Sunday, February 7, 2010

10 Most Sexist Super Bowl Ads

EDIT: I'll put this disclaimer up top, since I think no one is actually reading my comments. I realize that sexist advertising does work, but I'm disappointed that it does. These ads stereotype men just as badly, if not worse than they stereotype women. I'm not sure why all you guys are raging at me so much since I'm on your side. Now if you'll excuse me, apparently I have to go prepare to tear off some testicles and shave my head or something (thank you, commenters, for proving my point).

There was so much buzz about the Tim Tebow/Focus on the Family Super Bowl ad that it ended up being kind of anticlimactic. I'm fairly apathetic about football; I'm one of those people who dutifully watches all of the commercials and then leaves the room when the actual game is on. But Jesus Christ - are Super Bowl ads always this sexist or have I just not been paying attention?

This year was so bad that it was hard to narrow them down to ten. But here's a showcase of what I consider the 10 most sexist ads from the 2010 Super Bowl:


Hurrrrr Megan Fox in a bubble bath. Everyone ogles her and/or frantically masturbates. That has everything to do with a cell phone.


Ha. He loves the tires on his car more than his wife. That's funny, right? ...Right?


You know, I think this commercial is actually meta-sexist. It's actually showing how fucking annoying it is to have men totally disregard your opinions because you're a woman. Too bad Budweiser fails to recognize this in nearly all of their other commercials.


Apparently even babies have stereotypical hyper-jealous girlfriends.


Men are the ones who are strong and brave and have to do random silly crap for their obligatory wife, right? I didn't realize Dove was originally just for women, but apparently I'm just not manly enough to recognize that.


Yep, because two stereotypically hot women talking to each other sexily while one rips her clothes off has everything to do with web hosting. Not to mention it totally reduced Danica Patrick to nothing but a hot babe. I'm not a NASCAR fan, but it's quite an accomplishment to be the first woman to win an Indy car race. Apparently that doesn't matter when you have boobs.




God, women. They're just so bitchy and demanding. They all make men do such tedious things like basic hygiene, and never, ever, ever have to do what her partner wants. I mean, psshhh, what relationships feature compromise? Instead you must assert that you want a fancy, manly car that obviously no woman would also want!


All men like sports. All women like shopping. Men who do not conform to these strict gender roles are whipped, spineless, and girly, therefor buy our product. ...Uh, what?


You know, I don't know if women or men should be more annoyed by these commercials. At least my gender is being portrayed as the one who is trying to engage in thoughtful intellectual conversation. Men? Yep, you're just all beer, sexually innuendo, and douche baggery. The problem is we're supposed to see this sort of behavior as humorous - I mean, who would want to go to a book club?! Anyone with a Y chromosome must sympathize with that dude, and run out and buy some Bud Light. Oh, and women? Eh, they're probably too busy drinking wine coolers or something, no need to advertise toward them.

I know there are probably going to be people who will say I'm taking this far too seriously. But you know what? These types of commercials are fucking annoying. It has become the norm to make fun of women as jealous, domineering, wet blankets whose goal in life is to whip men into submission and ensure they never ever have fun. We're supposed to laugh at these and go, "Ha, his girlfriend is a bitch. Amen brother." Why do people want to condone this?

Not only does it stereotype both men and women, but it effectively ignores women as consumers. These are targeted towards men, because obviously the Super Bowl is so pumped full of testosterone that anyone with a uterus runs away from all TVs screaming in fear. If it's not a joke about a stupid girlfriend, it's something pink and flowery that somehow assumes I want to lose weight.* Can't we just...I don't know, have gender neutral ads when gender neutral products are being advertised?

Sigh, I give up for now. I guess I'll go paint my toenails and emotionally manipulate some men before I go to bed.

*If you haven't done so already, you must go watch Sarah Haskins' Target Women series on advertisement towards women. She's hilarious, but the commercials are kind of depressing.


  1. Wow you're just saying that cause you dont have a boyfriend or you are a lesbian

  2. I had formed a similar opinion already when I came upon this blog by accident after the Super Bowl. I'm surprised you didn't mention the Dockers "wear the pants" ad with all the guys walking through the field singing "I wear no pants".

  3. While I agree with you on a number of these, I disagree on the Dove commercial.

    Dove has, for a very long time, been a female soap/shampoo company. This would be the first time that I've ever seen a product by them that was specifically not marketed as a female line of products.

    Whether or not the commercial was sexist (I wasn't really paying attention...and I can't see these videos, they aren't loading btw.) it is something very different from this company. Men usually do not purchase hygene products that are marketed towards women, so I'm sure, with this sales pitch, they are vastly broadening their audience.

  4. Their target demographic is typical drunk men from Indiana/Louisiana (hicks).

    Sexism = Good marketing.

    You may be offended, but were you going to buy any of these products anyway? Will you intentionally not buy these products because you're offended? If the answer to either of these is no, then rest assured these companies don't care what you think.

    As a side note, it seems that you hope for something that offends you. You seem disappointed that Tim Tebow didn't say "Your baby must stay inside you no matter what! JESUS GOD RAWR". You might find life less stressful without getting infuriated at everything you see. Especially commercials that are obviously meant to be jokes.


  5. I definitely would not use Go Daddy as a web host because of their SuperBowl ads in the past and present.

    I was not watching the SuperBowl looking for ads that were sexist. I was watching for creative content. While doing that I noticed how many sexist ads there were. And yes, I do think this year was worse.

    Anonymous #2, 11:46, and just as real as the 11:49 anonymous.

  6. 90% of football viewers are male and these ads cost around 3 million dollars to air so obviously they are going to try to get the most out of their money and advertise for men. Why would they waste that money airing commercials based around female interests when there is only an average of 100,000 women that watch the super bowl every year. Its just smarter this way.

    Also don't write this shit just because men show no interest in you and you want to get back at them somehow.

  7. Boy, there are a lot of defensive guys out there...

    Do you have to hurl insults at people expressing their opinion, besides?

    (I am not the blogger)

  8. I agree with all of those, except the last one - Bud Light Book Club. I hated all the other Bud Light ads, but that one I found funny because I'm a guy who likes books, so I'm all into making fun of dumbass guys who don't have a clue, and in that vein the last line was a killer: "So, do you like Little Women?" "Uh, I'm not picky, really (scratching armpit)"

  9. "I know there are probably going to be people who will say I'm taking this far too seriously. But you know what? "

    I find your total insensitive attitude to be quite appalling. I mean, how many unattractive men were in these ads. One? Two maybe?

    It is so female oriented I could barf. More often than not, they were suggesting men were pussy whipped and it was the norm. That they deserve to be the submissive.....

    Seriously gen, you need to relax.

  10. Wow... post about sexism ---> extremely sexist comments. What fucking assholes.

  11. 100,000 female viewers? Um, yeah, only off by two orders of magnitude.

  12. I'm a woman and I don't really care. I agree that if you are going to spend that much money you might as well cater the commercials to the majority of your audience.

    My favorite commercial though was where the woman was riding the telescope like a bronco. Otherwise, I thought most of them sucked.

  13. I'm with you, Jen. I think that while yes, the Superbowl is primarily geared towards men and thus the advertising is also directed at men (not a good thing in my opinion, but reality), it goes way overboard, considering the type of advertising that is directed at women.

    If you go by media stereotypes of men and women, women are SUPPOSED to do all the cooking/cleaning/children (aka WORK) and be cheerful while we're doing it, and we're marketed to as if we all do. Men, on the other hand, are SUPPOSED to be annoyed at women for all their "women stuff" and just want to pretty much be bachelors for their entire lives, no matter what choices they've made.

    Blatant marketing to one gender over another is one thing, but when the marketing is so obviously imbalanced in terms of the message it's sending, that's where it becomes a bad thing.

  14. I'm glad someone was able to reply to that misinformation about there only being 100,00 female viewers. C'mon..

  15. I kind of agree with the anonymous comment above (sexism = good marketing): gender roles are very rigid in this country, and companies use that to their advantage to appeal to the largest number of people possible. The problem isn't the companies (who HAVE to stay competitive), the problem is society. I think it's more productive to try to change how everyday people think, and better commercials will follow.

    Also, I can't imagine anyone marketing gender-neutral products. You know why? People don't buy gender-neutral products. If you doubt that people are absolutely fixated on gender, try using a single-stall men's restroom sometime. (Single-stall, gender-segregated bathrooms blow my mind.) Or go drag king for a day and see what kind of comments you get. Most people are downright hostile if you don't fit their preconceived notion of what it means to be a woman, or to be a man. And, as illustrated by the first (idiot) commenter, flaunting gender norms will inevitably lead many people to perceive you as either sexually inadequate or gay.

  16. The Volkswagen color tag commercial, Dave, Oprah and Jay and the Coke sleepwalker commercials were the best. None of those were sexist. What does that tell you?

  17. I won't speak for any of the other males here, but I've always found these sort of ads to be incredibly insulting (although as an academic I'm sure I'm not a member of their target demographic).

    More than the sexism, though, I sometimes think it's just the sheer anti-intellectualism in advertising culture that pisses me off. It never seems to occur to these people to portray a man as interested in anything other than sex, beer, or maybe cars or shaving (and heaven forbid they ever treat a woman respectfully, or as anything other than a sex object).

    What frightens me terribly is that there must actually be people out there who act like the ones in many of these ads; where else can they be getting their source material?

  18. I love that the tv-to-go is calle "FLO-TV". Cause that's "manly". :)

    I thought it was cool that the gay male couple in the Megan Fox commercial slappe each other after seeing her pic. That makes it somehow not sexist.

  19. LOL at anonymous...Classic. utterly classic. You think something's sexist, so of course you must be a lesbian or a hideous fatty that no man desires.

    I managed to successfully ignore the entire Super Bowl tonight until about two minutes after it ended. I ignored the ads, too. The whole evening made me quite happy.

  20. Did it ever occur to anyone that, for example, the Megan Fox commercial showed how much power an image of a woman can have over a man? Albeit, they were going overboard on their examples of the mens reactions but still, the message that stood out to me on that commercial is the power of the female form over men. For business/marketing purposes it would have been foolish to use an attractive but unknown woman, hence the choice of a female celebrity (who was no doubt payed more than all the men in the commercial combined) for the main "character." But even if the woman in question was a reasonably attractive unknown, her influence and power over the men in the commerical is unquestionable.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Judging by some of these comments, I'd say that the portrayal of men as unintelligent, beer-guzzling, douche bags is pretty much spot-on.

    Seriously, did you read the post, guys?

  23. I agree with you on most of them accept the one parodying Lost. That one could have been a male or a female, there were both men and women ignoring the primary woman, it was funny.

    I think the sexism in these ads is a symptom rather than a disease. The kind of humor commercials cram into a 30 second time slot needs to be attention-grabbing and simplistic, something that sticks in the minds of the viewer. They can't afford to paint a realistic picture of their subjects so they fall back on stereotypes. Make stereotypes huge and deliberate enough to lodge in someone's memory and you get one big caricature of our own expectations. It's the stereotypes that are the problems I think. This is just the result.

  24. Amen, Sister. Thank you so much. Forget all those uneducated folks who think that this is somehow not a blatant backlash to feminism. I sent your link out to my friends.

  25. I actually found quite a few of these funny - I think just seeing one after another started to grate on me. Can I have my sexism in short, manageable doses please?

  26. A few thoughts, reading your post and these comments …

    1 – Fits that a post about sexism (as in misogyny; I’m a bit of a pedant with the word “sexism”, which can apply to either gender) would immediately attract some royally clueless douchebags. I wish to apologize in the name of all good males for these morons, Jen. The ogres, they shame me. Oy.

    2 – As has been stated above, I think the real problem isn’t so much the misogyny in these commercials, as the sheer anti-intellectualism – ie. the glorification of immaturity and stupidity. (But then again, roughly 95% of all commercials in the world are like that, so …) Anti-intellectualism tends to lead to sexist ads, such as in this case, IMO.

    3 – I agree with you with most, but some of them I can’t really call “sexism” on. #10 is just funny to me, using that “a sexy woman will make you drop everything you’re doing” gag. #8, as mentioned above, is completely coincidental; the girl could be a guy and there’d be no difference at all. (#7 won’t load for some reason.) #6, I found was just quirky; I didn’t feel any sexist tones to it. (And also as stated above, Dove is primarily marketed to women. Along with most beauty and hygienic products … naturally …) The others were, agreed, less than stellar. (Though, the Dodge one at #3 was just … dumbass. Utterly stupid.)

    4 – Now you know how and why you shouldn’t watch the Superbowl commercials, either. ;-)

  27. Hey Jen,

    I am normally totally with you in what you say on your blog, and yes, I read it daily, but I gotta tell ya, I think that you are taking this Friday Feminist thing a little too seriously overall. I think that some of the ads are funny as hell. If they were made gender neutral and P.C., they wouldn't be funny anymore.

    Over time, I have learned that unlike in the real world, a monologue from some talking head (or a commercial about a woman who had her husband's spine removed!) on late night TV talking about, and making jokes about sexual stereotypes, is not discrimination, or misogyny. Sometimes it is just a joke, to brighten someone's day, to bring a little laughter into the world. To make us realize that men and women really are different. And I am really glad we are, because I think it is one of the things that defines our humanity at its core.

  28. Just... wow. The wrongness of the world is amazing, and then there are opinions. It's a wonder that we still have babies... well, I don't/won't/can't and I'm quite OK with that.
    Circuses and sexism, superbowls and reality... no, REAL reality... which only has to do with living and dying and, oddly, religion. And being able to eat and drink and excrete without killing the world.
    And then there's the celluloid world, and the digital one, and the analogue one, and the black and the white, and the life and the death.

  29. #10 -- OK, she's pretty, but if a cellphone image of her in a bath has that spectacular effect on a man, he should get out more. And personally, I don't think that cellphones should go anywhere near bathwater.

    # 9 -- seems to me that the parody element dominates all else here. Can it be that when men send themselves up, women don't get it? Was Don Quixote then Cervantes' serious notion of how to behave?

    # 8 -- agree that it's coincidental that the radio ham is female, the message here is lowbrow alcoholism über alles. I find this ad immensely depressing, for reasons unconnected with sexism.

    # 7 -- no load.

    # 6 -- yech.

    # 5 -- yech again.

    Just got a call from a customer and a job, gotta scramble. I'll do the others later.

  30. Are you seriously asking for gender neutral ads? Are you out of your mind? What the hell is a gender neutral ad anyway? boo hoo, your feelings were hurt. Who gives a fuk.

  31. # 4 -- Oh dear oh dear. I dislike the name of the company too. I'm a male, but not a daddy, so maybe it's not for me?

    # 3 -- Odd list. I mean, it contains no-brainers (e.g. basic hygiene, as you say), plus stuff that even I, a bachelor card-carrying misogynist, do for myself because I want to (e.g. recycling), plus female narcissistic supply, plus some stuff that makes me go huh? (do wives enforce two-hour meetings at work? Why?)

    # 2 -- I loathe sports, but I think I have a spine. In fact I'm downright ornery. So how does that fit the superbowl conceptual universe?

    # 1 -- Oh my scientific method. I am lost for words.

  32. That's all you women ever talk about is sexism. Shut the fuck up.

  33. The post was spot on. I was watching these commercials thinking it must suck being a women having to view this trash. Not only were the commercials idiotic but most of them portrayed women as nags. Watching the Super Bowl reminded me why I quit watching TV.

  34. Couldn't agree more with you. My wife and I watched the game separately, but we both had the same reactions while watching the ads.... just incredibly sexist. Particularly the dodge commercial.... ridiculously offensive.

  35. I don't think you are taking this too seriously...

  36. ... also men seem to show enough interest in you to read and comment on your blog...

  37. ...and also, to commenters, does it make you feel manly to post dissenting opinions anonymously?

  38. Jen, I think you sum it up nicely when you said "Can I have my sexism in short, manageable doses please?" Some of these commercials *are* funny, but when put together, they are obviously playing to the lowest common denominator - all sexism (of both sexes), all the time. As a side note, it looks like allowing people to post anonymously is kind of biting you in the ass.

  39. "But Jesus Christ - are Super Bowl ads always this sexist or have I just not been paying attention?"

    Yes. I also would recommend reading this about football as a safe space for patriarchy:

    (If you aren't reading Pandagon already, you should. I think you would like it.)

  40. I hate Megan Fox, I wouldn't use air if she advertised it. Bud light???, is that like beer without the alcohol?, what's the bloody point of drinking it then?, i'm in the UK. I think these ads make men look like fools, and for the record i've always used Dove products, soap, shampoo. It's a soap, how the hell can it be genderised!?

  41. Get a grip people, they're only fucking advertisments, carefully crafted to manipulate the minds of the gullable, don't fall into the trap. These adverts dole out 'masculine bovine excrement' by the shovel full, they are targeted at the weak minded who fall for all that perfect life portrayed in them, as if buying their product will make you desireable and successful in your chosen career.

    The smart people realise that the adverts are bunkam and select their cleaning materials based on the active ingredients on the side of the wrapping, not on false promises of a fulfilled life, riches beyond imagination and undying love.

    Jen, if it's any consolation, I'm a lesbian too, I looked in the dictionary and it said "Prefers women" which fits me to a tee. Oh, and keep on keeping on.

  42. I'm a reasonable, hard working woman. I have grown kids and grandkids.We haven't come a long way, baby. I was struck at how mean spirited some of the super bowl ads were. As if telling us what to do with our reproductive selves isn't enough of a step backwards..I don't spend my time or money with people who insult me or my daughters,nieces,sisters, & granddaughters.

  43. I usually don't comment on blogs I follow, but I'm so aghast by how hateful and disgusting some of these comments are that I'm moved to voice my support of you. Don't listen to these douchebags.

    My roommate had the super bowl on the television yesterday (although I didn't realize it was the fabled super bowl until my girlfriend mentioned it on the phone later, haha) and so I happened to see many of the commercials while working on my laptop - it's tougher to tune out loud commercials than it is to tune out sports, sadly. As I recall, I made two comments to my roommate during the course of all this. First: "Is every other commercial a beer commercial?" Second: "I don't think these adverts could possibly be more sexist."

    As any true Feminist would assert, I feel, misogyny is harmful to men in addition to women, through the damaging stereotypes it cultivates about both genders. As a man, I was particularly offended by the Dodge commercial's stating that eating healthily, practicing basic hygeine, and caring for a wife (and, furthermore, giving her basic respect) are things I *wouldn't* want to do...or *shouldn't,* as the ad implies. Heck, I'm offput by the suggestion that, being a man, I have to want to drive a loud, obnoxious sports car. I want the things it said I shouldn't, and I don't want what it was advertising. But I guess that makes me some kinda whipped girly-man, amirite?

    But I have just as much testosterone in my body as the bigots who made these adverts - I guess I just don't feel a need to defend my masculinity, because I'm comfortable with it. But what galls me is that they're promoting this sexism to such a wide and impressionable audience (think of how many young boys watch football), enforcing in people's heads the notions to treat women like objects and treat men who don't conform to blundering stereotypes - dare I say it, healthy, intelligent, *normal* men - as aberrations. And that's truly terrible - and worth fighting against.

  44. I don't think the megan fox one was sexist. She is an attractive woman and the idea that men would be affected by her image isn't sexist, it's just normal.

    I didn't watch all of them, but I definitely did not like the Go Daddy one at all. Straight men might be the main demographic, but there are PLETNY of women who watch the Super Bowl. It would be nice to see companies appealing to both. The go daddy one almost looks like some las vegas strip club ad.

  45. WOW. Oh Anonymous people, bravely standing up against the evil feminists from the shadows. Your stunning wit! Your logic like a steel trap!

    I didn't watch the superbowl, or the ads, but there's a pretty among the folks I hang out with there was a lot of commentary on the theme of, "Are you a dude standing next to and/or dating a woman? Then you are TOO FEMININE! Buy this product."

    A lot of it falls under the same general pattern you see for makeup for women - "Do you have [thing we imply makes you UGLY]!? Buy this product." If they can make the viewers insecure about something, they can sell something to remedy the insecurity. For women, society tends to freak out about weight and appearance. For men, masculinity.

    And to Rex, yeah, if you take the same ads and gut them of the sexist jokes, they won't be funny. But they're built around those sexist jokes. They could easily be built around jokes that aren't sexist. Personally I think there's a lot of humor that doesn't depend on sexism for its punchlines.

  46. The Superbowl is watched by a significantly larger amount of men than women (though not as much as you think) which is why most ads are male-centric. It's numbers. Also, consider the Superbowl akin to Valentines Day -- the ads themselves are stereotypical to that 'holiday' and a celebration of braindead manliness is pretty much expected just as sappy romantic ads are expected around Valentines. Bellyache all you want about it -- they're not gonna care.

    Each year Nielsen is reporting more women watching the Super Bowl, though, so companies are going to be forced to alter the tone of their ads in not too long if they want to capitalize on the growing female audience.

    This year's ads, though, felt more misogynistic than usual as well as less creative and, dare i say, effective overall, likely due to smaller budgets for expensive ad companies because of the recession. Small money from big pockets tends towards super-conservative thinking, and there you have the 2010 Superbowl ads.

    Good goin Doritos for having semi-funny ads that are about absolutely nothing.

  47. Lets look over your work:

    #10: FLASH: Hot girl! Buy phone! (Sexist only in that hot women attract male attention, which is true)

    #9: FLASH: Action flick. Buy tires! (Sexist)

    #8: RECOGNITION: Lost is a good show! Get Beer! (kinda subverisvely sexist--the antagonist being a woman isn't accidental; its playing on the Nagging Nancy sentiment which is rooted in sexist thought)

    #7: HUMOR: Babies datin babies! Stocks! (not sexist)

    #6: PERSONALIZATION: This soap is made just for you. (Really really not sexist - it promotes self-acceptance for christs sake)

    #5&4: FLASH: Hot girls! Build a webiste! (Sexist only in that hot women get mens' attention, which is true)

    #3: SUBTRACTION: Life is miserable. A muscle car makes it worth it! (Sexist)

    #2: PERSONALIZATION: Your wife keeps dragging you around Sears when the game's on? Buy a phone! (debatable)

    #1: HUMOR: Women are complicated, men are dumb. Beer is awesome! (not sexist -- also note a woman bought the beer for her female friends, which inadvetently attracts men. The product is a common denominator in this ad.)

    Jen, you get a C in Media Analysis ... but a GOLD STAR in 3rd Wave Feminism! Way to shoot from the hip!

  48. For me, all advertising boils down to the same message. "There is something wrong with you, becuase you are/aren't her. Buy this product to fix that." This message is sent to both men and women.

    Women are told that they either are a 'negative' feminine image or aren't a 'positive' feminine image and should correct that through purchasing whatever is being sold.

    Men are told that they are either a 'negative' feminine image (girly man) or are a 'positive' feminine image (muscle-bound, handsome, well-hung, desired by gals like Megan Fox) and this can be corrected/maintained through purchasing whatever is being sold.

    It's very black & white, yes. It assumes stereotypes, yes. They are trying to get as broad an audience as possible interested in fractions of a minute.
    This, of course, doesn' tmake it forgivable.

    Women's advertising is looking into a mirror and hating, while Men's advertising is looking at a woman and hating. I always wonder why this is until I run into the people that the advertising is aimed at. Lovely people like the anonymous commenters here who have a wonderful opinion of either "shut up you stupid girl" (re-inforcing their manliness by hating the feminine) or "you're obviously scarred/gay/fat" (re-inforcing the female-oriented advertising message of "there is something wrong with you"). I just wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg? Do they adversite to our self hatred because we hate ourselves, or do we hate ourselves because they tell us to?

    I feel for you with the Troll situation, Jen. But they really do explain to us all just who watches these commercials and actually falls for this bullshit. I rather wish Men would learn to hate themselves and try to feel better through self-alteration like Women are trained to do, rather than elevating themselves through being absolute and utter dicks to any woman they can find.

  49. As a sports-hating, bud lite-hating, intellectual, sensitive nerd who is uncomfortable thinking about traditional socially defined gender roles, I do find these offensive.

    As far as humor goes, they are predictable and boring.

  50. Wow, way to stir everyone up Jen, I always feel that life is more fun and interesting when people get their dander up.

    I generally agree with you. Most (but in my opinion, not all) of the commercials you have linked to are disgustingly sexist, or at least, play to lowest common denominator or anit-intellectual stereotypes (which may or may not be sexist). It is a sad comment on our society, and one that I feel is worthy of fighting against. Keep up the good work, love your Blog. p.s. I watched the Superbowl from the Great White North where we do not get to see the same commercials that you do south of the 49th. I think that may be lucky for us in this instance

  51. I recall some of those adds - the GoDaddy one, in particular, was just silly.

    Thank you for pointing this out; its getting to the point of absurdity where artificial gender roles are being defined by marketers:

    Girls are not pretty enough - buy makeup and facial cleansers or no one will love you.

    Men are not manly enough - drink Budweiser beer and feel that you have to drive a Ford Pickup or no one will love you.

    Women are subservient - buy that bitch a vacuum cleaner.

    Men are dominant and always love manly things - get him a Dick's gift card and he might go down on you tonight.

    Makes me sick.

  52. Whoah - didn't watch Teh Big Game but, to be charitable, I think many sexist commercials can also be seen as "meta-sexist", with some guys laughing at themselves. OK, maybe *very* charitable.

    But the real reason I wanted to comment was that, on the way down to FL (Mrs. & I are doing the snowbird thing) we saw the Touchdown Jesus along I-75! w00t! Mrs. was agog.

  53. I guess I saw a couple of these during the Super Bowl, but I was playing Call of Cthulhu at the same time, so...meh. They're definitely sexist, like most advertising seems to be when you want to sell beer and stuff.

    I guess that some guys are so anal retentive about their masculinity that when someone threatens the concepts they have of it that they have to get all angry on the internets!

    (good post, Jen, anyway.)

  54. To be fair, most of these commercials were probably custom designed for what the companies perceive as the Super Bowl's audience: sexist, hyper-masculine, beer and sex-driven "MEN". But that's just the thing--if I were one of these "MEN", I think at least by the time the game's over I'd have picked up on the anti-men sexism and thought "Wait, they think I'm an idiot. Not buying that!"

    I'm not entirely comfortable critiquing commercials; it seems kinda like saying "Here is a handy guide with everything you need to know on how to swindle me into buying your product!" But actively and intentionally degrading my gender and that of others in every other commercial? Not the *best* marketing strategy.

  55. You are right. Thank you for making this statement/commentary, eventhough you now have to put up with people making negative comments.

    "All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently oppossed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

    We're just not in the third stage yet...

  56. I don't understand why these advertisers want to constantly shoot themselves in the foot. Instead of taking advantage of the higher viewership of the Super Bowl, including many women who would not otherwise tune in, they seem to want to tell half of the potential customers not to buy their stuff. Because, apparently women don't like to drink beer, use awesome technological gadgets, or drive uber-fast cars. And judging by the positive reaction to not-shitty ads like Google's or Coca-Cola's, you CAN sell your product without being a douchebag.

  57. There were a few ridiculous things from the post and comments that I'd like to point out:

    1. Anti-intellectual advertising: Advertisers have 30 seconds to get a point across to the target audience. At this point, the target audience is, on average, probably not college educated, and certainly not nerdy like most of us. It also is clearly men who are more interested in thinking about the previous play and discussing that with friends than looking at the television. What the hell do you expect? A beautiful masterpiece of television, with nuanced plot, careful consideration of all audiences, with three acts and an intermission? Advertisements for sporting events aren't supposed to make the viewer think, because the viewer doesn't want to think about that stuff right now.

    2. Non-feminism = anti-intellectualism: Annie made this argument earlier, and it gets to me. Anyone points out anything against a feminist argument, and suddenly they're anti-intellectual? We need open discussion on these types of issues. Open discussion means some people will disagree with you. Don't call them names.

    3. The post as a whole: I'm NOT an anonymous troll. I WILL sign this with my name. I normally agree with Jenn. However, I can't see the necessity of this post. We have sexist ads all the time, on both sides of the issue. In fact, we have *-ist advertisements on all sides of any issue, based on target audience. Advertising is based on reaching the largest amount of people, and catching their attention. You'd be crazy not to agree that, while some women are interested, the overwhelming majority of Super Bowl viewers are men. That's not to say these men like sexism, but most probably like women. Advertisements featuring women in a provocative way obviously spark an interest in these individuals. In the end, this post has no more significance than making a post about how sexist the advertisements on a channel like Lifetime, or ESPN are. In each case, they will have a target audience (for our purposes, women and men). Most likely, you will find advertisements that relate to the target audience more than any other audience.

    I'm all for equality, but advertisements on the super bowl is at #5742312 on the list of things we need to fix. No, I won't list the items above or below it.

  58. I understand your point, though I personally feel that all of these are parodies of sexism rather than actually sexist.

  59. "Anyone points out anything against a feminist argument, and suddenly they're anti-intellectual?"
    - Indeed, or even an enemy of the human race. That's because, Ian, many feminist arguments are not being conceptualised as "arguments" at all, but as divine truth. One does not argue with heathens and heretics, one converts or abuses them. If you disagree, you need to be condescendingly referred to Feminism 101 (Holy Writ), which is above discussion. I find it darkly amusing to see the cognitive structures of fundamentalist religion reproduced on an atheist blog.

  60. This viewpoint seems to come from a very lonely person with an exorbitant amount of time on their hands...

  61. Anonymous Comment Number One explains the precise reason these ads still exist.

  62. Anonymous said...
    Lets look over your work:

    >>#2: PERSONALIZATION: Your wife keeps dragging you around Sears when the game's on? Buy a phone! (debatable)

    Not debatable. The message was for the guy to "take off the skirt", and the ad content was all about how those stupid women MAKE guys go shopping and thus emasculate them.

    >>#1: HUMOR: Women are complicated, men are dumb.

    And you don't find that sexist and lame? If nothing else, it's sexist TOWARD MEN.

  63. @Anonymous 3:48: Thank you so much for illustrating my point with Silencing Technique #42, the ad hominem based on supernatural private knowledge of another individual. Also a fragrant soupçon of # 96, condescending superiority; a Michelin star cannot be far away. Please do go on, you might know some Silencing Techniques I have failed to classify.

  64. Wow. Just wow. I just got a major culture shock and I am stunned. I just can´t see how those ads would make me want to buy any of the products that they are trying to sell. And I am feeling slightly ill after watching those back to back.

    Although I am XY I must suppose that the lack of appeal is due to my dislike of sports, living in Sweden or my only average-sized genitals.

    I really don´t feel you were overreacting when you wrote this post. And even though it _might_ be at #5742312 on the list there´s nothing wrong with pointing out that there are people who don´t think it´s ok with that kind of crapping in our minds.

    Keep up the good work!

    Regards, Jonas.

  65. I freakin' love you. xD Well said, my dear!

  66. Without watching the ads (spooling video bites into download quotas, and I have better things to use it for than SIWOTI hunts), there is something I wanted to chip in. People saying 'ignore the idiots' are missing the point. The idiots, those dissenting voices, are, as far as I can see, wrong. Don't respond to them? Reasonable - it's just going to make for fights. But to ignore them wholesale is to run the risk of creating an echo chamber.

    Fortunately, none of them seem to have said anything particularly brilliant, and I'm rarely charmed by the words of someone who will shoot short, sharp, shrill complaints about someone's blog posts under the blanket of anonymity.

  67. Wow... none of these superbowl adds are any more sexist than the type of ad we're used to seeing of where the smart wife tells the dumb husband what product he should have bought, or the one where the idiot guy doesnt know how t shop right, eat healthy or buy the correct household products.

    Men don't post articles about how sexist those TV ads are because of the fact that a Commercial advertizement is not the place to have a serious conversation of Gender Issues. Men don't take this seriously and neither should women.

    Also complaining about one form of sexism while ignoring the other side of the coin is pretty hypocritical.

  68. "#1: HUMOR: Women are complicated, men are dumb. Beer is awesome! (not sexist -- also note a woman bought the beer for her female friends, which inadvetently attracts men. The product is a common denominator in this ad.)"

    Women are complicated, men are dumb.

    That is sexist... it may not be sexist in the way the writer wanted (Where the woman is the victim) but portraying men in a negative light should be considered just as sexist as portraying women in a negative light. An example of the hypocrisy of this article I mentioned in the previous post.

    (I'm really not offended by ads considered sexist.. but I am a little offended by hypocrisy such as this.)

  69. Seriously, do you Anonymous complainers even read the bloody post? Jen mentions again and again how the ads are also just as unfavorable towards men as they are towards women. Really, at least try to read what you criticize before saying anything against it.

  70. Joe McKen... I could take my comments to the 20+ other articles out there that actually claim all these commercials are sexist (Even though the Dove one has zero sexism in any way) and write it in a way where sexism towards women is the only form of sexism in commercials.

    I guess reading articles like this 10 times already in articles that don't let me comment unless I join their website (And believe me, those articles make no mention towards the other side of the coin) I figured I finally have my voice to speak in what appeared to be yet another cookie cutter article against the Superbowl Ads.

    I stopped really reading these things after the 6th one... but I did read the next article like this and it was yet ANOTHER article that was 100% women are victims men never have sexism... etc.

    So I guess my comments apply to 9 out of the 10 articles out there about sexist superbowl ads.

  71. What did you say about Pluto’s mother??

    … Seriously, I can’t imagine how that could possibly have anything less to do with what I said about your original (silly) criticism concerning Jen’s (nonexistant) hypocrisy.

  72. Also... just read this article completely and re-read it... it's 98% the annoying complaining and overreacting (She even mentions that... she obviously knows that there is good reason people would think she's overreacting.)

    What I was talking about and 2% mentioned how the guy in the Book Club ad was stereotype... this article is just like the rest of them but with a few extra sentences in a lame attempt to pretend to claim sympathetic ear to the other side of the coin.

    But I would admit... my post was about how dumb it is to take commercial ads seriously and it turned ranty because every female blogger and article writer (and a few male ones) decided to write the same article the Monday after Superbowl Sunday.

  73. Joe whatever...

    Too many articles overreacting about Sexism... Guys get stereotyped Gals get stereotyped... They aren't looking to earn awards for writing, character development in these commercials.

    If you want to go through a character diamond and decide every character's traits, flaws, weaknesses, quirks, background and so on for a 30 - 60 second commercial. Then you put out the time for that...

    I'll just keep stuff like that for TV shows, Books, Films and Video Games.

  74. Speaking of Video Games, guys.. That Dante's Infirno Game ad debut on the Superbowl. I think that was pretty sexist... why was the woman dragged into hell? She must have been one of those nagging wives... Suprised the guy went after her.. he could've just got in his Dodge and drove off with his Bridgestone tires.

  75. i don't know you i stumbled upon this somehow and its just sad that so many of those other deuchebags need the esteem boost. any man who has the audacity to attack a woman is just a coward. btw this is all coming from a former asshole who has changed his way. just shrug it off. they're going nowhere and obviously are unhappy. they can't talk shit to man due to fear of getting their ass they take it out on women...BADASS right?
    hope this was insightful a little.
    keep writing

  76. oooo! suggestion! Build a bridge and get over it. Don't like the ad? Then don't buy the product. Knock off the victimization.

  77. The last time I watched a supperbowl was during the dot com era, and I remember those adds as being cool, clever and not sexist...remember hearding cats?? It is possible to have adds that are funny and not sexist, but not by beer or car companies!

  78. bitches just need to get back in the kitchen, amiright anonymous peeps?!

  79. ok ok I get it. you pay a gazillion dollars for an ad, if you inspire your target demographic to buy your product and you royally piss off your not-target demographic, then the whole thing was a success...

    it's just...

    when these are the images we are bombarded with--and as some folks have said, maybe individually these aren't so bad, but taken as a whole--then this contributes to our collective consciousness. when we repeatedly see "manly" men ignore the women around them, over time it teaches us--both men and women--that that is ok. and maybe this is part cause and part effect. men holding more and more sexist views of women mean more and more commercials will cater to that view. and more and more such commercials will (in small part... i'm not suggesting commercials are soley responsible) contribute to men holding these sexist views.

    what a depressing lesson to be subconsciously instilling in the millions of superbowl watchers.

    woman posts an article/opens up a discussion about sexism in advertising (possibly implying that this is sort of a larger societal problem). in particular, she mentions being frustrated when men don't take women seriously (ad 8)
    this leads to a portion of her comments being of the form:

    "Are you seriously asking for gender neutral ads? Are you out of your mind? What the hell is a gender neutral ad anyway? boo hoo, your feelings were hurt. Who gives a fuk."
    "Wow you're just saying that cause you dont have a boyfriend or you are a lesbian"

    so yeah. that's kind of funny. in a sad sort of way.

    disclaimer: obviously i cannot tell sex from "anonymous." but let's be honest, on some of these i can guess.

    To "Get a grip people, they're only fucking advertisements..." It's true, they are. And I can choose to ignore them/ not watch them. And i can choose to buy products from the competitors of those ads. and yet... there *are* "gullible" people out there. and if these types of ads are subtly influencing the way that gullible men (or women) view me and treat me and expect me to act, then it has an effect on my life even if i didn't watch the superbowl and never personally got offended by the ads. so i don't think it is out of place to be alarmed by these ads

  80. To be fair, Dove is playing a deliberate irony.

    As for pretty much all of the above - now dears, why would ever think that media imagery influences the minds of the masses? Other than the overwhelming evidence?

    Face it, O generic internet clamourers, if social change is going to happen, it's gonna have to start with the media, and ads are the worst offenders when it comes to backtracking social progress...

  81. To Ghouldilocks

    What are you talking about? This is honestly the only real sexist thing against women I've read on this page, and your picture indicates that you're female... that's pretty disgraceful.

    Nobody belongs anywhere... If you think that you belong in the kitchen because you are female and want to refer to women in such a foul term, then I'm just sad for you.

  82. @Anonymous:
    Methinks you need a new sarcasm detector.

  83. @Joe McKen
    And maybe you need a troll detector.

    She was referencing 4Chan's /b/ Anonymous and I treated her here like an Anonymous on /b/ would have treated her...

  84. Some serious haters here who are just a bit to idiotic for me to be associated with. I'm a man, and I also am not an egotistical sexist ass wipe who believes I'm better than someone due to an accident of my birth. These commercials are rancid sexist. Backing them up, as a man, means this is how you want your daughter or sister or mother treated. Congrats jackasses, you just became the stereotypical male chauvinist. Which makes you less of a man. CHEERS!

    @author - thanks for bringing this up. I was bringing this up with my wife, who didn't watch most of the super bowl. I had he come in and start watching them, and she was appalled too. Its like we took a step back as a society when it comes to equality of the sexes.

  85. It's amusing how many posters feel that because the commercials are "funny" to them, that means that they're not offensive/harmful to both sexes? Somehow, an opinion circumvents a recent spike in backlash towards women? I don't think so. Facts/research/history of an unequal balance of power between the sexes is much more potent than any of your idiotic opinions which you find to be so wonderful and unbiased as a result of being told you're special too many times as a child.

    As members of society we are sadly consumers (and perpetrators) of all of this sexist/racist/heterosexist smog that is pumped out by the privileged. You have to think about WHY these commercials appeal to you and why they do not. Why they can be harmful, and why they even exist. I think this blog writer hit the nail on the head. It was a wonderful post and I am disgusted (although sadly not shocked) to read so much criticism on this type of topic. Are we not all trained to favor the white male hetero able-bodied christian? Just TRY to view the world beyond your privilege. Read some Peggy McIntosh or bell hooks before you criticize a blog post dedicated to addressing sexism in the media.

  86. Looks like many got in a tizzy over this post.

    I have read many articles about sexism and its effects on males, females of many age groups.

    These types of ads can, even subconsciously, affect people. Men feel that they in accordance to most ad to be more masculine, buff up, go play sports and drink beer.

    While women look at themselves and feel that they need to be skinny with a toned body and a full chest and butt to attract men. Women also feel that they have to do their hair wear make up and clothes that leave little to the imagination.

    Its sad but true how negatively advertising affects people.

    Now on the flip side. Hopefully people don't feel these things and get a good chuckle and are more inclined to buy the product because they've seen it before. Thats how corporations run they feed off the minds of people and attract their attention regardless of negative or positive views... you'll still buy the products right?

  87. Totally agree. Ignore all the rude, ignorant comments. Advertising IS becoming increasingly sexist and it's no good for our society. I hope 100 years from now, such advertising will be illegal.