Following Monday’s Ad Report Card on ads with subliminal, or not so subliminal, gay themes, several readers pointed out other ads they thought should have been part of the discussion. Some of these do seem worth a little additional rumination before the topic gets laid to rest, and here they are.
1. An ad for a Kia car–you can it watch here–begins with a young Everypreppie behind the wheel. He smiles widely as an announcer murmurs that the Kia Spectra is “a sporty car for under $11,000 you’d actually want.” In the ad’s surprise twist, it’s abruptly revealed that Everyprep isn’t driving the car; it’s one of several Kias being hauled on an 18-wheeler driven by a gigantic, barbarian creep. Punch line from announcer: “Maybe you should get your own.” The barbarian hustles Everyprep off the back of the truck, and we close with the two of them in its cab. Only now the big creep is grinning and saying, “So, you’re a Pisces, too, huh?” as Everyprep looks frightened. This seems pretty blatantly bad. It isn’t funny, and the broad attempt at humor has nothing to do with the product and seems rooted in little but homophobia–fear and loathing of a scary Other. The worst of the lot.
2. Next up is a Dockers spot called Meet the Parents, available on the pants maker’s Web site. Good-looking young man goes to the fancy home of his good-looking significant other’s folks. Mom leers at his derriere, so attractively displayed in those Dockers and all. The soundtrack (which according to posters on a Web site where such questions are debated is a reworking of a Les Baxter song called “Tropicando” performed by Thievery Corporation) adds a certain intrigue. At the dinner table, someone’s playing footsie with our hero, and he isn’t sure if it’s his lady friend’s sister or her mother since they’re both giving him the eye. Then he glances over at Dad and realizes that … Dad’s giving him the eye, too. The suggestion is that your Dockers will have the whole world slavering with desire for you. The execution is reasonably amusing. Not bad.
3. Lastly, a couple of people e-mailed me a European spot for a Hyundai car, which I subsequently found posted here on the personal site of someone in Belgium. Not sure about the soundtrack to this one, but imagine some perky French pop tune. (Lyric translation anyone?) A red-haired woman sporting some elaborate diamond rings drives along with a young man–her young man, if you take my meaning. She spots a car she recognizes and eases the passenger seat all the way back (a feature of the car, I guess) so that her young man is safely out of view. She pulls up next to the other Hyundai–apparently driven by her husband, a silver-haired bon vivant–and indicates that she’s just been picking up his shirts from the cleaners. He smiles, and they part ways. Her young man pops back into view. Meanwhile, in the bon vivant’s car, his young man–if you take my meaning–pops into view, grinning under a big cowboy hat. This spot is pretty funny, and commendable, I think, for getting its laugh without resorting to even the suggestion of a gay threat.