Archive for the ‘Language in advertising’ Category

Be the Master of the Meat!

June 17, 2022

(Warning: some discussion of sexual slang in a serious but straightforward tone.)

From the annals of masculine meat holidays in my country, a Blackstone tv spot “Father’s Day: Griddle Envy” (first aired 6/1/22), in which the announcer projects macho good-buddy enthusiasm for a Blackstone griddle as a Father’s Day gift (6/19 this year, just two days away! And the next American MascMeatHol, Independence Day, aka the Fourth of July, is only two weeks away):


(#1) The envy-inciting appliance: a Blackstone 4-burner 36″-griddle propane-fired cooking station with side shelves (about $300); you can view the ad at this site

From the alliterative text:

Give him what he really wants … Your Dad can be the master of the meat, the king of the cookout, the sultan of steak

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Clothing of delight, soft clothing

March 30, 2022

Two ways of looking at lounge shorts (for men) in two ad campaigns. Both touting the softness of the clothing (genuinely desirable in coverings for men’s private parts), but one pushing it as a vehicle for sexual display, the other celebrating it as a vehicle for joy.

The first (from Helsinki Athletica) in a Daily Jocks ad from 3/26, marketed as homowear — the shorts are a very pale pink, whispering I Am Gay — highly sexualized (the model is sitting up on his knees, in bed, and his crotch is the visual focus of the photo); an accompanying photo has him in gray shorts (more macho, less homo), lying on his belly on a sofa with his ass humped up for sexual penetration. In both he displays an impressively muscled body (bulging biceps, massive pecs, rocky abs), a businesslike mustache, no-nonsense hair, and an impassive face with a challenging gaze (conveying: are you man enough to take this, buddy?).

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Magritte’s #9 Son

February 25, 2022

(Somewhat astonishingly, this is going to end up in over-the-line raunchy territory — not for kids or the sexually modest — with a celebration of a character who’s both a feminist and a dirty slut, who deserves the right to fellate men “in the bathroom at Acme on a Wednesday” (from Rolling Stone). I’ll issue a warning when it comes up.)

It starts with today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with yet another cartoon riff on Magritte’s painting The Son of Man:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.) That’s a green M&M candy where Magritte’s painting has a green apple (so the doctor’s message is that the Magritte character has been consuming too many sweets, like that piece of candy, and needs to substitute fresh fruit, like an apple)

Two things here. Thing one, this is (by my reckoning) the 9th cartoon riff on Magritte’s painting that I’ve posted about. Thing two, about M&Ms, and the green one in particular, which has its own life as a character in ads: a life as a sexy, seductive woman. So M Magritte (the cartoon character) might well desire to take her body into his mouth and, figuratively, eat her.

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Area 51 x 57

December 19, 2021

Today’s Piraro/Wayno Bizarro crosses iconic space aliens from popular culture (sequestered, according to lore, in Area 51 in Nevada) with an anthropomorphic Heinz ketchup bottle (advertising itself, on its label, as one of the Heinz 57 varieties):


(#1) This unlikely couple met on the arid high desert of Nevada; but the ways of the heart are inscrutable, so they now live together in a rough cabin in Area 54, along with their oddly tasty progeny — bottled as Out Of This World salsa verde (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

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Comes a pause in the day’s occupations

November 18, 2021

… that is known as Miller Time … when you deserve a beer break today.

None of this makes sense unless you know the advertising slogans: It’s Miller Time (for Miller High Life beer, not for novelist Henry Miller, playwright Arthur Miller, or bandleader Glenn Miller), You Deserve a Break Today (for McDonald’s, hawking hamburgers, not beer). But Calvin knows:


(#1) The Calvin and Hobbes strip distributed today, originally published 10/9/86, alluding to “Miller Time” slogans in Miller High Life beer commercials from the period

Calvin is supposed to be 6 years old — admittedly, with the sensibilities of a boy of roughly 10, but, still, not expected to be familiar with the ways of beer-drinking, so his father is alarmed that Calvin seems to be looking forward to a brew after the occupations of his day. (Whatever happened to the Children’s Hour? Television happened.)

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Powerfully eruptive, yet respectful of his anatomy

September 20, 2021

(Men’s underwear and its symbolic values, frank talk about male sexuality, but otherwise not over lines; use your judgment.)

Powerfully eruptive, yet respectful of his anatomy: the vaunted twin virtues of Krakatoa underwear for men, especially the company’s Vesuvius collection (which is, presumably, doubly volcanic in symbolic power), all with aggressively full front pouches, designed (as the ad copy has it) to respect a man’s anatomy while preparing him for life’s activities. The goods:


(#1) Krakatoa’s Vesuvius Collection: trunks, boxer briefs, and briefs in intense blue and intense red (power colors) and in black and (for the trunks) saturated gray (strongly masculine “just plain guy” colors), with those volcanic pouches all around

These two volcanos and this underwear will take us many places. But first, two shots of Krakatoa underwear (from lines other than Vesuvius) being modeled by actual men (accompanied by the ad copy “Put a volcano in your pants”).

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Cuticura, it’ll cure ya

August 23, 2021

(As far as I know, not actually used as an advertising slogan for any of the line of Cuticura skin care products — probably too jaunty and wise-cracking for the company, which seems to have been marketing primarily to women since 1865.)

From my 8/17 posting “The grocery order”: “When I was a boy, I applied Vaseline (from the family medicine cabinet) to minor burns and scrapes”. There was Vaseline — petroleum jelly — and then there was a curious patent medicine for somewhat more serious skin problems, a thick green ointment with an intriguing medicinal scent, then sold in glass jars: Cuticura ( /kjùtɪkjúrǝ/ ).

Now, having recovered this childhood memory, I got curious about Cuticura’s history — and its ingredients. Some of my findings (sketchy, because the company’s website is not at all forthcoming with details, and the Wikipedia entry is skeletal) …

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Annals of commercial naming: Bear Naked Granola

June 18, 2021

Brought to me by Facebook in recent days, advertisements for two playful trade names: one — for the Boy Smells company, offering scented candles, unisex fragrances, and (unscented) underwear, all for LGBT+-folk — covered in my 6/16 posting “Annals of commercial naming: Boy Smells”; and now, for the Bear Naked® Granola company. The two cases turn out to be very different.

Boy Smells belongs with a series of postings on this blog on dubious and unfortunate commercial names — some clearly unintentionally racy, some playfully suggestive, some openly, even brazenly, suggestive, given the nature of the establishments (Hooters). The Boy Smells company is almost painfully earnest about its LGBT+ mission, which makes its name — so evocative of teenage pong — especially unfortunate.

Bear Naked Granola, in contrast, is knee-deep in playfulness, starting with the pun on bare naked, so that on the one side, you get a reference to bears, with their fondness for nuts and fruits and honey (all relevant to granola); while on the other side, you get bare naked, suggesting purity and simplicity. And you also get the pop-culture view of bears, as cute and entertaining.

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Mitch is always DTF

March 31, 2021

(A lot about dildos and their uses, so probably not for kids or the sexually modest.)

The mail header on today’s Daily Jocks ad. DTF was new to me, but then I’m far from plugged into things — WTF I know, but DTF not, though I guessed the F is for fuck — so I had to look it up. From NOAD:

abbreviation DTF: vulgar slang down to fuck (used, typically on dating websites or apps, to indicate that a person is willing or eager to engage in sexual activity).

(Side query: how to tell when a use of fuck is narrow — a penis is inserted in a sexcavity — and when it is pragmatically broad, conveying (in the context of the moment) merely ‘engage in sexual activity’ — for which a frequent euphemism is ‘play’, which is easily understood too broadly, as covering things short of counting as sexual activity? It’s all a delicate verbal balancing act.)

Then there’s the fact that Mitch is a dildo, so it’s a bit of a stretch to talk about Mitch as always being enthusiastically ready to fuck.

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Johnny Rapid evolves

March 20, 2021

(Men’s bodies and talk about sex between men, in street language, so not at all appropriate for kids and the sexually modest)

A follow-up to my 3/13 posting “Pornstars do this so you don’t have to”, in which pornstar Johnny Rapid engages in challengingly athletic sex — in 2021 as the top in 69spitroasting (in NakedSword’s Lake Need), in 2015 as the bottom in Flying Cowboy.

Then, yesterday, in my e-mail, the HUNT e-magazine (for Falcon / NakedSword gay porn) issue 249, with the high-puffery article “Model Spotlight – Johnny Rapid”, about the actor’s evolution from the 2011-15 guy to the 2015 one:

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