Friday, January 17, 2003

THAT MILLER LITE AD: Is completely great. You know, the one with the two girls fighting and falling into the wet cement and ending with the fabulous punchline: "LET'S MAKE OUT." It's a suble deconstruction of every vacuous Coors Lite ad that uses empt images of women to sell beer. Look at this objection (via Bomis):

''Every time I see it, I cringe,'' says Laura Ries, an image guru. ''It's explicit. It's degrading. It has no real message, except all men are idiots and all they think about are girls mud wrestling.''

Laura Ries is as wrong as wrong can be. An ad with no real message is an ad that does not try to get you to think about why you're buying beer because the beer is associating itself with the pretty ladies--like every Coors Lite ad ever. An ad with a message confronts you with a version of yourself inside the ad's narrative, in the form of the two guys describing their goofy idea of the perfect beer ad to their dates. An ad with a message contains actual women and fantasy versions of women in the same 30 seconds, just to make sure you, the viewer, know the difference between the two. This ad takes the sexual content that is latent in every advertisement that uses images of pretty women to sell product--every St. Paul Girl poster and life-sized cutout of Kathy Ireland in the liquor store--and drags it right up to the surface, giving it the physical form of a catfight, one of our culture's treasured male fantasies. And a rarely analyzed male fantasy, which is what the Miller Lite ad attempts to do. This is even more obvious in the "LET'S MAKE OUT" version which plays on cable, which completes the equation Two Pretty Girls=Catfight=Fakey-Wakey Lesbianism. But--yeah--this is a great ad that cannot be dismissed for being pornographic or degrading, becuase the ad is aware of those things and uses them to sell beer while making fun of them at the same time. It's a million times better than any Coors Lite ad, which proves yet again why Coors Lite is the beer of choice for vapid, narcissitic fratboys and fratgirls. Laura Ries should pitch a fit about the images coming out of Golden, Colorado, the beating translucent heart of everything vacuous in this country.

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