Archive for the ‘Language in advertising’ Category

Astride the Jockstrap Trail

April 2, 2020

(Intended as an entertainment in tough times. There will, however, be male bodyparts and mansex, in sometimes very plain language, so in general not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

It starts with a regular feature of this blog: advertisements for premium men’s underwear that treat men’s bodies simultaneously as the engines of vigorous athletic pursuits and as the loci of hot sex between men. And, correspondingly, that view the underwear — especially the quintessentially masculine undergarment, the jockstrap — as simultaneously a piece of sports gear and a vehicle for sexual advertisement, displaying a man’s package prominently in front and his bare buttocks behind.

Exhibit #1 is a Daily Jocks ad from 3/31 for a jockstraps sale, featuring a muscular model with a remarkable bubble butt, who is sporting a handsome deep red jockstrap with matching harness and socks, while poised midway between the position for doing pushups and one offering his ass for sex.

The accompanying jockstrap sale catalogue then takes us on a jaunt from Surry Hills, near Sydney NSW in Australia (where the Supawear company has its headquarters) through Hawaii and northern California (Berkeley and Sunnyvale) to San Pedro Town in northern Belize. And then back by plane from San Pedro to Sydney.

But first, below the fold, the world-class bubble butt on display, with a fanciful caption of my own devising:

(more…)

Morning tum

March 3, 2020

(There will be penis allusions, but nothing actually raunchy.)

My morning names of 2/26, which arrived three in a bunch, all tum-words, all body-related, but in two different ways:

(a) noun tumor, a tissue growth

(b) adj. tumid, enlarged or distended (as applied to erect penises in particular, but to other things as well)

(c) adj. tumescent, ditto, but more strongly evoking penises

(a) has a somewhat medical tone, but has been taken into everyday usage. The other two are elevated in tone, distanced from carnality; they sound literary or technical. When I came fully to consciousness, I realized that all three traced back to the Latin tum– stem in tumere ‘to swell’. It’s all about swelling; (a) has gone in one direction of semantic specialization, (b) and (c) in another.

And then, of course, there turned out to be more, stuff I hadn’t anticipated at all: the nouns tumulus ‘ancient burial ground’ (they are mounds) and tumult ‘loud noise, disorder’ (the sound rises).

Where will it end? Is a tummy so called because the bellies of babies are often rounded and the bellies of pregnant women are distended? (No. So the antacid Tums is irrelevant to this story.) What about the bodyparts scrotum and rectum, or even the proper name Tatum, suggesting Channing Tatum and his impressive endowment? (No, a thousand times, no. And you should be ashamed of yourselves for having suggested it.)

(more…)

Guy gear

March 1, 2020

(Sex toys and all they bring with them, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Today, a leek (for St. David’s Day, March 1st), but yesterday (the intercalary day February 29th) a leap.

The mail arrives and wow! (you exclaim) there’s a Leap Day flash sale at the Guy Gear Store, just for today! You have visions of well-designed equipment for hunting, fishing, and camping; cool bikes; hot athletic shoes;  t-shirts for teams, bands, and plain ol’ aggression; tools Craftsman never dreamed of; electronics to rule the world of the future; and all that good guy stuff.

And then you examine the ad in detail:


(#1) Quick! Identify the three sale items in the ad; the model’s shapely buttocks are not actually on offer

Probaby not your father’s idea of guy gear.

(more…)

While you’re up

February 22, 2020

The Wayno/Piraro Bizarro from yesterday, on running evolutionary errands:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

Venture Fish crawls out onto land, no doubt to return after foraging there, then will venture onto land again, and in time its descendants will have become amphibians, and then, well, you know the story.

But why does Venture Fish go on land? It insists on doing this for some reason — the primary reason for the act —  that is inscrutable to its aquatic companion, but Home Fish asks that Venture Fish meanwhile run an errand: fetch some things on the trip, thus supplying an additional, secondary reason for the act.  Home Fish uses the format BACKGROUND CONDITION + REQUEST:

BACKGROUND CONDITION: If you’re going out / Since you’re already up / As long as you’re up / While you’re up / …

+ REQUEST: (could you / would you / why don’t you / please /…) VP-BSE

— made famous in the slogan for an early 1960s ad campaign:

as long as you’re up get me a Grant’s

(more…)

Revisiting 42: stalked by a giant anthropomorphic squirrel

February 1, 2020

When we last saw Mr. Peanut (in my 1/13/20 posting “Just one peanut”), he was tortured by nightmares of being buried alive by an anthropomorphic squirrel:

(#1)

That squirrel has now come alive in a giant toothy form and is stalking the Mr. Peanut of the Apocalypse on the city streets, in this David Sipress cartoon (from the February 3rd New Yorker):

(#2)

Entertaining. But much funnier when you know that the cartoon is exquisitely topical: Mr. Peanut has in fact just met his death (though not as the prey of a giant squirrel), and will be mourned at the Super Bowl tomorrow.

(more…)

Guy gear

February 1, 2020

(Sex toys and all they bring with them, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Today, a leek (for St. David’s Day, March 1st), but yesterday (the intercalary day February 29th) a leap.

The mail arrives and wow! (you exclaim) there’s a Leap Day flash sale at the Guy Gear Store, just for today! You have visions of well-designed equipment for hunting, fishing, and camping; cool bikes; hot athletic shoes;  t-shirts for teams, bands, and plain ol’ aggression; tools Craftsman never dreamed of; electronics to rule the world of the future; and all that good guy stuff.

And then you examine the ad in detail:


(#1) Quick! Identify the three sale items in the ad; the model’s shapely buttocks are not actually on offer

Probaby not your father’s idea of guy gear.

(more…)

Just one peanut

January 13, 2020

(Lots of off-color jokes, some of them gay-inflected, along with a number of peanut cartoons. So: crude, and perhaps not to everyone’s taste.)

Today’s Rhymes With Orange — entertaining if you get the crucial pop culture allusion, incomprehensible if you don’t:


(#1) An elephant at the doctor’s office, with an x-ray showing the contents of his stomach to be a top hat, a monocle, and a cane; in the face of this evidence, the doctor asks the patient if he’s sure that all he ate was one peanut (presupposing that the patient has claimed just that)

How does this even make sense, much less be funny? Even granting the poploric association between elephants and peanuts — which is actually pretty baffling (see below) — why do peanuts come up in #1 at all? We have a trio of men’s accessories and no visible peanuts.

There’s a hint in the bonus commentary on the left: elephant to elephant, “It’s a medical Mister-y”, where the clue is Mister. But the clue is useless if you don’t know your way around the symbolic figures of American commerce.

You have to be a friend of Mister Peanut.

(more…)

Beach bare

January 11, 2020

(On appallingly bad taste in menswear, also about men’s underwear and its contents, but without dwelling on the anatomy and without any mansex at all — so tasteless, but not over-the-line raunchy.)

From the bottomless annals of preposterous men’s underwear: transparent polyester beach shorts. To add to see-through mesh underwear and many much more outrageous garments chronicled in my postings over the years (see my Page on underwear postings).

An illustration:


(#1) MaverickSwim brand “Berlin Transparent Waterproof Shorts” ($26.99) with neon orange trim (also available in neon lime trim), shown here worn over  minibriefs for modesty (but in matching orange, as a fashion statement)

They look hugely uncomfortable, whatever their value as crotch display cases. As Ellen Evans advised on Facebook:

plastic clothes: just say no

(more…)

Adapted for Christmas use

December 18, 2019

With a bit of adjustment, or just relabeling, almost anything can be made relevant to the Christmas season. For music, you can just throw in some seasonal reference, or — as in today’s Zits — a refrain of solfege syllables common in traditional English music, famously in the fa la la of the Christmas carol “Deck the Halls”:


(#1) Deck the rats with love of spleen

(more…)

Annals of art: statues of the iron prince

November 26, 2019

Today’s Zippy takes us to Alma AR, where Popeye rules with cans of spinach:

(#1)

This Popeye, who claimed to be the true Popeye and to be carved of wood (all others — especially the one in the cartoons — being mere dissemblers, pretenders, imitators), this grotesque figure, in fact of fibergass over papier-mâché, once stood tall in Alma AR, but has apparently wandered off, to be superseded by a harder, even more massive, Prince Popeye (invigorated by green iron but actually composed of bronze), the new lord of the Ozark Empire of Chenopodia.

(more…)