A recent credit card commercial from a company famous for the “Priceless” meme has changed one of their ads only days after it went live. The more I think about what they changed and why they think they did the right thing, I’m reminded what pull small minorities of beliefs have on everyday life.
I’m not one to pay too much attention to commercials, but if I can’t avoid them I do enjoy looking for one thing:
The awkward marriage establishing prop.
In any commercial that features a man and woman either with children, in bed awaking for coffee or touting a sleep aid, or eating breakfast, there is a shot of a wedding photo, prominent wedding ring or reference to a mother in law that established to us, the slug of a viewer, that the person partaking in these activities is indeed married. Because if they aren’t I’m not buying that car?
The overt reference to marital status is clearly to avoid displeasing a small minority of viewers who find such things as unmarried co-habitation and children out of wedlock so unspeakable they make sure I have to be reminded that only married people have children. “What about the children?” they cry. Well, they’re going out into a world that is nothing like your glossed over commercial wants them to believe.
In the ad aired recently a young man is seen using a credit card to buy a toothbrush. The narrator tells us “A fresh tooth brush, just in case” and then the price. You know how these ads go, right?
Then he hustles through a restaurant, using the same card, and we’re told “Homecooked meal…” and the price.
Then into a wine shop where he grabs alcohol and uses the same credit card. “first-date finest” and the price.
After he grabs the bottle of wine he leaps into his apartment, forcefully clears off the table into the dishwasher, throws a yoga magazine over a swimsuit magazine and rushes to the door where a young lady is standing and smiles.
Did they change the part where he lies about cooking the food to impress the girl? No. Lying:OK
Did they change buying alcohol for the date? No, of course not. Drinking:OK
Perhaps the irresponsible act of throwing everything in the dishwasher instead of properly cleaning up? Nay-nay. Living like a slob:OK
Covering up your reading habits with something else? Common place apparently. Deceit:OK
Maybe, just maybe, they tell us why, if he is so excited for this first date, does he have to run everywhere, then toss about his apartment? Nope. Poor time management:OK
No, someone had an issue with the toothbrush. Well, not the tooth brush, but the “just in case…” text and voice over. Buying a toothbrush: Won’t someone think of the children?!?!
It now reads “fresh breath…” or some such nonsense. Point being, they changed possibly the LEAST offensive part of the ad.
Before you all go prude on me and tell me it’s about the children ask me what ad came on next. Go ahead, ask.
An ad with two adults physically embracing, touching, kissing, and a laundry room transforming into a forest no less. Sex and magic.
Remind me which is the offensive one?
It’s not ads showing a man buying a toothbrush that are leading to the decay of what we all once held as wholesome. It’s not the gays, the blacks, the whites or even the tie dyed. Not Jew, not Christian, not Muslim, not Atheist or Naturalist. It is all of them. All of us. All groups who demand people see things their way no matter what. I have my views but have no intent of enforcing them upon you, unless you are abusing 911. In that arena I become the person I hate, trying to filter what I want you to hear through this medium and others, but I would be hard pressed to ask a third party to change something as massive as an International ad just because of a toothbrush.
We accept ads about erectile dysfunction, glorify murder in prime time, parade celebrities and their children who practice all the things they claim to be against, only to get upset…about a toothbrush.
I read a recent comment on another site that asked where the condoms were. Good point, but also…good luck. Condom companies aren’t even allowed to show actual people in their ads, but sex aids like lotions can, and quite graphically by the toothbrush standards. But again, the lotion ads have the awkward marriage establishing shot making it OK.
Married people having sex in the afternoon: OK. Single guy buying toothbrush: Offensive.
Sometimes I think the drive to ban gay marriage is simply to avoid having to see these establishing shots between guys.
I’m no prude, surely, and am not asking to have total control over the ads I see, I vote with my wallet and don’t buy their products. That’s my control. But could the people upset about this ad possibly use their efforts to help feed the hungry, stop genocide or something useful in this world instead of protecting my kids from a toothbrush?
Put the ad back and tell the people complaining to go clean out their own house first.