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Snickers Super Bowl: "Quick, Do Something Manly"

[UPDATES BELOW]

It was inevitable there was going to be one lame gay joke during the Super Bowl commercials. I'm just shocked that it didn't have anything to do with Brokeback Mountain.

MuhammadI wasn't too offended by the commercial itself, mainly because it makes the mechanics out to be social neanderthals. However, take a look at the Snickers site, which features four versions of the commercial with different endings, along with players from the Colts and the Bears reacting to the commercials.

Here's the real stinker, the "Extras" at the bottom of the page. If you want to know why a football player in the NFL might be hesitant to come out of the closet, take a look at the players' reactions to the kiss. Shame on Snickers for promoting homophobia in professional sports. These are 'role models', folks!

Bears Tight End Desmond Clark: "Did they actually have to kiss like that? I hope they got paid a lot of money to do that."

Bears Reaction [snickers: most satisfying ending]
Colts Reaction [snickers: most satisfying ending]

UPDATE: John Aravosis at AmericaBlog (from whom I borrowed the Muhammad screenshot) responds...

And HRC's Joe Solmonese has issued a statement. Text follows after the jump...

UPDATE 2: The Snickers Super Bowl ad website is currently down as of 6pm EST...

UPDATE 3: Aravosis received a call from Masterfoods: "Masterfoods, Mars and Snickers parent company (or something), called to let me know that while humor is highly subjective, and their target market for the ads did give them positive feedback (that would be the neanderthal gay-bashing fans of Snickers?), they did not intend to offend anyone and will not be airing any of the four ads ever again, nor will they be airing the commentary from the NFL players responding to the ads. This includes not airing the ads during the Daytona 500, which they had earlier said they planned to do."

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Text of statement from HRC:

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, is calling on the makers of Snickers, and its parent company Mars Inc., to pull the ad campaign launched yesterday during the Superbowl. The ad features two presumably straight men who accidentally engage in a kiss and then try to distance themselves from any perception of being gay by “doing something manly.”

Three alternate endings to the commercial spot are posted on the Snickers website, one of which includes the two men violently attacking one another – which sends a dangerous message to the public condoning violence against gay Americans.

HRC President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement:

“The makers of Snickers and its parent company at Mars should know better. If they have any questions about why the ad isn’t funny, we can help put them in touch with any number of GLBT Americans who have suffered hate crimes.”

Two other video clips posted on the Snickers website feature players from the Bears and the Colts watching the ads and responding to the two men kissing.

Solmonese continued:

“This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country. Eighty-four percent of GLBT students report being verbally harassed at school, and this type of ad only reinforces that.”

“Is Snickers suggesting that people who eat their candy bars are cavemen? It’s an odd market to court, particularly after the Isaiah Washington flap a couple weeks ago, which clearly showed that there’s a strong distaste out there for people who portray themselves as anti-gay or holding on to old prejudices and stereotypes.”

“Mars and Snickers need to pull the ‘Wrench’ ad and the footage of the NFL players out of their campaign immediately.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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Comments

  1. I didn't find the ad hilarious, in fact, it was just spectacularly grotesque and stupid. The actors seemed to be portraying the "socially retarded" end of the gene pool. Along with many others, I don't care for any Mars, Incorporated products but this particular ad seals the deal. This ad says "morons eat Snickers". And then I have to ask myself, "How many people want to be associated with or as morons?"

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | Feb 5, 2007 10:14:51 AM


  2. Malcolm,

    I don't think Morgan is trying to give bigots any cover; however, not liking gay folk is no crime (just like it's no crime to have a disdain for blacks, browns, or yellows). The thoughts are not the issues. The actions count (calling people faggot in the work-place, beating up gays and lesbians). So I care very little for how folk think. How they treat us means more to me.

    peace

    Posted by: James | Feb 5, 2007 10:18:47 AM


  3. There is no place on the air for ads that reinforce negative sterotypes. Period. This ad tells us 1) that men don't kiss, or 2) that "real" men don't kiss, 3) that should it ever even look like 2 men were kissing, something "manly" (ridiculous stuff/violence) has to be done to "correct" the situation.

    Fuck Snickers. I am a manly man and I kiss other men. And I don't need to swill motor oil or antifreeze, yank out my chest hair, belt someone with a wrench, or have a threesome afterwards.

    Posted by: Jeff | Feb 5, 2007 10:22:09 AM


  4. Did anyone at the agency or snickers even consider that this could offend gay people in a way that would stop the production of this ad... hell no. THAT is the issue.

    NOW IF EVERYONE would VOTE fot THE LOVE BOAT ending then that VERY GAY GAY GAY ending will be show during the Daytona 500!

    Yes he does a stereotypical hair flip - but is will irk the homophobes even more !

    The comments on youtube show the religious homophobes HATED this commercial ;)

    Posted by: rjp3 | Feb 5, 2007 10:33:25 AM


  5. Well, my co-worker's son was on the Saint's & tho she hadn't the nerve to come out N say it, i believe there's more than mere smoke to the Payton Manning rumors.

    Posted by: zabadak | Feb 5, 2007 10:34:06 AM


  6. I really didn't find the commercial offense. I was at a super bowl party with 100% gay men and we all had a good chuckle. I have not watched the players reactions but I'm sure the people at GLAAD probably want to set up a meeting and get them into rehab with Isiah.

    Posted by: Matt | Feb 5, 2007 10:42:41 AM


  7. I urge everyone offended by this to contact snickers and mention a boycott of snickers products. Use the webform below to voice your disgust at this advert.

    http://www.snickers.com/contact.asp

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

    Posted by: Jeremy | Feb 5, 2007 10:43:36 AM


  8. There is no place for ads like this on TV. They should have known better, or at least their ad agency should have. I found it offensive and homophobic. They owe the LGBT community an apology. Go to the website and tell them that.

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 5, 2007 10:43:44 AM


  9. Mistyped my comment. I meant to say that the superbowl party I was at consisted of only gay men, not that people were fully or partial homosexual.

    Posted by: Matt | Feb 5, 2007 10:45:05 AM


  10. I found the chest hair yanking funny, because it showed, in a cartoonish fashion, the ridiculous lengths straight guys will go to to convince themselves they didn't just have a gay moment.

    The sole function of the reaction interviews, however, was to show the players' disgust with homosexuality. No humor, just homophobia. Why is that natural or instinctive? I'm tired of media junk that coddles the poor squeamish straight boys' discomfort.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 5, 2007 10:50:57 AM


  11. I guess GLAAD is too occupied with Isaiah Washington to play Monday morning quarterback.

    Posted by: 000000 | Feb 5, 2007 11:24:23 AM


  12. Upon seeing the two men "kiss," one of the players remarked, "Nah. It's just not right."

    I'm aware that there are many homophobic people out there, but that is no reason to excuse the behavior, especially by broadcasting it on national television or posting it to a product's microsite. I'm ashamed of the Snickers brand. I can't believe that they actually posted the players' intolerant reactions for all to see.

    Posted by: Anita Woodward | Feb 5, 2007 11:35:00 AM


  13. I didnt really find it offensive..I thought it was stupid..I dont think its homophobic for 2 men to thinks its gross that they accidentally kissed each other...The "manly" remark is a little bit homophobic I guess...All I could think of is how gross it would be to kiss somebody who was eating a snickers.

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 5, 2007 11:35:48 AM


  14. the ick factor is pretty high with these two... even if you are gay. ewwwh...

    Posted by: m | Feb 5, 2007 11:38:58 AM


  15. The "love boat" ending is actually sort of funny, and not homophobic at all.

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 5, 2007 11:39:51 AM


  16. that reaction segment on the snickers website, is one of the most offensive thing i have ever witnessed. the annoying part is that snickers gave a platform for people to express their homophobic views, the last time i checked snickers was not a non-profit organization(church).

    it's like they said in their offices, "oh we just hate f*****, let's make an advert about how disgusting it is for two men to kiss, and best of all, let look for where homophobia exist the most (sports) and show it to them, and watch in delightment the disgust in their face".

    i bet in the 1960's snickers made an advert about a black man kissing a white woman and shown it to the kkk members to see their facial expression.

    Posted by: johnosahon | Feb 5, 2007 11:48:40 AM


  17. Hey fags, click on the link BELOW
    and vote for Neil Grieves for Man of the Year!
    Don't be a jealous bitch!

    Posted by: VOTE FOR NEIL | Feb 5, 2007 11:59:05 AM


  18. Just thinking of something: what if the players reaction is done to highlight the stereotypes of the sport? so we're really laughing..at them! cause it makes them look all squemish and timid...I think it would be the same if some gay guys were interviewed about the idea of kissing a girl, we'd probably get some shrinking reactions too. I don't think girls would be offended by that, cause they know we dig them just not sexually.

    Posted by: Da | Feb 5, 2007 12:01:22 PM


  19. The ads were a classic example of double-speak, wanting to have it both ways. The guys were "idiotic" for overreacting and pulling out their chest hair and the players' reactions were the "properly manly" ones. It's mixed-signals city. Maybe they were designed to be a bit controversial too.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2007 12:15:37 PM


  20. Get over yourselves people.

    Why are you offended by the kiss being "unmanly" and not by the idea that a "manly" thing to do is the same thing as doing something stupid?

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 5, 2007 12:16:59 PM


  21. desmond clark: she doth protesteth too much.

    Posted by: whitney houston | Feb 5, 2007 12:23:32 PM


  22. Why do NFL players have to be such damn neanderthals?

    Posted by: Karim | Feb 5, 2007 12:50:30 PM


  23. Morgan, I'd love to see your reaction to a blatantly racist ad in 2007. Still OK?

    I'm with Jeremy. Go to their site and tell them to go to hell for stepping on our backs to make a buck.

    Posted by: nuflux | Feb 5, 2007 1:02:31 PM



  24. Isn't the point of advertising to bring as much positive publicity to a product as possible while offending the least number of potential customers?

    Regardless of how one might feel about the content of the ad, in my opinion, purely from an advertising effectiveness point of view, this ad failed miserably by unnecessarily offending a large portion of the financially viable gay male customer pool simply to elicit a cheap laugh by playing to deeply ingrained homophobic myths through the clever regurgitation of tired old gay-negative stereotypes.

    From a strictly business perspective I can't help but think that they could have come up with a funny commercial that wouldn't have reinforced the stereotype that MILLIONS of THEIR gay CUSTOMERS are unmanly and disgusting.

    Valid or not, the perception that Mars, Inc was insensate to produce and air this ad during a Superbowl, not to mention posting the vile commentary on their website, makes many gay people believe that they have no respect for their gay male customers or their gay male employees. In advertising, perception IS reality and therefore, I believe, Mars really screwed up with this ad.

    Morgan, with all due respect, homophobia, like racism, is NOT intrinsic as you have twice claimed. Bigotry is learned. The fact that the same people who are disgusted by seeing two men kissing are turned on by seeing two women kiss is not a result of instinct or intrinsic reactions but instead a result of learned perceptions. When a person condemns gay male sex as an Biblical abomination and then in the same breath talks about how much he enjoys watching two women get it on, that is not a result of intrinsic feelings, it is the result of a lifetime of conditioning.

    I really find it dangerous when people excuse racism and homophobia by claiming it is instinctual or intrinsic. That is patently and demonstrably incorrect and we should stop repeating this dangerous lie.

    Racism is LEARNED.
    Sexism is LEARNED.
    Homophobia is LEARNED.

    And more importantly, LEARNED behavior, unlike INSTINCTUAL or INTRINSIC behavior, can be changed through education, experience and familiarity.

    Peace.

    Posted by: Zeke | Feb 5, 2007 1:17:33 PM


  25. BOYCOTT SNICKERS???

    Hello! We're gays. We don't eat snickers already. We have boycotted Snickers since Marky Mark first dropped trou.

    Posted by: tranny duke | Feb 5, 2007 1:22:31 PM


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