this might be the most insulting thing I’ve ever seen

There is this new Jim Beam commerical, “The Girlfriend.”

It’s apparently been running for a minute, but this is the first I’m seeing it.

Where to begin? The underlying premise of this spot is that men hate women. The don’t want to spend time with them, be evaluated by them, or interact with them in any meaningful way that does not involve sex. This ad should only appeal to 15-year-olds, or men with the emotional intelligence of a 15-year-old. Please check the comments on YouTube for verification of this. Seriously, i was tired of this ten years ago when it was in a Hip Hop video. I’m not sure I want these mental adolescents drinking Jim Beam.

But, more to the point, the sentiment expressed in this ad is just not true. I’ve thought about every women I’ve ever had a significant relationship with, from my first high school girlfriend to my wife. I was shocked to discover upon recollection that, despite the marketing geniuses that assembled this spot, I liked being around each of them, that I was interested in their thoughts and well-being. I understand that alcohol ads are meant to poke fun at stereotypical notions of masculinity, but the sense of playfulness seems entirely missing from this spot. Shouldn’t it be possible to market to men without insulting their emotional intelligence.

Or maybe I’m just getting old.


3 responses to “this might be the most insulting thing I’ve ever seen

  1. Hmm… I didn’t think that the underlying premise was “The underlying premise of this spot is that men hate women. ” I thought it was pretty clear – they are showing “the perfect girlfriend” – who doesn’t mind their hairy backs, or if they go to a strip club, etc. No?

  2. Actually Jen the premise is that this caricature would be the perfect girlfriend. That’s the text.

    The subtext, the thing that I’m complaining about, revolves around why this particular set of qualities is held out as perfect. It’s clear that this woman is perfect because she’s willing to be nothing more than a sexual object. That this one-dimensionality is held out as perfect, and the assumption that this is what all men secretly want is what I find objectionable.

  3. J,

    Thanks for catching this ad red-handed. When my wife and I saw this ad we both laughed out loud, but more at the ad than with it. This ad is clearly the brainchild of some old dogs with NO new tricks.

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