Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Snickers Super Bowl Ad

I received the boiler-plate response to the Snickers Super Bowl Ad the other day, and it didn't sit right with me. If you are interested in the background on this, please check out AmericaBlog's post here--it has basically everything you could need to know about this ad spot, and exactly what the "core consumer" is.
(and if you're curious about why I included the part on Mexican immigrants, check out this report from the ADL here)

Here's my response, which I sent in to Snickers today.

Seriously, your Super Bowl commercial was not funny at all.

I already have your stock response, so please read this before sending me the email.

"As with all of our SNICKERS Brand advertising, our goal was to capture the attention of our core SNICKERS consumer."Feedback from our target consumers has been positive."

Is your core consumer homophobic?

"In addition, many media and website commentators of this year's Super Bowl commercial line-up ranked the commercial among this year's top ten best. USA Today ranked it #9 of its top ten pick."

There are a lot of things that are popular. Attacking homosexuals through the media and print is one thing that is very popular, and while I am sure you are proud of the plaudits you have received, it's a knee-jerk response in a homophobic culture. It is not a reflection of your superior commercial.
Another thing that is popular: bashing Mexican immigrants.
Suppose it was two men who sat there and ate a Snickers bar, and all of a sudden
they started turning skin color until they were Hispanic. Scared as all get out, they frantically attempt to reach for their money, check their stock portfolios, and bring out their college degrees to "prove" to themselves they are still white. Is that a funny sounding commercial to you? Because it's really no different than the other one, and it would probably be very popular with your "core" consumer.

"We know that humor is highly subjective and understand that some people may have found the ad offensive. Clearly that was not our intent. Consequently, we do not plan to continue to air the ad on television or on our SNICKERS Brand website."

I'm very glad to hear it, but I'm not sure you really understand. This isn't about offending" people. To say I'm just "offended" is really trivializing what this is all about. This is about demonstrating the inferiority of an entire group of people, and making it so explicitly clear. Furthermore, the connection to violence against homosexuals is also made explicit in the now-taken-down website, in which the
friends attack each other.

I'm really frustrated with the stock response. I am not gay, but I have a number of friends who are and I refuse to accept anything but equality for them. I'm glad you took it down, but your continued defense of the commercial really skims over the important part of this. You've helped (in a very small way) make the world a more dangerous place for an entire segment of the population--including many of my
friends. If I were you, I'd consider finding a way to help rectify

No comments: