Home > Social Commentary > Superbowl 2010 Commercials: Are Advertisers Trying to Tell Men Something?

Superbowl 2010 Commercials: Are Advertisers Trying to Tell Men Something?

The commercials are often the best part of the watching the Superbowl for me. Try as might, I still don’t entirely understand the game, but I keep trying. There were some commercials directed toward men that stood out this year. Particularly, adverts by Docker, Dodger and Flow.TV. If you didn’t catch them—snack or bathroom break—here they are:

FlowTV ad—What a man can do instead of shopping with his girlfriend:

Can’t find the FlowTV ad on youtube, but here’s the link: FlowTV

Unlike usual advertisements, men aren’t portrayed as gladly working themselves to death for their girlfriends and wives. Advertisers are basically chastising some men for having voluntarily become obedient lapdogs. What do you think?

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Categories: Social Commentary
  1. Nealio
    June 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Perhaps advertisers are now recognizing that with so many men entering marriage much later in their lives, if at ALL, men are beginning to supplant women as the demographic with the most consumer bucks.

    Yeah, I’d rather have a 1,000+ cc cruiser bike.

    And since we can’t win for losing, let’s also get onboard the no-marriage shtick by also getting on a Who Gives a F campaign, too.

    Although I am deeply saddened by the fact that not even foreign women are immune, that they can be just as hideous as our very own native-English-speaking brand, I am quite prepared to go through life single, paying for sex. Hell, just as women are prostitutes for some need, so are men johns.

  2. Martian Bachelor
    March 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Nobody seems to have realized exactly how radical (maybe even revolutionary) the Dodge Charger ad was.

    For decades, items such as this which were being marketed exclusively to men have always promised “buy the product, get the girl!”. Hefner built an empire exploiting this simple formula. Beer and razors and lots of other stuff is sold this way, and has been about forever.

    This ad takes that idea and flips it around 180 degrees, saying “buy the car, be free from the girl” (at least for a little while when you’re driving).

    I think the ad has been so controversial (written about by the AP, ABC News, the Boston Herald, etc) because it taps into a vast reservoir of male antipathy towards women which otherwise isn’t being acknowledged in the wider culture.

  3. Jon
    February 22, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Lately, I can’t help but wonder: is our current culture actually creating and then promoting a narcissistic attitude amongst women growing up these days?

    Case in point: Why is it that when women stand up for themselves, it’s viewed as “Female Empowerment” or “Women’s Rights”. Whereas, if a man were to exhibit the same behavior in a similar situation, he is almost invariably viewed as sexist?

    Kinda always leaves men to feel like the bad guys no matter what we do.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong: I’m a firm believer in equality. What I’ve been noticing these past several years however, is a movement away from equality and instead towards entitlement and domination.

    It’s unsettling to say the least.

  4. David Farmbrough
    February 14, 2010 at 11:14 am

    There’s a big confusion in the second advertisement between what is something men do ‘just for women’, and what it’s reasonable for them to do. A lot of this is based on ‘battle of the sexes’ cliche. For example, separating the recycling is something we all have to do, even single me. Being quiet when you don’t want us to say ‘no’ is an unreasonable expectstion and the tip of an abusive relationship iceberg.

    By confusing not being a slob with having to kow-tow to a partner’s unreasonable demands the advertisers are simultaneously devaluing sensible behaviour (like eating fruit) and legitimising women’s inappropriate demands.

    Oh, and I don’t want to drive that silly car.

  5. Wobbegong
    February 11, 2010 at 10:25 am

    They’re riding it to make a buck. For years they made a buck denigrating men in ads (they still do) and now they see they can make a buck by being part of the ‘solution’. I suppose it’s better than nothing.

  6. Kent
    February 11, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Well to me it seems pretty straight forward. All the advertisers, Flowtv included, are trying to tap into what they see as a revival of manliness after decades of emasculation. I don’t think they’re making a case for it, merely riding it to make a buck. They are making ads that speak directly to the type of people who read these columns… of which I think there are many. “Wear the Pants” clearly harkens back to the old phrase “Who wears the pants in this family?” Their answer: wear our pants and you’ll wear THE pants. Not like the pantsless dorks you just saw. And I thought the Dodge ad was funny and frighteningly accurate. The little voice in my head echoed ‘yes’ to so many things on the list, as I felt myself drawn in, waiting to see what they were leading to. “I will listen to your friends opinions of my friends?” Brilliant. Funny thing for me, as I was watching it with my BPD, she laughed out loud and exclaimed “Oh that’s so me!” Then her BPD in training exclaimed the same thing. They meant themselves. I left the room, as I felt an aneurism coming on.

  7. NoSeRider
    February 9, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Crap, if this is what is considered the father/husband role model, why the hell bother get’n married? Only 30 percent of the adult population is married. According to these commercials, I have a pretty good indication of why.

    Predators and emotional mind games, who needs it? Why bother joining the adult world when grown ups aren’t even grown up?

  8. Steve
    February 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    As someone who used to work in radio and advertising I find it interesting that there is such a wide variety of “interpretations” to these advertisements. It’s amazing that a company will spend 250K to a million to just develop this ad…then another few hundred K to produce it..and then 2.5 to 3 million to air it on the Super Bowl…once….. all to have people go… “huh…. I don’t get it.”
    I gotta be honest. I dont’ get the Dockers ad. I have no idea what it’s trying to tell me and it certainly won’t convince me to buy their pants even if it means covering up those sorry excuses for legs in the commercial. Although advertising has often been a pretty accurate way to get the “pulse” of America, I think that has wained in recent years as the industry gets filled with young hot shots who want to prove they are funny, or who can make the most amount of edits in a 30 second commercial. You’d think that the multi-million dollar investment should at least provide a simple, clear “meaning” or “message” for the majority of viewers. I think many of these advertising folks are frustrated “art filmmakers” who are stuck doing commercials. I wouldn’t trust their “perception” of men, women, or relationships.

  9. John
    February 9, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I think y’all are reading too much into this. I, for one, have no problem with presenting my feminine side every once in a while and will go to the ends of the earth for the woman in my life (with limits of course; I refuse to be a welcome mat). With that in mind, men still want to keep their identity by driving fast cars, watching sports and watching TV shows with dick and fart jokes.

  10. February 9, 2010 at 5:37 am

    I get the notion that I’m being told that “it’s okay to be a man” in 2010.

    Not sure if that’s the exact message they’re trying to convey, but it’s almost like they’re trying to appeal to the manly side of me that wants to run around without pants on and buy a muscle car while bitchsmacking the player that hits on my mom (Doritos commercial).

    On a more humorous note, where in the world did they find 50 pairs of whitey tighties? Guy’s who wear those horrible things aren’t going to complain about wearing pants when they’re far more concerned about finding a good pair of boxers!

    • Nick
      February 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      The whitey Tighties. An obvious attempt to show men in underwear that,from the back, look like panties. In junior high (mid 70’s) we called em nuthuggers and most guys were opting for boxers. Back then the girls wore Star jeans,sweet smellin musk perfume and pink lip gloss..owooooohhhheeeeeeehhhhhh Those were the days!!! Excuse me…I need to be alone for awhile……

  11. JZ
    February 9, 2010 at 4:00 am


    You hit the nail on the head. It’s a huge catch-22 when a ClusterB relationship is involved, but society feeds into it to begin with. Somewhere along the way it was no longer OK for us to be strong/decisive, and the pendulum swung way in the other direction. (Of course that doesn’t stop a lot of ppl from lambasting men for not being strong/decisive enough, just minutes after lambasting the same men for not being sensitive/fluffy enough… is it any wonder our heads keep spinning…?)

  12. finallywokeup
    February 9, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Interesting, but there is a catch. My experience with what I think was an NPD wife was that she hated, and I mean hated, the fact that I wouldn’t lay down and roll over like her father did with her mother. To the point where I think she was gearing up to file false DV charges (she had started a smear campaign with neighbors, church, family before I found out). And when I drew a clear line on a couple of sore subjects in the marriage, she left.

    At least I retained enough spine to divorce her.

    But, is Nick right? Are men stuck in a Catch-22 nowadays, where if they don’t become obedient lapdogs they are viewed as tyrants, with nothing in between? And maybe the Cluster B’s adopt this warped zeitgeist even more readily than the general female population. That does not leave much middle ground for us.

    • Nick
      February 10, 2010 at 1:57 am

      Yo Finallywokeup. There is a great relationship manual…and I’m being serious…it’s called Hold onto your n.u.t.s Non-negotiable unalterable terms. Authors name is Wayne M. Levine M.A. It’s the best “middle ground” advice I have ever seen. Basically it teaches the how to be a better man stuff…coupled with a huge dose of teachings on how not to be a doormat for women…or anybody else for that matter.

  13. Nick
    February 8, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    What we MEN need to realize is the fix is in…the deck is stacked and we DONT HAVE TO PLAY! Wife and 2.3 children.Mortgage.Dog. It’s all a sham. Ok,
    not the dog. Add a cluster B and off to the KING DADDY land of misery.No thanks
    No More! I Quit! Time to pat the dog on the head and hit my sauna. After that I’ll be watching the 47 inch TV that hangs on a wall in my paid for house…sans shrew- telling me what to do. Join me MEN! Please do yourselves a favor and visit nomarriage.com It’s cynical and slanted but the truisms found there will really make ya think.

    • B.E.C.
      February 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

      Interesting website, nomarriage.com, that brings up some good but, cynical points.

      Even after my divorcing my NPD EX after 7 years of marriage and total of 11 years together, I am hopeful that one day I can find a woman, free of personality disorders, who I can make a life with and have a family.

      BTW, my EX was Haitian, so that makes me doubt that just getting a foreign woman is better.

      I’d like to submit an opposing viewpoint on marriage, http://artofmanliness.com/2008/11/30/the-case-for-marriage/, for your consideration.

  14. Robdog
    February 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    On the Dockers ad, so what does it mean if I wear one of my kilts once a week? Do I have to paint my face blue and, “go pick a fight,” to be a man?

  15. February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Man’s last stand? Why is it called a Dodge “Charge-her” then? Sounds more like a Dodge “Dodge-her.”

    SO very sad indeed.

  16. February 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    WTF? Wear the pants?

    Ditch the pants, get out the war paint and spears and get initiated. This is disgustingly pathetic lol.


  17. scott Stokes
    February 8, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Women spend the vast majority of the married couples money and have been the main target of TV advertisers for years now. Since nothing has changed in this regard and women are watching the superbowl event as much as men… I’m thinking that this is a not so subtle admission by women that they don’t want a wuss for a partner or at least one who doesn’t appear to be one to other women in public. Women have always wanted men to be strong, pain denying “he men, bad boys” first yet still very sensitive and attentive to her issues… but only when she want it and definitely in private!

    Maybe we’ve reached the point where even women can realize how badly men and boys have been emasculated by the dis-empowerment of males. Men certainly aren’t going to risk the loss of mating opportunities or the loss of their families by speaking up to confront this. Maybe women will finally step up and start protecting men for a change because it’s in their own long term best interests!

    • Tom A
      August 9, 2010 at 9:08 am

      “Maybe women will finally step up and start protecting men for a change because it’s in their own long term best interests!”

      Don’t hold your breath. It seems like gender warfare these days and it sucks. I do appreciate Dr. Tara’s website and her good advice in coping with abusive women.

  18. B.E.C.
    February 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    On the Dodge commercial: You could just don’t get married then, you wouldn’t have to do any of those things and you could still drive the car.

    But, Really? Does a man need a fast car or should he simply refuse to be emasculated? (The correct answer is the latter.)

Comment pages
  1. December 2, 2010 at 10:50 am
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