Friday, February 18, 2011

Ads Nauseam: Who's the real f-g?

Ads and commercials have become increasingly prevalent in our modern society such as the expanded use of product placements in TV programs. Yet sometimes ads are used for more altruistic ends like trying to challenge machismo in Latin America.

"The macho man – stereotypically stoic, male chauvinist, and violent – appears on the run" based on a new crop of ads according to an article earlier this week from the Christian Science Monitor's website. These commercials run in several different countries and emphasize that it's acceptable to be a sensitive man who helps around the house and views women as equals. In some countries these ads were effective such as Ecuador where ads claiming that "machismo is violence" were credited with an increase in domestic violence denunciations.

The Chilean Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs tackled machismo in an ad that asked "who is the real faggot?" While that word is generally used as an anti-gay slur, the aim of the ad was to redefine the meaning of the word "faggot". Thus, a simple was created: "Maricón, el que maltrata a una mujer." ("A faggot is one who mistreats women.")

See for yourself how simple imagery and a jarring slogan helped create a powerful ad:

What do you think of the Chilean "maricón" piece and the other ads?

Video Source - YouTube
Online Sources - BBC News,,

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