You may remember I couldn’t resist poking fun a while back at Canadian Club’s ‘Your Dad Wasn’t A Metrosexual’ poster, the one with with the tag line ‘Damn Right Your Dad Drank It’. It turns out there were several instalments in that faux retro campaign, including ‘Your Dad Never Tweezed Anything’, the very appetising ‘Your Mom Wasn’t Dad’s First’, and the positively lipsmacking, ‘Your Dad Had a Van For a Reason’. (I kid you not.)
It appears that the campaign received some bad press in Canada, and I wasn’t the only one that couldn’t resist sending it up. Fresca has kindly drawn my attention to this project by Michelle Koenig-Schwartz in which she invites people to creatively deface the ads – the ‘Your Mom Was Your Dad’ poster below is one of the contributions. Others include a picture of two naked twinks snogging under the headline ‘Your Mom Wasn’t Your Dad’s First.’ I’m not sure that I share the sense of outrage that some people seem to have over the ads, but they were certainly asking for a good kicking.
Which makes me wonder whether all this attention might well be exactly what the wannabe Mad Men at the ad agency responsible wanted – the ‘Damn Right Your Dad Drank It’ campaign has apparently begun again, with posters announcing, ‘Your Dad Didn’t Wear a Bridge’. Whatever that is supposed to mean.
But it’s always fun defacing ads, so what the hell?
Canadian Club. Damn Right the Metro’s Dad Didn’t Drink it. It tastes of synthetic provocation.
Good clean fun had by all. But, do you think the concept of ‘metrosexuality’ will be a psychiatric designation – and one which insurance won’t cover – ten years from now? It is, after all, a viral meme carried by the financial trade-winds of postmodern capitalism.
OMG, even better: YOUR DAD IZ LOLCAT
“Macheezmo-I has it. Now, can I has anger juice plz?”
Better yet: “If whisky’s so great, why do you look like the milkman?”
I shall say no more.
Damn, you’ve got a point in there. How ’bout: “YOUR DAD COULDN’T AFFORD THE BEST” (w/ photo of Johnnie Walker) and “WHY DO YOU LOOK LIKE YOUR DAD’S BEST FRIEND?” (dad has dark hair, friend and you have red…).
Ads that portray women excelling in traditionally male roles are common and uncontroversial. There was an ad for Secret brand deodorant a while back that cut between clips of women shooting hoops, operating jackhammers, and other manly things, basically a moving version of the Canadian Club “corrections.” This just shows how backward Koenig-Schwartz’s critique is. The original ads invite criticism from various directions, yet her corrected versions, even the one suggesting mom may have done some backstage fucking, would hardly elicit more than shrugs and maybe a few “Right on!”s. Who’s really the one preaching conservative values here?
Ridiculously, K-S also contends that these ad are “homophobic, and racist, and sexist” apparently since crow’s feet and Jim Crow go hand in hand, and any man who wants to throw away his jar of face cream will want to throw it at the face of his soon-to-be-abused wife.
I missed that – well spotted. I take your point, and I don’t have much time for arguments that deploy phrases like ‘disgusting masculinity’, but I would venture that the idea of your mother having groupies is still not something that most boys or men want to hear – I certainly wouldn’t. Still less something that an ad agency would use in a campaign.
I personally wouldn’t describe it as ’empowering’, but then my genitalia are external.
This comment on Koenig-Schwartz’s blog is very revealing:
“I thought the ‘Your Mom Had Groupies’ one was especially interesting because when you switch the gender in that ad, it has such a different connotation – ie when the CC drinker/rockstar is a woman, the message seems sorta empowering, rather than a reinforcement of super disgusting masculinity.”
I love how it showcases the the jealously and hypocrisy that is at the heart of these “defacements.” Everyone wants to be a manly man it seems, but it’s only far too vulgar to abide that desire if you’re a white heterosexual male. Otherwise it’s like totally empowering! Bratty appropriations of stereotypical masculinity haven’t been transgressive for decades and have only managed to make the boorish, shameless behavior they rail against the new mark of rebellion. Come on gurlz, find a new strategy for gender revolution. This one’s old and tired.