I found this video last week and was just going to link to it but after Vanessa’s comment, I decided to delve deeper on the subject. V nailed it on the head calling the video “fried barf on a stick,” and then she pointed out several of the ways in which it’s backwards..ridiculously backwards:
Those actresses make light of the years that women labored to be perceived as equals among men. The new product was not equivalent of the Wii. It was substitute for second-class citizens with games that reinforced subservient behavior patterns
All I can say is I’m glad this commercial isn’t in English. It’s offensive enough visually. Putting the lame ass gender norms aside, I think the video employs humor in a really interesting way. The ad is clearly trying to be funny. We get this sense right off the bat with the portly dudes and their annoyed female companions. The viewer is supposed to identify with this scenario: the guys are trying to have fun and the gals kill their buzz. Whichever side you identify–or don’t identify–with, we can probably all agree that this is a culturally familiar narrative.
The Wii turns the guys into buffoons, but then we realize that the women too are subject to buffoonery as the Shii intoxicates them with an innate urge for all things domestic. The women go cra-zy! The men love it. We weren’t expecting this…it’s sooo FUNNY! Then, in the last moments the women start sucking mechanical dick. All hell breaks loose and it’s hard to not gasp–and let out a little chuckle– at the absurdity. I know European ads tend to be much more unbridled then those in America, but still, this is pretty risqué.
Humor is a powerful tool. That’s really my point. When we laugh, we let the feeling take us over and forget to think. Just for a little bit. Sometimes, this isn’t such a big deal. But, a lot of the time, humor is an artificial treatment we coat over a more serious topic that we’d rather not deal with. Political jokes, racist jokes, anti queer jokes, blond jokes, Jew jokes, dead baby jokes.
It’s troubling to see commercials like this because they invite viewers to laugh off thousands of years of systemic subjugation as if “we’re so over it.” With all of the keeled over laughing, the danger is you’ll forget to think.