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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Real Men Eat Meat - They Just Don't Like It: The Most Homophobic Food Ads

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 4:30 PM

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Gut Check was enjoying a day dozing in front of the ol' Samsung when a Klondike commercial came on and jolted us out of our daydreaming.

Was it the mere mention of this wholesome family treat that caused us to bolt upright in our Barcalounger? Sadly, no.

The ice cream bar maker and its parent company, Unilever, have evidently decided to take their ads in a new direction, the "What would you do for a Klondike bar?" jingle having worn out its welcome. So they gave it a facelift. Well, that's not quite accurate, in that "facelift" is probably too effeminate a term for this new approach. Let's just say their marketing has been "retooled."

Dubbed 5 Seconds to Glory, the new Klondike campaign is a riff on the "What would you do..." motif; it features scenarios in which people must endure five seconds of some torturous challenge in order to receive Klondike's new "What the Fudge? Brownie" ice-cream sandwich. One of the new ads depicts has a husband barely making it through five seconds of listening to his wife talk about her day.

The one that really got our attention, though, involves two bikers. Check out the video after the jump.

Putting aside the irony of the leather chaps (and, for that matter, two grown men competing for a brownie), the moral of this story is quite simple: men holding hands is teh gay -- a behavior so repulsive that requiring a (presumed) heterosexual to do it for five seconds constitutes a challenge of such epic proportions that success must be rewarded with a heroic celebration, complete with hot chicks and, yes, a fudge brownie ice cream sandwich.

Of course, gay bashing being older than dirt, it certainly predates mass-market advertising.

Here, then, are seven further examples of the homophobic ad oeuvre:

7. Snickers and Mr. T Our story begins with a flamboyant little fellow wearing short, tight canary-yellow shorts power-walking down the street with an exaggerated sashay. Out of nowhere, a souped-up 4x4 pickup equipped with a gun turret bursts through a nearby house.

Manned by that '80s icon of masculinity, Mr. T, the Mad Max-esque vehicle stalks and overtakes the walker, whereupon Mr. T calls him "a disgrace to the man race" and pelts him with Snickers bars as punishment before admonishing him to "get some nuts."

And thus the viewer learns a valuable lesson: If you're not macho through and through, then it's OK to re-masculinize you via violence.

Snickers TV Commercial - Get Some Nuts

6. Doritos Ad (Brazil) In this commercial four young men are riding in a car listening to the Village People hit, "YMCA." That's acceptable, it seems -- until one member of the quartet exhibits a little too much in the way of appreciation.

Taken to task for the homophobic depiction, PepsiCo. responded by explaining that the humor derives from the fact that the song is dated and most of us have made a fool of ourselves by performing the silly choreography. Are you buying that?

5. The Snickers Kiss You may recall this ad, in which two auto mechanics inadvertently lock lips whilst munching on the same Snickers bar. It was fodder for the water cooler after the Super Bowl in 2007 -- and engendered so much hue and cry that Snickers ended up pulling the spot.

Not long ago we read that "Gay Teen Suicide Rates [Are] Higher in Conservative Areas." But hey, if it's funny and sells candy, who gives a crap?

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