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Nov 30 2011

Live by advertising, die by advertising

A beer company, Molson, came up with a cunning plan. Their market is primarily male, so they bought ads in women’s magazines, not to broaden their market, but to set up a ploy to appeal to men.

Here’s the ad they placed in Cosmopolitan, a magazine read primarily by women.

Then they placed this ad in magazines like Playboy, read primarily by men.

If you can’t read it, here’s the ad copy.

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF WOMEN.

PRE-PROGRAMMED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE.

As you read this, women across America are reading something very different: an advertisement (fig. 1) scientifically formulated to enhance their perception of men who drink Molson. The ad shown below, currently running in Cosmopolitan magazine, is a perfectly tuned combination of words and images designed by trained professionals. Women who are exposed to it experience a very positive feeling. A feeling which they will later project directly onto you. Triggering the process is as simple as ordering a Molson Canadian (fig. 2).

Extravagant dinners. Subtitled movies. Floral arrangements tied together with little pieces of hay. It gets old. And it gets expensive, depleting funds that could go to a new set of of 20-inch rims. But thanks to the miracle of Twin Advertising Technology, you can achieve success without putting in any time or effort. So drop the bouquet and pick up a Molson Canadian…

The ad is a success in one sense: it’s getting a lot of attention paid to Molson Canadian, and if you believe there’s no such thing as bad publicity, sure, it works.

But in another sense, it’s just closed off a chunk of the market for them. Assume they are correct, and that the ads can ‘program’ or at least bias women to have a specific attitude towards men. The effect relies entirely on women not seeing the men’s ad, which announces that the women are being manipulated. The fact that both are being juxtaposed all over the place means that now the only feeling women will project directly onto men drinking Molson’s beer is one of mistrust, a very negative feeling.

It was stupid. It was frat-boy stupid. It’s just too bad there are a heck of a lot of frat boys out there who will think it’s cool.


For those who argue that it’s just a funny ad: OF COURSE, this ad is manipulating men. It won’t, by intent, convince women to buy Molson beer. The ad campaign is targeted entirely at men, and it works because there are a lot of men who will laugh at an ad that makes out women to be stupid and easily swayed by sweaters and puppy dogs.

What you’re missing is that the response to the ad, these juxtapositions of the two commercials, shows that they are incredibly dismissive of women. Molson is playing up the idea that women are gullible and not very bright, and that men will get a kick out of a campaign that claims to manipulate women in the shallowest possible way.

And of course, if it works and sells beer, it shows that men are gullible and not very bright. Sexism hurts men and women, since here it is, used to trick people into drinking crappy beer.

385 comments

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  1. 1
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    At least it’s not pink (/sarcasm, of course)

  2. 2
    jackrawlinson

    I have to admit, I think this is funny. Their collective tongues seem to be very firmly in their collective cheeks, to me. I think you’re taking it too seriously, PZ.

  3. 3
    greame

    Yah… but Molson Canadian is fucking swill.

  4. 4
    ChasCPeterson

    The effect relies entirely on women not seeing the men’s ad, which announces that the women are being manipulated.

    Bullshit. The effect–the only effect the advertiser cares about–relies entirely on the existence of all those “fratboys” reading the ladmags. They–the targets of the ads–are the ones who are being manipulated here, and I’ll wager successfully.
    How much Canadian beer do you think the collective readership of Cosmo buys? I’ll guarantee that Molson knows the answer to that one pretty accurately. How about the douches that subscribe to Playboy? They know that too.
    I’m not, of course, saying the campaign isn’t sexist–it totally is, on purpose*, because they’re marketing directly to sexists.

    [*unlike, I can't resist adding, the bunny cartoon]

  5. 5
    jimi3001

    I’m probably going to cause trouble so I do apologise – but I think it’s kinda funny. By having the “reveal” ads somewhere that women can see them as well as you seem to be saying then that lets them in on the joke. If men really do think that the “programming” ads will have an effect on women then they will be the butt of a joke that women can have, while everyone else would just see it as an effective way of getting the brand noticed.
    Reminds me of the excellent Old Spice advert that was on tv (but doesn’t come close to matching its brilliance unfortunately)

  6. 6
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Yeah my first impression was not that the readers of Cosmo were being manipulated but the people reading the add in playboy.

  7. 7
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    @jackrawlinson:

    I’m not seeing the tongue in cheek aspect of this. There could have been one and it would have saved it, but there just isn’t as far as I can see.

  8. 8
    cullen

    Oh, fer f’s sake… Before everyone gets heated up about this, also remember – comedy sells. I don’t think Molson honestly thinks a picture of a pretty man with some puppies and a bottle of Molson will actually psychologically program women. You should also look at some other Molson advertisements on YouTube – they’re usually pretty funny and all pretty firmly tongue-in-cheek – lots of puns on chasing beaver (because they’re Canadian, eh?). Try this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUqsF8vbR_Q

    Maybe back off the trigger finger just a little bit, before you scream SEXISM!

  9. 9
    jamessweet

    I don’t think it was supposed to “work”, I think it’s just supposed to be funny. And it almost is, a little bit, though the excessive gender stereotyping kinda wrecks it. But the core concept is a little amusing. And as others have said, anybody who actually thinks it might work is the butt of the joke. It’s just supposed to be entertaining, I think.

  10. 10
    scaryduck

    I think you’re over-analyzing this, PZ. It’s a brilliantly convoluted joke, knowing that the *actual* advertising comes from the back-chat about the adverts rather than the ads themselves. And here we are, talking about it. Whoops.

  11. 11
    atheist

    Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon (www.pandagon.net) has been writing about this newly popular misogyny in advertising for a while. I’ve noted it too, a kind of amusingly contemptuous, yet simultaneously fearful attitude toward women in certain markets (beer, fast food, shaving). The idea that men need to sequester themselves from women or they will become too “womanly”.

    For the folks on this thread saying this is just a joke, sure, you’re right it is. But on another level it’s not. The fact that you are commenting on a science/politics blog puts you above the national average in education. Many Americans are below your educational level and thus they do not see these ads with the sense of irony that you do.

  12. 12
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Oh good the “humorless bitchez shut up” brigade has already run in to shot down . . . . imaginary women . .. way to go, dumbasses! FOAD.

    You know, as a brewery employee and a beer snob, the only thing a man drinking molson says to me is “I’ve got no taste. Don’t talk to me”.

    Now, a man drinking Three Philosophers on the other hand . . . . .

  13. 13
    peterh

    How many frat rats – and normal people – have spoken to their mechanics bout the destruction of suspension assemblies (and the attending safety issues) caused by these fashionable 20″ rims and super-lo profile tires on conventional vehicles? And the much higher than average cost of replacement tires? Gotta give up lots of Molson to afford those!

  14. 14
    Ryan

    Well, I’m gonna make a quick comment and then run like hell before the shitstorm hits.
    I think the ad is funny, sure it plays up to stereotypes, but like some other people I thought that they were having a fun go at guys not girls. Really this is just crying wolf, and unfortunately when genuine cases of sexism come across well you’re not going to be taken seriously.

  15. 15
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Gotta give up lots of Molson to afford those!

    Too right. Though, I’m not really sure what’s more useless. Disgusting cat piss “beer”, or pointless car accessories.

  16. 16
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    and then run like hell before the shitstorm hits.

    LOL well, thanks for admitting you’re a coward up front. Saves us the time of reading anything you post.

  17. 17
    ManOutOfTime

    The ad is also doing a good job of exposing jackass sexist Pharygulites. Is it funny? Of course it is, in a crass, degrading way like all sexist or ethnic jokes are. Is it clever? Yes! Molson is a rotten, soulless perveyor of cheap, shitty beer – and their target customer base appears to be people who think manipulating women is hilarious. Clearly, they aren’t the choice of discriminating beer drinkers, and Molson Canadian drinkers can’t get laid without resorting to deception and insulting manipulation.

    Perhaps this is all a setup so Molson can apologize since that seems to be such a laudable, sensitive thing to do. Who knows? No effect on me in the end – I only buy beer and wine made in the great California Republic so Molson can suck it anyway.

  18. 18
    pharylon

    I personally thought the first one was funny even before I saw the “reveal” ad. I mean, puppies? I dunno, either Molsen thinks both sexes are idiots, or it’s just very tongue-in-cheek.

    I see absolutely no problem with the “ladies have now been programed” aspect of the ad. It’s a joke, only an idiot would believe it, and it was funny.

    I did find the second part fairly sexist, though.

    Extravagant dinners. Subtitled movies. Floral arrangements tied together with little pieces of hay. It gets old. And it gets expensive, depleting funds that could go to a new set of of 20-inch rims. But thanks to the miracle of Twin Advertising Technology, you can achieve success without putting in any time or effort. So drop the bouquet and pick up a Molson Canadian…

    It’s the same old stereotypes for winning a woman’s heart, where women are all materialistic and guys have to spend money on them. Plus the stereotype for men thrown in about how we’d like to skip all that and get to sex.

    But, really, that’s pretty standard fare, especially for beer ads. Hell, that’s tame for beer ads, and you can find much worse with about five seconds of flipping through Playboy.

    So, yeah, the beer ad is sexist, but in the realm of beer ads, it’s far from the most objectionable, and the part that PZ is objecting to seems very tongue-in-cheek to me.

    Honestly, if I flipped though the issue of Playboy that ad is in, I guarantee you I can find a lot more sexist stuff than that. :)

  19. 19
    Ryan

    “LOL well, thanks for admitting you’re a coward up front. Saves us the time of reading anything you post.”

    Quick on the draw aren’t we.

  20. 20
    municipalis

    PZ Myers: But in another sense, it’s just closed off a chunk of the market for them. Assume they are correct, and that the ads can ‘program’ or at least bias women to have a specific attitude towards men.

    Molson isn’t trying to convince women of anything. Really. Remember, these are marketers, not social scientists; the whole premise of the campaign was released to a bunch of sites and the broadsheet actually says its targeting “young male consumers”. This is just another blip in a long line of sexist beer advertising that tries to link male sexual fantasies to some brand of watery swill. The offensiveness of this probably works in their favour, because most of their target demographic would probably be actively hostile any sort of feminist reading of the ad. I’m sure they’d love nothing more than national news coverage.

  21. 21
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I only buy beer and wine made in the great California Republic

    OOoohhhh what beer from CA?

  22. 22
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Quick on the draw aren’t we.

    LOL can’t stick the flounce, coward?

  23. 23
    Predator Handshake

    I always wondered what Zack Morris got into after graduating from Bayside, and now I know that he made it into advertising.

  24. 24
    divalent

    This is too funny. Reigniting the old “it’s JUST A JOKE!” vs “you sexist men JUST DON’T GET IT!”.

    Where’s the popcorn? (Where is erv?)

  25. 25
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Yeah, I would agree that this has probably got more to do with joking about manipulating women than actually manipulating them. But how does that make it any better? It’s still sexist as hell, it still relies on ridiculous stereotypes about women (and some extent men). It’s a bad ad, worth all the ridicule it’s getting.

  26. 26
    carlie

    My most charitable interpretation of it is that it’s poking fun at all advertising; isn’t the whole point of adverts to “program” you into thinking people who use the product are cool people you want to be like and be with?

    But for the meaning-impaired, one of the big problems with this is the reinforcement of it being a good thing to program women into doing what men desire. One of the big triggers abusers have is “she just won’t do what I want her to”, and that’s when women end up in the hospital. Even jokes that reinforce that idea are not a good thing for society.

  27. 27
    flakko

    Bunnies and blows

  28. 28
    municipalis

    It should also be noted that these ads date from 2002, so we’ve missed the boat here by a decade or so….

  29. 29
    jesus

    I thought it was funny…

    I don’t for a second believe it actually works. I’m even skeptical that they put the secondary ad in Cosmo. I mean, their target audience is a man who probably isn’t going to look things up anyways.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s funny.

    Like this:
    http://disinfo.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/creationism-4.jpg

  30. 30
    ManOutOfTime

    I’m trying to think of an ethnic equivalent – perhaps running an ad in a Spanish language magazine or Ebony, then bragging in a “white” magazine – Field&Stream? Weekly Standard? – about how the other folks are being manipulated to do Whitey’s bidding. This is not really so different. I guess nothing should surprise me post-l’affaire Elevator Guy, but, really – guys, don’t do that!

  31. 31
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Does anyone here drink real beer? I need suggestions for a not-too-hoppy bock. German.

  32. 32
    Ryan

    @22 nothing like a midafternoon troll from you is there? I simply made my views known and then because it’s getting late made a comment that I’m getting out of here, (perhaps a bit sarcastically.) Play the man not the ball.
    And seriously chill dude, it’s always easy to call someone a coward on the internet though…

  33. 33
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I only buy beer and wine made in the great California Republic

    way to limit yourself.

  34. 34
    karmacat

    I thought both ads were hilarious, whether or not Molson intended it to be hilarious. The ironic part is that women will look at the guy drinking the Molson and wonder why he doesn’t look like the male model and why he doesn’t have any puppies. She will then feel disappointed and not bother with regular schmo holding the Molson. (Actually the male model has a blank stare and doesn’t look very interesting. But I would still wonder where the cute puppies are.)

  35. 35
    pharylon

    I think the ad is funny, sure it plays up to stereotypes, but like some other people I thought that they were having a fun go at guys not girls.

    I think both. Clearly, the women’s ad is showing off a bunch of stereotypes (puppies!) and the guy’s ad is doing the same (20 inch rims!). And I agree that the ads are tongue-in-cheek, but….

    Really this is just crying wolf, and unfortunately when genuine cases of sexism come across well you’re not going to be taken seriously.

    It’s still sexism. It’s not the worst case in the world, but it’s still perpetuating the stereotypes, even if it’s in jest.

    That being said, there’s a lot of ads that are a lot worse. A lot of beer ads, specifically, are very degrading to women. And on the flip side, quite frankly a lot of household items (cleaning products, especially) are targeted to women using the same tactics, but aren’t doing it tongue-in-cheek at all.

  36. 36
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    One of the big triggers abusers have is “she just won’t do what I want her to”, and that’s when women end up in the hospital.

    To bolster Carlie’s point: Here’s some hilarious “she didn’t obey me like she’s supposed to” shit right here. Yuck it up!

  37. 37
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Coward, just fucking leave already. I’m not a dude, and you’re a useless whiny moron.

  38. 38
    scorpy1

    ‘Cause you know, most of Playboy’s readership are intellectual, scientifically minded chaps.

  39. 39
    vacuumslayer

    Molson: The Axe Body Spray of Beers

  40. 40
    Ryan

    “It’s still sexism. It’s not the worst case in the world, but it’s still perpetuating the stereotypes, even if it’s in jest.”

    I don’t know, it just seems quite a minor issue, I kinda reckon that by paying it all this attention people are being drawn away from well, more obvious cases. I think the term crying wolf definitely comes to mind here. The most you can say is that its in bad taste.

  41. 41
    pharylon

    ‘Cause you know, most of Playboy’s readership are intellectual, scientifically minded chaps.

    You know, so many people used to say that they only bought it for the articles. Funny how it’s sales have dropped sine the Internet brought free porn to the masses.

  42. 42
    vacuumslayer

    Also, spectacularly unfunny. I’d be hugely turned off by any man who found this funny.

  43. 43
    richard

    I think it’s just supposed to be funny. And it almost is, a little bit, though the excessive gender stereotyping kinda wrecks it.

    Which gender stereotype are they playing on here, male stereotypes or female ones, or both? I think they’re mostly ridiculing gender stereotype advertising itself.

    I think you’re over-analyzing this, PZ. It’s a brilliantly convoluted joke, knowing that the *actual* advertising comes from the back-chat about the adverts rather than the ads themselves. And here we are, talking about it. Whoops.

    The punchline ^^^^

    Many Americans are below your educational level and thus they do not see these ads with the sense of irony that you do.

    Ha ha “I Am Canadian”, therefore I get the joke?

    Molson ad campaigns = the tongue has been firmly lodged in the cheek for over a decade, but I guess you’re right, there will be kneechins.

  44. 44
    turnpiketom

    Putting aside the horribleness of Molson as beer, I’m with the humorologists on this one.

    Puppies.
    Pre-programmed for your convenience.
    Twin Advertising Technology (acronym TAT or TWAT, perhaps?).
    Subtitled movies.
    20-inch rims.
    The middle-school “sciencey” diagram of the Twin Advt Tech effect.

    It ain’t brilliant, but it’s humor built on stereotypes, with men as the butt of yet another joke about getting laid easily.

  45. 45
    Synfandel

    Not only are Canadians chuckling at the ad; now they’re also laughing at Americans who can’t tell a joke when they see one.

  46. 46
    coraquilonis

    Impression from ad 1: Puppies! So cute! Guy! So cute! Molson beer? Whatever.

    Impression from ad 2: I will never date a man who drinks Molson beer, beverage of deceit. I also will never purchase Molson beer, nor will I support any man or woman who does.

  47. 47
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @illuminata:

    Can’t help you there. I tend to go with local brews wherever I visit though – simply because they taste much better, and I like supporting local things (bands, beer…)

  48. 48
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Ryan:

    I don’t know, it just seems quite a minor issue, I kinda reckon that by paying it all this attention people are being drawn away from well, more obvious cases.

    Dear Muslima…

  49. 49
    vacuumslayer

    I’d love to Axe Body Spray this beer. Just rag on it so mercilessly that anyone who drinks it is instantly branded a huge loser.

  50. 50
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    It ain’t brilliant, but it’s humor built on stereotypes, with men as the butt of yet another joke about getting laid easily.

    Yes, its a joke. No one said otherwise. That it is a joke doesn’t erase the issues. Doesn’t erase the sexism. We have explained this a billion times re: rape “jokes”. Stop being dumb.

    Yes, it is a joke. A sexist (to both sexes), unfunny, insulting “joke”. I mean, seriously, trying to get us to drink Molson? That’s insulting in and of itself.

  51. 51
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Dear Muslima…

    LOL. Katherine for the win!

  52. 52
    vacuumslayer

    Impression from ad 2: I will never date a man who drinks Molson beer, beverage of deceit. I also will never purchase Molson beer, nor will I support any man or woman who does.

    Yeah, Molson Beer just totally became Douche Beer. Congrats, Molson!

  53. 53
    Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare

    Advertising subtlety on par with the republican decision to run Dan Quayle as VP because he was handsome and women would vote for him because of that.

    That sure dates me!

  54. 54
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Katherine @47 – That’s usually my bag too. But I’ve been getting into European beers ever since I started working for an American subsidiary of a Belgian brewing company and started getting freebies from the mothership (as we call our Belgian overlords).

    That said, tell me where you’re going to be and I’ll tell you what’s best to try. *wink wink nudge nudge*

  55. 55
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Molson: The Axe Body Spray of Beers

    ding!

  56. 56
    stan

    I’m sorry everyone, but I cannot help but notice that the ZOMG-sexism (a.k.a. all-men-are-misogynists) crowd is bitching about a pair of ads that appear in the two most sexist magazines published in the US.

    You owe me a new irony meter.

    Even if you’re right — and in spite of the ad’s humor on an educated person such as myself, I can easily see that thuggish frat-boys will miss the point completely, likely causing actual harm in the process — the facts that half of these ads appear in that bastion of the objectification of women, ‘Playboy’ (and probably ‘Maxim,’ ‘FHM,’ etc.), and the other half appear in that bastion of stereotype-reinforcement, ‘Cosmo’ (and probably ‘Redbook,’ ‘Glamour,’ etc.) are the real problems. Don’t bitch about a beer company making an in-poor-taste advertising decision in the face of the greater evil of magazines which are fucking dedicated to the negative gender stereotypes and morally problematic caricatures which are the actual problem.

    Focus, people.


    Stan

  57. 57
    richard

    That it is a joke doesn’t erase the issues. Doesn’t erase the sexism. We have explained this a billion times re: rape “jokes”.

    Rape jokes?

    That’s a serious pile o’ straw you’re playing there….

  58. 58
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Shorter stan: I’m a dishonest dipshit troll. Please throw rocks at me.

  59. 59
    Abdul Alhazred

    It’s not stupid if it sells beer.

    One thing that must be realized in analyzing beer advertising is that 80% of the beer is consumed by 20% of the beer drinkers.

    I got that statistic from a book by Jerry Della Femina, who is among other things the author of the jingle “Schaefer is the one beer to have when you’re having more than one“.

    More than one, see? Not wasting time trying to snag the occasional moderate beer consumer.

    So the whole thing is frat boy stupid? Sure is. Who drinks more beer? Frat boys or people likely to be offended by this ad campaign.

    You think the Molson people really think they are programming women? They are programming frat boys.

  60. 60
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m sorry everyone,

    Liar.

  61. 61
    pharylon

    Advertising subtlety on par with the republican decision to run Dan Quayle as VP because he was handsome and women would vote for him because of that.

    That sure dates me!

    I dunno. I’m wondering if it’s better that they’re being obvious about it. A lot of guy’s beer ads come down to “this will make you more attractive to women,” or “this will make you more of a guy to drink our beer.” A lot of women’s ads (as I said upthread, specifically household cleaning items) use the same imagery. Cute animals, adorable kids, etc.

    A lot of ads do this exact same thing. The only reason we’re discussing this one is it was kind of making fun of itself and the whole stereotypical gender-targeted ad in the process. In other words, they were being upfront, blatant and mocking about doing the same things ad agencies do all the time straight-faced. When they say the first ad was “scientifically formulated,” I don’t doubt it was formulated by ad agencies in exactly the same way they do other women’s ads.

    So is this better? Is it better that they’re being upfront and kind of mocking the sexist ad instead of hiding it and actually believing that this kind of ad works?

    Or am I reading waaaaaay too much into this? :)

  62. 62
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    You think the Molson people really think they are programming women? They are programming frat boys.

    You mean, reinforcing stereotpes many of them already believe in? Oh yeah, that’s something we should let pass.

  63. 63
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Rape jokes?

    That’s a serious pile o’ straw you’re playing there….

    *facepalm* LOL happy hogtied christ.

    I was explaining that “it’s just a joke” changes exactly nothing by explaining that “it’s just a joke” is used to excuse rape “jokes” AS WELL, and that we have covered a billion times.

    To help you along, this means that I’m not calling this example a rape “joke”. Replace that with “racist jokes” if you’re still having trouble understanding.

    One more time: “It’s just a joke” is a meaningless excuse and changes nothing.

  64. 64
    leahr

    It is fucking depressing how many frat boys are heehawing it up in this thread. Could all of you who find this “brilliantly funny” please flag yourselves by walking around with Molson highnecks in one hand and puppies in the other, so that I may avoid you? Thanks.

  65. 65
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Being a beer rep means I get to meet a lot of these guys. So, I second leahr’s suggestion. If you could be so kind as to guarantee I never waste any nanoseconds of my life talking to any of you IRL, that’d be great.

  66. 66
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    ?You mean, reinforcing stereotpes many of them already believe in? Oh yeah, that’s something we should let pass.

    I don’t think pointing that out is letting it pass.

  67. 67
    stringer

    What’s the difference a black man and a pizza? Find out with our new Dominoes Family Feeder! For only 9.99 you can feed your family of four without a twenty year prison sentence.

    Hey now, relax. My tongue was in cheek so it’s all good. I’m just trying to sell some pizza and obviously I’m actually making fun of the real racists. Can’t you guys just nut-up and take a joke? Sheesh, with all that shrill harping about racism and privilege you’re starting to sound like the ol’ ball and chain. AMIRITE FELLAS

  68. 68
    vacuumslayer

    Thanks for telling us what we can and can’t be concerned about, Stan. I still am gonna find the ad extraordinary obnoxious, however.

  69. 69
    pharylon

    One more time: “It’s just a joke” is a meaningless excuse and changes nothing.

    Right, but I think the argument can be made that Molsen’s is actually deconstructing and making fun of the sexist ads. I can’t imagine that anyone (OK, well, not very many) seriously believes that it’s “programming women.”

    Ads do this ALL THE TIME without doing it tongue-in-cheek. They target women with images of puppies and cute kids and target men with, well, images of women and the promise of sex. I think the argument is we should be getting upset at the ads doing this with a straight face, not the ones making fun of it.

  70. 70
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    A further thought: Anyone remember “The Man Show”? Damn that show was funny. You had a couple of lovable schlubs celebrating the manly stereotype while mocking it at the same time. The whole thing was kind of sexist, but in a sort of “we’re a couple of morons, you should be laughing at us as much as with us” way. So that was pretty cool.

    Then they replace the chunky guy and the nasal-voiced guy with a couple of overgrown frat boys, and the show lost its ironic self-awareness and became sort of creepy. When a guy like Jimmy Kimmel tries to act macho and awesome with “the ladies”, it is awkward and funny. When a tattooed MMA guy like Joe Rogan does it, it is a little… borderline sexual harassment?

    Context matters. These ads lack the self-deprecating/self-aware attitude required to make it funny rather than creepy.

  71. 71
    A. Noyd

    Of course it’s supposed to be funny. What the fuck is wrong with you people pointing that out, as though none who would criticize the ad can figure that out? That’s not the problem. Making it a joke doesn’t fix the fact that it’s reinforcing several nasty gender stereotypes (for both women and men) or that the “ha ha” part is the idea that men deserve sex and women exist to provide it and wouldn’t it be so much more convenient to mind-control women than to try to work to make a relationship with them. The reason it’s “funny” is because it relies on and reinforces a dehumanizing attitude towards women that’s not a joke. But that’s only half the problem. The other half is that either they’re either completely discounting women as customers or they’re expecting us to find them clever for reinforcing this revolting and pervasive view of us as sex-providers.

  72. 72
    richard

    One more time: “It’s just a joke” is a meaningless excuse and changes nothing.

    Ha ha, especially when you don’t get the joke in the first place.

    Careful with that *kneechin*

    Interesting that a 2003 ad campaign mocking the use of stereotypes in ads actually got picked up and ran with as “sexist” 8 years later.

    One wonders why?

    Nothing more recent to misinterpret?

  73. 73
    stan

    Wow, illuminata, congratulations on pegging yourself as a crazy person. Clearly, you’re correct. I must be a troll, completely disinterested in refocusing the issue onto the actual problem.

    So go ahead and call every commenter names in your irrational rage against these ads, especially if you get the impression that they disagree with you in the slightest. In fact, I don’t think you’ll be satisfied here until you get someone to call you a ‘bitch’ or a ‘cunt.’ That’s a troll, by the way.

    To those who actually have control of their cognitive faculties, I note that the bulk of the complaints against these ads rail against not the tongue-in-cheekiness, but the fact that Molson has the audacity to drop the thin layer of subtlety found in every other fucking advertisement on the planet. Advertising sucks in general, as it is a complementary component of capitalism. Sexism and gender stereotyping also sucks in general. As it turns out, our society has embraced both, so it should come as no surprise — and I don’t think anyone here is truly surprised, in spite of the feigned outrage by illuminata et al. — but rather if anything it should reinvigorate the fight against the underlying problems in general.

    Yes, the ads are funny, but in a way that causes harm when encountered by the ignorant — which group is in all cases the target audience, given the media in which we find the ads. Yes, they are sexist and demeaning and all of the other ways we wish to describe them negatively. But lest we forget where the real problem lies, note PZ’s title of this post: Live by advertising, die by advertising.

    The magazines in question live by sexism and stereotype reinforcement.


    Stan

    P.S. @illuminata: Fuck off and learn to recognize allies, dipshit.

  74. 74
    pharylon

    Context matters. These ads lack the self-deprecating/self-aware attitude required to make it funny rather than creepy.

    I think that may be part of the hangup here. The ad was over the top enough that I see it as having that self-deprecating/self-aware attitude. I can see your side of it too, though. I think maybe their big problem is they didn’t wink hard enough.

    For those of you that hate these ads, I have a question. Assuming my interpretation is right (they are making fun of these sorts of stereotypical ads and sort of “winking at the camera” while they do it), would that change your mind about them?

  75. 75
    stringer

    For those of you that hate these ads, I have a question. Assuming my interpretation is right (they are making fun of these sorts of stereotypical ads and sort of “winking at the camera” while they do it), would that change your mind about them?

    In my opinion the fact that they are selling a product undermines any attempt at satirizing existing trends in advertising.

  76. 76
    shouldbeworking

    What a stupid ad. It insults everyone. I have already let Molsons know my opinion of their fucking stupid moronic ad and what they can do with the idiotic juvenile assholes who were paid far too much money for this crap. Perhaps we should pharynulate Cosmo?

    Real beer drinkers* shudder at the thought of Molson and beer being associated in this way, except when the words ‘is not good’ is placed between them.

    *read as ‘drinkers of real beer’. The home brewer group I used to belong to had some great female brewers, they could put Moslons Coors out of business.

  77. 77
    pharylon

    In my opinion the fact that they are selling a product undermines any attempt at satirizing existing trends in advertising.

    Any product? Seriously?

  78. 78
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    @illuminata: Fuck off and learn to recognize allies, dipshit.

    She seems to be doing a pretty good job at this.

    My thought about the first add?
    “How’s he going to drink any of that beer without mashing the puppies?”

    Those adds are sexist against men and women, play on stereotypes and they don’t deconstruct and challenge them.

    Proposal for a beer add that challenges stereotypes:
    Picture of plain ordinary guy.
    “If you think that drinking beer makes you look like him….”
    Picture of model.
    “…take the one our competitors make. If you care about a damn good beer, drink ours”.

  79. 79
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I don’t think pointing that out is letting it pass.

    That comment sounded to me like one supporting “It’s just a standard beer commercial, what’s the big deal?”. If I got it wrong, I apologize to the commenter.

  80. 80
    Abdul Alhazred

    @66 Rev. BigDumbChimp

    ?You mean, reinforcing stereotpes many of them already believe in? Oh yeah, that’s something we should let pass.

    I don’t think pointing that out is letting it pass.

    Quite so. I certainly wasn’t defending them.

    But that leaves the question of how exactly does one not let it pass? It either sells beer or it doesn’t.

    Announce a boycott by all right thinking people (who probably don’t drink Molson’s anyway)?

    More publicity, more sales.

  81. 81
    vacuumslayer

    Boycott is not the way to go. Word of mouth campaign associating the beer with loserdom is the way to go.

  82. 82
    =8)-DX

    I’ve never got this and I would be beholden to anypony who could explain this to me. Do women find that guy attractive? With the puppies? Does the idea of a guy still clining on to his beer while petting the animals seem attractive either? I mean I enjoy a regular bottle or two while doing chores around the house but I would never consider myself attractive while clinging onto an alcoholic beverage.

  83. 83
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Would all of the people defending the ad for being “funny” also defend a “funny racist ad”? Is it tongue in cheek? Probably to an extent, but being tongue in cheek and promoting sexist stereotypes are not mutually exclusive.

    Why don’t we see tongue in cheek ads making light of racism?

    So go ahead and call every commenter names in your irrational rage against these ads, especially if you get the impression that they disagree with you in the slightest. In fact, I don’t think you’ll be satisfied here until you get someone to call you a ‘bitch’ or a ‘cunt.’ That’s a troll, by the way.

    Fuck off

  84. 84
    slowloris

    For fuck’s sake… most the people criticizing this ad probably thought the Old Spice guy was hilarious. And not tongue-in-cheek enough? Have you seen what kind of ads are the norm for Cosmo? This one would really stick out.

  85. 85
    Nick Gotts

    Right, but I think the argument can be made that Molsen’s is actually deconstructing and making fun of the sexist ads. – pharylon

    Sure, that argument can be made.

    By a moron.

  86. 86
    vacuumslayer

    Old Spice Guy: not hilarious. Barely amusing.

  87. 87
    doktorzoom

    Stringer @ 67: Yikes, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a racist version of that joke (for all I know, the racist version is the original…?)

    The first time I heard it, it played to a different stereotype:

    What’s the difference between an extra-large pizza and a drummer?

    An extra-large pizza can feed a family of four.

    I’ve told it dozens of times since, replacing “drummer” with “substitute teacher” (my own less-than-ideal job at the time).

    Jokes are continually recast in different frameworks; in this example, I think the joke is far more successful because the stereotype is occupational, not racial.

  88. 88
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I also dislike the new Dr. Pepper ad.

    “Dr. Pepper, not for women”.

    Again, why is at acceptable to do tongue in cheek sexist ads?

    “Dr. Pepper, not for n*ggers”.

    Saying that it tickles your bigoted sense of humor says nothing about the ad and everything about you.

  89. 89
    stringer

    Any product? Seriously?

    Yes. Intention is important. They are leveraging and propagating existing stereotypes in order to sell their beer. Their goal is to short-circuit the consumer’s normal decision making process by appealing to base desires and harmful identity memes.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible to include satire in an advertisement. I’m saying that the primary function of any advertisement discredits any satire the ad employs.

  90. 90
    slowloris

    Old Spice Guy: not hilarious. Barely amusing.

    Don’t mean presently. It has been played out. But when it originally came out a ton of people enjoyed it and was so successful that even Sesame Street parodied it. In fact, PZ posted it on the old site.

  91. 91
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Right, but I think the argument can be made that Molsen’s is actually deconstructing and making fun of the sexist ads.

    I completely agree. Its possible that was the intent. However, given the history of crappy beer ads, playboy and women’s mags, I think jumping right into this assumption is incorrect.

    I think the argument is we should be getting upset at the ads doing this with a straight face, not the ones making fun of it.

    No one is “upset”. At most, we’re mildly contemptuous. Notice how much mocking of the ads and the shit beer has gone on in this thread.

    I agree with what’s been said upthread. This sort of ad doesn’t read to enough people as mocking toxic gendered shit, and will, instead, be seen as supportive of it. Evidence? This thread. Where, amid all the claims of it just being a joke, are the classic sexist silencing tactics: focus on more important things (as defined by a man), stop talking about it, stop being so sensitive, I’m afraid for my safety if I disagree. Etc ad pukeum.

    If it were no big deal, wherefore the need to so strenuously defend it?

  92. 92
    Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare

    (inserting tongue firmly in cheek) They aren’t even very good lookin’ pups.

    Now, if he’d been holding English Setter puppies…

  93. 93
    scriabin

    Municipalis @ 28 is bang on – these ads are from nearly a decade ago.

    Molson Canadian is swill, eh. And back in 2002 the micro-brew industry in Canada was pretty lame, too.

    Shocking fact: mass-market beer advertising is wildly sexist and utterly bone-headed.

    But I would suggest that, ironically, in the context of the Swedish Bikini Team atmosphere of beer ads back then (and now), the self-referential approach of these ads – while being sexist – actually drew attention to the sexism (and stupidity) of beer marketing. At least Molson Canadian’s previous ads – especially the “I Am Canadian” rant actually were a breath of fresh air nearly 20 years ago because they *didn’t* rely on sexism to sell beer (just stereotypical nationalism/jingoism – that’s for another thread).

    But Molson Canadian is still swill, eh.

  94. 94
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Saying that it tickles your bigoted sense of humor says nothing about the ad and everything about you.

    That wasn’t very clear, and isn’t really what i meant to say. I’ll try again.

    Saying that it tickles your bigoted sense of humor does not preclude the ad from being objectionable, and tells people a lot about who you are. In fact, if it is tickling your bigot-bone, that does tell you a lot about the ad itself.

  95. 95
    chigau (違う)

    Molson and Coors merged.
    I blame Coors.
    (Are these ads really from 8 years ago?)

  96. 96
    doktorzoom

    Me @87: Damn my vague pronoun! What I meant, of course, was that
    I think the “drummer” version of the joke is far more successful because the stereotype is occupational, not racial.

  97. 97
    richard

    Don’t people know how to use the Google anymore?

    What a stupid ad. It insults everyone. I have already let Molsons know my opinion of their fucking stupid moronic ad and what they can do with the idiotic juvenile assholes who were paid far too much money for this crap. Perhaps we should pharynulate Cosmo?

    Fact – The ad campaign was run for two months (two issues of magazines) in 2003.

    (re: Your letters of complaint to Molson are 8 years too late)

    Right, but I think the argument can be made that Molsen’s is actually deconstructing and making fun of the sexist ads. I can’t imagine that anyone (OK, well, not very many) seriously believes that it’s “programming women.”

    Fact – The ad campaign was explicitly mocking the other beer ad campaigns (in particular, Miller) that actually did blatantly objectify women.

    (this short campaign was launched to distance the brand from Miller who had just lost marketing rights immediately preceding the two month campaign in May/June 2003)

    By having the “reveal” ads somewhere that women can see them as well as you seem to be saying then that lets them in on the joke.

    Fact – The ad copy in Cosmo included an internet address that made the spoof obvious.

    (The WayBack machine is your friend)

    For those of you that hate these ads, I have a question. Assuming my interpretation is right (they are making fun of these sorts of stereotypical ads and sort of “winking at the camera” while they do it), would that change your mind about them?

    Fact – Some people will bruise their own chins with their own knees regardless of the facts.

    (You know who you are, …right? Good, now I do too)

  98. 98
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Wow, illuminata, congratulations on pegging yourself as a crazy person. Clearly, you’re correct. I must be a troll, completely disinterested in refocusing the issue onto the actual problem.

    Translation: I’m an obvious troll, as I think I get to decide what people can talk about, and how, and what the REAL PROBLEMS ™ are.

    So go ahead and call every commenter names in your irrational rage against these ads,

    Translation: I saw you mocking the ads and obviously getting a kick out of it, but you don’t have a dick, therefore I have to call you irrational and ragey. You know, cuz I’m an ally.

    In fact, I don’t think you’ll be satisfied here until you get someone to call you a ‘bitch’ or a ‘cunt.’

    Translation: I had to figure out some why to get misogynistic slurs in without being called out on it.

    That’s a troll, by the way.

    Translation: I don’t know what ‘troll’ means.

    P.S. @illuminata: Fuck off and learn to recognize allies, dipshit.

    Translation: Sure, I used every sexist dogwhistle I could cram into my idiotic posts, and I told you bitches to shut the fuck up and talk about what I tell you can talk about, cuz I’m an ally, damnit! Rage, rage, punch, punch, kick, kick, rage, rage, growl, growl.

    ++

    P.s. Richard, thanks for conceding defeat. Its always nice of dipshit trolls to admit they have no idea what they’re talking about.

  99. 99
    municipalis

    chigau (本当): (Are these ads really from 8 years ago?)

    Yep. Here’s a reference page for the campaign which says it was released in Oct 2002. And here’s a blog post from April 2003 about it. And here’s the page announcing the campaign as a whole won some advertising awards in September, 2003. Not sure why the original blog PZ linked too didn’t try and look it up.

  100. 100
    richard

    I completely agree. Its possible that was the intent. However, given the history of crappy beer ads, playboy and women’s mags, I think jumping right into this assumption is incorrect.

    As opposed to actually checking the history of this spoof and jumping to assumptions that confirm bias?

    M’kay.

  101. 101
    Gregory Greenwood

    stan @ 73;

    Wow, illuminata, congratulations on pegging yourself as a crazy person.

    (Emphasis added)

    And;

    So go ahead and call every commenter names in your irrational rage against these ads, especially if you get the impression that they disagree with you in the slightest. In fact, I don’t think you’ll be satisfied here until you get someone to call you a ‘bitch’ or a ‘cunt.’

    (Emphasis added)

    Alongside;

    To those who actually have control of their cognitive faculties

    (Emphasis added

    Not forgetting;

    ….in spite of the feigned outrage by illuminata et al.

    (Emphasis added)

    All in the same post as the sentiment;

    Sexism and gender stereotyping also sucks in general.

    So, you replicate a clutch of the arguments used to deligitimise feminist thought – ‘crazy’ or otherwise psychologically abnormal feminists with ‘irrational’ rage as the outcome, attempts to dismiss the perspectives of feminists by deriding their critique as ‘feigned’ outrage, implying that the ‘uppity woman’ is trying to provoke a sexist response as a variant of the “b*tch made me do it’ defence – all while claiming to despise sexism?

    The way I see it, there are two possibilities here: either you are trying to silence feminist perspectives while wrapping yourself in the flag of an ‘ally’, or you really don’t see the inherent contradiction in that combination of statements. Being a generous sort, I will assume that it is the latter, in which case you seriously need to think more carefully about what you are writing and how it denigrates the perspectives of women before you set finger to keyboard in future

    Sexism and gender stereotyping also sucks in general. As it turns out, our society has embraced both, so it should come as no surprise — and I don’t think anyone here is truly surprised, in spite of the feigned outrage by illuminata et al. — but rather if anything it should reinvigorate the fight against the underlying problems in general.

    How do you fight the ‘underlying problem’ when you don’t address specific manifestations of the sexist attitudes in society? In what way is the fight against sexism helped by trotting out well worn arguments aimed at dismissing women’s experience of sexism?

    P.S. @illuminata: Fuck off and learn to recognize allies, dipshit.

    Stuff like this is beginning to strain the benefit of the doubt that I am struggling to afford to you here…

  102. 102
    municipalis

    Also, the last link I posted above has some really interesting bits about the background of the ad.

    We went on-premise to observe what happens. We went to clubs, restaurants, upscale bars, sports bars and a few dives. Any place you could get a cold bottle of imported beer. We watched how guys held their bottle of beer – with the label facing forward. How they positioned it at a table – in front of them. We learned the difference between “Wednesday night beers” with the guys and “Friday night beers” with the ladies. What we learned was that Molson’s category isn’t really beer, but rather male fashion. It turns out that our target (males 21-27) uses beer exactly the same way they use fashion labels – to “signal” who they are and what they’re all about and make themselves more attractive to the opposite sex. And certain beer brands have spent millions of dollars over many years to give their labels badge value. Corona says you’re laid back. Heineken says you’re up and coming and know quality. Guinness says you’re a bit of a beer connoisseur. The implication? We needed Molson Canadian to become a badge too.

    Seems to have worked:

    Positive opinion of the Molson Canadian brand is up 30% since we launched the Twin Label idea, and we’ve made progress in reshaping the image of Molson Canadian on key user imagery attributes.

  103. 103
    richard

    P.s. Richard, thanks for conceding defeat. Its always nice of dipshit trolls to admit they have no idea what they’re talking about.

    Wow, the needle on the irony-o-meter just broke off so violently that it’s going to land on Mars way before NASA’s Curiosity gets there.

  104. 104
    chigau (違う)

    municipalis
    Thank you.
    My google-fu is weak.
    Providing the links was more helpful than telling me my google-fu is weak.

  105. 105
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Thanks for proving me right, Richiepoo. Keep on digging that hole, I like being right.

  106. 106
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I’m still waiting for an answer as to how this is substantially different than a tongue in cheek ad which plays off racist stereotypes.

  107. 107
    vacuumslayer

    Positive opinion of the Molson Canadian brand is up 30% since we launched the Twin Label idea, and we’ve made progress in reshaping the image of Molson Canadian on key user imagery attributes.

    Wow. A lot of stupid people out there, huh?

  108. 108
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    you_monster, something tells me that people claiming there’s nothing wrong with this, wouldn’t have a problem with a racist ad either. After all, it’s “just” a “joke”.

  109. 109
    vacuumslayer

    Fact – The ad campaign was explicitly mocking the other beer ad campaigns (in particular, Miller) that actually did blatantly objectify women.

    How is this a fact? Did the advertisers confirm this with you?

  110. 110
    lofgren

    1. This ad is no more manipulative of women than it is of men. That’s what we hire advertisers to do: manipulate people.

    2. The whole campaign is no more manipulative of anybody than anything else this advertiser will create between now and retirement. You think they don’t use the same bullshit from the men’s magazine ad to dazzle their clients? Of course they do.

    3. Neither of these ads rely on women or men not knowing that they are advertisements or that they are being manipulated. If that were true, no television or magazine advertising would be worth anything at all.

    4. The ad directed at women is trying to get them to drink beer. The ad directed at men is trying to get them to drink beer. Everything else is just part of the advertisement. Getting angry about this is like running up on stage and trying to administer CPR after Romeo stabs Tibault. It’s a fiction. Don’t worry about it (in the sense of worrying that it was a serious attempt to brainwash women to like men who drink Molsen).

    5. The ad is sexist, against both men and women. It’s also directed at people, both men and women, with low self-esteem in an attempt to manipulate them to use a low quality product that is bad for their health in order to conform to their peers and thus become socially accepted. In other words, like every other beer ad ever.

    Despite all this, I still think it’s pretty clever, in the same way that I might acknowledge that an evil mastermind’s schemes are very well thought out without condoning either his methods or his goals. I don’t think this ad is any more sexist or offensive than any other beer ad. All this does is explain in jokey detail what it is that advertisers do. The fact that it is more explicit and arguably more honest doesn’t make it any more or less slimy, although it is a good teaching moment.

  111. 111
    vacuumslayer

    I’m still waiting for an answer as to how this is substantially different than a tongue in cheek ad which plays off racist stereotypes.

    You’ll be waitin’ awhile.

  112. 112
    scriabin

    Okay, @ 106 – I’ll try:

    It’s *not* substantially different than a tongue-in-cheek ad which plays off racist stereotypes.

    I would suggest, however, that satire is supposed to do that to change societal behaviour. But the problem Molson runs into – as Stringer notes above – is that satire and advertising make uncomfortable bedfellows.

    So maybe your question should be “can you do satire of the negative aspects of your product’s advertising to sell your product”?

    I dunno. Okay – maybe I didn’t answer your question, you_monster…

  113. 113
    vacuumslayer

    I keep being told what I should and should not worry about, yet I continue to find this ad spectacularly dumb and offensive. oh noes!

  114. 114
    cullen

    I’m not saying ‘give sexism a pass’ I’m saying you’ve got this one wrong and are wasting your efforts fighting satire of sexism rather than fighting actual f’ing sexism!

    Nobody’s saying ‘don’t worry about it’ but a fair few people *are* saying ‘you’re worrying about the wrong thing’ and trying to explain why!

    Look at the track record of the company. Molson has been doing ads like this for decades – mocking stereotypes both of ‘normal’ beer advertising and of Canadians.

    Why so much outrage?

    Oh and Illuminata – nice job alienating anyone not firmly in your camp already. Way to go not getting more people to rally to your cause.

  115. 115
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Getting angry about this is like running up on stage and trying to administer CPR after Romeo stabs Tibault. It’s a fiction. Don’t worry about it (in the sense of worrying that it was a serious attempt to brainwash women to like men who drink Molsen).

    So, for the 73rd time, we have a dude pretending that an entire thread of people mocking a dumb ad and shitty beer are “angry” and then telling us what we’re allowed to be “worried” about.

    There’s a word for this phenomenon, isn’t there?

  116. 116
    richard

    Also, the last link I posted above has some really interesting bits about the background of the ad.

    This references a dual beer label gimmick by the same agency (Crispin Porter & Bogusky) in 2002, not the May/June 2003 print/internet spoof being discussed.

    See: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-04-09/business/0304090283_1_molson-usa-cdw-crispin-porter-bogusky

    (sorry, still getting used to the tags)

    “The spoof comes as Molson, armed with a small budget, realized that it couldn’t play in the same realm as Miller and Coors Brewing Co.”

    So, shall we all boycott all products Crispin Porter & Bogusky ever ran ad campaigns for?

    (inserting tongue firmly in cheek) They aren’t even very good lookin’ pups.

    Apparently, even with a disclaimer, you risk being called a “dog-hater” by those whose knees are faster than their brains.

    If it were no big deal, wherefore the need to so strenuously defend it?

    Sometimes it’s just an aversion to (any) bullshit, hyper-hyperbolic straw man arguments and confirmation-bias.

  117. 117
    vacuumslayer

    I think I’ll define sexism and when I should or should not be offended. kthankxbai.

  118. 118
    pharylon

    I’m still waiting for an answer as to how this is substantially different than a tongue in cheek ad which plays off racist stereotypes.

    The stance of the ad’s defenders isn’t that the ads are playing off sexual stereotypes, it’s that the ads are gently mocking sexual stereotypes in advertising (especially beer advertising).

  119. 119
    vacuumslayer

    Note: It’s the author of the article who defines the ad as a spoof, not the advertisers themselves. ;)

  120. 120
    cullen

    And re: racism, I wouldn’t have a problem with a ad mocking racism, whether it be satirical or straight-up. The straw man doesn’t hold water, though, because the ‘examples’ given aren’t mocking racism, they are racist.

    There. Throw rocks at me as you will.

  121. 121
    vacuumslayer

    The stance of the ad’s defenders isn’t that the ads are playing off sexual stereotypes, it’s that the ads are gently mocking sexual stereotypes in advertising (especially beer advertising).

    Ok, then let’s see some more ads mocking racial stereotypes! Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! Fun!!!!!

  122. 122
    municipalis

    richard: This references a dual beer label gimmick by the same agency (Crispin Porter & Bogusky) in 2002, not the May/June 2003 print/internet spoof being discussed.

    No, it’s part of the same campaign. From my link (again for the lazy):

    Molson Twin Advertising

    Working off the same brief that led to the Twin Label idea, the creative team came up with the idea of making the advertising itself a tool to help our guys. They developed Molson Twin Advertising. We ran a full-page ad in Cosmo “signaling” that Molson drinkers were caring, sensitive men.

    At the same time, we ran an ad in Maxim, Stuff and FHM that explained to our guys that we were preprogramming women to have a positive emotional response at the sight of a man drinking Molson Canadian.

    You can also see this ad referenced in the broadsheet in my post, #99.

  123. 123
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I’m not saying ‘give sexism a pass’ I’m saying you’ve got this one wrong and are wasting your efforts fighting satire of sexism rather than fighting actual f’ing sexism!

    Why are you so convinced YOU get to decide what real sexism is and what other people are allowed to talk about?

    Nobody’s saying ‘don’t worry about it’ but a fair few people *are* saying ‘you’re worrying about the wrong thing’ and trying to explain why!

    That’s just a straight up lie. Plenty have said don’t worry about it. Why are you so convinced you’re the authority on what sexism is? Why are you so convinced that you’re right? Why are you so invested in pretending to be an ally when you clearly have no interest in listening at all?

    Why so much outrage?

    Why are you and your faux ally buddies so desperately trying to pretend we’re angry? What’s to be gained with this obvious lie?

    Oh and Illuminata – nice job alienating anyone not firmly in your camp already. Way to go not getting more people to rally to your cause.

    Translation: You should be grateful we’re paying attention to your cute little pet causes at all. Take whatever we give you and shut up. Don’t argue with us! We’re men and we know everything! That’s being an ally!

  124. 124
    doktorzoom

    Incidentally, how is it that we’ve gotten this far in the thread without anyone noting another old joke?*

    Why is Molson’s** like sex in a canoe?

    It’s fuckin’ close to water.

    ________

    * Or is this the beer-related equivalent of the justly-hated “two boats and a helicopter” parable?

    ** [Insert other brand name here]

  125. 125
    teebee

    Love the blog, been reading for a long time. Maybe some of your “sexism” stuff is starting to go off the deep end (with emphasis on the word some). To me, this seems like a wittier than usual beer ad that is meant to stir up banter. I thought it was funny and that they probably knew what they were doing.

  126. 126
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    There. Throw rocks at me as you will.

    Why are you so UPSET? It was JUST A JOKE!!!

  127. 127
    vacuumslayer

    “Sexism” in scare quotes. Awesome.

  128. 128
    scriabin

    …this thread seems to outline the dangers of modest proposals in advertising…

  129. 129
    vacuumslayer

    Why are you so UPSET? It was JUST A JOKE!!!

    Tee hee!

  130. 130
    vacuumslayer

    like a wittier than usual beer ad

    Oh my. I bet you think Dane Cook and Larry the Cable Guy are really funny too.

  131. 131
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    doktorzoom – LOL You win the thread too. How did we get so far into the thread without plain and solid truth? ;)

  132. 132
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Lofgren,
    You are focusing too much on whether it is a serious attempt to manipulate and “brainwash women”. To me, it is clearly meant to be a joke. But it is still a sexist joke and bigotry isn’t all that funny to me.

    cullen,

    I’m not saying ‘give sexism a pass’ I’m saying you’ve got this one wrong and are wasting your efforts fighting satire of sexism rather than fighting actual f’ing sexism!

    Accepting this, then it would be another instance of Poe’s law. Satire of sexist stereotype reinforcement is indistinguishable from the real thing. Better to just criticize both real and Poe bigotry.

    And re: racism, I wouldn’t have a problem with a ad mocking racism, whether it be satirical or straight-up. The straw man doesn’t hold water, though, because the ‘examples’ given aren’t mocking racism, they are racist.

    And I do not buy the argument that this is some progressive ad mocking the sexist norm in advertising. To me this ad says, “misogyny is funny and cute. LOL”.

  133. 133
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    …this thread seems to outline the dangers of modest proposals in advertising…

    Exactly. Which has been the point all along. Notice the several times it was mentioned that this ad being satire likely wouldn’t register to gen pop. Add to that the repeated use of sexist dogwhistles and silencing/shaming tactics by the ad’s supporters. Showing that, even among those who consider this to be satire, the impulse to smack the bitches down for not laughing was immediate and strong. Which neatly proves the point – the ad being satire or not is irrelevant. The ad being a joke is irrelevant. Because the attitudes it was presumably attempting to satirize are omnipresent and very real.

  134. 134
    teebee

    Also, anyone offended by the idea that this ad is deliberately trying to exploit some human desires, conditions, beliefs etc should probably sit down in front of a tv and watch the superb@wl while flipping through a stack of women’s mags. Prepare to have your mind blown… Welcome to pop culture- a much larger phenomenon than any one particular ad or ad agency. Why get out of sorts over this trivial, milk toast ad? Go to spike tv’s website and witness.

  135. 135
    vacuumslayer

    I’d say that’s game, set, match. It’d be nice if we could close out the thread with that, illuminata. Really well said.

  136. 136
    vacuumslayer

    *sigh*

  137. 137
    stan

    @Gregory #101

    Oh, I knew I was using certain taboo phrases (at least in this sort of conversation). I’m an asshole, true, but not a sexist. Irrational behavior is irrational. Crazy persons are crazy. Feigned outrage is feigned. (Okay, that last one was pretty bad; I have no evidence that illuminata is feigning her outrage.) When a group declares certain criticisms to be off limits, I tend to start using them.

    The rhetoric which suggests that I cannot seek to turn the focus onto the actual underlying problem without being a misogynist/chauvinist is the same self-fulfilling bullshit ploy pulled by e.g. Christians. Any disagreement or criticism from within results in the immediate expulsion of the erstwhile dissenter. It is the same self-fulfilling bullshit ploy used by e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous. Denial of a problem is evidence of a problem.

    I agree that the ad is funny. It is. I also agree that it is harmful. It is. But to suggest, as illuminata does (#91), that an attempt to focus on the larger issue (or at least to remind the frothy-mouthed crowd that these ads appeared in magazines which are explicitly sexist and demeaning) is somehow engaging in “classic sexist silencing tactics” just is to say that the denial of a problem is evidence of a problem.

    I’m not seeking to refocus anger and contempt toward some unrelated problem of my own definition, I’m noting with no small amount of irony that these ads (which I understand to be nearly ten years old) are causing a stir, in spite of the fact that every other ad in the same magazines is even worse. In fact, the only apparent reasons that these ads are causing a problem are a) because it’s the controversy du jour as someone recently posted about it, and b) because Molson had the audacity to drop the subtlety.

    On top of this analog to selection bias, we have the greater problem which is the fact that the magazines in question are in a meaningful sense the cause — or at least the motivating vehicle — of these problematic ads. Yes, requiring segregation of restroom facilities is wrong, but the greater problem is racism. Insofar as we are correct in being upset about these ads, we should at the same time and with greater concern be intently focused on sexism and gender stereotyping in general. There are precious few commenters here noting that virtually every advertisement [in the magazines in question] caters to sexism or gender stereotypes, and the ZOMG-sexist commenters are deafeningly silent in that respect.

    If it is wrong for Molson to promote its shitty beer via these unsubtle ads, then how much more wrong is it for the magazines which cultivate such advertisements (indeed, the very stereotypes and sexism upon which the ads prey) to be published? Presumably, the problem isn’t the lack of subtlety, but if that’s the case, then why the [apparently feigned, and likely misguided] outrage over these, as opposed to outrage over ads in general in these magazines?

    Gah. Call me a sexist prick if you must, but as with many emotionally charged discussions, both sides (each side?) are guilty of irrational behavior and general craziness. There are many people who have reached the same conclusions as me, but if they’ve done so through poor application of logic, then they’re at least as wrong as those who have reached incorrect conclusions (assuming, of course, that my own conclusions are correct and reached through proper application of logic).


    Stan

  138. 138
    carlie

    It should also be noted that these ads date from 2002, so we’ve missed the boat here by a decade or so….

    Interesting – it just showed up on another website yesterday, for some reason it’s in the news again.

  139. 139
    vacuumslayer

    But to suggest, as illuminata does (#91), that an attempt to focus on the larger issue

    Note to stan: THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A “LARGER” ISSUE. Quit moving the fucking goalposts. The ad is sexist. People noted the sexism. End of fucking story.

  140. 140
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Why get out of sorts over this trivial, milk toast ad? Go to spike tv’s website and witness.

    milquetoast

    And why the hell should anyone be concerned about someone stealing your stereo when people are being murdered in Toledo?

  141. 141
    pharylon

    Ok, then let’s see some more ads mocking racial stereotypes! Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! Fun!!!!!

    I’d love to see more mocking of stereotypes in pop culture. Chapelle’s Show in the 00s probably did more to advance our conversation about race in the United States than anything else that decade.

    My favorite skit was the blind black man who’d been raised believing he was white and was incredibly racist. He’d say horrible things about “niggers” and how much better than them he was. But, obviously, he was black himself, so it didn’t make any sense. It just showed that white superiority wasn’t based on any actual superiority, just bias. When he believed he was white, he believed whites were superior.

    This is an ad in the same vein. They’re MAKING FUN of beer ads that do it with a straight face. Dave Chapelle wasn’t actually racist when he said all those racist things in his skit, he was parodying racism.

    Here’s what Molson’s VP of marketing said about the ad at the time (Emphasis added)

    The spoof comes as Molson, armed with a small budget, realized that it couldn’t play in the same realm as Miller and Coors Brewing Co.

    “We’re a bit of a fighter brand,” said Steve Breen, vice president of marketing for Molson USA. “We couldn’t do what those guys are doing and make any impact at all. We have to behave differently.”

    Now, it’s not like they were doing it to fight for sexual equality. His motivation was, basically, they didn’t have the money to do the same things all those other beer companies were doing in their marketing. He’s not a paragon of virtue, he’s a marketing VP.

    But the result was, basically, an ad campaign mocking the sexist ad campaign of others. I’d also like to point out that the women’s ad had a link on it that took you to this site (Wayback Machine link):

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030624133150/http://www.molsonman.com/

    So, definitely making fun of ad’s targeting women. I don’t think there’s any doubt when you click that link that they were being incredibly over the top and making fun of the other guy’s ads.

    In my opinion, we should be upset with the ads that engage in this kind of behavior with a straight face. This ad was really more on our side than anything else, making fun of them.

  142. 142
    No One

    Better ad:

    “After drinking enough of this stuff the troglodyte sitting on the bar stool next to you will look like the guy in this add.”

    And for the menz:

    * a picture of a beer bottle with a condom over it *

    COPY “Please drink responsibly.”

  143. 143
    scriabin

    illuminata @ 133 – I hear you. The attitudes are omnipresent and real.

    I’m not sure where to go with how satire is supposed to register to gen pop. There will always be stupid/sexist people (that’s why we’re here railing away, right?).

    So how far over the top do you have to go with satire for the gen pop to get it? Do you always have to eat baby flesh? Tough question. Maybe the ad is too subtle with its satire (a beer ad is too subtle?!! Egad).

    Molson Canadian does have a history of punching stereotypes in the face, taking them to silly extremes, making fun of them. I know this because (in big rant voice) I Am Canadian. Because of that (and not their shitty beer), I give them some baseline credit for pointing out stupid sexist attitudes (are they playing into them, too? Probably). This context helps.

    The Poe argument is a tough one, too. But I think for satire to work, *some* portion of the audience has to “get it”. I think that – given the context, at least – some of the audience *does* get the satire.

    Wish I could suggest a good-but-not-too-hoppy German bock. Sorry.

  144. 144
    vacuumslayer

    My favorite skit was the blind black man who’d been raised believing he was white and was incredibly racist. He’d say horrible things about “niggers” and how much better than them he was. But, obviously, he was black himself, so it didn’t make any sense. It just showed that white superiority wasn’t based on any actual superiority, just bias. When he believed he was white, he believed whites were superior.

    Yeah. I’ve seen the show. Wasn’t aware it was an advertisement. Also, I’d note that there was no ambiguity about whom or what you were supposed to find offensive in that sketch. HINT: It was the RACISM.

    “We couldn’t do what those guys are doing and make any impact at all. We have to behave differently.”

    Still no mention of it being a spoof.

  145. 145
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    vacuumslayer – a noble effort, but it will fall on a close mind. Stan is not even vaguely concerned with the “larger picture”. If he were, he would be interested in deconstructing all examples of toxic gender issues that contribute TO the larger picture. Which, after his spittle-flicking needlessly angry rants full of obvious lies, we know to be untrue. He just wants people on a blog he doesn’t run and isn’t a part of to stop talking because he has deemed them unworthy of being allowed an opinion and the subject unworthy of discussion. You know, cuz he’s an “ally”.

  146. 146
    vacuumslayer

    You know, cuz he’s an “ally”.

    An ally who condescends to us and falls into PRECISELY the behavior we were complaining about immediately after we complained.

    I’m tempted to call POE.

  147. 147
    cullen

    I thought it was a more-funny-than-most satire of ‘normal’ beer commercials as well as sexist stereotypes and a fairly decent bit of guerrilla marketing from a company who has a track record of doing exactly that.

    Oh, and Illuminata – I think you’re enraged because of what you’re writing and the tone of your response to anyone who dares disagree with you. I never claimed to be the authority on everything, especially not sexism. I do think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill in this instance, but you’re completely entitled to do whatever you want. I just think you’re being an idiot in the way you’re doing it, and not winning any friends or allies in the process. It’s called commentary, not censorship; if you take it to heart that reflects on you, not me, as I’ve said nothing offensive, stereotypical, or generalist about you or anyone you know.

    BTW – as soon as someone comes up with a half-decent racial satire joke as a comparison to this not-too-bad sexist satire, rather than a simply racist joke, I’ll have an opinion. Before that point, please refrain from telling me what my opinion is or should be, thanks.

  148. 148
    wyobio

    PZ, are you fucking dense? Women who read Cosmo *are* stupid. Also, lighten up.

  149. 149
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Scrabin – I really need an answer to this. What is with the repeated insistence that we’re angry, upset, railing, etc? Seriously, I want to know. I, myself, have been laughing my ass off since the post was put up – and making it very clear I was enjoying mocking the beer and the ad. I’m hardly alone in this respect. So, seriously, what is with that?

    So how far over the top do you have to go with satire for the gen pop to get it? Do you always have to eat baby flesh? Tough question. Maybe the ad is too subtle with its satire (a beer ad is too subtle?!! Egad).

    I wish I had an answer to that. However, as we’ve seen in this thread (and every other thread about this topic), causal acceptance of sexism is apparently very normal and apparently agreement with that is expected and demanded.

    Notice how all these self-proclaimed “allies” are crowning themselves kings of all knowledge and not listening at all. They’re an echo chamber of self-righteous privilege. How does satire get through that?

    Like I said upthread, I agree its possible that its trying to mock sexist ads. However, given the history of beer ads, playboy and women’s mags, I’m at a loss to understand why that is the first and only acceptable assumption. Isn’t it equally possible given the history of those things, that they assumed that their target market – young men, evidently – would get a laugh out of tricking the silly bitches? Ever hang out with young men when women aren’t around?

    These are irrelevant questions, mind you, because as I already said, this thread proves exactly why the ad fails.

  150. 150
    vacuumslayer

    “BTW – as soon as someone comes up with a half-decent racial satire joke as a comparison to this not-too-bad sexist satire, rather than a simply racist joke, I’ll have an opinion. Before that point, please refrain from telling me what my opinion is or should be, thanks.”

    Well, gee, wouldn’t this hinge almost entirely on a person’s OPINION of what is funny/sexist/racist/satire?

  151. 151
    pharylon

    Still no mention of it being a spoof.

    You mean, besides and article in the New York Times by a reporter who interviewed the VP of Marketing for Molson about this one specific ad campaign who noted it was a spoof? The part of my post right before that you cut out from your quote of me because it would have been inconvenient for you?

    Or besides the actual quote from the VP right after that claiming this ad campaign was them attempting to “behave different” than other beer companies employing sexist stereotypes?

    Or besides that Wayback Machine link I posted upthread that was the link the ads in the women’s magazine sent them to?

    Yeah, I guess no proof besides all that. Hey, it must be fun living in a world where people can present evidence to you and you can then just pretend it doesn’t exist.

  152. 152
    J Bowen

    Those puppies are so cute I have a sudden urge to run out and buy some St. Bernardus Abt 12.

  153. 153
    pharylon

    Notice how all these self-proclaimed “allies” are crowning themselves kings of all knowledge and not listening at all. They’re an echo chamber of self-righteous privilege. How does satire get through that?

    Yeah, but you actually were wrong. It was a spoof. Maybe they really are allies and really will fight sexism (as opposed to parodies of sexism) along side you, and you were just wrong this one time? Maybe?

  154. 154
    vacuumslayer

    What does anyone being angry have to do with anything? What if someone here were angry? Would that necessarily discount everything s/he had to say? Accusing someone of being angry is just another way of trying to put someone on the defensive…and then get them to shut up.

  155. 155
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @you_monster:

    Don’t try to convince lofgren about whether it’s offensive or not. They honestly defended a racist stereotype of Native Americans for largely the same reason “it’s funny and here’s why…”

  156. 156
    cyberwulf

    But PZ, I thought we women should be occupying ourselves by focussing on Real Oppression, instead of petty things like the media. I thought we were embarrassing and trivialising the whole feminist movement by zeroing in on one tiny little thing like a couple of ads. Please, O Wise Male Feminist, tell us where the line is.

  157. 157
    vacuumslayer

    Yeah, I guess no proof besides all that. Hey, it must be fun living in a world where people can present evidence to you and you can then just pretend it doesn’t exist.

    I’m sorry, where is the part where the advertisers are directly quoted saying the ad is a spoof? I will happily admit to being wrong about the ad being a spoof if you can find that.

  158. 158
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Oh, and Illuminata – I think you’re enraged because of what you’re writing and the tone of your response to anyone who dares disagree with you.

    In other words, you’re projecting. Thanks for the confirmation.

    I never claimed to be the authority on everything, especially not sexism.

    A blatant lie, given that you declared everyone wrong more than once. How could they be wrong unless you have a superior knowledge of sexism?

    I do think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill in this instance, but you’re completely entitled to do whatever you want.

    How is it being an ally to tell women to shut up and sit down, albeit couched in faux ally language?

    I’ll ask again – why do you think your opinion trumps others?

    I just think you’re being an idiot in the way you’re doing it, and not winning any friends or allies in the process.

    So, in addition to projecting, you’re also making shit up as you go. Okay then. Notice the people who don’t like me – such as you – are all the whiny drive by faux allies defending this ad. Notice how many posts in agreement with mine you had to ignore in order to type this sentence and pretend it had any truth to it?

    It’s called commentary, not censorship; if you take it to heart that reflects on you, not me, as I’ve said nothing offensive, stereotypical, or generalist about you or anyone you know.

    Can you translate this from whiny trollese, please?

  159. 159
    vacuumslayer

    Direct quote from the article:

    At the same time, guys reading Playboy, FHM and Ramp, among others, will see a copy of the Cosmo ad, with accompanying text explaining how Molson is making it easier for guys to meet women.

    “Hundreds of thousands of women. Pre-programmed for your convenience,” the copy reads. “As you read this, women across America are reading something very different: an advertisement scientifically formulated to enhance their perception of men who drink Molson.”

    The spoof comes as Molson, armed with a small budget, realized that it couldn’t play in the same realm as Miller and Coors Brewing Co.

    “We’re a bit of a fighter brand,” said Steve Breen, vice president of marketing for Molson USA. “We couldn’t do what those guys are doing and make any impact at all. We have to behave differently.”

    “The spoof” comes from the article-writer, not the advertisers.

    As to the VP of Marketing saying “We have to behave differently”…differently from what? He doesn’t specify.

  160. 160
    ibyea

    Ads should stop throwing around the word “scientific” all the time. They are devaluing the word.

  161. 161
    ibyea

    Also, this ad doesn’t look like satire, and I doubt that whoever made the ads did it with the intention of being satire. They just wanted to sell beer, even if it threw all those women under the bus.

  162. 162
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Yeah, but you actually were wrong. It was a spoof. Maybe they really are allies and really will fight sexism (as opposed to parodies of sexism) along side you, and you were just wrong this one time? Maybe?

    Where did I say it wasn’t a spoof? Perhaps reading my posts, such as #133 where I explain, again, why it being a spoof IS IRRELEVANT, would have helped you not make a fool of yourself.

    Maybe you should read before posting? Maybe?

  163. 163
    stan

    You know, illuminata, perhaps I misspoke when I suggested we were allies. I should’ve realized sooner that I am not your ally. I find the ads far less offensive than their contemporary ads on facing pages. I find those ads far less offensive than the magazines in which they appear, which magazines act as motivating vehicles and ipso facto enable the offensive ads in question. And I find all of it far less offensive than your join-me-or-I’ll-flame-you idiocy.

    As I said originally, though perhaps not as directly as may have been needed, the ads are problematic. The concern over them, however, seems to ignore several corollary facts, and seems further to ignore what clearly is a bigger problem. The corollaries are that these ads do what all ads do, just without the veneer of subtlety (which you of all people should appreciate). If these advertisements are problematic, then presumably all (or the vast majority of) advertisements are also problematic. I am of the opinion that a thing which is problematic becomes moreso when delivered with subtlety. The bigger problem — as a matter of fact, not mere opinion — is that the magazines in which these ads appear are the very forms of media which promote the stereotypes upon which the ads prey. Lose the problematic magazines, and you’ll also lose the problematic ads.

    I’m not telling you what to worry about, and I’m not saying that this is a non-concern. I’m instead telling you what you should also worry about, and noting that I do not hear the expected concern over the other ads, much less the magazines themselves. I’ve asked before whether the problem with these ads is their lack of subtlety or their content in general, and it seems to me that it cannot be the former — but if that’s the case, then why do I not see the expected concern for every other advertisement in these magazines, nor any concern for the existence of the magazines themselves?

    Insofar as I am not the arbiter of that which is worthy of concern, or that which is certainly sexist, neither are you. You have bullied virtually every commenter here, labeling many who might’ve called themselves your ally (including myself) as some form of chauvinist jerk diametrically opposed to everything you say. This is clearly not the case, no matter how loudly and frequently you say it. As I said to Gregory (in #134), the rhetorical tactic which suggests that any dissenting view is evidence of the truth of one’s claim is a bullshit tactic — and it is precisely what you’re doing.

    I’m not telling you to shut up because you don’t have a penis, I’m asking you to stop being a cunt. I agree with you on most issues, including what I see as the main issues in this discussion, but that’s apparently not good enough for you. That’s too bad.


    Stan

    P.S.: That I don’t often post here does not mean that I am not part of this blog. I rarely have the time or inclination to offer my views (most of the time they’re adequately covered by other commenters or PZ directly), but I do occasionally drop a comment here and there, and I certainly lurk as time permits. If you need an illustration of what I find repugnant about your behavior here and your attitude in general, look no further than your own assertion that I am not part of this blog.

  164. 164
    pharylon

    I’m sorry, where is the part where the advertisers are directly quoted saying the ad is a spoof? I will happily admit to being wrong about the ad being a spoof if you can find that.

    Ah! You’re using Ken Ham’s patented “were you there?” argument. Sure, the article writer who interviewed the VP of Marketing said it was a spoof, and the website the ad linked to was so over the top that there’s no doubt it was a spoof, and the VP of Marketing said they were trying to do a different kind of ad… but just because all the evidence we’ve found so far indicates one thing, doesn’t mean we should believe that if it disagrees with what is convenient for you. We can’t know for sure until we get the actual VP of Marketing to use the word “spoof.”

    Hey, remember that duck/pooh comic? We have most of the pieces now, and the puzzle is Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Maybe we don’t have every piece of the puzzle neatly arranged, but there’s more than enough evidence to demonstrate it’s not a duck.

  165. 165
    vacuumslayer

    “Ah! You’re using Ken Ham’s patented “were you there?” argument. Sure, the article writer who interviewed the VP of Marketing said it was a spoof, and the website the ad linked to was so over the top that there’s no doubt it was a spoof, and the VP of Marketing said they were trying to do a different kind of ad… but just because all the evidence we’ve found so far indicates one thing,”

    Yes, asking for actual proof IS exactly like Ken Ham. Insofar as your “evidence” indicating something, I feel we just disagree profoundly on what this THING is.

  166. 166
    Torish

    If Molson wasn’t such a shitty beer I would start drinking it more just so the crazy hyperfeminist manhaters would avoid me. I’d much rather be with a woman with a good sense of humor anyway. Stereotypes humor is FUNNY. Sure sometimes it’s taken too far and those should be addressed, but the world would a duller place without stereotypes humor.

  167. 167
    Ing

    I only buy beer and wine made in the great California Republic

    I read that as New California Republic.

    Try new, better, purified Nukawine! Now with 90% less radiation!

  168. 168
    Ing

    That is to say it’s wine from Nuka valley.

    Wah wah waaaaaaaaaah!

  169. 169
    doktorzoom

    Cullen requests “a half-decent racial satire joke”…

    It’s not an ad, but I’m fond of this one:

    What do you call an Arab airline pilot?

    “Captain,” of course. What are you, some kind of racist?

  170. 170
    pharylon

    Where did I say it wasn’t a spoof?

    You said it on post 50, where you said it was a sexist joke. And I said the same thing upthread, so I’m not blaming you there or claiming to have gotten the joke when you didn’t. I thought it was a sexist joke too.

    But then some people found evidence it wasn’t, that it was a parody of sexist ads. So I changed my mind to fit the available evidence. You, on the other hand, just changed your argument and then claiming you’d never said it wasn’t a spoof.

  171. 171
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    I’m not telling you to shut up because you don’t have a penis, I’m asking you to stop being a count.

    Seriously, fuck off you piece of shit. You are not getting flamed because you disagree with view that the ad is sexist. You are “getting flamed” because you are being an asshole.

    P.S.: That I don’t often post here does not mean that I am not part of this blog.

    Keep calling respected regulars (or anyone for that matter) “cunts” , and you won’t be a part of this blog for long.

  172. 172
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Torish:

    Lemme guess. White, heterosexual male?

  173. 173
    Ing

    . Stereotypes humor is FUNNY. Sure sometimes it’s taken too far and those should be addressed, but the world would a duller place without stereotypes humor.

    What a typical thing of someone grappling with latent homosexuality and penis envy to say.

  174. 174
    Ing

    I’m not telling you to shut up because you don’t have a penis, I’m asking you to stop being a count.

    You can take my monocle and Legosa cape from my cold, dead, girly, cigar ashen fingers!

  175. 175
    lofgren

    So, for the 73rd time, we have a dude pretending that an entire thread of people mocking a dumb ad and shitty beer are “angry” and then telling us what we’re allowed to be “worried” about.

    You are focusing too much on whether it is a serious attempt to manipulate and “brainwash women”. To me, it is clearly meant to be a joke. But it is still a sexist joke and bigotry isn’t all that funny to me.

    My response was to PZ and PZ only. In the post he gave many indications that he thought the ad was a serious attempt to manipulate women, and stated the factually wrong claim that the ad’s success relies on women not seeing the ad directed at men.

    I also disagree with his addendum. I think it is playing off of the idea that neither men nor women, particularly when choosing a cheap alcoholic beverage in a sexually charged social situation, are all that bright. The evidence that they are correct is pretty strong. Molson absolutely expected the ads to be seen together, and they knew it wouldn’t matter one bit. We’re talking about people who manipulate public opinion for a living, and very successfully at that. They are not so stupid as to think that women wouldn’t become aware of the first ad. They are also fully aware that men will read the second ad and think “Now that’s just dumb.” But they know that when it comes to brand recognition none of that will actually matter. This campaign ran in 2002. How many people remember it? I guarantee you at least a few of us saw it when it ran, but I doubt it left such an impression on any of us that we have specific feelings about Molsen to this day that stem from this ad. They’re just reinforcing the beer = sexy link in everybody’s head.

    I also think the ad is deliberately mocking advertising more than anything else. That doesn’t make it not sexist. (Did I ever say it wasn’t? I’m pretty sure I said the opposite.) But it’s sexist because being sexist serves their purposes, not out of any actual feeling towards men or women. Advertising is a symptom, one that cannot be fought directly. When sexism stops selling beer, they will stop being sexist.

  176. 176
    vacuumslayer

    If Molson wasn’t such a shitty beer I would start drinking it more just so the crazy hyperfeminist manhaters would avoid me.

    I’m pretty sure you repel women of all stripes…even without the shitty beer.

  177. 177
    Torish

    @172

    Wow, you’re good. Your point?

  178. 178
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @lofgren:

    Yes, and comedy that stereotypes Native Americans is funny because it’s making fun of the actors and the comedy itself and is in no way offensive to actual Native American persons.

  179. 179
    vacuumslayer

    Keep talking, guys! I wanna learn more about how the advertising biz works! This is all FASCINATING. *puts chin on fists and gazes skyward*

  180. 180
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Wow.

    I think it was intended as a spoof. I also think that it, even as an attempt at humour, promulgates misogynist stereotypes.

    For all those screaming (well, I have no idea if you are actually screaming, but some are typing as if they are) that it was a joke and for certain commenters to get off their high horses and stop being so serious, I have a question: If it was meant as a spoof, as humour, does that automatically mean that it cannot be misogynist and thus wrong?

  181. 181
    stringer

    Presumably, the problem isn’t the lack of subtlety, but if that’s the case, then why the [apparently feigned, and likely misguided] outrage over these, as opposed to outrage over ads in general in these magazines?

    I am outraged about ads in general. I’m discussing this specific add because it is the topic of the blog post that spawned this thread. The add is one of many examples of the advertising world’s contribution to socially acceptable bigotry that has infested human culture.

    Does that clarify?

  182. 182
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    When sexism stops selling beer, they will stop being sexist.

    The time when sexism won’t help sell beer will come faster if there is a large vocal backlash against instances of sexism being used to sell beer.

    I can’t tell if you agree with criticizing this ad, Lofgren. You admit it is sexist, but your attempt to understand why the ad was used seems to me to be an attempt to sidestep criticism of it.

    But it’s sexist because being sexist serves their purposes, not out of any actual feeling towards men or women.

    Who gives a fuck? It is part of the problem.

  183. 183
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Torish:

    My point is you’re speaking from the point of view of having unchecked privilege. I am a transgendered (male-bodied, female identified), bisexual Native American. You can say that stereotyping is funny, but it hurts the people who are being stereotyped.

    Look at Family Guy, for example. It’s full of sexist, trans- and homo-phobic jokes, and often has an air of veiled racism. Family Guy is not funny to me. It’s offensive, it’s harmful, and I have to defend my position as to why that is to far too many people. Their retorts that “it’s just satire” hurt, because it shows they don’t give a flying fuck about my position on the matter.

    It’s not up to you to determine what the unprivileged should find funny or what is “going too far.” What a cisgendered man finds funny, I may find offensive, shaming, or harmful.

  184. 184
    scriabin

    Illuminata @ 149.

    I don’t think you’re angry/upset/railing – I hope we’re all being (relatively) thoughtful. I think this is an interesting topic, and it’s good to talk about satire.

    And I don’t really know how satire can actually change anything (from the worst sexism to the worst whatever-ism). But it does, in some way, doesn’t it? Thus my Swift reference.

    I don’t think that it’s wrong to be irritated by the ad. Or to make the assumption that they’re using sexism to sell beer. But I do think, with some context (Molson Canadian actually has a history of making ads that wildly inflate stereotypes in order to mock them), it’s not unreasonable to take the satirical approach.

    Does this thread prove exactly why the ad fails? It proves some people don’t see satire. And it proves that some people see satire and are talking about sexism because of the ad. That’s good, no?

    And yeah, I’ve spent a good part of my life in men’s locker rooms (etc), so I do know what we talk about when there are no women around. And sometimes we talk about how to eradicate misogynist behaviour.

  185. 185
    Torish

    I’m pretty sure you repel women of all stripes…even without the shitty beer.
    If they’re like you then good I don’t want them anyway. The people to feel sorry for are the guys interested in you. They would have to be pathetically masochistic to want to be with you. Someone should save them from your torture.

  186. 186
    Ing

    Know who oddly does a lot of satire? Racists. No seriously, Neonazis and the Klan and sympathizers like that love them some satire targeting the mud people.

    It doesn’t mean they’re not hateful people, in fact it’s because they’re horrible people that they find such things funny or deep.

  187. 187
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Their retorts that “it’s just satire” hurt, because it shows they don’t give a flying fuck about my position on the matter.

    It’s not up to you to determine what the unprivileged should find funny or what is “going too far.” What a cisgendered man finds funny, I may find offensive, shaming, or harmful.

    But listening to and understanding other people’s experiences and how stereotype-reinforcing humor effects them is HARD. Much easier to go around calling people hysterical or insisting that they are “feigning outrage” because my privilege allows me to find humor in harmful stereotypes.

  188. 188
    Ing

    If they’re like you then good I don’t want them anyway. The people to feel sorry for are the guys interested in you. They would have to be pathetically masochistic to want to be with you. Someone should save them from your torture.

    You’re so cute! You’re like the stereotypical image of the 12 year old trying to convince everyone he’s totally totally had sex with like tons of women.

  189. 189
    Ing

    Hey know why people like Torish won’t sleep with fat chicks? Because they’re irate that anyone like that would constantly turn them down. #whiteheterostereotypehumor

  190. 190
    Torish

    I’m pretty sure you repel women of all stripes…even without the shitty beer.
    If they’re like you then good I don’t want them anyway. The people to feel sorry for are the guys interested in you. They would have to be pathetically masochistic to want to be with you. Someone should save them from your torture.

    That comment was intended for 176 vacuumslayer.

  191. 191
    Ing

    It seems you blockquote about as well as I imagine you fuck Torish.

  192. 192
    Torish

    It seems you blockquote about as well as I imagine you fuck Torish.

    Awww, did I hurt your feelings? Here’s a tissue.

  193. 193
    Ing

    @Torish

    No thanks. I know what you do with them.

  194. 194
    Torish

    You’re so cute! You’re like the stereotypical image of the 12 year old trying to convince everyone he’s totally totally had sex with like tons of women.

    Funny, but senseless. I haven’t said I wanted to have sex with anyone. For all you know I could be gay or bi or nonsexual for that matter.

  195. 195
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Torish, more like boorish, amirite?

  196. 196
    Ing

    @Torish

    No you totally fit a certain white hetero stereotype. Which you confirmed. Duh.

  197. 197
    Torish

    No thanks. I know what you do with them.

    Who’s the sexist now? You assume that just because I’m a guy I would be emasculated by suggestions that I can’t get any. You’re such a hypocrite.

  198. 198
    markr1957

    Whether or not the ad is sexist seems almost irrelevant next to the stupidity of trying to convince any man that drinking will ever win you the girl of your dreams. Few girls have ever been impressed by a drunk, and one who stinks of bad beer is even less likely to impress.

    I don’t know which agency Molson hired for this ad. but they need to fire it fast or expect to lose more sales than they pick up. Maybe the tag line should be that it’s a great drink for guys who have no chance in the first place. Now that would be funny.

  199. 199
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Torish:

    No, you said you were hetero in response to my question.

  200. 200
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Torish:

    Why have you decided to stop arguing the issue (and I think (from your writings) that you claim that since the advert is satire it cannot be either offensive or sexist?) and resort to insults? Did you realize that your opinion, while possibly honest for you, contributes to the continuation of a sexist culture? Or are you just a total rapidly oxidizing anal sphincter? (And yes, I know that there may be other options, those are the two that seem most obvious to my little mind.)

  201. 201
    Torish

    No you totally fit a certain white hetero stereotype. Which you confirmed. Duh.

    What stereotype might that be? That all white hererosexuals are sexists?

  202. 202
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Marius Rowell:

    I dunno, I might be impressed by a man who knew his drinks. But not like “Bud is the best, woo!” Someone who honestly knew a lot about beer and wine to a point of actual scientific knowledge. Of course that would probably mostly be because he would be intelligent, and would likely not be drinking to drunkenness.

    What can I say? Smart is sexy.

  203. 203
    Gregory Greenwood

    stan @ 163;

    I’m not telling you to shut up because you don’t have a penis, I’m asking you to stop being a cunt.

    (Emphasis added)

    Please refrain from using gendered insults such as this.

  204. 204
    Ing

    What stereotype might that be? That all white hererosexuals are sexists?

    Snicker. Do you realize what you just said?

    “What stereotype might that be? That all white heterosexuals are sexists? Because implicitly that’s how I’m acting!”

  205. 205
    Ing

    You’re the stereotypical white heterosexual bromander.

    Especially with your “YEAH WELL I WOULDN’T FUCK YOU ANYWAY!!!!”

  206. 206
    SallyStrange

    Interesting how the reaction to people perceiving and pointing out sexism that is obvious and deliberate (Molson ad) is pretty much identical to perceiving and pointing out sexism that is ambiguous and unintentional (the bunny cartoon) is pretty much identical:

    OMFG YOU LADEEZ ARE SO IRRATIONALLY HYSTERICAL. SO IS PZ. SHUT UP ABOUT SEXISM. YOU ARE DUMB. YOU ARE CRAZY. IT’S FUNNY, SO IT’S NOT SEXIST. NO, IT’S SEXIST BUT IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL. THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS. SHUT UP ABOUT THIS AND TALK ABOUT THOSE IMPORTANT THINGS INSTEAD. I AM YOUR ALLY, YOU STUPID CUNTS, SO LISTEN TO ME WHEN I TELL YOU TO SHUT UP.

    Thanks guys for confirming that a lot of you really are fucking sexist.

  207. 207
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    What stereotype might that be? That all white hererosexuals are sexists?</blockquote?
    No, just the ones that say this type of shit,

    If Molson wasn’t such a shitty beer I would start drinking it more just so the crazy hyperfeminist manhaters would avoid me. I’d much rather be with a woman with a good sense of humor anyway. Stereotypes humor is FUNNY. Sure sometimes it’s taken too far and those should be addressed, but the world would a duller place without stereotypes humor.

    Fuckwit, you revealed yourself as a sexist. And your liking of stereotype-based humor indicates there is a good chance you do not actively experience too much bigotry directed at you.

    You didn’t pop up, say you are a white het male, and then get called sexist.

  208. 208
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Christ on a stick, another block quote fail.

    Torish,

    What stereotype might that be? That all white hererosexuals are sexists?

    No, just the ones that say this type of shit,

    If Molson wasn’t such a shitty beer I would start drinking it more just so the crazy hyperfeminist manhaters would avoid me. I’d much rather be with a woman with a good sense of humor anyway. Stereotypes humor is FUNNY. Sure sometimes it’s taken too far and those should be addressed, but the world would a duller place without stereotypes humor.

    Fuckwit, you revealed yourself as a sexist. And your liking of stereotype-based humor indicates there is a good chance you do not actively experience too much bigotry directed at you.

    You didn’t pop up, say you are a white het male, and then get called sexist.

  209. 209
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    SallyStrange:

    Fandamntastic. It is amazing. Whether overt or covert, intentional or unitentional, humourous or non, satire or serious, the comments come through almost the same.

    And I am kicking my (ouch) self ver (ouch!) y hard since I didn’ (Ouch, I get the message!) t spot that.

    Thank you.

  210. 210
    Ing

    As an aside on the bunnies bull…this is a lot more blatant so missing this one is far less excusable.

  211. 211
    vacuumslayer

    OMFG YOU LADEEZ ARE SO IRRATIONALLY HYSTERICAL. SO IS PZ. SHUT UP ABOUT SEXISM. YOU ARE DUMB. YOU ARE CRAZY. IT’S FUNNY, SO IT’S NOT SEXIST. NO, IT’S SEXIST BUT IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL. THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS. SHUT UP ABOUT THIS AND TALK ABOUT THOSE IMPORTANT THINGS INSTEAD. I AM YOUR ALLY, YOU STUPID CUNTS, SO LISTEN TO ME WHEN I TELL YOU TO SHUT UP.

    Thanks guys for confirming that a lot of you really are fucking sexist.

    Fair enough, but I really do wish to learn more about this mysterious AD-VER-TI-ZING the men speak of. It sounds FASCINATING!

  212. 212
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    What is this ad supposed to tell me? All I’m getting from it is that men who drink that beer are incredibly boring. Seriously, they couldn’t add just a bit of color to that ad? It’s a beige explosion.

    But seriously, those marketing people are idiots.

  213. 213
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    As an aside on the bunnies bull…this is a lot more blatant so missing this one is far less excusable.

    er, I didn’t miss the sexism in this one. I was pointing out that I missed the similarity of comment between the two threads.

  214. 214
    SallyStrange

    By the way, if you really think that every guy who sees this ad would immediately think, “spoof,” instead of, “Sweet! Maybe this beer will help me get laid with some stupid bitch,” you haven’t been paying attention:

    Live by Advertising, Die by Advertising, the Axe Body Spray Edition

    Unilever accompanied roughly 100 males (identical studies were later carried out across other European countries, North America, and Latin America) ages 15 to 50 to the pubs until three or four in the morning and (soberly, while secretly taking copious notes) watched them in action. After poring over their pages and pages of notes, via a process known in the industry as “segmentation,” the Unilever team isolated six psychological profiles of the male animal — and the potential Axe user: the Predator, the Natural Talent, the Marriage-Material Guy, Always the Friend, the Insecure Novice, and the Enthusiastic Novice……

    So with the Insecure Novice as the primary target, Axe came up with a series of 30-second TV commercials that preyed on what its research had revealed to be the ultimate male fantasy: to be irresistible to not just one but several sexy women.

    However, the brand’s early success soon began to backfire. The problem was, the ads had worked too well in persuading the Insecure Novices and Enthusiastic Novices to buy the product. Geeks and dorks everywhere were now buying Axe by the caseload, and it was hurting the brand’s image. Eventually (in the United States, at least), to most high-school and college-age males, Axe had essentially become the brand for pathetic losers and, not surprisingly, sales took a huge hit.

    So many assholes really thought Axe would work as a literal chick magnet that Axe’s brand began to suffer with non-misgynist non-idiots.

    This ad is old, sure. It’s a relatively mild form of sexism, sure. But it’s still toxic sexism. In no way does it call into question the idea that women exist primarily to be fucked by men, and that it would be awesome if women were less like people and more like sexbots that you could program them. Nor is it really challenging the idea that women are stupid, child-like creatures who need to be manipulated. The ad IS manipulating men, by using those very same stereotypes it fails to challenge. The manipulation works because a large number of men–and women!–sincerely believe that these stereotypes are largely true. No average Joe, or Jane for that matter, is going to look at that ad and conclude that the people being mocked are people who think women are stupid and easily manipulable, and that they exist to serve men’s sexual desires. Anyone who sees the ad and is reminded that those are harmful stereotypes is not going to be buying any beer.

    It really is hilarious, the lengths that sexists will go to in order to deny sexism, no matter what the arena. You can just watch them turning off larger and larger portions of their brain, the more they talk about how trivial and invisible and non-existent this obvious example of sexism is.

  215. 215
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    You said it on post 50, where you said it was a sexist joke. And I said the same thing upthread, so I’m not blaming you there or claiming to have gotten the joke when you didn’t. I thought it was a sexist joke too.

    But then some people found evidence it wasn’t, that it was a parody of sexist ads. So I changed my mind to fit the available evidence. You, on the other hand, just changed your argument and then claiming you’d never said it wasn’t a spoof.

    LOL oy. You really, really need to stop and think before you post. I called it a sexist joke and that’s somehow magically saying that it’s not a spoof? And cute that you completely avoided addressing post #133, specifically cited.

    Keep grasping at those straws, dude.

    ++

    I’m not telling you to shut up because you don’t have a penis, I’m asking you to stop being a count.

    Ah, yes. How could anyone doubt your being an ally? I just can’t imagine where anyone – and, not just me, you’ll notice – doesn’t see you for the champion of women that you so clearly are.

    Go back to Elam’s blog.

  216. 216
    Rey Fox

    Okay, so there’s already over 200+ comments on this, so obviously the derp squad is out. So this is what I’ll say about it: No, I don’t believe that they really believe in their “programming” strategy. And no, I don’t believe that they believe that I’ll believe that women are being programmed for me. But here’s the thing: they think I’ll laugh at the notion and drink their beer. Any way you slice it, they think I and my fellow man-fellows are fucking morons. And that’s what I find offensive. I’d be just as annoyed if they tried to spin it the other way, by running ads in womens magazines claiming that Molson ads in mens magazines were programming us to, I dunno, do chores for them or some other hoary gender cliche.

    Jerry Seinfeld: “It offends me as a comedian.”

  217. 217
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    scrabin:

    I don’t think you’re angry/upset/railing – I hope we’re all being (relatively) thoughtful. I think this is an interesting topic, and it’s good to talk about satire.

    I would agree. But you’ve seen how many times the douchey trolls have accused everyone of being such. Apologies for mistakenly thinking that’s what you were doing as well.

    And yeah, I’ve spent a good part of my life in men’s locker rooms (etc), so I do know what we talk about when there are no women around. And sometimes we talk about how to eradicate misogynist behaviour.

    I would really, really like to believe that.

  218. 218
    StarStuff, a soulless cunt

    Rey Fox:

    the derp squad

    That is the best thing to call them. It literally made me laugh out loud (though I had to stifle it because I’m in a computer lab on campus).

  219. 219
    SallyStrange

    Jerry Seinfeld: “It offends me as a comedian.”

    Truth.

    If there’s one truism about bigotry, it is this: its purveyors will always pretend that it’s cutting edge because it’s offensive. They think we are idiots who cannot tell the difference between something that is genuinely novel and offensive and something that is old, stale, boring, and also offensive. Perhaps because they are idiots and have a hard time imagining how non-idiots think, I don’t know. But they always do this.

  220. 220
    Rey Fox

    Extravagant dinners. Subtitled movies. Floral arrangements tied together with little pieces of hay. It gets old. And it gets expensive, depleting funds that could go to a new set of of 20-inch rims. But thanks to the miracle of Twin Advertising Technology, you can achieve success without putting in any time or effort.

    I mean, really. Who WANTS to fall into these pigeonholes? Obviously, people that I want to avoid at all costs. If the presence of Molson beer makes them easily identifiable, then I guess that’s a net good.

  221. 221
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Any way you slice it, they think I and my fellow man-fellows are fucking morons. And that’s what I find offensive.

    Thank you. Exactly.

  222. 222
    Rey Fox

    And I will readily cop to the fact that my annoyance at these ads from a comedic standpoint is privilege. I have to imagine what it would be like if I were the class reduced to a commodity in this campaign.

    Then again, it’s advertising. We’re all commodities. Fucking A, I want to go occupy something now, but I have work to do.

  223. 223
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    What is this talk of bunnies? Did I miss something?

  224. 224
    Crudely Wrott

    From time to time I mention the Oops Factor and how often it is not allowed for.

    This is a prime example.

    I predict that there will be a mild shakeup in Molson’s advertising strategy accompanied by wordy excuses and mea culpas followed by more mediocre attempts to sell a mediocre product to a mediocre demographic.

    >sigh<

  225. 225
    jimi3001

    “Please refrain from using gendered insults such as this.”

    I wanted to ask someone about this, I figure this is the best place to do it. I don’t like to use the word cunt as a description for someone because of its actual meaning, so is there a similarly guttural word that people use to describe a repugnant person? I’m thinking of people like the pope.

    To get back on subject, perhaps some of us were/are being a bit naive to think that even in satire the use of the gender stereotypes do not offend the people they stereotype and can only see things from our own perspective. As far as I’m concerned (which I doubt will be of any concern to anyone else, but I’ll say it anyway), whenever the white heterosexual male is stereotyped I don’t find it offensive because I find the stereotypical male a ridiculous character. We’re not usually stereotyped as disposable sex machines though – and if that were the case then on reflection I probably would be annoyed when it kept cropping up.

    However, I don’t (currently – do attempt to persuade me if you think otherwise) think that finding it funny makes one sexist, or even a sexist-enabler so to speak (& maybe that’s only because it’s the position I’m in & am defending myself). While vociferous objection to sexism is certainly an effective way of bringing it to the attention of society, I think ridicule is good in combination with this, so that we can push sexism out of society while remaining light-hearted (which I don’t feel if being vociferous about something). I think the ad provides some of the latter.

  226. 226
    Ing

    so is there a similarly guttural word that people use to describe a repugnant person? I’m thinking of people like the pope.

    Douche, shithead, pisant, peon, slimebag,

  227. 227
    SallyStrange

    I actually drink Molson every once in a while… I have fond memories because it’s the first beer I drank with my dad, just a year or two before I turned 21. For a cheap beer, it’s… well, cheap, but heck, it’s beer.

    I thought the one with the guy with the puppies was obviously playing into stereotypes about what women like, but not in a particularly offensive way. The offensive part is the deliberate dismissal of the possibility of selling beer to women, accompanied by the strategy of marketing to misogynist assholes who take “this will help you manipulate women!” seriously. And there are plenty of those assholes out there, as the story about Axe demonstrates.

    Sexist advertising is everywhere. It’s insulting to both women and men. Talking about one small piece of it does not preclude talking about the other pieces. Nor does it preclude talking about other, more egregious examples of sexism, for instance acid attacks on women who turn down suitors, a practice that is spreading from India and Pakistan to the US. Calls for people to shut up about X and talk about Y instead reduce to “shut up.” Don’t do that. If you want to talk about Y, just fucking talk about Y. If it’s off-topic, take it to the Endless Thread. People will be more than happy to talk about it there.

    If you just can’t stop yourself from telling people–especially feminists who are talking about sexism–to shut up about X and talk about Y instead, then you’re probably a sexist.

  228. 228
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    I’m not telling you to shut up because you don’t have a penis, I’m asking you to stop being a cunt.

    Considering that the word “cunt” is often used to mean “woman who won’t shut up (especially wrt things that annoy me)”, I don’t see how there’s any difference. It’s also pretty damned sexist to reduce a woman to her sexual organs and use that as an insult to dismiss her.

  229. 229
    Ing

    I wonder if the ad was two men enjoying a beer together while watching the game on the couch published in mainstream publications followed by an ad in queer publications explaining how they’re ad is totally softening the reader’s to straight friend up to be flipped by manipulating the ideas of manly male bonding, the reaction from straight men might be different.

  230. 230
    Torish

    You can say that stereotyping is funny, but it hurts the people who are being stereotyped.

    I can understand hurt feeling and sympathize when I cause that paid in others, but I think the world would be a better place if everyone was able to see jokes as what they are. I’m a white guy, but I enjoy black comedy even when they’re making fun of me. If there were more white people with my sense of humor, for example, than black comedy clubs would be a more diverse place.

    Why have you decided to stop arguing the issue (and I think (from your writings) that you claim that since the advert is satire it cannot be either offensive or sexist?) and resort to insults? Did you realize that your opinion, while possibly honest for you, contributes to the continuation of a sexist culture?

    The only insults I had was targeted at vacuumslayer(she started it). My claims isn’t that this ad isn’t offensive. I find it quite stupid IMHO though I did chuckle when I saw it. My claim was that I’d prefer to be with a woman who found it funny as opposed to one whose response was to wage war against it. That’s all. The world would be a better place if people had a better sense of humor.

    Snicker. Do you realize what you just said?

    “What stereotype might that be? That all white heterosexuals are sexists? Because implicitly that’s how I’m acting!”

    Way to put words in my mouth. Not even worthy of a response since my race and gender have nothing to do with anything.

    Fuckwit, you revealed yourself as a sexist.

    I don’t want to be with a crazy feminist so that makes me sexist. Fine, I can live with that.

    And your liking of stereotype-based humor indicates there is a good chance you do not actively experience too much bigotry directed at you.

    Sure, because anyone who has had bigotry directed at them MUST be more sensitive to it. It’s impossible for someone to ignore bigotry and be happy about themselves regardess of the bigots. /s

    Give me a break.

  231. 231
    Crudely Wrott

    I mean, just imagine that a major commercial enterprise retains advertising professionals and all of their high-dollar whippersnappers assume that only women read Cosmo and only men read Playboy!

    Where the hell have they spent the last several decades? Where the hell have they had their heads all this time?

    Oh.

  232. 232
    Ing

    I can understand hurt feeling and sympathize when I cause that paid in others, but I think the world would be a better place if everyone was able to see jokes as what they are. I’m a white guy, but I enjoy black comedy even when they’re making fun of me. If there were more white people with my sense of humor, for example, than black comedy clubs would be a more diverse place.

    You hardly seem to be fine with it when we targeted it at you. Pathetic

    Sure, because anyone who has had bigotry directed at them MUST be more sensitive to it. It’s impossible for someone to ignore bigotry and be happy about themselves regardess of the bigots

    Things White People Do: Decide what is acceptable and unacceptable bigotry for non-white people.

  233. 233
    Ing

    @Myself

    Actually, wait I forget. Isn’t that how Topgun was advertised?

  234. 234
    shouldbeworking

    Wow. Richard sure told me off. I didn’t see the time line on the ads. I’m glad he educated me gud. What a fucking moron. Doesn’t change the fact that the ad was stupid, sexist and not funny. And the dogs weren’t cute. And their beer is crap. Labatts Blue is better (not by much).

  235. 235
    SallyStrange

    My claim was that I’d prefer to be with a woman who found it funny as opposed to one whose response was to wage war against it. That’s all. The world would be a better place if people had a better sense of humor.

    The world would be a better place for sexist douchebags if hysterical bitches would just lighten up and realize that sexism is funny!

    Right.

    We already knew that, asshole. Can you come up with something novel?

  236. 236
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    whenever the white heterosexual male is stereotyped I don’t find it offensive because I find the stereotypical male a ridiculous character

    That’s because white heterosexual males are in a position of power. It’s the power imbalance that makes stereotypes hurtful. It doesn’t really hurt the powerful if people were to view stereotypes of them. But on the other hand, negative stereotypes about groups that lack that power can hurt them very much, reenforcing the attitudes that help keep them down.

  237. 237
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Also

    Things Misogynists Do: Think they get to decide what is acceptable and unacceptable bigotry for non-male people, and then bust out the unhinged bigotry language in an attempt to play the victim, pout about how he totes doesn’t want to date you anyway, while making it clear to everyone that he’s a bitter, angry, cowardly little boy.

  238. 238
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    The only insults I had was targeted at vacuumslayer(she started it).

    Seriously? Xe made you do it?

    You do realize that it was your decision to start flinging sexist insults, right? No one forced you to write that, y’know.

    My claim was that I’d prefer to be with a woman who found it funny as opposed to one whose response was to wage war against it.

    So you would rather be with a woman who is willing to tolerate (or at least pretend to tolerate), and even encourage, the sexism endemic within western culture than a woman who is willing to stand up and object to sexism?

    Humour is important. Humour can allow us to look at things in a different way. Humour can be used to focus our attention on racism, sexism, and other social issues. There are ways to do so without feeding the endemic social stereotypes. Using tired sexist stereotypes is not a way to look at things in a new light. It is a way to defend the status quo.

    I don’t want to be with a crazy feminist so that makes me sexist.

    So a woman disagrees with you world view and that automatically makes her ‘crazy’? Look up the roots of the term ‘hysterical’ and how it was used by doctors in the 19th and 20th centuries and you will see just how sexist and misogynist that statement is.

    Sure, because anyone who has had bigotry directed at them MUST be more sensitive to it. It’s impossible for someone to ignore bigotry and be happy about themselves regardess of the bigots

    It is not your place, nor is it my place (I am a middle-aged white heterosexual male, 2 kids, 2.5 cats, a boring (but comfortable) American sedan, college educated, etc.), to tell others what they can, and cannot find offensive. I suspect there are things that I find funny to which others would object. I would not presume to attempt to silence them by telling them that it is funny so it cannot be offensive.

    Please recognize your privilege.

  239. 239
    vacuumslayer

    The only insults I had was targeted at vacuumslayer(she started it).

    I kinda think you started it when you referred to women who dislike this ad as man-hating and humorless.

    FTR, I think lotsa stuff is funny. But not this ad. And in fact if I encountered a man who found this ad funny I’d probably–fairly or unfairly–surmise that he’s not too bright.

    As someone upthread said “Smart is sexy.”

  240. 240
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    My claim was that I’d prefer to be with a woman who found it funny as opposed to one whose response was to wage war against it.

    Why do you think anyone cares who you want to be with?

    And I can’t think of any reason to bar all feminists from your dating pool unless you are a sexist ass.

    Just because someone doesn’t find sexist humor funny, doesn’t mean they are humorless.

  241. 241
    stan

    @illuminata

    You’re right. I’m wrong for pointing out that I’m neither surprised nor especially plussed by the appearance of sexist advertisements in Cosmo and Playboy (etc.), but rather that I’m surprised it’s the advertisement that gets people riled up. So wrong.

    Apart from being an asshole (which I grant), if you bother to read what I’ve said, I do indeed agree with you. Apart from your apology to scrabin above, you’ve done little more than jump all over people who offer even the most minor resistance to your push. It’s absolutely true that there are some bona fide sexist dicks in here, but you’re all too happy to paint with a too-broad brush.

    Sexism is a real problem. There are lots of real problems. It is a particularly foul problem, and its nasty fingers are particularly well-placed virtually everywhere in our society. You’re here, presumably, to vie for the expulsion of sexism, or at least for a clear recognition of it when it is encountered. That is noble. Yet for all of your complaints (many of which are legitimate) of the casual dismissal of sexism in ads such as those under discussion, you are just as guilty of the casual dismissal of people who would be your allies, even though they may not completely agree with every tactic you employ.

    This is not a new problem. The ‘new atheists’ are similarly lambasted by ‘old atheists,’ and there are plenty of other similar examples. In general, I am the sort who doesn’t care about offending people — some people (most or all people, in my opinion) need to be offended. Rather, I concern myself with broader issues and rationally drawn conclusions stemming from true or at least justifiable premises. If that brings offense, so be it.

    I genuinely worry about issues such as sexism, racism, bigotry, and various other forms of separation and exclusion (or pigeon-holing), but I also genuinely enjoy nearly all forms of humor. I recognize that there is a tension between the two — particularly with satire and ‘edgy’ comedy. My own recommendation as to the solution is to encourage education, not censorship per se. That being said, I oppose capitalism, the very system which encourages advertisers to perpetuate stereotypes to their own ends. I figure that if education soars as capitalism plummets, advertisements such as this would both lose their effectiveness (such as it is) and fail to have value (however that is quantified).

    What I do not worry about is insulting or offending people who ought to be able to see past simple insults or minor offenses. Like it or not (for each of us, as the case may be), we’re in the same camp on this issue, and probably on many others. Fuck you for being an asshole, but kudos for being an asshole on the right side of things. You’re absolutely right that these ads are problematic — I’ve said as much from the beginning — but there is an element within the feminist movement which denies any man any statement in that field, and you quack like a duck. I suppose I could lay off some of the intentional slurs, but only because there are far more actual sexists here than I would have expected (I usually don’t read the sexism threads to avoid just this sort of nonsense), and my unnecessary hyperbole is probably fueling their stupidity (see Torish #166). I do not stop, however, because you or anyone else is offended.

    Anyway, I’ve got shit to do today, and it’s not getting done while I’m conducting a fruitless argument — an impotent one, as it turns out, because neither of us seems to be trying in any way to convince the other of anything other than our shared stubborn obnoxiousness.

    Be well.


    Stan

  242. 242
    Ing

    My claim was that I’d prefer to be with a woman who found it funny as opposed to one whose response was to wage war against it.

    And someone commented that they can’t see many women lining up to be with you.

    Some reason according to you one is fine and the other isn’t.

    Oh and you specifically insulted someone by calling them unfuckable basically, which is such a bromander slime thing because you’re diminishing someone’s value to be that of potential fuck stock.

  243. 243
    congaboy

    I, for one, am deeply offended!

    The message I take away is, “If I’m drinking Molson beer, it’s a signal to women to feel free to fondle my sweater-puppies.” As a man-boob inflicted individual, I feel deeply offended, extremely vulnerable, and a little aroused.

    Has anyone seen this: UFOs are hear for our gold! (It’s on HuffPo, so it has to be true)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/30/south-africa-ufo_n_1119400.html

  244. 244
    Ing

    Am I the only one who find something about the sweater model reminiscent of Jamie Gum?

  245. 245
    Torish

    The world would be a better place for sexist douchebags if hysterical bitches would just lighten up and realize that sexism is funny!

    Right.

    We already knew that, asshole. Can you come up with something novel?

    Right, and the world would be a better place for sexist hyper feminists if guys would just shut up and look pretty.

    I can twist your words as much as you twist mine. No one wins. It’s a common tactic for hyper feminists(not to be confused with actual feminists pursuing a worthy cause). Feminists are pursuing equality. The nutter hyperfeminists are just manhaters.

  246. 246
    Ing

    @Torish

    People here hate assholes, not men. it seems to be your problem that you see the two as equivalent.

  247. 247
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Why do you think anyone cares who you want to be with?

    he’s a straight white dude. Cluelessly privileged ones always think other people are interested who they want to fuck.

    And I can’t think of any reason to bar all feminists from your dating pool unless you are a sexist ass.

    I can think of another reason: he’s a coward. A feminist knows her shit, she’s less likely tolerant his barely sentient ass. He can’t compete. Having a woman around with whom he can’t compete, can’t get away with all his childish bullshit, and with whom he’d have to be an adult is clearly terrifying to him. That’s endemic (pandemic?) to sexists.

  248. 248
    Pteryxx

    It is not your place, nor is it my place (I am a middle-aged white heterosexual male, 2 kids, 2.5 cats, a boring (but comfortable) American sedan, college educated, etc.), to tell others what they can, and cannot find offensive.

    I’d add that it’s not my place to tell someone else what they ought to find offensive even if I share all the same group memberships that they do. Just because we’re both whatever it is we are, I still might not concur with, or even understand, their viewpoint. That’s why discussion is so valuable a learning opportunity.

  249. 249
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I can twist your words as much as you twist mine. No one wins. It’s a common tactic for hyper feminists(not to be confused with actual feminists pursuing a worthy cause). Feminists are pursuing equality. The nutter hyperfeminists are just manhaters.

    And there’s proof of my theory. He’s now delineating between “actual” feminists and “hyperfeminists” – because of course, as a dude, he’s totally qualified to make that call. “Actual” feminists are, of course, the ones that don’t scare him, don’t argue with him, find sexism funny, etc. “hyper” feminists are the ones he can’t intimidate into silence.

    It’s a common tactic of cowardly misogynists to attempt to create a division between women by declaring which are acceptable and which are not.

  250. 250
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I can twist your words as much as you twist mine. No one wins. It’s a common tactic for hyper feminists(not to be confused with actual feminists pursuing a worthy cause). Feminists are pursuing equality. The nutter hyperfeminists are just manhaters.

    So your definition of an ‘actual feminist’ is a woman who will laugh at endemic misogyny and jump in the sack with you? Or am I just another nutter hyperfeminist manhater?

    I’d add that it’s not my place to tell someone else what they ought to find offensive even if I share all the same group memberships that they do.

    Sorry. Didn’t mean to imply otherwise.

  251. 251
    pharylon

    OL oy. You really, really need to stop and think before you post. I called it a sexist joke and that’s somehow magically saying that it’s not a spoof? And cute that you completely avoided addressing post #133, specifically cited.

    Keep grasping at those straws, dude.

    I think we might have different definitions of “spoof,” then. Let me give you an example of what I’m thinking of.

    Guy 1 in a bar is in a bar drinking beers. He gets rebuffed by a woman he hits on and sulks back to his table where he tells his friends some joke about bimbos and lightbulbs. He’s a sexist.

    Guy 2 sees Guy 1. He turns to his friends and adopts a vacant expression, puts on a douchebaggy voice, and tells the same joke while pretending to pick his nose. He’s not a sexist. He may have said the exact same words, told the exact same joke, but in the end he’s making fun of the sexist, not being sexist.

    That’s how I see a spoof ad like this. When you spoof a sexist ad (or joke), your spoof isn’t sexist. Indeed, you’re making fun of sexist ads. And that’s overall good.

    Now, I’m not really saying that Molson is some kind of paragon of sexual equality. I have a hunch that if they thought they could sell more beer by being sexist like most other beer ads, they’d do that instead. But in this one particular case, it looks like a spoof to me. And if it’s spoofing sexist ads, I don’t count that as sexist itself.

  252. 252
    Ing

    I don’t see it spoofing the sexist ads at all. It’s just being meta about the fact that it’s a sexist ad.

  253. 253
    pharylon

    And there’s proof of my theory. He’s now delineating between “actual” feminists and “hyperfeminists” – because of course, as a dude, he’s totally qualified to make that call. “Actual” feminists are, of course, the ones that don’t scare him, don’t argue with him, find sexism funny, etc. “hyper” feminists are the ones he can’t intimidate into silence.

    Doesn’t hyperfemenist just basically mean “very feminist?” So, the more feminist you are, the more wrong you are? Keep it classy, Torish!

  254. 254
    pharylon

    I don’t see it spoofing the sexist ads at all. It’s just being meta about the fact that it’s a sexist ad.

    Hmmmm. I could see that. But it’s a fine line, and sometimes hard to tell the difference.

  255. 255
    Torish

    He’s now delineating between “actual” feminists and “hyperfeminists” – because of course, as a dude, he’s totally qualified to make that call.

    I’m qualified to make that call regardless if I’m a man or not. just like you’re qualified to decide for yourself weather a guy is misogynist or not regardless if you’re female or male. Though I have to say you set the bar very low. In your worldview more than 90% of guys must be sexist. No wonder you hate men.

    “Actual” feminists are, of course, the ones that don’t scare him, don’t argue with him, find sexism funny, etc. “hyper” feminists are the ones he can’t intimidate into silence.

    If you project your fears onto all men like you did to me then you must live is a very sad fictitious world.

  256. 256
    Pteryxx

    @ Father Ogvorbis: no sorry necessary. I just meant to expand upon your statement, not correct it. Add an implied “yes this” to my post then. ~;>

  257. 257
    Ing

    I’m qualified to make that call regardless if I’m a man or not. just like you’re qualified to decide for yourself weather a guy is misogynist or not regardless if you’re female or male. Though I have to say you set the bar very low. In your worldview more than 90% of guys must be sexist. No wonder you hate men.

    Not all men are like you, honey.

    If you project your fears onto all men like you did to me then you must live is a very sad fictitious world.

    What fear?

  258. 258
    Torish

    Doesn’t hyperfemenist just basically mean “very feminist?” So, the more feminist you are, the more wrong you are? Keep it classy, Torish!

    All things in moderation.

  259. 259
    Ing

    Torish, you seem honest to goodness upset that people are not subservient to you. They have to be either in agreement or afraid of you. You seem to take severe offense that someone wouldn’t’ want to sleep with you. Your cock (metaphorically) isn’t nearly as big as you think it is.

  260. 260
    scriabin

    Illuminata – no worries about thinking I was a douchey troll. The context here for feminist discussions is that there are lots of them around.

    And as to men’s locker room talk – certainly lots of it can be idiotic male posturing. Can’t deny that. But you might be surprised: a lot of the younger generation males (at least in my profession) recognize that policies that women have been fighting for for years *actually*, when applied in a gender neutral basis (which strengthens the female position), benefit the males, too. That really helps squash misogyny from within, frankly.

  261. 261
    Ing

    All things in moderation.

    So you’re in favor of some racism?

  262. 262
    vacuumslayer

    No wonder you hate men.

    Actually, I identify as an androphile.

  263. 263
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    All things in moderation.

    Especially moderation.

  264. 264
    vacuumslayer

    I think for Torvish and men like him it’s comforting to think of feminists as women who hate all men…instead of women who just dislike him. That way the flaw is with the feminist–CLEARLY! Couldn’t possibly be him who’s repulsive in every way. Nosiree.

  265. 265
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    No wonder you hate men.

    Torish is getting repetitive and boring.

  266. 266
    Ing

    Rather sad to come in swinging with “I wouldn’t want to fuck a woman who was offended by that” reducing to issue to one’s cock, and then acting like people are irrational for thinking you’re a sexist ass

    When you enter the discussion talking about your cock you’re probably sexist.

  267. 267
    vacuumslayer

    “Torish” I meant. Beg pardon.

  268. 268
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    No wonder you hate men.
    </blockquote?

    I hate men? Now you’re pretending to have mind-reading powers? There’s really no limit to your delusions, is there.

    Well, I do loathe chickenshit bigots like you, yes. But why do you hate men so much that you think all of them are just like you? You do realize that a several of the people kicking your worthless ass around this thread are men, right?

    If you project your fears onto all men like you did to me then you must live is a very sad fictitious world.

    What, precisely am I afraid of, Oh Mindreading Chickenshit Bigot? Men?

    Just so we’re clear, you’re claiming that I’m afraid of men because . . . . . . . . you’re a cowardly bigot and I’m not afraid to point that out? Or because you desperately need to think of me as afraid of men because its already been established that you are afraid of women?

  269. 269
    mikmik

    Hey, just because it’s named Molson Canadian, the guy’s wearing a toque? That’s racist!

  270. 270
    vacuumslayer

    I keep wanting to type “Torgo.”

  271. 271
    Dhorvath, OM

    Mike,
    Please, I suspect you are trying to make clever, but Canadian isn’t a race.

  272. 272
    Mr. Fire
    The world would be a better place for sexist douchebags if hysterical bitches would just lighten up and realize that sexism is funny!

    Right, and the world would be a better place for sexist hyper feminists if guys would just shut up and look pretty.

    An utterly shit-for-brains comparison.

    One of these scenarios is pervasive. The other is a product of your limited imagination.

    Why don’t you do us a favor and just drink that poison yourself, instead of clumsily splashing it around the rim of the well?

  273. 273
    leonpeyre

    Makes me glad I’m a homebrewer, and mostly drink my own!

    (One of the best things about homebrewing is being able to say that last part with pride.)

  274. 274
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I think for Torvish and men like him it’s comforting to think of feminists as women who hate all men…instead of women who just dislike him. That way the flaw is with the feminist–CLEARLY! Couldn’t possibly be him who’s repulsive in every way. Nosiree.

    Bingo! Someone should introduce him to Manboobz, so he can see just how much douchey little cowards like him are made fun of by women. And the hilarious Futrelle.

  275. 275
    Ing

    Please, I suspect you are trying to make clever, but Canadian isn’t a race.

    Not on earth but the Canadians of planet Canad are rather sensitive due to their history of oppression.

  276. 276
    vacuumslayer

    I’m just afraid he’d start trolling there, too.

  277. 277
    Torish

    So you’re in favor of some racism?

    This is obviously a trap question. I was clearly using a platitude. Please don’t intentionally misrepresent my words.

    When you enter the discussion talking about your cock you’re probably sexist.

    I never mentioned having sex with anybody! You assumed just because I’m a man that when I say, “I wouldn’t want to be with a woman like you” that I meant sex. NO, I wouldn’t want to be around you as a person regardless of gender. That’s the difference between the productive feminists and the nutjob ones. The productive ones advance their cause without resorting to the same sexism they’re fighting against.

  278. 278
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    leonpeyre – I wholly heartedly second that. Some of the best beer I’ve ever had was homebrew. (Wine, as well).

    In fact, one of the men I’m currently seeing is a homebrewer and is creating a beer named after me. Because I like my beer with very specific flavors, he decided no one but me would drink it. LOL. That should totally make it clear I hate men so much. :D

  279. 279
    vacuumslayer

    Feminists and their picky, hyper-feminist beers no one will drink but them!!!! I HATE THEM SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!

  280. 280
    Mr. Fire

    I don’t see it spoofing the sexist ads at all. It’s just being meta about the fact that it’s a sexist ad.

    Yeah, I can almost imagine some apologists for the ad saying: “It’s okay that Molson just materially exacerbated the skewed perception of women in our culture – they were doing it ironically! What’s a large number of men taking home the message of the ad at face value, next to the cleverness of a Poe?”

  281. 281
    julian

    Jesus H. Christ!

    It’s a sexist beer ad. For a mediocre beer. It does not deserve to be defended as some brilliant example of satire for our generation across 200 comments. It isn’t. It’s a stupid fucking ad on par with ironic sexist jokes like ‘This isn’t something frivolous like a woman being raped. This is serious.’

    I can’t believe anyone would want to defend this. Even if you accept it’s just satire it still advances sexist attitudes and behaviors (as has been pointed out) so what? We just want to be contrarian about this?

  282. 282
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Sure, because anyone who has had bigotry directed at them MUST be more sensitive to it. It’s impossible for someone to ignore bigotry and be happy about themselves regardess of the bigots

    Yes, let’s just keep smiling through it all. It worked so well for the black civil rights movement.

    I can be friends with black people as long as they laugh at my racist jokes. Or with brown-skinned people as long as they don’t complain about being systematically strip-searched every time they dare to travel.

    If people automatically think you’re stupid and overly emotive just because you’re female, make idiotic comments about PMS when you show the least bit of anger or agressiveness like any goddamn human being is entitled to, and designate any complaint you make about those things as “shrill”, then the best solution is just to keep that biiiig smile pasted on your face.

    After all, we’re just girls.

    Hee hee !

  283. 283
    cullen

    Y’know, I’ve been lurking here on FTB basically since it started, transferring over from Scienceblogs. Because I like the writing, and because the topics of skepticism and atheism interest me (as a skeptic and atheist).

    I just now remembered why I stopped commenting a long time ago. Because nobody fucking listens to anybody, and a few unhinged psychos ruin the whole show for everybody.

    Illuminata – thanks for reminding me why I avoid all comment pages everywhere. It’s morons like you who are dumbing down every ‘public’ debate on the internet. Enjoy yourself you fucking troll.

  284. 284
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    vacuumslayer – Yeah! And they actually think Torish isn’t the world foremost expert on feminism and sexism! I mean, how dare they. Clearly his complete lack of knowledge on the subject isn’t Dunning-Kruger. Obviously they just hate men, because all men are exactly like Chickenshit Torish. Amirite?

  285. 285
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Cullen: Thank you for conceding defeat. I mean, everyone already knew you are a total failure, but its nice to have you admit it as well. A rare moment of honesty from a crybaby coward.

  286. 286
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Illuminata – thanks for reminding me why I avoid all comment pages everywhere. It’s morons like you who are dumbing down every ‘public’ debate on the internet. Enjoy yourself you fucking troll.

    If you disagree with something Illuminata has said, fucking spit it out and defend your criticism.

    And seeing sexism here makes Illuminata “unhinged”? Give me a fucking break.

    Go back to lurking. Never forget that you decided to stop commenting, it was the right decision.

  287. 287
    cullen

    Wow, what a moron. Defeat, no. Refusing to dumb down my evening spent with my lovely family by responding to trolls further, yes.

    You’re a miserable, hateful person but I still wish you well.

  288. 288
    zombierottenmcdonald

    so is there a similarly guttural word that people use to describe a repugnant person? I’m thinking of people like the pope.

    I am kind of fond of “turdwaffle” but of late I have reserved that for use with Scott Walker.

  289. 289
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Here’s the bigger picture

    Also, why are all those people who think that this is a non-issue and that we should focus on the bigger picture instead in here complaining about how we’re not fighting “real” sexism instead of being out there fighting “real” sexism?

  290. 290
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.
    All things in moderation.

    So you’re in favor of some racism?

    And, since he did write “all things”, there are a shitload more (genocide in moderation, murder in moderation, Republicans in moderation, comments in moderation, science in moderation, paedophilia in moderation, starvation in moderation).

    This is obviously a trap question. I was clearly using a platitude. Please don’t intentionally misrepresent my words.

    Sorry. How would you prefer we read the words you have written? If you decide to use alternate definitions of words and/or phrases, it is a good idea to let people on the internet know that this is what you are doing or else the canoe will really rocket the double diamond.

    Illuminata – thanks for reminding me why I avoid all comment pages everywhere. It’s morons like you who are dumbing down every ‘public’ debate on the internet. Enjoy yourself you fucking troll.

    And thank you so very much for attempting to silence one of the clearest commenters on the blogs I frequent. Your ‘shut-up-bitch’ will, I am sure, be taken as you intend.

  291. 291
    zombierottenmcdonald

    No wonder you hate men.

    She also hates zombies.

  292. 292
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Its fun being called miserable when I’m in a very good mood, and life is currently going swimmingly. That dude has some serious issues with projection.

    At least now we understand why Mr. Sparkly Vampire was so eager to assume everyone else was angry: projection. Again. What a bitter, angry, empty little crybaby. And one who can’t stick to the flounce after conceding defeat.

    Interesting that he focused only on me though, since I was hardly the only one trouncing his whiny ass.

    I feel sorry for him. Must be lonely in the sheltered corner he’s painted himself into.

  293. 293
    fredbloggs

    And to make matters worse, the beer is probably shite. At least, my experience of N American beers has been negative. Although, I seem to remember a beer called Fat Tyre (from Colorado?) that was actually not bad.

    Personally, I like beer if I like beer. When it comes to pulling women I rely on my looks and personality. Which is why I’m still single.

    But at least I don’t buy beer because some tw*t of an advertising executive manipulates me.

  294. 294
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Julian@#281

    Jesus H. Christ!

    Yes, My child? (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

    It’s a sexist beer ad. For a mediocre beer. It does not deserve to be defended as some brilliant example of satire for our generation across 200 comments. It isn’t. It’s a stupid fucking ad on par with ironic sexist jokes like ‘This isn’t something frivolous like a woman being raped. This is serious.’

    I can’t believe anyone would want to defend this. Even if you accept it’s just satire it still advances sexist attitudes and behaviors (as has been pointed out) so what? We just want to be contrarian about this?

    If it were a brilliant satire that really subverted sexist attitudes, I’d defend the hell out of it and take whatever criticism I’d get from people who didn’t see it that way, and take it with a smile. Here’s where I sort of mildly disagree with you though… you say that it would advance sexist attitudes and behaviors even if it was a satire. I say that if it were an effective satire it would stand in opposition to sexism. It is like the whole “Colbert Report” deal… he says all the racist, sexist, anti-democratic, pro-torture, pro-war stuff that the right-wingers say all the time. Because it is effective satire, we know when he says something, he means the polar opposite.

    This ad fails that basic test of satire. It is meant to be “jokey” but in a way that supports the position it takes, rather than in a way that subverts it.

  295. 295
    vacuumslayer

    She also hates zombies.

    Only sexist ones, honest!

  296. 296
    vacuumslayer

    This ad fails that basic test of satire. It is meant to be “jokey” but in a way that supports the position it takes, rather than in a way that subverts it.

    This is why I kept demanding proof that it was a spoof. A spoof on what…exactly?

  297. 297
    captainchaos

    Oh for cryin’ out loud! IT’S A JOKE! It’s not meant to be serious, and it’s not meant to be taken seriously. I find it pretty ironic for you to overreact this way after your recent “sometimes a bunny is just a bunny” post! Sometimes an ad playing up a caricature of machismo for laughs is just an ad playing up a caricature of machismo for laughs.

  298. 298
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    And another moron shows up to LOL at misogyny.

  299. 299
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    @captainchaos

    Look at where I was quoted directly above your post #297. There are two ways a joke can go, and this one goes in the wrong direction.

  300. 300
    zombierottenmcdonald

    Sometimes an ad playing up a caricature of machismo for laughs is just an ad playing up a caricature of machismo for laughs.

    Then it’s a really shitty ad. Because it doesn’t effectively do any of those things.

    So yeah, Molsen can’t afford decent ad writers. Perhaps if they made better beer?

  301. 301
    vacuumslayer

    Are we back to this? Really?

  302. 302
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    captainchaos:

    You do realize that something can be a joke and offensive at the same time? It is not an either/or dichotomy. It can be satire and, at the same time, promulgate sexist stereotyping at the same time. You do realize that, right?

  303. 303
    stan

    Hmm. My wife just gave me permission to procrastinate, so I thought I’d have a look at the thread’s ‘progress.’

    @Ogvorbis and those shitting on Torish for saying, “All things in moderation”: knock off the petty and intentional dishonesty. Clearly when that phrase is used, it connotes ‘all things worthy of being done,’ not actually all things. His inconsistent and untenable position can be defeated without resorting to such blatant douchebaggery. (Though, I recognize, we must obviously tolerate intolerance, for to do otherwise would result in a universe-ending paradox. /s)

    Carry on, internet warriors of all genders.


    Stan

  304. 304
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    @zombierottenmcdonald:

    If they made better beer, they wouldn’t need to try so hard to be clever. This situation also reminds me of the difference between clever and wise: the clever person is able to get out of situations that a wise man would simply avoid.

  305. 305
    zombierottenmcdonald

    What’s wrong with sexy zombies? [/Nigel Tufnel]

  306. 306
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Carry on, internet warriors of all genders.

    Thanks for your permission, internet condescending asshole.

  307. 307
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    stan:

    And if Torish was attempting to use honest arguments throughout the thread, I would have abstained from laughing at him for his platitude. As it is, he lies about what he has written and then resorts to sexist insults when everyone does not agree. He is an asshole and I responded as such.

    Anything else I did wrong for which I should be called out?

  308. 308
    Dhorvath, OM

    This:

    If they made better beer, they wouldn’t need to try so hard to be clever.

    Shows a blatant disregard for how powerful advertising actually is. If business was as simple as have a good product and you will make money, our world would be radically different. That is not the world we inhabit because advertising works, even crappy, nearly clever ad campaigns can have a noticeable impact on units moved and it’s trackable. This shit is empiric.

  309. 309
    myeck waters

    Dhorvath

    Please, I suspect you are trying to make clever, but Canadian isn’t a race.

    Canadian barely qualifies as beer, for that matter.

  310. 310
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Dhorvath – I have to slightly disagree.

    If they made better beer, they wouldn’t need to try so hard to be clever.

    Case in point: the brewery I work for, though a hell of a lot smaller than Molson, sells so well they can barely keep up in production. And they barely advertize at all. Its all reputation, beer festivals and word of mouth. Because its fucking awesome beer, they don’t need idiotic ads or braindead pukepuddles like captaindipshit to defend them.

  311. 311
    Dhorvath, OM

    Myeck,
    I am there with you, it is at the very least piss poor beer.

  312. 312
    bird.is.the.word

    Reminds me of the Dr. Pepper 10 advertising campaign with the slogan “It’s not for women.” When I saw the ad for the first time I fired off this email to Dr. Pepper:

    Your new ad campaign for Dr. Pepper 10 is bigoted, sexist, misogynistic and offensive to women. When I saw the commercial on TV last night I couldn’t believe it. It’s not for women? Why, because women suck? What year is it? 1956? It is just a soda right? Does one need a penis to drink it? I’m confused.

    Having a facebook page that prohibits access by women is unacceptable and offensive. A shooting gallery game that tells you that its no place for a woman like you if you don’t play well? Really? I shudder to think of all the boys playing this game that will go on to think of ‘woman’ as a word that ‘manly’ men use as an insult. I have no idea why you would want to offend or alientate 51% of your market. You just lost another customer.

    The response I received from the corporate asswipes is kind of similar to what we’re witnessing in the comments here:

    Thank you for writing to us about Dr Pepper TEN and allowing us to respond to your concerns. I am a woman who loves the full flavor of Dr Pepper TEN and the fact that it’s only 10 calories. When I first saw the tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign and the tagline, my reaction was, “I’ll be the judge of that.” In other words, no one is going to tell me what I can eat or drink.

    We hope you, too, will come to see our advertising campaign for what it is, a humorous take on the many men who are worried about their waistlines but are too “manly” to drink a diet soda.

    Sincerely,

    Consumer Relations

    I didn’t buy it from them, and I don’t buy it from people here either. There are plenty of ways to appeal to “manly men” without denigrating women in the process. I also love how in the response they wrote “I am a woman.” Fucking idiots.

  313. 313
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    @Dhorvath: Yeah, my bad. In an ideal world, good beer would sell better than bad beer. We don’t live in an ideal world, and even if Molson gets slammed up and down for being giant sexist jackholes, even the negative publicity might help their sales, and that’s a fucking shame.

    BTW, the real dumbassery in buying middling cheap beer is that you can buy decent beer with a higher alcohol level that about matches the higher price. It tastes better, gets you drunk more quickly, and the hangovers are much milder. I speak as an Alcoholic-American… :)

    Anyways, my larger point still stands: a good product can sell without racism. Maybe not as easily, but it can still sell.

  314. 314
    Torish

    Sorry. How would you prefer we read the words you have written? If you decide to use alternate definitions of words and/or phrases, it is a good idea to let people on the internet know that this is what you are doing or else the canoe will really rocket the double diamond.

    It is very bad taste in a discussion to refuse to recognize obvious and common uses of figurative speech. Unless, of course, your goal is to win an argument rather than make a good case. “All things in moderation” is in almost all contexts used to mean don’t take things too far. In rarely used to mean do anything and everything just a little bit. Forcing me to explain the meaning behind the statement shows that you are only interested in “winning” the debate.

  315. 315
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Thanks for your permission, internet condescending asshole.

    Nonono, he’s an ally. Couldn’t you tell from the domineering wife “joke”?

  316. 316
    Dhorvath, OM

    Illuminata,
    Is your point that they would not do more business if they advertised? Molson is Canada’s largest brewery, and they didn’t get there by word of mouth or reputation.

  317. 317
    vacuumslayer

    @bird.is.the.word, it’s weird you’re bringing this up because i was just discussing this very thing with an internet pal. The Pepsi 10 ads wanted to be snarky and “hey, we’re just JOKING!” while being outrageous misogynistic.

  318. 318
    Ichthyic

    It was frat-boy stupid.

    Of course; makes perfect sense to me.

    I have to figure: Who else ends up working in ad agencies but frat boys?

  319. 319
    Ichthyic

    they didn’t get there by word of mouth or reputation.

    actually, I’m sure that was a very large part of their early success.

    as with most businesses.

  320. 320
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ummm… I typed “racism” where I meant “sexism”… oops. I’m on several websites, some of which are dealing with Herman Cain’s meltdown. My apologies.

  321. 321
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    No, Torish, it says that, though I have tried to engage you on useful level, your continued asshattery, sexism, selfishness, misogyny, crudity, lying, and comptemtibility have brought me to a choice: continue to bang my head against a wall, or mock you as an asshole.

    I choose the latter. And it is my choice. Unlike you did when you claimed “She started it”, I actually acknowledge my choice.

  322. 322
    Pteryxx

    It is just a soda right? Does one need a penis to drink it? I’m confused.

    reading literally, now THAT I’d like to see…

  323. 323
    Ichthyic

    I’m on several websites, some of which are dealing with Herman Cain’s meltdown.

    *ping*

    radar dish goes up…

    linkies??

  324. 324
    Ichthyic

    reading literally, now THAT I’d like to see…

    well then, here ya go!

  325. 325
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    BTW, all the Dr. Pepper 10 commercials need to not be misogynistic is to have a couple of people standing off to the side rolling their eyes at the “extreme” nonsense. Have one say “Don’t they know that it is 10 calories even if they don’t act extreme?” and the other one smirk and smile.

  326. 326
  327. 327
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Illuminata,

    Its fun being called miserable when I’m in a very good mood

    Don’t ya know? Any time somebody makes a negative criticism of something, they must be steaming mad! Just like how we’re all just a bunch of angry atheists, angry at God cuz he didn’t get us that puppy. Cuz why else would we criticize religion unless we’re angry? Same goes for sexism. If you criticize the ad, you’re angry! You’re just a cranky bad mean angry person. Of course, the twist of meta on this is that chiming in to tell somebody that they’re wrong because they’re angry or whatever is a criticism, so therefore that person is just as angry. In fact, all of us here are just furious right now.

  328. 328
    Ichthyic

    hmm.

    Seeing this ad makes me wonder if the Southpark episode on Broadway Musicals (Broadway Bro Down) was inspired by it.

  329. 329
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Is your point that they would not do more business if they advertised? Molson is Canada’s largest brewery, and they didn’t get there by word of mouth or reputation.

    No – I definitely with you on the importance of advertising, but what I’m saying is that Molson became the largest brewery because their product is cheap. In every sense of the word. And because of the cheapness, they need advertising like this, which plays on common stereotypes and biases to convince people to buy it, as there is far superior product out there that competes against Molson successfully. Without such advertising.

    Basically, if you need to create cheap shot advertising to get anyone to pay attention to your product, it’s a shitty product.

    My brewery, though a lot smaller, has worldwide brand recognition, wins a bunch of awards every year, etc. (competing against very large breweries) With almost no advertising.

    Would they do more business with national advertising? Of course. Would it be cheap shot advertising? No, they don’t need it.

  330. 330
    Ichthyic

    …ah, I see, Herman Caine has had a 13 year long affair.

    LOL

    it’s like these clowns are in a race to the fucking bottom!

    while wearing clown costumes.

    and riding in clown cars.

    Now Gingrich is back on top.

    Seriously, the closest thing I can imagine to the current rethuglican primary race is:

    The Upperclass Twit of the Year Race

  331. 331
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Reminds me of the Dr. Pepper 10 advertising campaign with the slogan “It’s not for women.” When I saw the ad for the first time I fired off this email to Dr. Pepper:

    Yeah, I was immediately reminded of the Dr. Pepper ad and mentioned it at #88.

    When I first saw the tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign and the tagline, my reaction was, “I’ll be the judge of that.” In other words, no one is going to tell me what I can eat or drink.

    That response is so fucking pathetic. They expect that women’s response to a misogynistic ad will be to stick it to the company that made the ad by buying their products?

  332. 332
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Improbable Joe:

    Y’know, if Dr. Pepper had included a mock (I’m picturing Statler and Waldorf, but I am known to be odd) it would be a fantastic advert. As it is, it’s pure Molson.

  333. 333
    Pteryxx

    When I first saw the tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign and the tagline, my reaction was, “I’ll be the judge of that.” In other words, no one is going to tell me what I can eat or drink.

    …So Dr. Pepper negged half their potential customer base?

  334. 334
    adammoffat

    Hey there, it’s Adam Moffat from Molson here. Just so you are aware, the ad campaign you’re writing about is more than 10 years old. It is not a current campaign. We have completely shifted our marketing focus and targeting away from demographics to a value set. we’re now better known for creating advertising that brings people together based on a shared sense of Canadian pride. Our current advertising (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_yW4-cgG4g) is more universal in its approach, and speaks to all potential Molson Canadian consumers, domestic or abroad.

    Certainly the beverage/alcohol industry still has necessary strides ahead, but our team is proud of the steps we’ve taken over the last ten years.

    All this to say that this example is not at all reflective of current day Molson. Think that’s important context for your post and your readers.

    Cheers

  335. 335
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    @Ichthyic:… and Newt is on top because he divorced his wife for his mistress, and then dumped old mistress/new wife for new mistress/future wife… which is somehow better?!?! Herman Cain cheating on his one wife with a 13-year mistress shows more relationship commitment than Gingrich has managed to string together. Also, see how Republicans flinch at infidelity, but shrug off accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

  336. 336
    Torish

    I have tried to engage you on useful level, your continued asshattery, sexism, selfishness, misogyny, crudity, lying, and comptemtibility…

    Don’t you feminists(and yes men can be feminists too) see a problem here. All these words used to describe ME. How can anyone take you seriously? It sounds more like you’re trying to shut me up with insults.

    have brought me to a choice: continue to bang my head against a wall, or mock you as an asshole.

    Sure! Mock me all you want. I see it as meaningless. While your speech might be offensive, I choose not to be offended by it because I know it is bullshit. In fact, my quality of life improves because I can get a kick out of seeing your warped mind at work.

    I choose the latter. And it is my choice. Unlike you did when you claimed “She started it”, I actually acknowledge my choice.

    Yeah, only after Stan called you out on it. Besides, why do I have to acknowledge it. I chose to insult her after she insulted me. I don’t have to acknowledge shit.

  337. 337
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Hey Father Ogvorbis, I’m all about the Muppets. :)

    Dr. Pepper didn’t even try. Molson didn’t try nearly hard enough.

  338. 338
    Ichthyic

    Hey there, it’s Adam Moffat from Molson here. Just so you are aware, the ad campaign you’re writing about is more than 10 years old.

    good to know, but irrelevant to discussing the impacts of your previous campaign.

    but our team is proud of the steps we’ve taken over the last ten years.

    did you publicly apologize for this particular bit of idiocy?

    I’m guessing not.

    well, here’s your chance to do so, since you are an official representative of the company.

    Rather than tell us that you’re going… somewhere… why not apologize for the mess you left behind?

  339. 339
    Ichthyic

    Also, see how Republicans flinch at infidelity, but shrug off accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

    yup, I recall Arnold’s campaign to back-door Gray Davis in CA, too.

    His many sexual harassment issues are still a meme that gets traction, but only as joke, apparently, since he was not only “elected” (don’t get me started on that crap), but re-elected.

  340. 340
    Pteryxx

    …Neato. Adam Moffat’s the Manager of Brand Marketing and PR, with a focus on social media and community involvement.

    From a 2007 marketing blog: (linky)

    First off, you have to respect anyone that gets up at a conference and makes a presentation while tipping back a cold one. Adam Moffat, Molson’s Manager of Brand Marketing and PR started off his presentation by noting that it only made sense for Molson to get involved with social media given the “social nature” of their product.

    (…)

    Like many brands, it looks like Molson also had to learn a social media lesson along the way to get to where they’re at today. I anticipate Molson will continue to try new ideas and avenues of outreach to help blaze the already strong social media trail they’ve created.

    Molson’s brand blog: (linky)

    Well, that’s an interesting line of communication to have open. To Moffat: I’ll have a closer look, and be in touch.

  341. 341
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Hi there Adam Moffat,

    Glad to hear you have changed practices, but don’t shy away from being explicit in your repudiation of the ad which is the topic of this post. It was a disgusting ad. I think an official apology is in order. You helped contribute to and perpetuate sexism within our culture.

    We have completely shifted our marketing focus and targeting away from demographics to a value set.

    Did you just say that you felt your demographic was best reached by producing a misogynistic ad? Don’t be ashamed in admitting that you were wrong to put out that ad. Vaguely waiving your hands and saying you’ve “shifted marketing focus”, is hardly taking responsibility for your actions.

    Certainly the beverage/alcohol industry still has necessary strides ahead, but our team is proud of the steps we’ve taken over the last ten years.

    Aint that the truth, and good on you for making a positive change. But you still need to own up to the wrongs you have committed.

  342. 342
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Not that you deserve praise for no longer running sexist ads. You don’t get a cookie just for not being misogynistic any more. That should be the default.

    You will get your pat on the back once you attempt to undue some of the damage you have caused.

    As it stands, you coming here in an attempt to salvage some of your brands reputation appears self serving and lacking in sincerity.

    Do you care about the harm you caused, or are you more interesting in telling people “we are not like that anymore, please still buy our piss-water”?

  343. 343
    Monsanto

    I’ve been craving those 20″ rims. Thank you, Molson.

  344. 344
    resistingthemilieu

    Now every time a female-bodied person walks into a bar or party and sees a guy drinking a Molson, all she will see is a sleazeball who thinks that he has an unconscious (and very, pardon the term, rape-y) advantage over unsuspecting women.

    Molson has just branded itself “The Sexual Offender of Beers.”

  345. 345
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Was anybody ever stupid enough to think that the ad was claiming to genuinely manipulate or “program” women? Seriously? *Double checks* Yep. That’s the straw man that was being argued upthread.

    The ad works on the basis that the idea of “programming women” is funny. No, not horrific, like the Stepford wives. Making a human being female into a brainwashed slave is just HI-larious. Yukyukyuk. Of course you would if you could! Because you are a Real Beer-drinking Manly Man who has no interest in women as actual people! Because they aren’t real people like you, you Manly Beer-drinking Real Man !

  346. 346
    Ichthyic

    The ad works on the basis that the idea of “programming women” is funny.

    which, while some might not have noticed, PZ mentions in his OP, below the first line.

    Molson has just branded itself over ten years ago…

    that’s the real point.

    Molson did this over ten years ago, realized there was flak, moved away from it, but never apologized for it.

  347. 347
    Ing

    Actually I want to know “what the hell were you thinking when you made it?”

    Not looking for apology I’m curious

  348. 348
  349. 349
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Ing, I think Alethia pretty much nailed explaining the intention behind the ad,

    Making a human being female into a brainwashed slave is just HI-larious. Yukyukyuk.

  350. 350
    Ing

    Yes but I’d like confirmation from the suit

  351. 351
    Dhorvath, OM

    Illuminata,
    Okay, I misunderstood what you were disagreeing with me about. Thanks for clarifying.

  352. 352
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Looks like the suit was a drive-by, not interested in actually making amends.

    The ad may be 10 yrs old, but their current handling of it becoming news again in’t all that stellar.

  353. 353
    Pteryxx

    good catch you_monster. From your first link:

    The irony is that for a moment there, it seemed Molson had actually caught onto the fact that they (along with most other beer companies) have been alienating women for decades. A woman spokesperson for the brewery said:

    “One of the things we need to recognize in the industry is that we’ve effectively ignored 50 percent of the population for many years. There’s something fundamentally wrong with the relationship women have with beer.”

    If Molson Coors needed help rectifying this, instead of pinkwashing their product, they could have looked at recent marketing survey findings. The number one reason women said they don’t buy beer is because they’re put off by the “inherent sexism in [its] advertising and marketing.” Surprisingly, “beer is an ugly shade of yellow-brown” was nowhere to be found on the list of women’s hangups.

  354. 354
    myeck waters

    …So Dr. Pepper negged half their potential customer base?

    Yeah, and they’re both pretty ticked off.

  355. 355
    Ace of Sevens

    If racist images were prevalent in ads, then ads spoofing them would be fair game. (Racist images were common a few decades ago. You still see them occasionally, particularly from Sony, but companies will quickly shy away if called out on it.) In fact, I would argue the Old Spice ads were parodying racist imagery seen in other ads. (The completely awesome black guy who knows what’s cool spokesman you sometimes see in stuff aimed at young white guys.)

    Most of the complaints seem to apply to advertising in general, especially beer ads. I’m not sure why this ad in particular is being called out as it seems to be spoofing the idea of using sexism to target ads rather that engaging in it. (Effectively undermining their competitors ads while selling their own product. Dove famously ran a different approach to this idea re: sexism in soap ads a few years ago.) The butt of the joke seems to be the idea that women would want to sleep with you because of what beer you’re holding, which of course is usual way of selling beer in lad mags. I also see no reason to think readers won’t get the joke beyond elitism. The links about Axe coverage don’t mean the buyers serious though women would start chasing them through the grocery store and rubbing against them on public transport. They just mean people thought the ads were funny, so bought the product.

  356. 356
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    yeah, this line,

    The number one reason women said they don’t buy beer is because they’re put off by the “inherent sexism in [its] advertising and marketing.” Surprisingly, “beer is an ugly shade of yellow-brown” was nowhere to be found on the list of women’s hangups.

    really caught my attention as well.

  357. 357
    Ace of Sevens

    ,blockquote>The number one reason women said they don’t buy beer is because they’re put off by the “inherent sexism in [its] advertising and marketing.” Surprisingly, “beer is an ugly shade of yellow-brown” was nowhere to be found on the list of women’s hangups.

    A lot of larger beer outfits successfully run multiple campaigns. For instance, the Budweiser ads you’ll see in The Advocate are pretty different from the ones in Maxim. Initially fears that straight people would start thinking of Budweiser as a gay beer and stop drinking it turned out to be unfounded. Of course, unlike Fosters and Coors, Bud’s mainstream adds weren’t particularly homophobic. I think give them a few years of trying for it and the advertising agencies will have pandering to women to get them to buy beer as honed as as they have man-pandering.

  358. 358
    Ichthyic

    Not looking for apology I’m curious

    fair enough.

    I’m curious too.

    I still want to see some grovelling along with the explanation though.’

  359. 359
    michelemanion

    It’s like that god-awful Dr. Pepper 10 commercial (‘It’s like a diet soda, only with more calories!’) that features a ridiculous he-man, extreme sport caricature male doing extraordinary feats of moronic grandeur (see, all men are macho idiots!) while the narrator talks about how ‘Dr. Pepper 10′ is not for women who are instead into ‘chick flicks’ and shoe shopping or some equally asinine stereotypical BS (see, all women are clothing obsessed emotional wrecks!). The closing line is ‘Dr. Pepper 10: It’s not for women,’ to which all I can say is ‘what a relief.’ I bought my last Dr. Pepper ever just prior to that ad coming out. If the company wants to exclude my gender from their product line, fine by me. Now I know I can exclude them from my consuming habits. Mostly, I was less insulted by the attempt at tongue-in-cheek sexism than by the abject failure of the ham-handed attempt at tongue-in-cheek sexism. Really prefer some actual cleverness in ads attempting to be clever.

    I would love to hear the ad pitch where some smug little shit fresh from marketing 101 talked the people at Dr. Pepper into this one.

  360. 360
    michelemanion

    The Dr. Pepper 10 ad (comment above) was like the embodiment of Mitchell and Webb’s hysterical parody of the gender bias in advertising here:

  361. 361
    eddydevisse

    Bad Canada, Bad! PFF, Big deal… see where the rest of the world is on this issue; things are a tad worse in this country (Trinidad). Beer name is Stag (“A man’s beer”) and their latest ad revolves around the fact that only guys can understand how the world works (while they are drunk and women are leading the country)…

    You wouldn’t understand

  362. 362
    evilDoug

    Beer ads, Mountain Dew ads, «energy» drink ads, Axe ads – the whole damned lot of them are aimed at 16 year old boys, or those with the maturity of 16 year old boys. Are you insecure? Are you desperate to make people think you’re cool? Are you desperate to make you think you’re cool? Will it help if we pre-identify people to whom you can feel superior? Can’t attract anyone on your own merits? Buy our stuff. Be sure everyone knows you buy our stuff -otherwise, what’s the point?
    ~~~
    Molson. The all-purpose beer. As soon as I’ve finished this bottle, I’m going to bash these puppies heads in with it, skin ‘em, gut ‘em and slip ‘em into a nice Molson marinade. After I’ve slipped into you once or twice, I’ll pop those pups on the barbeque. We’ll wash em down with more ice cold Molson. Molson. The all-purpose beer.

  363. 363
    Rey Fox

    That’s how I see a spoof ad like this. When you spoof a sexist ad (or joke), your spoof isn’t sexist. Indeed, you’re making fun of sexist ads. And that’s overall good.

    Does it really do good for a company to cloak itself in layers of irony in order to sell a product? I don’t believe it’s a spoof either.

  364. 364
    Anthony

    Well, that sucks.

    Molson-Coors makes a lot of good beer, too bad for them that I won’t be buying anymore of it.

    Oh well.

    Good thing my local pub started carrying Sleeman.

  365. 365
    John Morales

    Rey:

    Does it really do good for a company to cloak itself in layers of irony in order to sell a product? I don’t believe it’s a spoof either.

    The concepts of ‘plausible deniability’ and ‘hiding in plain sight’ come to mind.

    (Best of all worlds, they thought)

  366. 366
    TimKO,,.,,

    now the only feeling women will project directly onto men drinking Molson’s beer is one of mistrust, a very negative feeling.

    So you’re saying that you can see through the ruse but no women are smart enough to discern the joke and merely fall for psychological manipulation? Give women a little credit PZ, sheesh.

  367. 367
    jimi3001

    @michelemanion: I *love* that sketch! 2nd favourite after the (nowmoving completely off-topic) avocado bathroom sketch.

  368. 368
    Ichthyic

    So you’re saying that you can see through the ruse but no women are smart enough to discern the joke and merely fall for psychological manipulation? Give women a little credit PZ, sheesh.

    you might at least TRY reading further?

    where you would find…

    What you’re missing is that the response to the ad, these juxtapositions of the two commercials, shows that they are incredibly dismissive of women. Molson is playing up the idea that women are gullible and not very bright, and that men will get a kick out of a campaign that claims to manipulate women in the shallowest possible way.

    so, no, you didn’t get what he was talking about.

    fail on your part.

    sheesh.

  369. 369
    teebee

    What are you all arguing against here exactly. That a business cannot market their product to their target audience effectively? Companies spend big money to figure out who buys their products. Has anyone seen a tampon ad marketed to young black men? What kind of marketing would you expect to see advertising aftermarket mufflers for sport bikes. Is it sexist to market products which are purchased mainly by women to women? Or is marketing only sexist if it targets young males?
    The real question is, if you owned a company selling mediocre beer, how would market it? I mean how would you market it successfully AND not be fired. Money is bottom line here.
    Why market protein powder to 45-65 aged women when 90% of your customer base is 18-45 aged males? If it was your money being spent on these ads?
    The market is a naked gauge of people attitudes and desires.

  370. 370
    julian

    teebee, if a company’s target audience is affluent white kids is it appropriate for them to play off class stereotypes and tensions in their ads, clearly slagging one and reinforcing stereotypes for both?

    No it isn’t. There is no reason to use sexism to sell your product. None, whatsoever. And fuck you for excusing and trying to reinforce sexism in our society.

  371. 371
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    michelemanion@#360
    That vid is genius

  372. 372
    joakimsandstrom

    Illuminata:

    If you still need that german bock I would sugest this one for you:

    Störtebeker Bock-Bier
    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/12511/62716

    It tastes not to hoppy and quite belgian for a bock :)

  373. 373
    Harry Organs

    In the end, the campaign seems more demeaning towards men, considering them all to be immature idiots.
    Kinda reminds me of Arnold J. Rimmer’s favourite book “How To Pick Up Girls By Hypnosis”.

  374. 374
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    joakimsandstrom: Thank you!! I can’t believe I didn’t think of looking at BA! You’d think having a subscription would have made me go there first.

  375. 375
    strange gods before me ॐ

    julian, do you read Pandagon? there is a post which is so similar to your #370, but I have been unable to google it up because Amanda’s style of writing and thought is so different from mine.

  376. 376
    petzl20

    Jesus, PZ. Your commentary is what I would’ve expected if some person hijacked your site and published a PZ satire (wait, is it April?)

    If it’s obvious that the “insulting” ad strategy will “leak” to the other gender, then how sincere was the initial strategy? The ad is a joke of itself, albeit not a terribly good one, but it does get points for originality and elaborateness. It’s meta, OK? You don’t need to go into a paroxysm of Olbermannian proportions over this issue, there are certainly others more worthy.

    The Brownback-backed Kansas abortion clinic laws, for example, could use ongoing indignation and outrage.

    Also, Comic Sans should only be used for Creationist/Science-denying text. You’re diluting the brand identity.

  377. 377
    PZ Myers

    If you actually read what I wrote, you might understand that yes, I recognized it as an attempt at meta and humor.

    That’s not the objection.

    The objection is that it found it funny to regard women as programmable robots — the source of its ‘humor’ is to be demeaning to both men and women.

  378. 378
    Anri

    “We placed ads in prominent Jewish magazines with pictures of diamonds so Jews will be programmed to buy your product now.”

    “We placed ads in prominent black magazines with pictures of watermelons so blacks will be programmed to buy your product now.”

    “We placed ads in prominent lesbian magazines with pictures of ugly shoes so lesbians will be programmed to buy your product now.”

    HA! HA!

    FUNNY SATIRE!

    - – -

    Yes, there are funny sexist jokes.
    Being funny does not pervent them from being sexist.
    Telling them demonstrates – at least – tolerance of sexism.
    Objecting to them demonstrates – at least – less tolerance of sexism.
    I’m willing to be seen as both less funny and less sexist.
    Feel free to choose the opposite option – but please do so with your eyes open.

  379. 379
    cyberwulf

    PZ, I really would like some clarification as to when it’s appropriate to discuss a minor incidence of sexism in the mediawithout bringing shame on the entire feminist movement. I’m sure you don’t want me to jump to the conclusion that sexism in the media is only important when it degrades men, too.

  380. 380
    joakimsandstrom

    illuminata:

    Also if you are in to bocks, you MUST try Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock. Eisbocks are awesome, especially if you are the type who prefers your beer strong rich and rather sweet. Anyway I guess we are rather off topic now, I always get carried away when I meet other beer-geeks. But if you want to discuss more, just say hi to me on facebook.

  381. 381
    siobhan256

    “…achieve success without putting in any time or effort…”

    What girl doesn’t love the sound of that? I’m in!

  382. 382
    Ichthyic

    What are you all arguing against here exactly.

    keep on working away at it.

    I’m sure you’ll figure it out, eventually.

  383. 383
    John Morales

    cyberwulf:

    PZ, I really would like some clarification as to when it’s appropriate to discuss a minor incidence of sexism in the mediawithout bringing shame on the entire feminist movement.

    Bah, it doesn’t need PZ to answer that: it’s always appropriate to discuss a minor incidence of sexism in the media without bringing shame on the entire feminist movement.

    (How easy was that?)

  384. 384
    paulwiele

    I… actually like Molson. It’s an unusual flavor for a beer, but I consider that “interesting”, not “swill”… Anyway, I’m severely disappointed that they would actually run this ad. I thought Canadians were supposed to be nicer than this.

  385. 385
    mikmik

    Those fu$#&*# at G^* damn Molsons will pay for that f*#*-up. Our secret is out, FFS, now other nations will be prepared and we won’t conquer the World! At f#*^!ng Hockey Championships, M*therfu#*er!

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