Who Is the Biggest Advertising Asshole of the Month?
January isn’t even half over, but consumers worldwide have already been assaulted by a cavalcade of commercials, magazine ads, and tweets that assume they are all a bunch of halfwits.
January isn’t even half over, but consumers worldwide have already been assaulted by a cavalcade of commercials, magazine ads, and tweets that assume they are all a bunch of halfwits. This is nothing new, of course. And while the argument over the reason for this dearth of creativity—is it a lack of effort on the side of the ad men, or are these companies actually striking their intended chords with their target audiences—is up for debate, these spots are painful to watch no matter the reasoning behind them.
I’ve picked out the most despicable examples from January below.
Asshole #1 - The Insecure Male Asshole
The “war on men” is being bandied about a lot these days. Men just ain’t as manly as they used to be, according to many media outlets (just use your Google fingers and search “war on men” if you want to read some real bullshit). One muscular man—the raging douchebag in this Summer’s Eve commercial—is willing to go full William Wallace to get his testes back after his wife tells him that he is in fact vigorously scrubbing his hard body with her pussy soap (manly men cannot read, I guess). He then goes on a testosterone tear, thus earning back his Man Card.
While not as prevalent as casual sexism against women in ads, the Male as Moron Movement remains a go-to linchpin for lazy creatives.
I have no idea how this commercial sells Summer’s Eve soap. It would make a much better ad for Old Spice or any other “manly” cleaning product. What I do know is that it is pathetic that we still can't say the word “vagina” in American commercials in 2014. The USA is still in 3rd grade. Vagina vagina vagina. Vagina.
Asshole #2 - John McEnroe
Protect Your Bubble is an online UK company that provides insurance for all your fancy little devices. The animated mouse, “Squeak,” is the company mascot. Those are not McEnroe’s kids or wife. Poor Johnny Mac has become Bart in the “Bart Gets Famous” Simpsons episode, walking on screen, saying his catchphrase, and collecting his endorsement money. At least he was funny in a 2006 Seat Altea spot. This commercial is just so very sad.
Asshole #3 - Rikki Kasso, creative director, Meso Creative
The above assburger magazine ad by GoodTime Burgers, which features a woman’s ass cheeks as a bun with the fixings jammed up her poop shoot and I guess her pussy too, was banned by Australia’s Advertising Standards Board for being “degrading” to women.
The creative director of GoodTime’s ad agency, Rikki Kasso, who is apparently a man, defended the assburger thusly:
“The image encompassed our entire vocabulary and communication strategy for the GoodTime brand. Sun, Fun, and Buns. The extra large, fresh baked buns being the GoodTime Burgers distinct point of difference, coupled with the Bondi location where bikini’s seem to be a uniform.
“The point was to speak to our audience exclusively, and that we have achieved. The image itself has some people feeling violated and even led them to conclusions beyond our original intent. If the advertisement invoked any emotion hopefully it was a pleasant one, and above all it’s OK to smile and have a laugh once in a while.”
Do you think the tomatoes are supposed to be swollen hemorrhoids?
Asshole #4 - Denny’s Twitter Manager
Denny’s tweeted the above soon after Auburn lost the college football BCS title game to Florida State. If you know anything about football culture in the state of Alabama, then you know that losing to a Florida team is the worst thing that can happen short of maybe losing a loved one, and subsequently eating at a Denny’s would not be a “win.” I’m surprised that at least one of these 47 restaurants wasn’t firebombed.