So I was watching Scarface the other day on the BET Network (yes, it suffers from the chainsaw torture censorship, but the music and dancing styles are timeless) and was alarmed by the mixed messages their advertisements were sending me. As a lazy American consumer, I like to be led immediately to a conclusion, be it by overwhelming group sentiment (“you don’t have an iPhone? You are a f-cking asshole, then”) or concise ads that point out what’s missing in my dreary existence (apparently, a wide variety of super-mops and absorbent devices). What I got, instead, shocked me to my very core.
The first commercial was for a product that I can’t imagine was ever desired by anyone: Trojan Fire & Ice condoms. Perhaps my birth control knowledge is antiquated, but I believe condoms are very rarely used in situations where a relationship is at the “let’s spice things up (literally, by putting something that provides varying thermal sensations to your privates)” stage. Condoms, I believe, are mainly used in instances where alcohol has tipped the balance of power in such a way that a less attractive person has the opportunity to sleep with a more attractive person. Since it is widely known that unattractive people will sleep with just about anyone, a condom enters the picture to prevent the spread of disease and/or unattractive babies.
The bar environment is not one where you want to be trying a Fire & Ice – a burning sensation should be nature’s way of saying “hey, maybe you just hooked up with the wrong person” not the exciting prelude to the icy stage. And most loving, devoted long-term relationships manage to heap the birth control responsibility on the chick, just as God intended. They aren’t sitting around having arguments that can only be solved by using Bengay-infused condoms. Real couples looking for the fire and ice effect simply go for the time-tested Nair and Altoids method.
The condom commercial had my head spinning, and then they segue into this:
I was pretty well convinced this was a parody of some sort, but then there was no Energizer Bunny or Chris Parnell to be seen. Apparently, Huggies actually sells diapers that look like they are jean shorts. This is wrong on about 100 levels, not the first of which is “don’t further promote the myth that jean shorts are acceptable attire – this isn’t f-cking Canada.” Diapers are just plastic bags that are eventually gonna hold poop, there’s no real need to decorate them. Have you ever wondered why portajohns haven’t changed in 30 years, despite all the advances in technology and innovation? Because they are just plastic receptacles that are gonna hold poop, that’s why. Why bother trying to beautify something, that, at the end of the day, is gonna be sh-tty?
And why is BET trying to confuse me? Couldn’t they put these commercials on at different times? Am I supposed to knock somebody up or not? Both spots are suggesting that boot knocking is a pretty solid idea, but to what end? On the one hand, I can have what sounds like torturous climate change all in the ecosphere of an uncomfortable sheath. On the other hand, I might end up with a kid who’s walking down the street and apparently hitting on both men and women. Actually, those both sound terrible…maybe this is an undercover abstinence campaign? Anyway, BET, do a better job next time. Maybe have one of the extremely uncomfortable lube commercials on with the condom commercial?
I’ll add a little public service work before I go. Attention, condom technologists: you aren’t doing it right, nobody wants that fiery, icy sh-t. Here’s what you should be working on: a condom with an RFID chip that activates when the package is opened. This sends a signal to some *Onstar like control tower in the sky, which determines the location of the chip and calls a cab to arrive at that location seven minutes after the package is opened. One minute for awkward fumbling, two minutes for banging, four minutes of small talk (“say, it would’ve been great if for 30 seconds there was a warm sensation and for 30 seconds there was a cold sensation”) and then “my ride’s here – later.”
Send any royalties earned from sales of these condoms to firstname.lastname@example.org