As tigtog said, people are up in arms about the “The Neighbours” commercial from purveyors of bad bourbon and toxic masculinity, Jim Beam.
The Age reports:
The bourbon maker’s campaign, The Neighbours, includes TV and internet ads showing two blondes in G-strings applying sunscreen, bouncing on a trampoline and finally stripping naked as they’re watched through a hedge by “Stevo next door” and his mates.
A 30-second TV version, first shown on Friday on Fox Sports, features one semi-naked women stating: “We say, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, take off your cozzie.” Viewers are then directed to a website with a longer ad in which the women are spied on as they undress.
The camera zooms in on their breasts and backsides before ending with a close-up of one topless woman washing dishes at the kitchen sink.
Jim Beam’s “The Neighbours” website is now closed, but here’s the short version of the offending advertisement.
What the media seem to be missing, however, is that this ad is part of a series of Jim Beam advertisements, and that they all seem to be deliberately designed to be wildly offensive from a feminist point of view. The advertisements are titled “The Girlfriend”, “The Tragedy”, and “The Stalker”. They appear to be designed to provoke condemnation, so that misogynist Jim Beam lovers can think that they’re dominating the well-worn dance, spinning around and snarling “Can’t you take a joke?”
These advertisements are saturated with male gaze. They make no sense except in the context of sniggering homosociality and entitled whitehetmasculinity. These ads are not about the imaginary women depicted in the advertisements; they’re about the men who the women are performing for, servicing, teasing, depriving, torturing.
They’re about the men who pour each other a bourbon, boast about their imaginary exotic fuckslaves, and whine about how those bitchez never leave them alone.
Women exist only in relation to when and how their vaginas were used by the invisible protagonist. There is no madonna/whore dichotomy in the Jim Beam world; there is whore-I-wanna-fuck, whore-I’m-fucking, and nasty-whore-I-used-to-fuck. And this advertisement series outlines all the archetypes.
Here are the other three ads. Transcripts are at the foot of the post.
This ad plays into the fantasy of the uncomplaining sexbot who exists only to serve her neglectful boyfriend. But this ad, as well as being a fapfantasy, is also about men who complain about their current or past girlfriends, about how much of a pain in the arse real women are. It’s about men bonding with other men over women being “fussy”, expecting a little bit of time and conversation now and then. It’s about the whingeing harpies who get unreasonably upset when men spend all of their time ignoring women, watching sport, socialising with other men, and hiring sex workers.
For extra kicks, the woman has a fake accent (Russian?), nearly as bad as the fake Swedish accent in the Neighbours ad. Women don’t just come in three flavours of fucktoy status, they come in multiple flavours of ersatz exoticism – but only those exotic flavours which have been sexualised and objectified in Anglo male fantasies. No effort is made at all to simulate authenticity; the accents are so very obviously fake. This is about the masturbatory idea of exotic women, an idea resident only in the heads of those who have never had any meaningful contact with actual “foreigners”.
The website has a tablink to “Create The Ultimate Girlfriend”. Thankfully, it’s not working yet. Apparently we have that to look forward to. Shades of Axe/Lynx, anyone?
This has already been uploaded to Youtube re-titled “The Tease”, which is exactly how it is supposed to be interpreted. Lesbians aren’t immune from their participation in male heterosexuality; no, they’re doing it just to tease and titillate. Lesbianism is re-invented to be all about the men who are watching, the men who are wilfully turned on and unfairly deprived by those hott lesbo bitches. Lesbianism is simultaneously a fantasy and a tragedy for men – at least, when it involves young beautiful women it is.
And so, it goes from bad to worse. The Stalker tells the story of a man whose life is now being made miserable by a gorgeous stalker. Why is ex-girlfriend stalkage such a common ingredient in misogynist fantasy? I suspect it serves two purposes simultaneously: one, the wannabe-stalkee gets to imagine that his dick is so mighty, so irresistible, that women he spurns have nothing better to do that to constantly fantasise about it. Two, it conveniently casts women as conniving and evil, making them even easier to hate.
But this one really does get worse. Jim Beam’s viral strategy is to encourage you to send stalking SMS messages to your friends – both male and female friends, I’m guessing, given the awkward genderless “they” in the invitation.
STALK YOUR MATE WITH AN SMS FROM THE STALKER.
Freak out your friend with a message from our very own bunny-boiler. You’ll have your mate looking over their shoulder and filling out an AVO in no time. But like The Stalker says, it’s just a piece of paper. They’ll need more than that to stop her. Happy stalking!
Pressing CONTINUE gets you to a new screen:
* Don’t turn round baby, but you look SO hot. Speaking of babies ours’d be SO cute, like you. I wonder what we’d call them?
* I dreamt about you last night. Again! Every day without you is a NIGHTMARE! I kept your shirt. I wear it under my uniform.
* Why won’t you answer? It’s me. Are you ignoring me? I’d do anything for you. I hate you SOOO much! We’ll be together 4 ever.
* Hi big boy, remember me? What a crazy night. I think about you 24 7. I know it was 2 years ago but I’ll never let u go.
* WHO IS SHE? It’s not your sister ’cause she’s tied up in my basement. I forgive you. It’s me or it’s no one! I hate u but I love u.
There is a place to enter your friend’s name and mobile number. In the interests of journalism, I tried it – the message came through immediately. If I wasn’t already creeped the fuck out, I sure am now.
I’ll report back if the douchebags at JB start stalking me.
The Neighbours transcript:
[POV shot: peeping through bushes at naked cavorting faux-Swedish women in a backyard: two thin white women with blonde braids and bad accents.]
One woman: “Back in Sweden, we like the outdoors. Every day we come out here, whatever the weather.” [plays with braids flirtatiously] “But we are careful with the sunscreen. Factor 30 – we slop, slip, slap.” [looks down] “How can I wear one? I don’t even have one. We say [other woman joins in] Aussie Aussie Aussie, take off your cossie!” [cossie = swimming costume]
[The shot rises over the fence, to two men lying on banana lounges by a backyard pool.]
Deep Manly Voiceover: “The Neighbours. Jim Beam. The Bourbon.” [cuts to Jim Beam logo and website address.]
The Girlfriend transcript:
[A woman in skimpy spaghetti top singlet and blue short-shorts is sitting on a sofa in a home, holding forth about what she wants in a boyfriend. She is brunette, and has a really bad fake accent, which is possibly supposed to be Russian. She squirms provocatively as she speaks.]
Woman: “I like guys who haff – a little bit fat. A little bit – hairy back. I like guys ‘oo watch a lot of football, and go out with the boys. This is good thing. If I no get flowers, I not like, [whiny voice] ‘Oh poor me, I no get flowers.’ – this is so silly! I know they sometimes go to the, erm, strip-tease? But iss ok. I’m not jealous. He can do whateeeever he wants. I mean – I don’t care!”
Deep Manly Voiceover: “The Girlfriend. Jim Beam. The Bourbon.” [cuts to logo and website address”
The Tragedy transcript:
[Closeup on one woman, with full makeup, hoop earrings, and wavy long brown hair. She has an Anglo-Australian accent. Her manner is flirtatious.]
“Actually, I’ve never had a boyfriend.”
[Cut to longer shot. She is wearing a blue pinstripe dress, low-cut, with spaghetti straps, and appears to be standing in a pub, though the background is blurred.]
“No, I’ve just always preferred girls. I guess – I just find them more [inhales] fascinating?”
[Cut to shot of black vinyl bench seat. A woman with long blonde hair comes and sits down next to her. They sit close, hands on knees, arm around. The blonde woman gives a come-hither look directly at the camera, and strokes the brunette woman’s hair.]
“Yes, this is my girlfriend. I dunno who, but blokes just don’t do it for me. Well, I just – love girls!”
Deep Manly Voiceover: “The Tragedy. Jim Beam. The Bourbon.”
The Stalker transcript:
[A thin white woman with long brown curly hair sits alone at a bar. She wears a low cut black dress, and has drink in her hand. A barman is cleaning up in the background. As in all the other ads, the woman is thin, gorgeous, and flirts with the camera, squirming her shoulders around and tilting her head. Her voice, with an Anglo-Australian accent, is high-pitched, bringing to mind the stalker caricature from the Two and a Half Men sitcom.]
“Yeah, I’m single. I just broke up. Well, [rolls eyes], two years ago. You see the thing about restraining orders, [widens eyes], it’s just a piece of paper. Oh, I still see him though, but he doesn’t see meeee! [high pitched giggle. Leans forward, cleavage to camera] “I wear a disguise when I follow him.”
Deep Manly Voiceover: “The Stalker. Jim Beam. The Bourbon.”
Categories: gender & feminism