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Commercial Women.

by Dear Jon
September 17, 2002

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Sort 172_Dear Jon-Commercial Women. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

Does love or money make the world go around? Or is it love of money that makes the world go around?


Dear Spinning,

The world goes around because the geosphere is repelling the sun’s gravity.

I would say, on balance, that love makes the world go around rather than money. After all, your world revolves around two Dear Jon sorts a week, and I don’t get paid a nickel. Now that’s what I call love.


Dear Jon,

I enjoy watching football and the numerous and sometimes humorous beer commercials during the game. Beer commercials have always had extremely good-looking women, and I understand that sex sells, but it seems to me that commercials are becoming more and more sexist, bodering on being down-right exploitive. What are your views on this trend?

No Prude

Dear Prude,

My views on this trend work out to approximately six hours per week-end from September through January.

While there is a general trend towards exploiting sex in advertising, I disagree that beer commercials are becoming exploitive or are leading the industry in exploitation. The best beer commercials are the ones that make fun of men: our rituals and our tastes and our fantasies. (Wouldn’t it be great if the Swedish Bikini showed up, and brought beer?)

Women who appear in beer commercials typically frustrate the males by pointing out their shallow behaviors and having nothing to do with them. There are two exceptions I can think of: Billy Dee Williams pitched beer twenty years ago and left with a girl on each arm. In the past couple years beer is shown at a lawn party in which a party-going female is dancing alone for guys who are reclining on lawn chairs. One of my favorites is the Cyrano de Bergerac scenario in a bar, where a guy repeats the wrong words and gets beaten up by a female self-defense expert.

For the most part, women in beer commercials are quite unlike those women who appear in car and SUV commercials, who seem ready to give it up at any time, provided the guy is driving the right car. Car commercials are a lot worse than beer commercials at selling the deceptive promise of sex.

Curiously, potency pill commercials, up to this point, do not feature women falling over themselves for the pill popper’s attention. I am convinced that lawyers for potency pills have told their marketing agency that in no way do they want to be exposed to the liability of an undelivered promise. Instead, the strategy is that, since older men want to feel vigorous, older men pitch potency treatments.

To show an unrealistic female response to potency pills would be damaging in terms of liability; to show a realistic female response to potency pills would be the worst possible marketing scenario.

Woman’s Voice-Over (tired and expressionless): Great. My husband found a wonder pill and wants to park the pony in the stall. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Really.

Perhaps an effective marketing strategy would feature a “former” bombshell looking into the camera and giving potency pill users a clue. Introduce the spot with measures from Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and then put Candace Bergen, Goldie Hawn, Raquel Welch, Farrah Fawcett, Tina Turner or Dyann Cannon on the screen.

“So, this little pill makes you feel eighteen again, huh? Well let me tell you something, Tiger. The rules have changed from forty years ago. Maybe there are some things you need to talk over with your life-partner before the action begins. Personally, I would be surprised if your partner didn’t prefer a man with a slow hand. So instead of thinking that this little pill gives you back what you had, maybe this little pill gives you the opportunity to rediscover something a whole lot better.”

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