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dear mr. kokanee…

June 27th, 2006     by Thea Lim     Comments

In response to Nicole’s post Sweet Victories I mentioned a Kokanee TV ad that’s currently running. In it, a stereotypically creepy (yellow-tinged aviator glasses, beer belly, large mustache) “glacier ranger” auditions three well-endowed women in matching skin-tight silver ski suits (whoops, alliteration) for the job of “protecting the glacier.” They ski, make sexy faces, ride bikes, and in the last scene, take off their ski suits to reveal matching silver string bikinis.

[Sidebar: I suppose this commercial also ties into our discussion of raunch culture, and female collusion in the objectification of women, since the women in the commercial behave as if the ranger’s leers turn them on, and as if they get pleasure from pleasuring him. (Yick!)]

This commerical is patently appalling - in fact, it’s so appalling that it doesn’t seem like there’s any point in even mentioning it. It didn’t occur to me to blog about it until Nicole mentioned the Ms. Moosehead campaign. Ads like the Kokanee one are disturbing examples of the anti-feminist backlash, or the cyclical amnesia of feminism - i.e. ads have actually gotten more sexist, despite the fact that we’re supposedly living in progressive times. The problem with such shameless sexism is that it’s so awful that there really isn’t anything to say about it. And the scope of the ad’s gross-a-tating-ness is so overwhelming, it’s disempowering. Also it seems like our feminist forerunners have already said all there is to say about them, so what could we possibly add?

However, is being silent about ads whose horrors speak for themselves really the right tactic? What can we do about ads like this? Should we write in to Kokanee?

Tags: media savvy

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