Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Letters To The Ad Men

This is my new weekly column on the dark hole that is TV and advertising. For any idiots out there who can't recognise a joke, I must stress the mock consumer letters that will appear in this column are NOT real!

I recently obtained this letter that was meant for the manufacturers of Lynx deodorant:


I recently purchased some of your new chocolate deodorant and I must say I'm rather upset. The first, most pressing concern being the fact that this product does not smell of chocolate. I am quite frankly appauled and saddened. I also must protest at the fact that my once fleshy body has seemingly turned into a hard chocolate-like substance. I am afraid to leave the house, last time I did I was eaten and gawped at, it was awful, but hey it got the 'ladies' looking! Well done Lynx! I am currently writing this letter with my teeth as i have no arms and half an arse. But it's not all bad, I am also in talks with Channel 5 about starring in a documentary, 'Help! I'm A Chocolate Misogynist'.


Ha, not really. This is of course my clever way of expressing my digust at the new Lynx campaign, a fascinating glimpse into the unpopulated chasm of the male psyche. Basically the premise is this: man sprays himself with deodorant, man turns into grinning chocolate man, man becomes irresistable to women, man gets eaten by ravenous hormonal women. There are so many things wrong with this televisual monstrosity that i have found myself becoming baffled and appauled by something different every time i view this weird campaign...

Firstly I am appauled by the depiction of women as lusty, unbalanced beasts who devour chocolate men with non regard to their safety. Are we, as men, so afraid of women that we believe they will one day devour us all?! You have to be really worried about the man who came up with this advert, was he not given enough attention from his mummy or was he quite simply the witness to his dad, who was incidently made entirely of chocolate, being eaten by a pack of marauding women? Who knows, one thing is certain though, this is a disturbed view of gender politics, the writer is informing us that if you let women too close they will rip you apart, literally.

The other thing that really jumps out when viewing this advert is the constant stupid grin on the chocolate man's face. Is he enjoying being devoured, eaten alive? Is this supposed to be some sort of male fantasy? Are men now so desparate for affection that they will be gladly pulled apart just to be desired by women? After years of objectifying women have we finally, as a gender, begun to see ourselves as the object? Does this advert have an undercurrent of male guilt, we feel we should be punished? I just dont understand how this is supposed to sell a product! I mean, the Lynx 'message' has always been:

'Hey, you over there! Bit geeky and awkward aren't you?! Bet you don't get the ladies like us studs here at Lynx! It doesn't matter dear boy as we have come up with some magic potion to make women fall at your feet! Apparantly the smell of a teenage boy at the back of the cinema is what women want!'

Personally I'd rather rub a dead cat under my arms than use their stench, but that's my personal choice. Their message now seems to have now changed to:

'Hey you in the mirror! Quite attractive aren't you, probably have no trouble getting women. How would you like to be turned into a hideous grinning chocolate man whose last grim day on earth will consist of being ripped apart and eaten until you are lying on the floor, a glutinous mess of goo? Go on, the ladies love it!!!'

Their website, and I'm not lying here, actually has a section called 'Bird Watching', and tips on where to 'spot' girls. OK, are women now an endangered species? Last time I checked there were women, shock horror, walking around on the street! It out points the best places to spot these 'women' as a high class chocolate shop, a Mark Ronson gig (?) and 'Australia Day' at Walkabout pubs! It even suggests booking a seat on the Eurostar to be 'surrounded by fashion babes', in reality you'll probably more likely be surrounded by a family of four from Essex, the youngest of which insists on being violently sick on your new Topman shirt.In these extreme lengths of catching a glimpse of women, we really are reducing ourselves as a gender to dribbling men in dirty macs, this is not cool or macho it is deranged and unhealthy. Women are not a scary new species who we have to track down and hunt like animals. For god's sake grow up.

Ah Lynx, you dirty great misogynists!