Toyota Prado Campaign Doesn’t Want No Poofs Or Women ‘Round Here
Posted by Clem Bastow on September 27, 2009
Back in gender studies class at uni, momentum was regularly stopped while our lecturer explained to whinging sportoes that the patriarchy was bad for men, too – and the new Toyota Prado campaign has had me thinking precisely that for the past week. Here’s the ad, if you’ve not yet seen it:
The ‘net has been abuzz about how hilarious it is, particularly as a skewering of the myriad ‘phobias exhibited by Border Security-type television shows (xenophobia springs to mind), but that’s where it falls down for me, and all because of one of my least favourite phobias of all.
It is “funny”, much like the Snickers/Mr T ads and moments of the new VB campaign. But here’s the problem I have with it: campaigns like these (and, for a real flashback, the old Collingwood “What’s that in your locker, you big girl?” Sunsilk ad), play into your average “Aussie” person’s latent (or in many cases, not so latent) homophobia.
All that’s missing is for one of the tough boder patrol team members to use the phrase “a bit of a poofter”.
That might seem like a stretch, but it isn’t when you examine the campaign’s examples of apparent “soft” manhood (i.e. “men’s cosmetics”, “manscaping”). Much like the phrase “real women” makes my blood boil, so does implied ideals of “real manhood”, which, let’s face it – despite the presence of a few women in the ad, both on the Patrol and behind the wheel – is essentially at the core of the Prado campaign: people who drive “soft-roaders” are either not real men (in other words, potential gay men), or women (who are most certainly not real men).
We’ll keep laughing at this sort of humour in advertising because in our post-internet-slang (“Taste the future in your mouth”, “The drinking beer”, etc) and satire-drenched world, it will be shrugged off as “irony”. But isn’t it time we examined the deeper implications of such depictions of manhood, real or unreal?
Methinks it’s time for Joe Jackson’s sage meditation on gender roles to climb back up the classic hits charts for a much needed repeat airing:
This entry was posted on September 27, 2009 at 1:45 pm and is filed under Film & Television, Media Watch, Relationships, Watching The Ad Breaks. Tagged: advertising, gender roles, homophobia, masculinity, metrosexuals, prado, toyota. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.