Thursday, January 10, 2008

Itambé yogurt advertisements are awesome... Dove lies... On beauty and honesty...

I don't care what any of the countless critics might spew. Itambé, a Brazilian yogurt company, has The Most Spectacular Advertising Campaign of All Time.

First, let me thank Tony's Kansas City for pointing me toward the ads. I probably wouldn't have found out about them otherwise. It's not breaking news, but it is definitely news to me. Gracias, Senor.

Now, on to the ads themselves. Itambé is selling a "light yogurt". They want to pitch skinny/weight loss.

In the USA, Bob's Light Yogurt would probably run ads featuring cute but chunky gals in exercise gear taking a break from a fun and conversation-filled walk for health. A pleasant voiceover would talk about just how super-duper it is to get in shape and that Bob's Light Yogurt is a great and healthy way to do it! It would be soft-peddled to the max.

Bob's Light Yogurt might take a somewhat riskier tact. They could use a somewhat skinny and sexy-in-a-non-threatening-way gal in the ads. They could really push the envelope with a little before and after picture action. They might mention that eating Bob's, along with an otherwise healthy diet and a doctor-approved exercise plan could result in weight loss.

Jesus, I'm falling asleep after those last two paragraphs and I'm the guy who wrote them. Boring. Probably not all that effective, either.

Brazilians, it seems, are ready to get up in people's shit and tell them that they better lose weight if they want to be hot. No bullshit about friendly chubster get-togethers on the long, slowly-paced journey to better health. No vague promises of a better life upon the adoption of a better lifestyle. Hell, Itambé doesn't even bother to try to fool anyone that their probably-crappy yogurt tastes good.

Itambé mocks fat people.

They've taken a series of iconic movie moments that we all know because they featured hot women and have inserted so-called BBWs in place of the masturbatory fantasies we remember. Sharon Stone is replaced by a gal squeezed into a size 20 dress. The jailbait from American Beauty is plus-sized. Marilyn Monroe is shorter and squatter.

Itambé has coupled the photos with a tagline that argues: "Forget about it. Men's preference will never change. Fit Light Yogurt."

That's right. Dudes like hot chicks so you better stop eating food that makes you chunky. Now THAT's advertising.

As you might guess, there are people who find the ads to be in poor taste. I have a different perspective.

Obviously, I'm a big jerk. I'm a weightist, right? Nope. Not quite. I'm actually leaning toward the tub-o-lard side of things myself these days. After dating and living with stick figures, beauty pageant queens and triathletes, I'm now VERY happily married to an overweight woman. Oh, I'm also pretty well-versed in the feminist literature and have probably read more of it than most women's studies majors. I don't capitalize "bell hooks" and I can leave you in the dust if you want to argue about anything gendered language to Dworkin on sex. More often than not, I actually find a great deal of sense in those feminist arguments, too.

I know, your head is spinning. How can I possibly support these ads in light of those facts? Doesn't that make me a hypocrite of the first order? Don't I understand how these ads reinforce the dangerous beauty myth? Don't I recognize how important it is to reject the objectification of women at every turn? Etc. Etc. Etc.

The answer to all those questions is "no".

The ads are mildly funny. Not just on a "pick on fatty" level, either. I don't feel the need to get into a big discussion about humor on theoretical levels, but they do a few things that really do work well. I think they're sort of clever.

Guys really do get worked up over hot women. That's a fact. Christ, guys get worked up over women who really aren't even all that hot. That's why my post about the Amy Fisher sex tape gets 10x the traffic than the one about Joe Biden. You can argue socialization, but there are some pretty good reasons to believe that human nature also encourages guys to guys to take notice of particular physical features. Tony Romo is dating Jessica simpson. He's not dating the chunky cashier at K-Mart, even though she can sing and act better than Simpson ever will. It's a cruel reality, but it's a reality.

Oh, wouldn't it be nice if it wasn't that way! What about a world where we're judged by what's on the inside! Well, it would also be really nice if the weather was great in Kansas all the time, if I suddenly found a packing crate stuffed with untraceable c-notes, if peace would reign in the Middle East and if I could have a pet chimpanzee who smoked cigarettes and wore "people clothes". None of it is happening, though.

I'm not a hypocrite (this time). I'm honest. I like to look at hot women. That doesn't mean I don't like women who fail to measure up to typical standards of beauty. I don't think that makes them "less than" hot women.

Hey, I'm a baseball fan. I like pitchers with pinpoint control who throw great breaking stuff. I don't, however, view all men incapable of throwing a slider in a 3"x3" slot from 60'6" as Inferior Beings. I like to look at gorgeous women, but I don't think that makes the aforementioned K-Mart cashier sub-human.

It's okay that some of us have gifts and attributes that others don't. I'm taller than some people. I hope they don't hate me for that. I hope they're not planning to plane off the bottom of my feet. I have great blue eyes. i hope I don't need to live in fear of some dull brown-eyed person with a bottle of dye hiding beneath my bed, waiting for me to fall asleep.

The nice thing about the fat/thin/hot/ugly thing is that it is not always an immutable characteristic. It's possible to get skinnier in any number of ways. Maybe not for all people. And, of course, you can't guarantee that losing weight will result in beauty. There are ugly skinny people. However, there are a lot of people who'd probably look better if they dropped weight and it's completely understandable that they'd like to capture some of the hotness mojo. That's super-true of those who might still be looking for a love connection. Being hot is great advertising because it attracts attention.

This all leading to the conclusion that the Brazilian yogurt ads are awesome.

In a world where we too often pretend things like a smokin' body don't matter, the Brazilians are being honest. They are reminding potential consumers of a cold truth: Guys like hot women. There's no sugarcoating with these spots (which makes sense because sugar would just add to those thighs). They're direct. I like it.

Some people have wondered if they'll be effective? I don't know enough about Brazilian culture to provide a good answer to that. I doubt they'd work all that well here in the USA, but they may be perfect in Brazil.

After all, if you go to a carnival in the U.S., you have a very different experience than if you visit Carnival en Rio! Oh, and I do understand that some of those hot Brazilian booties you see in pictures might be attached to trannies, but I prefer not to dwell on that.

Here in America, we have the Dove ads. You know the ones. They feature "regular women". Of course, that's bullshit. The women are chubbier than your average runway model, but they do comport with virtually every other standard of beauty imaginable. They didn't pick your old neighbor Francesca, with her underbite and cottage cheese thighs. Dove just found a few well-rounded hotties. It's the American soft-sell. "You don't have to be beautiful to be beautiful! Just look at these models! They aren't wearing size zero! They aren't wearing Victoria's Secret lingerie. They're so real!"

They were also carefully selected because Dove didn't want any of them to look gross. They chose pretty faces and bigger bodies that weren't scarred, sagging or wildly out of proportion with conventional notions of sexiness. Even the less "beautiful" ads were so well-photographed and framed in perfect context to ameliorate negative reaction to the models.

The Dove ads are offensive because they're disingenuous. They're pretending something doesn't matter when we (and they) all know it does. The Brazilian yogurt ads? Now that's honest.

One last thing... For the record... The girl in the American Beauty ad? She looks reasonably good (others have noticed that, too). The other two ads are better.


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  1. It's a great ad campaign. It's kind of funny, I think. And I think I'd think so even if I was more than a little overweight.

    And it's yogurt, is my thinking. They're not advertising "The World's Greatest Mom." If they were advertising what it takes to be "World's Greatest Mom" and they mocked your fat mom as being lousy because she wasn't a size 6, I'd probably think it was in pretty shitty taste (I might laugh, if it was funny enough).

    But it's not. It's yogurt, for goodness sakes. And it's true. It's better for everyone to just acknowledge that honestly. Most of the fat lesbians I know what to see skinny hot women in their porn, if they look at porn. I'm a little overweight and I'm not particularly excited about seeing Ron Jeremy on the big screen and I sincerely doubt I would if I were more than a little overweight.

    I've actually dated more overweight girls largely because I've dated for love more than for lesser qualities. I love to look at hot women, but I haven't been particularly impressed with them during conversation or in bed, necessarily, unless they have something to say and we have some kind of real connection. I get plenty of attention from women I think of as way out of my leagues. But I am a bit of a rarity, I guess, in the sense that I genuinely am more interested in what is on the inside. And a side-benefit in my experience is that women who care about you and are also generally more generous in bed. Although that is even less of of a concern for me, today, as I get less self-centered in my sexual outlook.

    And largely, John, I think that's been because I've been willing to acknowledge honestly the much more self-centered side of my sexuality, which could be quite pronounced if I wasn't just watching women on a screen and acting out my unleashed libido in real life. But the more I acknowledge it honestly, the less I need or want to be selfish sexually in real life, even though that can be fun for everyone involved, at times, too.

    The irony in life, in my experience, is that people who pretend they don't care are often more selfish in real life. And those who don't pretend but really are pricks in real life, decent people (I hope) know better to envy them, regardless, because who wants to be a selfish prick and know that about themselves. I guess we all do, at times. But most of us know the difference between acknowledging our bad boy/girl tendencies and being a shithead in real life. At least I hope we do, if we don't want to live with the real shittiness and karma that comes from being a real shithead in real life.

    It's better to be strong about all of this, I think, and to either accept ourselves for who we are or set about becoming the hotties that we wish we were and enjoying the benefits as such.

    I guess I do know, though, that while I think it's eminently healthy to acknowledge these things, I wouldn't actually want to spend my life with Jessica Simpson. She'd be hot to bang for awhile. But she'd be boring as shit to talk to. And I'd be a little embarrassed taking her around to all my friends and family who would all secretly be thinking, "Why are you wasting your time with this whore - ok, we know why you're wasting your time with that whore - but why are you wasting yourself on some girl you don't even respect, yourself?"

    And that really is the bottom-line, I suppose. Self-respect is much hotter to me, in the big picture, than a tight ass and a camel-toe (although those don't hurt, either). It's much hotter to me, personally, to know that the person I'm with is someone I respect, who respects themselves, who maybe cares about others or knows how to work with people or can tell me if I'm committing a hasty generalization or I'm confusing causation with correlation than it is to be with someone who knows how to grind a tight little ass.

    In my experience, if you can acknowledge the fantasy of the hot girl, maybe even try it out, and compare it to the reality of a girl you love and respect - my two cents - the latter is way hotter, given enough honesty and acknowledgement of what is sexy to one another in the more loving, respectful conversation. A million exceptions to that rule and a million worst case scenarios to prove it wrong. But too many experiences to prove it right, for me, to drop the good girl with a desire to be a sexy partner for Jessica Simpson leaving the stadium because she doesn't want to jinx my playing arm and me constantly wondering why I'm with this stupid bitch who can't think her way out of a matchstick box and could give two shits about much other than herself.

    I better get to work.

  2. Remember Catacombs 1984/85June 11, 2015 at 5:18 PM

    David Roy Pescatore- you have beautiful hair, eyes, teeth & skin. Your 52 1/2 and your breathtaking. You are the best looking IT girl out there. One small problem- your too thin. Nothing wrong with being thin. But you are beyond that. You look like bones. For whom the bell tolls...being too thin is not a sign of beauty or health. Quite the opposite. I can only hope you glance my way. Trying to get you to contact me.

  3. Under Shit of AfreakanJune 13, 2015 at 6:25 AM

    Catacombs invented house music (soulful side of techno). In 1984 & 1985 you could hear it brewing in some of their mixes. Glad to have been a part of it. Glad to have mingled with Dave- & gal pal Gia! A true cultural revolution in the art of sound. P>S>Republicans-stop using Mr. Obama's assassinations as a bargaining chip to push through legislation. If any of you are true conservatives ( like me) you go after the tree, son. Work on TPA once he is thrown out of office & liberty fully restored. Get your house in order, you have a crisis on your hands & your not doing what you really SHOULD be doing. Why put his lousy name on free trade bill. He's fudgey, bald & sissy-sweet.