The objectification of women in advertising has been drastically reduced in the last 10 years, replaced by a wave of empowering “Femvertising.” And more and more brands are featuring gay and interracial couples in their ads. It’s a beautiful thing.
How about the white man as de facto dummy? Ha, yeah no. Sorry, no progress on your front, dudes.
In advertising, humor sells. Brands like to know that, at the very least, they’re making consumers laugh. Agencies like to make clients laugh because if they’re laughing, there’s a better chance that they’ll be buying.
But original ad humor takes talent and time. Well boo to that! Let’s go with the same tired linchpins we’ve been using for 50 years … one of which is the Stupid White Husband/Boyfriend/Man.
After seeing this new TurboTax commercial featuring a white male dullard and his pool a few times, I went deep ad archive diving, watching most of the national major brand spots released in the Western world over the last year. Hundreds of ads. I found over 50 White Man Moron ads.
And as I glanced at the credits on all these spots, I noticed an obvious if inexplicable thing: Most of the creatives who created these dumb white man ads — as in like 80 percent of them — were … white males.
Self-loathing, much? Maybe they’re making fun of certain male acquaintances who look and act like these dimwits? Or maybe it’s just hyper-laziness — they can write these characters in their sleep, because they are these characters?
I’m leaning toward that last explanation.
Anyway, below are just a few of the best (worst?) examples of White Male Moron spots from the last 12 months.
Nokian Tyres—McCann, Helsinki
First stop, Finland. Our moronic hero, in bunny ears and a red elephant penis cozy, is stopped just in time by a Nokian tyre gut shot. That’s a pretty flimsy gag-to-product connection, but forget that; let’s just laugh and laugh at the stupid fat man-child who can’t even coordinate his animalistic novelty getup.
Snickers Crisper—BBDO, NYC
The “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign has of course been replete with the idiotic white male linchpin. But this “confulish” pasty white goofball takes the dense cake. Haha, “cologne.” Hilarious.
The McDonald’s “American Winter” is a special seasonal menu available in France, Italy and other European countries.
Digiday Daily Newsletter
This imbecilic spear fisherman would at least make some sense if there were a fish sandwich on this menu. But there isn’t. No, this French twit is just out fishing in the cold, barefooted, in a light jacket because he’s another white male moron. Snicker at him, ladies. He represents all of us “manly” do-it-your-selfers who destroy everything we touch, including ourselves.
Cure Auto Insurance—D4 Creative, Philadelphia
Bwa-ha-ha! His dad’s dead! But at least this married (you know he’s married) douche will have an in with that smoking-hot redhead doctor when they have mournful coffee later. Again, we have a specious gag-to-message link.
Toyota Auris Hybrid—Saatchi & Saatchi, London
I don’t know if this spokes-doofus is a known personality in the U.K., but it doesn’t really matter — he is a massive gobshite (Thank you, Free Dictionary, for all the British and Irish slang synonyms for “moron.”)
One comedic cliché wasn’t enough for Saatchi; they added the ol’ lie-detector gag.
And the no-doubt-about-it winner of the worst White Male Moron advertising is this 2015 campaign for Windstream Communications’ Internet service. Our chubby ginger is an epic idiot, as you can see. The second spot also features a brain-dead white nitwit stuck under a meteorite in his living room.
I’m sure we’ll see an equally clueless woman or maybe a loser black guy in the upcoming third spot, right KBS?
Maybe if the industry ever does truly diversify, we’ll see the end of the White Male Moron ads. Or maybe we’ll just see more female, gay and transgender morons.