Lynx: now with 100% more wrong!
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have their famous Doomsday Clock, graphing humanity’s current likelihood of imminently wiping ourselves out in the form of a clock showing minutes before midnight. It’s been standing at 11.55 for three years now, the ‘latest’ it’s been since 1984.
I have, and I think a lot of people have, a metaphorical version of this clock registering the tick-tocking loss of all faith in humanity. Nice, wonderful, egalitarian things set it back; really damn stupid, hateful and plain evil things push it forward.
Christmas is really good for setting it back, I find – our family does cosy Chrissies with plenty of food, plenty of presents and inane word games after dinner, with such religion as is involved being strictly of the let’s-sing-happy-songs variety, which I can cope with. (Nobody ever said you had to believe that the events described in a song were literally true and laudable before you could sing it, or oh God would a lot of metal fans be in trouble.)
However we’re now a whole week (!) into the New Year, and the clock’s started to tick forward again, with moonbats on the Internet being, as always, the primary cause. Over the last couple of days it’s jumped quite a bit, mainly due to it finally dawning on me just how massively stupid and wrong this advert is.
TVTropes has a term for this: it’s the Quickthaw subtype of Fridge Horror. It’s when it dawns on you hours or days or longer after seeing something that it has unfortunate implications on a titanic scale and, somehow, nobody else has ever noticed, or if they did, cared enough to point it out to you.
The brand name in the ad is different – we know it as Lynx in the UK – but it’s exactly the same clip that’s been running on UK television on and off for a while, though thankfully not recently that I’ve noticed. For those for whom the link is broken or who otherwise can’t access the clip, it shows a young man spraying himself with chocolate-flavoured Lynx and . . . turning into living chocolate. He goes out. Women in gyms abandon their exercise and flock to the window to drool. Women on the street rip bits off him. Women on trains take bites out of him when he isn’t looking. And so on.
For the sake of my sanity, and because I think I’m losing the ability to write really coherent paragraphs along with the will to live, here I present everything wrong with this commercial in handy bullet-point form, starting with the bits that are just plain incorrect and working up to the seriously fucked up stuff.
- All women love chocolate.
No, they don’t. Two wrongs folded into one here: firstly, the stereotype that women are all about the sweet and ‘naughty’ treats; and secondly, that no woman anywhere has an allergy to or just plain dislike of chocolate. The dude flicks bits of his chocolatey nose onto two women’s icecreams, FFS. And this is A-OK because, duh, no woman would ever refuse chocolate for any reason.
- All women love men.
Chocolatiness = massive sexual magnetism in this ad. Well, even if we accept the above, stupid, premise that all women love chocolate, the fact remains that massive sexual magnetism doesn’t do shit if the person it’s aimed at has the same polarity, if you know what I mean. And yet every woman the guy passes is immediately interested. Nope, there are no such things as lesbians in Lynx-world. Or, failing that, every woman is straight for chocolate.
- Only women love men.
Following on from the above point, whereby chocolaticity = massive sexual magnetism, there should be at least a few blokes in the masses of people drooling over Lynx Dude’s sculpted chocolatey body. Because, newsflash, some men like men. And also because just as many men like chocolate as women, and if the Power of Chocolate™ can overcome sexual orientation in women, why not in men?
- Women are sexually attracted to chocolate.
It’s the logical conclusion, and leads to:
- Women want to eat things they’re sexually attracted to.
We’re like that sort of spider where the female has violent sex with the male and then bites his twitching head off immediately after climax. Totally.
- Chocolate Lynx turns you into a fixedly-smiling zombie.
The dude’s expression doesn’t change at all. You’d think that a man being gazed adoringly at by women he evidently desires / having bits of his body ripped off him in the street would react in some fashion.
- Rape and mutilation are hilarious when it’s female on male.
Let’s reconstruct the BizarroWorld version of this advert. Women (at least, heterosexual women) want to attract men, right? So they spray on this body scent that smells like something men are attracted to. This leads, not to romance, but to large groups of random men in the street following her, taking bites out of her and literally tearing her apart. That ad would never be passed for broadcast in a million years, because thankfully, most of society and certainly most ad agencies have got it through their heads that rape and mutilation aren’t funny. But . . .
- All men want sex, all the time, from random people on the street.
Yes. Because no man has ever turned down sex for any reason ever, or ever not enjoyed sexual attention, even if it was forceful and unwanted. It’s okay to sexually assault a man! It’s okay to bite his arse on the train! Because . . .
- Wanting to have sex = indiscriminate consent.
Putting on deodorant or perfume (or makeup/a short skirt/high heels/whatever) in the hope that it’ll better your chances of getting laid is just that. It’s an attempt to widen the pool of potential partners, and that’s all. It’s entirely possible that even in that widened pool you won’t find anyone you like. Being prepared for sex – even hoping for and wanting sex – doesn’t mean you have to consent to anyone who offers, just like being hungry doesn’t oblige you to indiscriminately eat everything you see.
Even if you’re in the position of being irresistibly, can’t-hold-still, eye-wateringly pant-wettingly in lust with someone wearing chocolate deodorant (a short skirt, etc.), even if their attracting-people tactic has clearly, unequivocally worked, it’s still not an invitation until they specifically say so. Them’s the breaks.
- All women will commit rape to get chocolate.
- All of the above are positive and appropriate viewpoints to express in an advert.
What’s that? Another minute lost on the we’re-screwed clock?
- All of the above are funny.
The usual defence when ads like this get called out is ‘It was meant to be funny! Why did you have to go get all offended?’ To which the only response is basically ‘Dude . . . if you think that’s funny I suggest you go home and rethink your life.’
Then they claim that it was deliberately unrealistic and meant as irony. This would require irony so subtle most people miss it. If the options are ‘Lynx have suddenly grown up and started taking the piss out of themselves, but done it so subtly it looks exactly like their old stuff’ vs. ‘Lynx are still basically the equivalent of a man with a megaphone shouting ‘BUY OUR PRODUCT AND GET LAID!”, I know which one I think is more likely.