We have discussed here the increasingly common phenomenon of companies building their TV ads on the juvenile gag of suggesting a vulgar, obscene or rude word, or a topic not discussed publicly in polite society but not really saying what is clearly implied.
Kraft Heinz Company advertised its products with a TV ad in which a boss caught his employee becoming sexually aroused by his lunch, with the tagline: “Food You Want to Fork.” Get it? HAR! Heineken featured a gay-themed beer ad about “flipping another man’s meat”–“Huh? It’s just barbecue! You must have a dirty mind!.” Wonderful Pistachios uses “nuts” as sexual innuendo, Booking.com uses “booking” in phrases suggesting “fucking,” and K-Mart uses “ship” to suggest “shit.” Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups has run commercial featuring the tags “Women want like to make it last…Men are done in seconds…Typical.” Last year, Volkswagen had Dean Martin crooning about “The Birds and the Bees” while we see a VW bouncing up and down as the couples within engage in vigorous sexual intercourse, unless they are tying to use pogo sticks.
This is corporate America accelerating the coarsening and vulgarizing society, endangering manners, and helping to make boors out of our children. Quoting Ethics Alarms quoting Ethics Alarms the last time I wrote about this:
Ethics dictates that one communicates with respect for anyone within hearing distance, and unless ugly words serve a material purpose, using them is not the mark of a good citizen, a good neighbor, or a trustworthy human being. Nor is spouting vulgarity witty, and unless you are 11, and employing obvious code words that sound like curses, epithets and obscenities isn’t especially funny either, since we pretty much exhausted the possibilities at summer camp. I have no idea why anyone would want to recast the culture as a place where professionals curse like sailors and the words “fuck” and “cocksucker” are as likely to issue from a debutante’s lips as those of a hip hop artist, but that seems to be the objective now.
So what, you may ask, prompted me to return to this topic? My head just exploded, that’s what.I just watched a new commercial for the Book-of-the-Month Club in which the hilarious gimmick is that viewers are led to believe that a series of women are talking about getting their period—“No, I had a great time, but I can’t come up to your apartment…it’s that time of the month!”… “When I get it, it’s always so heavy!”…. “Do you really still get it, grandma?”
Ick, ew, gross, inappropriate, gratuitous, vulgar, rude, stupid, not clever, and about as unrelated to the product as I could imagine. Maybe this connection would be arguably apt for the Gynecology Book of the Month. On second thought, not even then. I think I can fairly say that President Trump is no longer primarily responsible for turning us into a nation of assholes. There are too many others working overtime to accomplish the same dubious objective.