Ad Nausea

When did marketing totally loose touch with reality? Wasn’t the idea of marketing to create a need or desire for a product? I see a lot of companies putting out silly ads that don’t persuade me to purchase their goods and services. All they end up doing is pissing me off.

Here is the latest ad from Diet Coke. This is the one that pushed me over the edge. (requires QuickTime)

The ad is shot in a spacious loft apartment. A sexy 20-ish woman walks across the apartment in a man’s dress shirt, with black panties & a black bra underneath. The scene switches, showing a man folding women’s underwear. A Diet Coke can sits on the edge of the washing machine. Then comes the male voiceover.

“When we were first married, my wife used to wear really … sexy underwear. The kind you see in magazine ads.”

Another scene shows the woman arching back, still wearing the black bra. We return to the laundry room, where the man is shown folding floral-print women’s underwear.

“Lately, she’s started wearing cotton underwear. The kind I saw in the hamper when I was a kid.”

The woman is shown again, wearing a pair of floral-print underwear and a “my breasts are to big for this outfit” t-shirt, accentuating her navel. She is holding a can of Diet Coke.

“There’s something oddly reassuring about feeling a wash-load of cotton underwear with little yellow flowers.”

The Diet Coke logo appears in the bottom left-corner of the screen as the woman looks softly into the camera.

And that’s the ad. Yes, that was an ad for diet soda. No “one-calorie” pitch. They never mention if it “tastes more like regular soda” or that is was tested properly on lab animals. They tried to sell imitation sugar-water using a man that obsesses over his wife’s underwear.

That, in itself, is sad. A multi-million dollar soda company sells soda using women’s underwear. I understand beer ads trying to sell product with half-naked women … but they are implying you’ll meet these bikini-clad vixens if you use their product.

This ad seems to imply you will get married to a woman who lures you into the relationship using sexy lingerie, then pulls a change of image when you get married. That seems more like reality � and reality has no place in television.

But there is one more aspect of this ad that is even more disturbing. See if you can follow my logic…

Why does the man feel “oddly reassured” by the cotton underwear in the hamper? Since this reminds him of childhood, we can assume that an older person in his household wore cotton women’s briefs. Eliminating all of the Jerry Springer scenarios leaves us with one candidate … his mother.

This man feels more comfortable when his wife wears cotton panties.
This man’s mother wore similar cotton panties.
This man feels comfortable when his wife dresses like his mother.
This man feels comfortable when his wife takes on the properties of his mother.

This man has an Oedipal complex!

Diet Coke is trying to associate themselves with men who want their wives to be more like their mothers?

This sucks. I need a break. Somebody give me fifty cents … I need a Dr. Pepper.

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