When I was about fourteen, my mother took me to visit my grandfather.
He suffered from depression. He was scarred from his service in World War II. The only thing he ever said about the war was this: “I should have married that nice girl I met in France instead of your grandmother.”
My grandmother once popped my balloon with a cigarette while she was gesticulating wildly to complain about how people shouldn’t get welfare, so, fair enough, Grandpa.
I hadn’t seen my grandfather in a few years. I was an incredibly thin teen. My mother had put on a few pounds. When we arrived at his small apartment, he stared at us. Then he said:
“I guess she’s eating all the food.”
I was, of course, hurt and offended, but also IMPRESSED by the skill with which he so succinctly mocked us BOTH.
This memory popped into my head when I saw the horrible GoDaddy commercial during the Super Bowl.
Here’s a space where I’m not linking to the commercial:
I don’t want them to get any more hits, so let me describe it. A stereotypically attractive female model sits next to a stereotypically unattractive male geek. The voice over says something crappy about web hosting.
Then the model and the geek kiss. This is supposed to be CRAZY in ALL-CAPS. This is supposed to be as outlandish as every other commercial premise. This is as WEIRD as A PLANET FULL OF BABIES or OLD PEOPLE EATING AT TACO BELL or GOTHS DRINKING BUDWEISER.
There are horrible unnatural kissing smacking sound effects most likely created by slapping a seal with a wet noodle. Like that, but more disgusting. It was like they couldn’t decide whether the kiss itself should be funny or sexy so they went with the third option of REVOLTING.
Then, just like my grandfather, the commercial delivers the perfect double punch. The voice says something along the lines of you should use GoDaddy because it does this brilliant thing of combining SEXY and SMART.
After the average American Super Bowl viewer managed to hold down their Doritos and Bud Light through the endless kissing scene, they were treated to this moral at the end of the commercial:
Sexy women aren’t smart.
Smart men aren’t sexy.
I had to fight the urge to leap off the couch and go cancel my GoDaddy account. The only reason I didn’t is because I do not have a GoDaddy account. I’m tempted to sign up for one so I can have the satisfaction of canceling it. If you have a GoDaddy account, I politely encourage you to consider canceling it.
The Super Bowl commercials were extra horrifying this year as though they were actually striving to meet a bullshit stereotype reinforcement quota. Old people shouldn’t have fun, violence is cool, women are objects, Stevie Wonder is a voodoo priest, babies can’t be astronauts, etc.
I had a more visceral reaction to the GoDaddy commercial because it seemed to go out of its way to be as offensive as possible and then wink about it. Like it was cute and clever. Those fools! Don’t they realize ONE entity can’t be both CUTE and CLEVER! That’s as outrageous as an attractive woman kissing an intelligent man!
I expect this sort of absurdity from Budweiser. Frankly, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Christopher Walken, Shia LaBeouf, and a team of Playboy Bunnies do a 60 second spot to advertise the new Bud Light Beer Enema. I would have had problems with that, too, but all the societal issues would be more difficult to analyze and address.
I think we need to start breaking down the cheap, easy stereotypes. It’s not easy, but the GoDaddy commercial gives us a nice place to start. I hope a lot of people who are both smart and sexy tell GoDaddy that they really aren’t interested in being negatively stereotyped. I hope they remind GoDaddy that what they want out of a web hosting company is web hosting, not insulting commercials with horrific kissing noises.
There are plenty of web hosting options out there.
We all make choices.
My grandfather could have married that nice girl in France.
We could tell GoDaddy where to go.