Advertisers use three main strategies to lure folks into buying their products: sexism, boobs and sexism. Since Cracked already presented a lengthy dissertation on the enchanting properties of boobs (published in Popular Mechanics, thank you), we thought it high time to cover the other side of the equation. So here are the eight most glaringly sexist commercials of all time.
After a couple bloated Midwesterners speak earnestly about the virtues of the Goodyear Polyglas Tire, we get down to the nitty-gritty. Cue the perilous music.
Announcer: But a Polyglas tire means more when your wife is driving at night.
Look at her eyes glazed over in terror. Traffic! Potholes! Pedestrians! As reflecting street signs and traffic lights explode across her retina like a Michael Bay movie, the lady driver retreats into her primitive reptile brain. She's unable to do much more than dart her head around and wait for death.
But thank fucking God she's on Goodyear Polyglas Tires. Amazingly she makes it to the airport to pick up her husband, the George to her Lenny, and she immediately scoots the hell over into the passenger seat and lets a MAN behind the wheel.
Hubby gives her a look like she's a dog trying to stand on her hind legs. "Isn't that cute, she thinks she's people!"
The "Women are attracted to shiny things" card has been played by advertisers before, but De Beers takes no prisoners.
A man proclaims love for his woman loudly, bravely and in one of the most romantic spots in the world.
This generally irks her, and so he gives her a diamond and she's okay with him again. Because passionate heartfelt sentiment doesn't hold a candle to cold, hard ice.
Advertisers exhibit no shame when it comes to interminably reminding men no matter how much love and heart they pour into a relationship, you will never mean anything more to your mate than the sheer mass of pricey trinkets you can cram down her throat. No one is more blatant about this than the diamond industry. Constantly they remind you "A Diamond is Forever," which is true. That's why it's the first thing she demands in your divorce hearing. It would be nice if a guy could avoid going into severe debt with rare gems by simply looking directly into his loved one's eyes and saying meaningfully, "I love you."
Too bad she won't be able to hear him; apparently the only language women understand is the Morse code of twinkling shiny things.
Men everywhere make a mad dash for milk, buying up cow juice in ridiculous quantities. Some even resort to raiding milk trucks.
Why are all these men buying milk? Because according to the milk council, milk can dampen the effects of PMS.
Watch the guy intrepidly enter the house armed with milk like it's a sword to slay the fire breathing dragon that is his wife's angry vagina.
"Come on into my home!" this commercial's jingle begins. Little girls play about a miniature house, smiling so broadly the producers must have told them they could trade their impending puberty in for a pony.
The song continues to rhapsodize about the joys of cleaning, doing laundry and taking care of babies. Another lyric, "Taking care of my home is a dream, dream, dream."
So true, what little girl doesn't dream of a future of domestic servitude, never leaving the house and wondering why their husbands need to take 12 "business trips" a month?
This commercial proclaims, "Little girls, realize your dreams of growing up to do household chores! There's no glass ceiling in the go-go world of homemaking."
Sounds antiquated? This spot came out last year.
In the 60s, Folger's was the king of sexist commercials.
In this one, the dutiful wife waits on her man with skin-crawling obsequiousness. The man tells her she makes crappy coffee and she looks at him like he just snapped a kitten's neck.
Luckily the wife has a vaguely foreign neighbor who turns her on to the magic of Folger's. The next morning, wifey serves it and daddy approves. The ad then shows this sending her into such a paroxysm of delight that we expect her uterus to go flying out of her hard enough to break a window.
Just a few decades ago, little girls only saw two career options in the movies and on TV: receptionist or stewardess (now known as the less gendered "flight attendant").
During the golden age of air travel, airlines used the attractiveness of their stewardesses as a selling point. Here we have a stewardess, apparently named Maggie, who doesn't sell you on National Airlines safety record. She doesn't advertise National Airlines comfort and service. She doesn't even tell you of National Airlines competitive prices or on-time track record.
No Maggie gives you but one reason to fly her airline: She has an attractive vagina.
This commercial wastes no time. It cuts to the chase and pretty much says, "If you fly National, you get to bang Maggie." You hear that? Reach for the sky, aspiring little girls!
Here we have two women who are super gay for yogurt, clearly.
Lounging in robes, as sassy single women are wont to do, they completely lose their shit for fruit-flavored paste.
In the throes of their yogurt orgasms (yorgasms?), such womanly pleasure reminds them of other female delights: Shoes! Shopping! Chocolate! It's like the Cathy comic strip come to life.
The commercial that launched 150,000,000 eating disorders.
Original Barbie had so many career options, like dressing pretty and getting married. As the commercial jingle informs us,
"Barbie's small and so petite,
Her clothes and figure look so neat...
Some day I'm gonna be exactly like you
Till then I know just what I'll do.
I'll make believe I'm you."
We don't know if Barbie was the first personal shame device offered commercially, but she certainly is the most successful one. Whenever a little girl starts feeling good about herself, good old Barbie is there on the dresser with her patronizing stare to take the little lady down a few pegs (confident women are the ruination of modern society, we tells ya!). Barbie will always be there to remind the girl, "You'll never be as pretty or as loved as me."