Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stupid, Dad...commercials are for smart people

I stopped by my parents house to scrounge around for appliances I still needed, but can't yet bring myself to buy. For example, a coffee maker, power washer, and a leaf-blower (is that the proper name?). I sat down for a bit with my dad to watch 24, a shared favorite, and felt the comforts of "home" once again.

We channel surfed during commercials, only to catch commercials on other networks. Some of these commercials upset my dad. "Oh great", he said, "another commercial that makes Dad look dumb. Stupid Dad, can't you cook? Oh, there goes DAD again, taking the last piece of Little Caesar's Pizza. How greedy is HE!"

I almost always agree with my dad, but RARELY will I let him know this. I argue for the sake of arguing, especially with him. He has a tendency to "preach", like most of us Reeds. This quickly gets annoying. However, I immediately agreed with him on this one-WHY do commercials, regardless of the brand, always tend to make men looks like complete idiots? Even commercials that are directed towards men seem to put'em down. Does that actually sell products?

One of my favorite ones is for Yoplait Light Yogurt. You know, the "Boston Creme Pie, Apple Turnover diet". The woman is on the phone with a girlfriend talking about how she lost ALL this weight eating Strawberry Cheesecake and Key lime Pie. Meanwhile, you can see her boyfriend/husband frantically scanning the open fridge, pushing food aside and looking dumbfounded. Where is the Boston Creme Pie!!!!! Psh, STUPID man...your wife lost all her weight by eating Yoplait Light Yogurt-H-E-L-L-O!

I have a few issues with this. Forgive me if my philosophy of gender classes come out a bit. It bothers me that the man does not know what is/is not in the fridge. We can assume he is clueless because he never helps his wife/girlfriend shop. Shouldn't be know that there isn't any Apple Turnovers or Key lime Pie in the fridge? He probably spends all his time playing video games. Stupid man, I mean right? He didn't even realize his girlfriend lost weight..check out the end of the commercial. "Babe-what are you doing", she asks. Annoyed.


Another great one.

Yup. Of COURSE ALL women think they are fat. Of COURSE all men are sensitive to this issue. Please. 110 calories seems like the standard for 3/4 cup-1 cup of dry cereal. What upsets me is that the man is portrayed as being "stupid" about all of it. The woman sits there, chomping on her Multi-Grain Cheerios, as the man digs himself in a bigger and bigger hole. Until FINALLY, he says, "Shut up Steve". Ick, he even spoke in third person. I did not think this commercial was funny or cute. It's annoying.

Still waiting for Sonic to come to the Detroit area, but until then:

Thinking a shake is hot....stupid man.

It's great when adults play "clueless" with their kids. I did it all the time when I babysat this one family. The kids would hide when I came over and I would always say.."Hmmmm, where could Andrea be?". Is she under the table? Noooooooooo. Is she in the broom closet? Noooooooooo. Andrea?! Where are you?" I knew damn well she was always in the laundry room, hiding behind baskets of clothes. But you humor them. In the commercial below, stupid Dad is not "playing clueless". He IS clueless. Stupid Dad.

The next video I think I take the most offense to. Not only was my Dad a "Mr. Mom" (he cooked, cleaned, ironed my clothes, and even did my hair when I was really young). He was also the BEST night-before-the-project-was-due-come-to-your-rescue-kind-of-guy. I cannot tell you HOW many projects he helped me start and complete the night before. FAR from clueless.

Do I need to say more? I mean, right?


  1. Okay, the DQ one really is outrageous ("honey, you're not gonna believe --"). He really thought the little girl was making blizzards in her fort? REALLY? Sigh. Thank goodness for awesome dads who cook and clean like ours, Rach! My dad also used to have to do my hair a few times when I was little, but he can't braid, so I always ended up looking a little odd when I went to school. But he did his best. And the man can cook! Anyway, tell your dad I said hi.

  2. Rach you have too much time on your hands!! And there is a sonic in the metro detroit area 15 and groesbeck, I haven't gone there yet but heard it's always busy!

  3. this is so interesting! i was trying to think about why this is, which only led me back around the circle to the conclusion that this happens because there is such a stigma attached to being a married man. (all the stupid jokes about how a man's life ends when he gets married). the question is the answer?

    because it looks like most of these "men are stupid" ads are for relatively domestic things, which makes it sound like even if it's a product men would like, women make the ultimate call re purchases in the household. ads for beer, axe, cars - all speak to the free spirit of the single man (even though married men love those things too). it's sort of like men get mainly the escapist ads ("you're a stud! buy this and get a supermodel gf!"). married women get the "reality is all you get" ads - buy this product so you can at least cope (by losing weight / cleaning / preparing food).

    i guess the other clear-cut shade i can think of to explain the discrepancy is that men just aren't expected to know ANYTHING about food (like the one where the dude microwaves his laptop instead of a frozen meal by accident. also, many of the above are about food). which may be because beauty standards / the dieting culture / etc has become so genderized that it's almost unmasculine to spend any time thinking about food. man needs only beer and taco bell/arby's to survive, right?

    (which doesn't really explain why professional chefs are predominantly male. my feminism smells double standards!!!).

    anyway, enough ranting from me. loved your blog post!!