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Ad Nauseum: Sexist Super Bowl Ads

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Elizabeth Kuster, author of "Exorcising Your Ex," sounds off about the Super Bowl's most offensive commercials.

Dear Super Bowl ad men:

Did I inadvertently do something to piss you off last year, or have you just been watching too much Mad Men -- and forgetting that it's set in the 1960s? I ask because so many of your TV spots -- ads which are supposed to be your best creative effort, and which are meant to reflect current cultural attitudes -- had a distinct women-are-only-good-for-one-thing-and-it-ain't-talking vibe, which totally bummed me out because I thought we were past that.


Sexist Super Bowl Ads, shame on you for your girl-on-girl porn theme. Did you somehow forget that millions of women would be watching the Super Bowl, too? And congratulations, Danica Patrick: By starring in GoDaddy's Girls-Gone-Wildish ads, you completely negated your girl power and subsequently lost all my respect. I'll never watch NASCAR again. (Not that I ever did. But I was going to.)

And really, A bimbo hooking up with an animatronic beaver? Insert another [lame] girl-on-girl joke here.


Dockers, do you really believe that men are feeling so emasculated nowadays that you must command them (in huge all-caps) to WEAR THE PANTS? Guess so. Sigh.


And you, Dove -- you who I thought were my friend: Thanks for resurrecting every tired male vs. female stereotype that ever existed, in one minute flat. You hit them all: Women are the weaker sex. Men shouldn't show their sensitive sides. Women can't open jars or change flat tires. Men don't use maps. Just so you know, I can change a flat tire, and I can even open my own jars. (I use one of those rubber thingies to give my hand traction.) So there.


Dodge, your misogyny was so blatant and so scary it even made men feel uncomfortable. But don't just take it from me; read what Time magazine's TV critic, James Poniewozik, had to say about your ad. To his brilliant comments, I would simply add this: Browbeaten married men, go ahead and buy a new damn car if you want to. Just don't come crying to me when you need a financial bailout later on.


FLO TV, if you hate women that much, why did you choose a brand name that's synonymous with menstrual periods? And FYI: I shop for bras alone, because it's really difficult and time-consuming to find one that fits my [huge] hooters properly.

Motorola and Bridgestone

Your naked-women-are-distracting and "Take my wife, please," jokes were hilarious. And by "hilarious" I mean "so old they're practically carbon datable." Way to be fresh, guys.

Bud Light

And finally, Bud Light: You had me until the book club ad. Why'd you have to go there with the whole "smart women are tedious" thing, huh? With just a tiny bit more ingenuity (and a little less hatred), you might've been able to come up with something cute--say, a split screen showing a women's book club (women discussing House of Mirth while drinking wine) vs. a men's book club (men discussing the latest Don DeLillo while drinking Bud Light). But it wouldn't have mattered anyway: I drink Guinness.

Signed, A Woman

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29 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anon February 8, 2010, 5:32 PM

Well, looks like someone is over-analyzing FOOTBALL game advertisements…

These ads were intended to move units and provide a cheap laugh. Yeah, maybe Godaddy went a little too far, but thats their marketing campaign (in case you’ve been under a rock for the past few years, fyi)but there’s no hidden sexism in almost any of these advertisements. There’s no “New World Order” that’s slowly creeping back into American culture. It’s big companies advertising to beefed up sports fans.

asdfghjkl; February 8, 2010, 5:33 PM

its funny that the rest of the world found everyone of these commercials funny. mission accomplished. your words will not effect the writers of these commercials at all. what do you think you are accomplishing by calling them out lol????

James February 8, 2010, 5:33 PM

How about you just accept that these commercials are geared towards the prime demographic of the people watching the superbowl which is 20+ year old men and stop caring so much about a bunch of silly advertisements.

Evil Man February 8, 2010, 5:37 PM

Are you suggesting that, before the Super Bowl started, someone mistakenly believed that the vast majority of Super Bowl viewers were MEN, and that then made the misguided decision to spend $2.8M to gear all of the advertising to MEN? Surely this can’t be!!!

We need to stop this before ads exclusively targeting female consumers dominate the Lifetime Movie Network!

ohyea February 8, 2010, 5:37 PM

Stfu you moron. You just post things like this because you can’t get none.

MrDifficult February 8, 2010, 5:42 PM

Somebody must be uggos…

Cody February 8, 2010, 5:44 PM

Get over yourself, seriously. These commercials are what they are: Commercials. I’m sorry that you cant take a joke, I truly am.

Again, get over yourself.

Hann February 8, 2010, 5:45 PM

I thought the chicken commercials for Dennys were racist, because all the chickens were white. Especially when there was a white chicken as President instead of a Brown chicken- HELLO, OBAMA!

I can make stupid points too. I just don’t have a video.

Anonymous February 8, 2010, 5:50 PM


Mara February 8, 2010, 5:51 PM

Bahaha, i thought the Megan Fox and Bud Light ads were hilarious.

I happen to be a 20-year-old female, and I didn’t find any of the ads offensive - stupid, maybe, but offensive, no.

And since when are Superbowl ads supposed to represent “current cultural attitudes?” I always thought they were supposed to represent men partying, watching TV, and drinking lots of beer. *shrug* But maybe that’s just me…

Anonymous February 8, 2010, 5:54 PM

It’s really not that serious. You had to be looking for something to complain about….

Eureka February 8, 2010, 5:56 PM

As a woman, I don’t find these ads offensive. Lets face the facts: mostly men watch the super bowl. I am completely outnumbered at any football event by guys, it’s just a fact of life. So to be outraged by companies successfully advertising to a, I’ll admit, childish demographic isn’t sexist. It’s smart.

bethreynolds February 8, 2010, 5:56 PM

I thought the ads were fabulous and totally rocked! The 1/2 time show was lame, but I had time to shave my legs. We have been watching sex sell for many moons. This time, the women were on the receiving end. Men got to say what they felt like saying. I quite enjoyed hearing what they had to say.

The game was awesome, by the way.

jss February 8, 2010, 6:01 PM

Puhleeze. Get a grip, chick. You do realize this is a football game, right? You’re banned from watching from now on. You can, however, fetch me a beer. Clothing optional.

Shauna February 8, 2010, 7:46 PM

I agree with every comment ahead of me. It’s a sport geared towards MEN so obviously they’re going to have commercials geared towards MEN.
On a side note, I do find it rather amusing that there are so many MEN complaining on MOMlogic (geared towards WOMEN) about this. It seems a little hypocritical to me, just saying ;)

Christina February 8, 2010, 9:18 PM

I thought the Megan Fox ad was funny. I was disappointed in Danica Patrick. She definitely undermined her own image with the Go-Daddy ads. While I found a number of the ads that featured females eye-rollingly reminiscent of times gone by, my husband was actively pissed. To the boys posting here, he’s a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, so we’re not talking girly-man here.

Anonymous February 9, 2010, 9:15 AM

I couldn’t agree with you more,
you go girl

Anonymous February 9, 2010, 9:33 PM

The commercials aren’t so bad if you mute the TV and leave the room. (o; However, doing that makes you realize just how much of the super bowl is commercial time and not actually game time. Plan B is always to quickly switch channels and hope you switch back right in time for the action again.

Rachel February 9, 2010, 11:25 PM

Maybe the THIRD time will be the charm. I must be striking a nerve because the last two posts I’ve attempted haven’t appeared. The Super Bowl commercials weren’t any more sexist than the sitcoms that grace network TV each night - you know, where the MAN is made to look like a simple-minded buffoon with nothing on the mind but beer, breasts, and bodily functions. The difference between men and women like the author of this piece is that men can take a joke and laugh at themselves. Perhaps the author should try, or at least, unclench a bit.

Oomid October 8, 2010, 5:50 PM

i lov sex plz dont Filter

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