Just For Men & Hipsters

Remember Just For Men? Or ‘JFM’ as it likes to call itself now. Well, it never went away – and it’s all over social media. Though perhaps it’s just my social media – because those pesky algorithms know how old and grey I am now. Launched in the late 1980s by Combe Incorporated of White Plains NY (who also market Grecian 2000), Just For Men was a pioneering mainstream male vanity brand. If incredibly cheesy. They became a byword for camp in the sense of […]

Cristiano Ronaldo The Electronic Sex Doll

This ad starring Cristiano Ronaldo flogging body exercise electrodes called SIXPAD – or SEXPAD? – has been airing UK television for some months now, but every time it comes on it still makes me gape – pardon my French. It’s both funny and disturbing, and in truth I had avoided writing about it until now because I hoped it was just a bad dream (I usually glimpse it on late-night TV). But it isn’t going away. The ad itself is incredibly camp. Or kitsch. Or […]

A Taste of the Forbidden – Coca Cola’s ‘Pool Boy’

Mark Simpson on the sweet fetishism of Coca Cola’s ‘delightfully slutty soda ad’ How much Coca Cola ads have changed since the famous singalong, smiley, folksy, innocence of the famous 1971 commercial! How much the world has changed. If it were remade today you’d be forgiven for thinking that song would have to be retitled: ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Perve (In Perfect Harmony)’. ‘Pool Boy’, the latest ad in Coca Cola’s current ‘Taste the Feeling’ campaign, has prompted a veritable geyser of complimentary press for […]

Sassy Misandry: Abusing Men isn’t ‘Bloomin’ Awesome!’

Mark Simpson on how beating up on men has become a painful corporate cliche (Originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph, 01/11/2016) Does the empowerment of women need to take the form beating up on men? And isn’t it anyway something of self-defeating strategy? These are the questions often lurking in the back of my mind when I read one of those sassy columns that seem to be a list of insults hurled at men – or MEN! – as a sex. But I usually think twice […]

Dreamy Scaffies

Premier Inn appear to have launched a builder-themed gay night. Or a Top Gun-themed builder night. Either way, I’m checking in. This hilarious, very smart new TV ad ‘Scaffolders’ for the budget UK hotel chain is currently airing nationally – not just in Manchester’s gay village. It masterfully deploys the famous Kenny Loggins ‘Highway To the Danger Zone’ MOR track from the classic 1986 Tom Cruise fighter ace movie, along with some of the iconic/camp styles, shots and heavy filters to synthesise an entirely convincing Top Gun-ness. […]

Habitual Voyeur

Is it just me? ‘We all look but only some of us see’ is the slightly pretentious tagline for this new ‘Home Alone’ TV ad for the UK household furnishing store Habitat, part of their #HabitatVoyeur campaign. Perhaps I’ve been doing too much ‘voyeuring’ online, but what I see when I look at the beginning of this ad, before the camera pulls back, is an aroused young man enjoying a hard furnishing – the head thrown back, the open mouth, the ecstatic bouncing, the Habitat pillows in […]

Lucozade Ad Warns How Beards Make Everyone Look The Same

Even if they are wearing numbered, different-coloured shirts. Well, can you come up with a better explanation what the rugger-buggery is going on in this slightly creepy latex-laden ad for Lucozade Sport ‘Strictly for the Home Nations Only’? Pegged to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in Twickenham and starring big buff bearded England captain Chris Robshaw and chums, I’ve watched it several times and it still makes no sense to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t follow rugby. Or maybe it’s because I’m not an advertising […]