Subliberal Advertising

 

While watching TV advertising, I often get the feeling I’m being lectured to.

The Super Bowl yesterday was a series of lectures with this message: “As often as we’ve tried to educate you people out there in flyover country, you remain resistant to our efforts to civilize you. We continue to detect traces of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia in your makeup; so it’s our moral imperative to disabuse you of those ideas.”

If a young girl and a boy are in some kind of competition—running, shooting a basket, doing a science project—put your money on the girl. She’s a shoe-in. It’s all terribly cute, of course. Look, the girl beat the boy! But the schtick is getting a bit tired. Ad folk, lay off the ideology for a bit, for goodness sakes, and let the poor boy win every now and then.

There seems to be some kind of law in advertising that if you show two kids, one of them has to be black. The rule is so strict that there must be some kind of jail (probably on Madison Avenue) for those who break this law. In a group of seven or so, three or four will be “people of color.” They’ll sometimes show an Asian in a group shot, but Asians just don’t count as much as blacks. We’re being lectured to, folks.

In the Super Bowl T-Mobile ad showing a bunch of babies, more than half of which were “babies of color,” we were told that “Some people will be threatened” by the varied hues of these babies. “But,” we’re told, “you will love who you want.” Why do I get the feeling that person who considered himself enlightened was scolding me for my benighted ways?

The Kraft ad in the Super Bowl featured gay couples and interracial couples. “There is no right way to family” (using “family” as a verb) we were told by an ad that obviously was tweaking the noses of the unenlightened.

Perhaps it all started with that Coca Cola ad almost fifty years ago that wanted to teach the world to sing, with a long shot of a multi-cultural group of young people, all mingling peacefully, loving one another, all grokking one another. No borders for these folk.

These lectures are so important to the woke folk on Madison Avenue that the corporations—and the ad agencies that do their bidding—spend untold millions of dollars in which the products themselves never make an appearance. There was nary a phone in the T-Mobile ad, and no macaroni showed up in the Kraft ad.

I was trying to enjoy the Super Bowl, but these darned ads were harshing my mellow. (I can’t get enough of that phrase, which I stole from a DocJay post.)

There are 107 comments.

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  1. GrannyDude Member

    Honestly, how obnoxious. I was talking to a friend today about Dallas. I told her that one of the things I really liked about Dallas was how integrated it is. “Really?” she said, surprised.

    “Definitely. The thing is, our closest big city is Boston, and Boston’s one of the ten most racially segregated cities in America. So if you hang out in Boston, you naturally think: OMG! America is SO RACIST!” And of course you assume that cities less obviously enlightened than Boston (I mean, come on! All those colleges? All those progressives?) must be more rather than less segregated.

    Not so.

    “Well, that’s good to know…” my friend said, her tone implying it was anything but.

    Conservatives are more likely to have served in the military, more likely to be religiously observant, more likely to adopt children…all of which means they are more likely rather than less to have intimate personal and professional contact with persons of other races.

    The progressives don’t know this. Sad, really.

    • #1
    • February 5, 2018, at 2:40 PM PDT
    • 38 likes
  2. Songwriter Member

    It annoys me, too. But then I’m easily annoyed.

    • #2
    • February 5, 2018, at 2:41 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. Blondie Thatcher

    Y’all keep talking about all this super bowl stuff. Makes me glad I didn’t watch.

    • #3
    • February 5, 2018, at 2:43 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. Kevin Schulte Member

    Don’t get me started on the cop shows. Where the 100 lb model shove’s the 250 lb lug against the wall and gives him the what for.

    • #4
    • February 5, 2018, at 2:49 PM PDT
    • 19 likes
  5. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Don’t get me started on the cop shows. Where the 100 lb model shove’s the 250 lb lug against the wall and gives him the what for.

    ____

    I know, Kevin. It’s gotten ridiculous. I read a lot of thrillers, which are often peopled these days with 120-pound female spies/assassins/cia operatives/FBI agents who regularly beat the sh_t out of 250-pound tough guys.

    Kent

    • #5
    • February 5, 2018, at 2:53 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  6. GrannyDude Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Don’t get me started on the cop shows. Where the 100 lb model shove’s the 250 lb lug against the wall and gives him the what for.

    ____

    I know, Kevin. It’s gotten ridiculous. I read a lot of thrillers, which are often peopled these days with 120-pound female spies/assassins/cia operatives/FBI agents who regularly beat the sh_t out of 250-pound tough guys.

    Kent

    Okay, but that’s a fantasy not a directive, right?
    Or is it?
    I visited a class at Middlebury College not long ago. I was giving my usual spiel about the general fabulousness of Maine’s game wardens, and I repeated my usual line, which is that any minister who would like to be a law enforcement chaplain must really like men.

    “And I just love men,” I said fervently.

    This was, it turned out, the most shocking thing the students had ever heard. They were completely bewildered. I did some explaining—you know, that if a bad guy suddenly appeared in the room, it would be the job of (I pointed to the nearest male student, a rather round-faced black kid) “this guy” to spring to my defense. For which, I assured him, I would be extremely grateful.

    “Look, I know you’re not saying that because you’re a woman, you’re weak or can’t protect yourself…” said a young woman (the males weren’t talking, needless to say?) generously.

    “No, that’s exactly what I’m saying,” I replied.

    • #6
    • February 5, 2018, at 2:59 PM PDT
    • 40 likes
  7. GrannyDude Member

    By the way, I don’t really mind the inclusion of multicolored kids in ads. Paradoxically, I think it subverts the dominant progressive narrative, which is that we are divided by our identities… if Burger King or Froot Loops can bring us together, how divided can we be?

    And I loved the middle-school choir singing America the Beautiful —they were so sweet!

    • #7
    • February 5, 2018, at 3:03 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  8. Henry Racette Contributor

    While I agree with the whole post, I’m clicking “like” for the title.

    And “family” as a verb?

    Resist.

    • #8
    • February 5, 2018, at 3:11 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  9. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    By the way, I don’t really mind the inclusion of multicolored kids in ads. Paradoxically, I think it subverts the dominant progressive narrative, which is that we are divided by our identities… if Burger King or Froot Loops can bring us together, how divided can we be?

    And I loved the middle-school choir singing America the Beautiful —they were so sweet!

    _____

    Kate, I can understand your position. But I just don’t like the feeling that I’m being lectured to by a person who considers himself to be morally superior (with, of course, the exception of Unitarian ministers).

    Kent

    • #9
    • February 5, 2018, at 3:13 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    While I agree with the whole post, I’m clicking “like” for the title.

    And “family” as a verb?

    Resist.

    _____

    Henry, I’m forced to agree that that it’s an inspired title.

    Kent

    • #10
    • February 5, 2018, at 3:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Saint Augustine Member

    Yeah, that seems about right.

    KentForrester:In the Super Bowl T-Mobile ad showing a bunch of babies, more than half of which were “babies of color,” we were told that “Some people will be threatened” by the varied hues of these babies. “But,” we’re told, “you will love who you want.” Why do I get the feeling that person who considered himself enlightened was scolding me for my benighted ways?

    Like when they said that some people are threatened by non-whites on Star Wars, I wonder whom they’re talking about.

    Ok, so there probably are a few racists who really do feel threatened by non-white American babies.

    And there are probably a few Gaia-worshippers or Malthusians who literally disapprove of all humans and feel equally threatened by babies of all colors and nationalities; they probably outnumber the racists, and both groups are probably relatively few, and I’m not sure why either group deserves a mention in a cell phone ad.

    I think someone’s imagination is at fault. Is it my imagination, or do these lefties really have imaginations so big that in them every third Trump voter feels threatened by non-white babies?

    • #11
    • February 5, 2018, at 3:31 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  12. Saint Augustine Member

    And then there’s the fact that it’s, by and large, not the Trump voters who are aborting the non-white babies.

    • #12
    • February 5, 2018, at 3:33 PM PDT
    • 22 likes
  13. Saint Augustine Member

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Don’t get me started on the cop shows. Where the 100 lb model shove’s the 250 lb lug against the wall and gives him the what for.

    Yeah, that happens in every sci-fi show too.

    • #13
    • February 5, 2018, at 3:34 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Don’t get me started on the cop shows. Where the 100 lb model shove’s the 250 lb lug against the wall and gives him the what for.

    Yeah, that happens in every sci-fi show too.

    I’m more inclined to let it slide in sci-fi, because it’s easier to justify. Cop shows are supposed to be closer to reality.

    • #14
    • February 5, 2018, at 3:41 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. namlliT noD Member

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    “Look, I know you’re not saying that because you’re a woman, you’re weak or can’t protect yourself…” said a young woman (the males weren’t talking, needless to say?) generously.

    “No, that’s exactly what I’m saying,” I replied.

    Better reply: “Don’t assume my gender!”

    • #15
    • February 5, 2018, at 4:04 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  16. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester Post author

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    By the way, I don’t really mind the inclusion of multicolored kids in ads. Paradoxically, I think it subverts the dominant progressive narrative, which is that we are divided by our identities… if Burger King or Froot Loops can bring us together, how divided can we be?

    And I loved the middle-school choir singing America the Beautiful —they were so sweet!

    ____

    Kate, as a conservative, don’t you feel sort of lonely at a Unitarian convention?

    Kent

    • #16
    • February 5, 2018, at 4:11 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. namlliT noD Member

    KentForrester: While watching TV advertising, I often get the feeling I’m being lectured to.

    It may look like that, but I think what’s really happening is multiple levels of virtue signaling. The ad agencies are virtue signaling to their clients, and the clients are virtue signaling to their customer base and investors.

    The way to stop it is to call them on it and ridicule them. I’d like to see awards given out for most blatant and crass examples.

    • #17
    • February 5, 2018, at 4:12 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Super Bowl? What Super Bowl?

    Yeah, I hate those ads, too. I spend more time checking their efforts to include PC stuff and couldn’t tell you what the ad was for afterward. Sheesh

    • #18
    • February 5, 2018, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  19. MarciN Member

    KentForrester: I was trying to enjoy the Super Bowl, but these darned ads were harshing my mellow. (I can’t get enough of that phrase, which I stole from a DocJay post.)

    I felt the same way. They were distracting because they were so insulting.

    • #19
    • February 5, 2018, at 5:06 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  20. MarciN Member

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    The thing is, our closest big city is Boston, and Boston’s one of the ten most racially segregated cities in America. So if you hang out in Boston, you naturally think: OMG! America is SO RACIST!” And of course you assume that cities less obviously enlightened than Boston (I mean, come on! All those colleges? All those progressives?) must be more rather than less segregated.

    Not so.

    Holy cow.

    So you sent me off on an excursion on the Internet to find out where you got this idea. :)

    There is an article Huffington Post making that claim. It does show up on this list as number 7, but it’s clear on the map that the city proper is well integrated. On this list, it doesn’t show up at all.

    I would question any criteria these “researchers” were using. People tend to live where they want to live. They have family and friends nearby. (Or gangs, I guess, in some places.)

    I don’t think Boston is a racist city at all.

    Interesting the reputation it has throughout the country. I remember when the Democratic Party Convention was in Boston for John Kerry, that some of the black delegates said they didn’t want to come to Boston because they had heard how racist it was. They were pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t–everyone was polite to everyone.

    Boston has some wonderful neighborhoods that have kept their charm over the years: Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Irish, Chinese, and college students. :)

    Boston has worked very hard for the last fifty years to become a city that welcomes everyone and treats everyone nicely.

    Give Boston another chance. I don’t think you will find it filled with prejudiced people.

    • #20
    • February 5, 2018, at 5:49 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. GrannyDude Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    By the way, I don’t really mind the inclusion of multicolored kids in ads. Paradoxically, I think it subverts the dominant progressive narrative, which is that we are divided by our identities… if Burger King or Froot Loops can bring us together, how divided can we be?

    And I loved the middle-school choir singing America the Beautiful —they were so sweet!

    _____

    Kate, I can understand your position. But I just don’t like the feeling that I’m being lectured to by a person who considers himself to be morally superior (with, of course, the exception of Unitarian ministers).

    Kent

    Oh gosh, Kent. Do not allow Unitarian ministers to deliver superior lectures to you either! Because they will. Oh yes….they will….

    • #21
    • February 5, 2018, at 5:50 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  22. Saint Augustine Member

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    Honestly, how obnoxious. I was talking to a friend today about Dallas. I told her that one of the things I really liked about Dallas was how integrated it is. “Really?” she said, surprised.

    “Definitely. The thing is, our closest big city is Boston, and Boston’s one of the ten most racially segregated cities in America. So if you hang out in Boston, you naturally think: OMG! America is SO RACIST!” And of course you assume that cities less obviously enlightened than Boston (I mean, come on! All those colleges? All those progressives?) must be more rather than less segregated.

    Not so.

    “Well, that’s good to know…” my friend said, her tone implying it was anything but.

    Conservatives are more likely to have served in the military, more likely to be religiously observant, more likely to adopt children…all of which means they are more likely rather than less to have intimate personal and professional contact with persons of other races.

    The progressives don’t know this. Sad, really.

    And what’s the most diverse city in the USA?

    Houston, Texas.

    • #22
    • February 5, 2018, at 5:57 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  23. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Don’t get me started on the cop shows. Where the 100 lb model shove’s the 250 lb lug against the wall and gives him the what for.

    ____

    I know, Kevin. It’s gotten ridiculous. I read a lot of thrillers, which are often peopled these days with 120-pound female spies/assassins/cia operatives/FBI agents who regularly beat the sh_t out of 250-pound tough guys.

    Kent

    I think there probably are some women out there who weigh around 120 lbs and can whip the booty off some larger tougher looking guy, if she is trained in martial arts and he is an out of shape couch potato. But no matter how much training that woman has, I doubt she can whip anything while standing on 5 1/2 inch stilettos.

    • #23
    • February 5, 2018, at 6:01 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  24. T-Fiks Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Yeah, I hate those ads, too. I spend more time checking their efforts to include PC stuff and couldn’t tell you what the ad was for afterward. Sheesh

    It isn’t just the multi-cultural virtue signaling. Even the Dodge Ram ad with the MLK quote rubbed me the wrong way. I love the quote and the ethos behind it, but the banalization of wholesome sentiment (or the sentimentalization of wholesome banalities, take your pick) almost caused me to ralph up my Doritos and cheese dip yesterday.

    • #24
    • February 5, 2018, at 6:03 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. GrannyDude Member

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I don’t think Boston is a racist city at all.

    Oh, I don’t think Boston is a racist city either, MarciN. And don’t worry, I hang out there fairly often, and enjoy it when I’m there (as long as I don’t have to drive).

    I was just explaining why a nice, progressive Mainer might unthinkingly assume that Boston, which is 60% black and quite segregated, has nonetheless got to be better than, say, Houston because Houston is in the south, and everyone knows how those southerners are.

    Everyone knows how cops are too, right? So I can startle my progressive friends by pointing out that police officers are, as a group, far more racially diverse than, say, attorneys. Or New York Times reporters. Or late night comedians. Or Unitarian ministers.

    • #25
    • February 5, 2018, at 6:05 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  26. GrannyDude Member

    T-Fiks (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Yeah, I hate those ads, too. I spend more time checking their efforts to include PC stuff and couldn’t tell you what the ad was for afterward. Sheesh

    It isn’t just the multi-cultural virtue signaling. Even the Dodge Ram ad with the MLK quote rubbed me the wrong way. I love the quote and the ethos behind it, but the banalization of wholesome sentiment (or the sentimentalization of wholesome banalities, take your pick) almost caused me to ralph up my Doritos and cheese dip yesterday.

    It is fashionable, isn’t it, to serve a Moral with the hard sell? What a strange trend.

    • #26
    • February 5, 2018, at 6:07 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Bob Thompson Member

    Well, that’s what you get for watching television, probably not limited to advertising.

    • #27
    • February 5, 2018, at 6:30 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    The T Mobile ad was the worst. I didn’t feel like I was being lectured to; I was being lectured to. I make it a habit of never buying a product featured in a stupid commercial. I’m running out of products to buy.

    • #28
    • February 5, 2018, at 6:40 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  29. PJS Thatcher
    PJS

    But there was the Wrangler and the T-Rex. My favorite!

    • #29
    • February 5, 2018, at 6:41 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. Saxonburg Member

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    T-Fiks (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Yeah, I hate those ads, too. I spend more time checking their efforts to include PC stuff and couldn’t tell you what the ad was for afterward. Sheesh

    It isn’t just the multi-cultural virtue signaling. Even the Dodge Ram ad with the MLK quote rubbed me the wrong way. I love the quote and the ethos behind it, but the banalization of wholesome sentiment (or the sentimentalization of wholesome banalities, take your pick) almost caused me to ralph up my Doritos and cheese dip yesterday.

    It is fashionable, isn’t it, to serve a Moral with the hard sell? What a strange trend.

    What did the quote have to do with pick-up trucks? Oh, here it is: http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_the_drum_major_instinct/

    About one-third of the way through, King advises against spending too much money on a vehicle. I’ll take his advice, if they insist.

    • #30
    • February 5, 2018, at 7:05 PM PDT
    • 1 like
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