special site.

NEXT: Dept. of Drug War Analogies

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  1. What? Was having the guy from the Valtrex commercial singing a love ballad to another guy too alienating for too many potential Snickers enjoyers?

  2. If two gay guys beat each other up for being gay, is that a hate crime?

    – R

  3. I was expecting them to do “manly” things that were crypto-gay, a la Gay Pimp’s “Soccer Practice”. That would have been actually funny, especially since they came across as sufficiently clueless to not realize that was what they were doing.

  4. I’m having trouble giving a rats ass over anything superbowl related. It’s just another cultural affectation that too many people get far too interested in.

    Am I supposed to be outraged about something here? At what? Offending gay people? Offended gay people? Stupid corporate behavior? Stupid sheeple backlash? Lack of backlash?

    meh

  5. Social events on Madison Avenue must be a laff-riot these days.

  6. And to get all culture war-ish for a moment, I suppose it reflects what the average ad person assumes is on the mind of the average Cro-Mag football fan living in flyover country.

  7. Um, how exactly does an ad that ridicules homophobic — or at least embarrased — men, become a promotion of “violence against gays and lesbians”? America is full of overly sensitive people who are offended at the drop of a hat, or in this case, a candy bar. Grow up and join the rest of us who are satirized every day without getting all weepy and indignant.

  8. Warren, I guess you could be pissed that someone is encouraging gay-bashing to sell candy bars.

    And B.P., the “winning” ad was to be aired at the Daytona 500.

  9. ed, I agree that the aired Super Bowl ad was ridiculing homophobia, but the Wrench ending is a bit over the top, don’t you think?

  10. the “gay mechanics” ad for Snickers was part of a much larger promotion that went to a pretty ugly place.
    I suppose Mars could have argued that attempting murder or chemical suicide are, indeed, “manly” actions

    Geebus, is this still Reason? What kind of whiny H&R post is this? Did the bad commercials offend your sensibilities?

  11. “but the Wrench ending is a bit over the top, don’t you think?”

    Pshaw. Over the top? It’s just carrying the thing to the next level. We’re a big nation of pussies…since when is a good ol’ fashioned redneck fight considered “attempted murder”. I think we need to see more stuff like this…and maybe, someday, this milksop nation of ours will regrow some nuts. And I’m not talking “do manly shit for no reason”…I’m talking about “oh, I’m not such a puss that a commercial involving faux violence is gonna offend my fragile sensibilities.

  12. val, I think that by at least tacitly endorsing homophobia, these commercials fell far short of Gillespie’s Antinomy Quota, thereby earning his everlasting scorn.

    The ad wasn’t funny. But the reactions of some of its critics certainly have been.

  13. Stupid sheeple backlash?

    Can we start a backlash against the term ‘sheeple’? Seriously – that’s soooo 2003. While we’re at it, can we start a backlash against things being soooo some-date-in-the-past?

  14. Complaining about the hype around the superbowl & the disappointing commercials is pretty cliche at this point. Isn’t it time for the Reason crew to do their ironic shtick where they write an article about how the Superbowl represents all that is good about our culture, and that there are all sorts of cool things in those ads if you just were cool enough to see them? Might want to put that on the schedule for next year. Oh, and don’t forget to praise the halftime entertainment.

    Prince rocked, by the way…See I’ve already beat you to it, and I am several degrees away from cool.

    šŸ˜‰

  15. I was expecting them to do “manly” things that were crypto-gay, a la Gay Pimp’s “Soccer Practice”. That would have been actually funny, especially since they came across as sufficiently clueless to not realize that was what they were doing.

    Yeah, I was kinda hoping for that too. Would’ve been funny and – given the level of homoeroticism in your average football game – wholly appropriate.

  16. At least it isn’t a fudge product. Imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth over that one. How big is the “gay” demo anyway? Is Snickers losing out on it or something? I don’t get it. Is it to sell to that demo or to prove to others how “open minded” they are. Sort of like, “I have a black friend” kind of situation.

  17. Prince rocked, by the way…See I’ve already beat you to it, and I am several degrees away from cool.

    Umm, if by ‘beat you to it’ you mean ‘mentioned it more than 24 hours after H&R posted a thread about it, then yes – good on you.

  18. Where was the ending where they go home and beat up their wives? Now that would be appropriate for the Superbowl.

  19. Homophobia.
    Yea, right…I’d go with the motor oil myself.

  20. Strangelove, indeed, David.

    kevin

  21. One of the things I do for kicks, when I have a little free time, is to fire off angry emails about completly benign commercials that “offend” me. The less offensive an ad, the funner it is to write an outraged email.

  22. Rex, you are “Lazlo Toth”, and I claim my ?5!

    Kevin

  23. it’s bad enough that they make shitty chocolate but violent homophobia is NOT COOL.

    I didn’t think that ripping out the chest hair was a bad thing. But hitting someone cuz he’s a fage is unacceptable.

    BTW, why is everybody bitching that this year’s ads were lame. They weren’t.

    Garmin? Awesome. Bud Light English class? winner. Nationwide with K-Fed? Hell, that shit was better than his album or any of the several godawful concert that I attended. Taco bell? White dudes slappin’ each other?

    Love that shit!

  24. This Snickers commercial is a perfect example when amatuers try to pull off shock comedy. I imagine it was a bunch of ad executives sitting around, and one of them saying “Hey, let’s have two rednecks kiss, and then do something like rip their chest hair! IT’S NUTTY!” From THAT they work back to the set-up, instead of the other way around.

    This reminds me of those idiotic spoof movies like those endless “Scary Movie” iterations and the “American Pie” series. They focus only on pay-off and do little to nothing to work up to it.

    Empty punch-lines and empty shock for empty heads.

  25. Rejected version:

    A guy goes up for a layup and accidentally dunks the ball.
    “Quick, do something white!”
    :both guys start dancing without moving their arms:

    Seriously, I’m with Andrew Sullivan on this one…the commercial that aired was harmless, the wrench ending is pretty low, and the whole thing speaks volumes about how madison avenue views football and NASCAR fans.

    :rips out own chest hair for saying “I’m with Andrew Sullivan”:

  26. Speaking of ad campaigns, a lot of us think the Reason Pillow Girl sucks, for a variety of reasons. This should be her replacement:

    Rose Wilder Lane, the original libertarian hottie

  27. It’s rare that unrelated blogs that I read converge, but yesterday Mark Liberman, over at Languagelog.com deconstructed some of the Superbowl ads and showed definitively that they were about.. Linguistics! so, enjoy..

    http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/004149.html

    (sorry–don’t have time to look up the html..)

  28. “Geebus, is this still Reason? What kind of whiny H&R post is this? Did the bad commercials offend your sensibilities?”

    Haven’t you heard? Reason now promotes the nanny state. What great Left-wing publication wouldn’t?

  29. “Complaining about the hype around the superbowl & the disappointing commercials is pretty cliche at this point. Isn’t it time for the Reason crew to do their ironic shtick where they write an article about how the Superbowl represents all that is good about our culture, and that there are all sorts of cool things in those ads if you just were cool enough to see them?”

  30. “Complaining about the hype around the superbowl & the disappointing commercials is pretty cliche at this point. Isn’t it time for the Reason crew to do their ironic shtick where they write an article about how the Superbowl represents all that is good about our culture, and that there are all sorts of cool things in those ads if you just were cool enough to see them?”

    No. Tim Cavanaugh has left Reason.

  31. Look, I grew up watching television. So I learned to ignore commercials by the time I was… Oh hell, I can’t remember a time when I ever watched the commercials. Even before the remote control, when there were only three commercial networks and the ads played at increased volume, we went to the bathroom, got a snack from the kitchen, made conversation, during the breaks.

    If Reason wants to draw my attention to what experience has conditioned me to believe is too stupid to pay any nevermind, there’s got to be a better reason than ‘look at this stupid stuff, it’s so stupid’. It’s like someone saying “Hey take a whiff of this raw sewage, it smells like ass”.

  32. I can certainly do without seeing a couple of grease monkeys making out over a candybar. Was the commercial disgusting? Yes. Bad taste? Probably. Worth Weigal getting his panties in a wad over the overt homophobia of America’s candy industry? I don’t think so. If you like when other people’s sensibilities get offended, you can’t whine when someone offends yours.

  33. I saw a commercial this morning with a boy eating a certain type of cereal. That son of a bitch!

  34. Anyway, a big company making a satirical commercial about homophobia is no different than a big company sponsoring a popular show about gay people that ridicules homophobia and at the same time reinforces homosexual stereotypes (Will and Grace).

  35. I can certainly do without seeing a couple of grease monkeys making out over a candybar.

    Some people are offended that the two men felt it necessary to prove their “manhood” after the kiss. Some people are offended at the mere sight of two men kissing. I’d say that’s mission accomplished!

  36. They showed the Super Bowl already? You’d think I’d remember watching that. Oh, well, I’m sure the Bears won and I have not blocked the game from my memory due to a crushing defeat at the hands the evil, evil Colts. I’ll just ignore everything I hear about football until sometime after the World Series.

    Go White Sox!

    Some memory is peeking through. This Snickers commercial while deplorable, was not the worst. That damn FedEx moon commercial was much more offensive to my sensibilities.

  37. Rhywun,

    It is not two men kissing per say. it is those two men kissing. I don’t want to see ugly dirty people of any sex kissing.

  38. “It is not two men kissing per say. it is those two men kissing. I don’t want to see ugly dirty people of any sex kissing.”

    So you DO close your eyes while we’re making out. sniff, sniff.

  39. Never mind that the whole concept was, essentially, just a rip-off of that “where’s your hand?” “Between these two pillows” scene from the Steve Martin/John Candy classic “Planes, Tranes & Automobiles.”

  40. The wrench bit changes the commercial from tasteless (good thing) to offensive (bad thing), because there actually are a lot of cases out there of rednecks going medieval on someone because of gay panic.

  41. joe,
    Oh please. It’s nothing more than cartoon faux violence. By calling it ‘bad thing’ offensive, you’re saying that gays need special protection from being offended.

  42. Warren,

    “special protection” blah blah blah. I thought the joke sucked. Some jokes fall flat; some of them are so bad they deserve to get booed.

    The humor of the ad depends on the viewer relating to the guys freaking out over catching teh gay. Either that could be them, or someone they know. Showing a guy who’s freaking out over catching teh gay respond by beating the snot out of someone just isn’t funny, because people actually get their asses kicked like that.

    “It’s nothing more than cartoon faux violence.” I’m not complaining that the violence is too graphic, Warren.

    The fact that the violence is rendered as not serious just makes such outbursts seem like less of a big deal. Fag-bashing is a big deal. “Look at that guy, he’s so scared of gays he gets violent!” isn’t funny. People like that aren’t lovable characters.

  43. Surprised you boys aren’t complaining about how racist that Bud ad was, directed at all those immigrant groups and all. But, it WAS funny.

  44. joe,

    “teh” is gay.
    Gay gay gay gay gay.
    And by that I mean “homosexual.”
    So knock it off.

  45. The attempted humor is that both of these guys are not gay- and trying to prove it to each other. Gay-bashing would be if one guy WAS gay and the other attacked him.

    Having a gay experince is gross to most straight men, and so what? No one is going to attack a gay man based on this silly ad. Just like no one is going to kill a hoker with a flame-thrower after playing grand theft auto.

  46. Underlying problem: None of these ads were even remotely funny.

  47. And the premise isn’t particularly fertile.

  48. I go with joe here. If you’re going to piss people off with shock humor, than you better do a damned good job at it. Trey Parker/Matt Stone are masters of this.

    However, this commercial totally fails at being funny… just like that Mike Ritchards situation. It sucks not because it’s offensive, it just plain sucks.

  49. I thought it was funny because it was making fun of homophobes. Not sure how that fits into Snickers brand image or marketing strategy but that’s how I took it.

  50. Alternate versions:

    Instead of kissing, the two fellas have a mishap, tripping over each other and landing on the candy bar. When they look up, they both have chocolate all over their faces, Al Jolsen-style.

    “AAaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Quick, do something white!”

    A. So they go to a public meeting and say that building a condo will bring the wrong element to town.

    B. So they start furiously making bolgna and mayonnaise sandwiches on Wonder Bread, and cramming them down their throats.

    C. So one grabs a chain and the other grabs a noose, and they start trying to lynch each other.

  51. I’d say the first two are pretty lame, while the third is a laugh-killer, because of the negative associations.

    Sort of the like original “do something manly” premise.

  52. I saw a commercial this morning with a boy eating a certain type of cereal. That son of a bitch!

    That is my favorite insane nonsensical comment ever.

  53. “I saw a commercial this morning with a boy eating a certain type of cereal. That son of a bitch!”

    That is my favorite insane nonsensical comment ever.

    I second that. Hilarious!

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