I have a special place in my heart for "Hey dumbass! I bet you forgot Valentine's Day! Buy this for your wife/girlfriend!" advertising on male-oriented TV shows, websites, and magazines. While it's not good to perpetuate the idea of obligatory gift-giving (Won't She be mad if you don't get anything?) I find most of this advertising hilarious and harmless. That is, it advises men to buy such ludicrously awful gifts – things that no woman on Earth would ever want like Pajamagrams or things involving teddy bears – that I can't get angry because I'm laughing so hard at the idea of anyone falling for it.
Now. Two snapshots of where we're at as a society in 2012 and where we've taken the "Buy her this crap, she'll love it!" concept.
1. This was a very expensive Super Bowl ad for something called Teleflora, a 1-800-FLOWERS knockoff:
For those of you unable to watch and listen, the ad features beer commercial variety closeups of a hot woman in skimpy clothing and it ends with the line "Give, and you shall receive."
HEY GUYS, DO YOU GET IT? ORAL SEX. BUY HER FLOWERS AND SHE'S GONNA BLOW YOU. WITH HER MOUTH. ON YOUR PRIVATES. YOU WILL RECEIVE A BLOWIE. THAT'S WHAT THIS COMMERCIAL MEANS. TELEFLORA IS THE MIDDLEMAN IN A STANDARD FLOWERS-FOR-B.J. TRANSACTION.
2. I can't find the video, but there is a staggeringly offensive commercial for the latest Twilight film on DVD. It instructs male viewers to purchase said DVDs and watch them on Valentine's Day. That seems reasonable enough, I guess. If one's special lady likes Twilight, she would probably enjoy spending the evening that way. But the ad also reminds us that we should watch this film because "afterwards, it'll be Valentine's Day for you."
THAT MEANS SHE'LL DO THINGS TO YOUR WIENER! GET IT? WINK WINK WINK!
Bear in mind that the target audience for Twilight is tweens and high school girls. It takes a special kind of boldness to advertise one's product as an effective way to get a 14 year old to have sex with you.
Well, it looks like satire and reality have finally intersected:
In the past I have been accused, with justification, of being less attentive to cultural misogyny than I should be. If it's going to be this obvious, it looks like I won't have to look very closely after all.