Be A Man.

Well, if you have any doubt that our media knows how they want masculinity defined, one viewing of a few of this year’s Super Bowl commercials is all you need.

They sure have those definitions down, right? Because according to this night of TV, these commercials will tell you exactly how to be a man.


22 thoughts on “Be A Man.

  1. Chris Drake says:

    it’s interesting to note that the reoccurring theme to these ads are that ‘men’ have to compromise with women. They are defined by their inability to be attached to things except obviously the products being sold here. Its this common thought that all men never want to commit or be anchored down to anything. The ad that shows the guy who has is whole life played out for us uses the last shot of him looking up at the sky free of everything and everyone. Basically these commercials are suggesting that we as men are against the world and everything else is just a comprise…except for FLOTV, Dove soap, and muscle cars.

  2. Becky says:

    I found the Dodge Ram commercial to be particularly odd. I don’t understand why any guy would want to be that person who is subservient to a woman. I don’t see why people cannot be level with each other and equally important to a relationship rather than the woman telling the man what to do and exactly how to do it. Then again we also see men who control women, but this commercial is probably the definition of many men’s lives, whether dating or married, that if they say or do something wrong then they have to hear about it so they keep quiet and keep doing their “man thing”.
    I know that there are men who would see that commercial and relate to most of the comments heard but it struck me as odd. I don’t it looks good for the car because the men in the commercial seem boring so why would you want to be that man driving the “boring person” car.

  3. Daphney says:

    I thought the same thing while watching these commercials.
    I admire Dove’s commitment to real beauty, real women.
    But I didn’t know what to think of the commercial, because their women commercials show women as being weak to society’s pressure, often developing disorders, while in this commercial men conquer the pressures and rise to the top.
    While the ad is belittling women, it’s also not helping men who can’t face the pressures society put on them, because men do face societal pressures.
    The Flo TV ad works well for the super bowl but it basically says if you’re not watching the game, then you’re not a real men.
    The Dodge commercial basically says real men=real car.
    These t

  4. There is far too much navel-gazing going on here. They are simply commercials that are suppose to have a humorous bent to them, not careful psychological profiles on what it means to be a man in contemporary America. I can’t imagine that anyone takes this stuff seriously. Lighten your load.

  5. Grace B says:

    I find it very amusing that all of these commercials follow essentially the same formula despite the diverse range of products. They all advocate the message that to escape the banality of life as a heterosexual male one must buy “manly” things. The “manly” theme of sports (football, wrestling, racing) was appropriately present in each commercial.
    What I found to be the most interesting aspect of these three commercials was that in attempting to define how to be man they also attempted to define how to be a woman. Every one of these ads supports that as mates women are nagging, frivolous creatures with high expectations. I also loved how the 2nd commercial stressed that you need to find a “nice” girl to marry and have your children. Although these commercials are selling fresh new products they certainly aren’t doing anything new along the lines of gender constructions. Instead they are simply revamping outdated stereotypes.
    These ads are intriguing in the paradox they create with regard to the American Dream. One would assume that ads for the Super Bowl, an American staple, would support this dream yet these ads seemingly shun it. Still these various commercials are very American in the male directed, capitalistic message they send that once you find yourself situated in your commonplace little life with your emasculating partner and boring routine, your only source of excitement and your only hope for a shred of male dignity can be found in portable mini televisions, “manly” body washes, and new cars.

  6. Chip Siarnacki says:

    Out of all three ads, the first one caught my attention the most. After watching almost the entire ad( at the least until the product was revealed), I was sure it was an advertisement for beer. It reminded me of the Miller Lite commercial when the the guy’s girlfriend tells him that she loves him, but the man struggles to say I love you back until the waiter asks him if he wants another beer, and he replies, “I’d love one!” It seems like this ad is highlighting classical gender roles that we have tried to overcome for decades. It is rare, and I cannot say I even recall an advertisement where the roles were reversed. That is, an ad where the woman is one who struggles to say I love, while the man has no problem. I guess it all comes down to what Chris Drake posted in his comment: commitment. The other two advertisements reminded me of an Audi commercial from a year ago. It is the commercial where the guy is sitting in admissions office being interviewed, and the guy interviewing him is telling him what is life is going to be like. You will go to these schools, live in this city, have this many kids, make this much money, and drive one of these three cars.

  7. Torie Solomon says:

    I actually picked up on this reoccurring theme as I was watching the superbowl last night. While I thought they were kind of ridiculous, I also thought how clever. Of course, the targeted audience for commercials during a giant football game is going to be male, therefore beer, scantily clad women and cars are pretty much the norm. But, I thought what Dove and FLOTV did by defining the male in terms of touching upon the “struggles” a typical male goes through while still maintaing a sense of masculinity was very smart. It was a nice change to the typical commercial with women in bikinis drinking beer (which still managed to be another reoccurring theme- thank you

  8. Michele says:

    omg. Michael K over at D-Listed said this about the commercials:

    “The theme of the night was the balls-less man! Is Kate Gosselin producing commercials now?”


  9. Mac Swenson says:

    It’s been mentioned earlier, but these commercials do have the intention of poking fun at the idea of a ‘Manly Man’ who wants a muscle car and only drinks American beer. The three commercials above, along with a few others, seemed pretty harmless. The person above me referenced the commercials, and if anything were true, those were the commercials that people should find offensive. They’re borderline not funny, but they just keep the audience staring at the screen for the entire 30 seconds or minute long clip.

    Unfortunately there is not much anyone can say that will change this. The reason why the same kinds of commercials are used year after year is because they have proven to be effective. If the commercials didn’t have an impact on anyone, the companies would not continue to produce them.

  10. Peter Cruice says:

    I thought that the first advertisement of the three stood out the most to me. A guy who gets draged around in a girls shopping store. Then all of a sudden it was a commercial for wireless tv streaming. I thought this was great. It was very unpredictable. They say sex sells which it does but during a huge sports game technology sells too. These advertisements were deffiently marketed towards the male audience. Men love cars and fast ones and Dodge is an American company.

  11. Ashley Yang says:

    I think it’s a nice change–from gender-typing women, now we’re doing it to men, and putting women in the dominant position! Is it right? Well, that’s debatable. Is it a nice change, and humorous to boot? Definitely.

    That being said, I didn’t see a single one of these commercials because I was too busy being a “girl” and watching “Sound of Music” instead of the Superbowl. 😛

  12. Anonymous says:

    I do react differently to these commercials than you do. I find that it’s unfair to assume that men have suddenly become “ball-less” by acknowledging the fact that they care about what the woman in their lives thinks about their consumer decisions. If anything it’s a great leap forward in the media’s recognition towards gender equality. Women have become so much of a force in deciding what car’s to by, what products to buy, how skin should feel, how a man should smell, etc. etc. that marketing forces have deemed it necessary to acknowledge this fact on the most masculine holiday of all time (the superbowl). The fact that marketers have shown that men do, in fact, care about what women think of their economic consumption is an interesting indicator of the potential future. It’s not that men appear more effeminate and dominated, but more that men consider what women think, is important. And ultimately, I believe it takes more balls to admit that you want to satisfy both yourself and your woman more than just masculine identity, that is an important. To consider men belittled in this most recent spout of superbowl ads is only giving in to the gender stereotypes that have been put in place by our society that have historically kept women on the sidelines (pardon the pun) for so long anyway. So to laugh at this most recent portrayal of masculinity not only makes feminist movements appear hypocritical, but spiteful and almost childish as well. So appreciate the media’s portrayal of the modern man, don’t laugh at it.

  13. Cassie says:

    What really stood out to me in these ads (especially the first and last) are not what was implied about men but what was implied about women. Apparently, what makes women feminine is shopping for lacy underwear and candles and completely ignoring electronics. The third suggests that women are nags and therefore men have the right to drive the car they want to drive because everything else men do is to appease women (nagging about the toilet seat, shaving, cleaning the sink, taking out the dog, taking out the garbage etc.). So although I do agree with Torie (that it was a nice change from the typical bikini clad stick figures) I think that these commercials suggested that women were boring and obnoxious.

  14. Rachel says:

    First things first.. can’t stand those people who watch the superbowl “just for the commercials”… common football is an american sport, intriguing, and commercials suck, however I will conform to the idea that superbowl commercials are more interesting than a commercial on any old day. Second I just want to say these commericals were quite humorus. Ladies these are not a stab at the women population, its just simple humor. If anything these are kind of poking fun at the male poplulation. You can’t tell me that dove commerical didnt make you chuckle just a bit? or the Flo TV one with Jim Naz, the simple “how bout not” just cracked me up. I will add that it is actually pretty easy to get a laugh out of me but I just don’t see what all the fuss is about, sometimes I think these things are blown out of porportion, supposed to be harmless but wined up looking offensive.

    All and all I am going to have to say that the google commercial was clearly the best commercial aired!! I went through every emotion, I laughed, I sighed, I cried (not literally). It was just an all around legitimate commercial.

  15. “How about lavender?”
    “How about not?”

    That line in the first commercial kills me!

  16. Em says:

    Interesting response video modeled after the Dodge Charger add:
    Woman’s Last Stand!”

  17. keysccr8412 says:

    They definitely are reaching the right audience for these commercials. the Super bowl loves to attract those crazy sport fan guys who either wish they could be good enough to play football or have more love for a specific team then the players themselves. Its definitely on average manly boys and wannabe manly boys watching. So when they are already having a brosesh with their friends as they all watch the game together, escaping from their wives, it’s a perfect time for these commercials to motivate to become even more of a man.

    I like how in the third video they tried to target all the different type of male watchers. There was the guy in his early 20s, maybe in college, there was a business guy in a nice suit, there was a slacker one who probably sits on the coach all day, and then there was an African American one so this commercial applies to most races. Basically the message is, it doesn’t matter how old you are, or what you do for a living, you can still be a man.

    I usually hate commercials but the ones during the super bowl are usually so funny. Even though some people get mad at these stereotypical commercials, I still love them and find them very entertaining. I do not feel offended at all watching them and I completely agree with Rachel.

  18. samgerken says:

    These commercials definitely seem similar to other commercials of this time. They all have a mostly narrow audience, men that are football fans. Since their favorite teams on a channel, they are going to be exposed to the commercials in every break. The commercials target football loving, beer drinking, and tough Americans. This is stereotypical but sadly true. The Dodge commercial completely reflects this notion by showing a muscle car like sedan as the only thing a woman can’t stop. It seems too opinionated about woman and shows them as something men completely dislike and dread. I think that these commercials should have a broader target audience. This would also improve the companies’ sales by including more types of consumers. It seems that it is trying to get men to buy these products because they are manly and capable of succumbing one of man’s prominent problems, which is seen here as women. I definitely don’t agree with the messages some of these commercials tend to convey but I guess it’s a part of contemporary American TV culture.

  19. stinger10 says:

    These commercials have become staples of entertainment and information to men all over the country. Yes they promote stereotypes. Yes they are excessive and often out of line. Yes they are manipulative. Yes, yes, yes. But they really do create excellent short sprees of entertainment every time on of these funny chest hair and suds commercials come on between football quarters or fight night rounds.

    Believe it or not, they REALLY do offer information to the viewers and potential costumers. How else are we supposed to know that Miller Lite has a new custom spiral in the bottle to enhance the flow of the beer? How else would I have known that Coors Light is as cold as the rockies without actually going to the rockies? How else would I know that the Dodge Ram has more horsepower and better gas mileage then the Ford F150? How else would I know that the new pizza pockets can be cooked before the commercial is done? How else would I know that there is a new shampoo to get the gray out? How else would I know all of this while still being entertained?

    Thank you thought provoking man commercials! Keep ’em coming.

  20. Gian Contro says:

    I would like to discuss the flo tv commercial because this one is still on t.v. frequently. I thought it to be harsh when Nantz tells the man he has his spine removed from hanging out with his girlfriend. Of course the couple is shopping because men shopping with females seems to be synonomous with pain. I think this idea is blown up by the media. Whenever I was at the mall with a girlfriend I was never put on a leash and told to follow. I think people are going to do what they want to do most of the time. Sure you may see men and women couples together in the mall shopping but rarely do they ever seem as miserable as this guy was. There is a Miller Lite commercial where a guy is shopping for a wedding with his soon to be wife and he looks miserable but comes across a bunch of beer and is ecstatic. It seems that different companies try to tap into the idea that men hate being with women in certain situations because they are dragged around. Another point I would like to touch on is that if someone is carrying around mobile television when they are in public it seems they have a problem. Technology such as mobile t.v. lessons the gap between human interaction just as the cell phone does.

  21. Bre Nasypany says:

    Advertising for gender is even present here on campus. For Breast Cancer Awareness Week, a push-up competition was held in Scandling Center. The male who did the most push-ups received a $25 gift card to Footlocker while the female who did the most push-ups received a $25 gift card to Bath and Body works. A great idea to raise awareness and money but talk about gender stereotyping… especially during Ally week, I think they goofed.

    Below is the email sent out to students:

    Hey All,

    Breast Cancer Awareness Week continues with Push-Ups for Pink in Scandling Center (Wednesday October 20th) from 11-1pm. You can also purchase your Pink Tie Affair Tickets for $5!

    All proceeds benefit the Susan G. Koman FoundationJ

    $25 footlocker gift card and $25 bath and body works gift card to the male and female that does the most push-ups.

    See you there!!

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