Introducing Commercials Over-analyzed
Or: A commercial irks me for some reason so I mock it.
Today’s commercial is for AT&T’s 4G coverage. A couple takes a cross-country journey in their SUV, accompanied throughout by location-relevant music—courtesy of their AT&T smartphone, which is cool enough to get 4G coverage all over this great nation.
First, this commercial = patriarchy. Why does only the man drive? I guessed their route*: 60 hours by car. Surely they’d switch off. But no, the makers of this commercial instead opt to force-feed archaic gender roles to the millions of children watching. If the power brokers really wanted things to change, they’d show the woman safely navigating that gas-guzzling death machine, hands at 10 and 2, seat belt fastened. In the next shot, the man, lost in his awful singing, could strike a pedestrian.
*Which, by the way, is stupid.
But there is no such cultural progress here. The woman is clearly too attractive for that guy. I shudder to think what my son might expect in a romantic partner after seeing this.
“Dad, this girl in my class likes me, but she isn’t pretty enough.”
“Junior, you are your father’s son; you’re no looker yourself. Now, I don’t know this girl, but you should decide if she can make you laugh, if you two really understand each other. Those are the really important things in looking for a girlfriend.”
“Sorry, Dad, you’re too late. AT&T already taught me about relationships.”
Even so, she tolerates his foray into singing with nothing more than a bemused expression. Then, in the next shot, the man feels threatened when she sings about ex-lovers. What’s this? She is not the delicate flower I envisioned her to be? How many Texas exes are there? God, I hope they aren’t bigger than me. They probably are, dammit. I bet she laughs at me in her head when she’s faking. I’ll give the actor credit: The subtext was all there, etched in his face. But the character is clearly possessive and chauvinistic, and this is how those qualities become the norm. This is our lives, people!
Second, what the fuck happened to radio? That shit is built into the car these days.