Skip to comments.Silly Little Fairy?
Posted on 05/01/2006 5:47:54 PM PDT by cicero's_son
Is This Dodge 'Fairy' Commercial Actually Hate Speech in Disguise? Bod Garfield's Ad Review: Watch the Video By Bob Garfield
Published: April 17, 2006
Faggot. Queer. Fairy. These are synonyms, epithets one and all disparaging gays -- or, more often, heterosexual men deemed insufficiently masculine. Let's call that Fact No. 1.
The 'Fairy' spot was created for Dodge by BBDO, Detroit. ALSO: Comment on this review in the 'Your Opinion' section below.
Macho brand Fact No. 2: Dodge is marketing its new Caliber subcompact as a tough little car, as opposed to sissy little Civics, Corollas and the like. This comports with Dodge's long-cultivated macho image, as exemplified by the grunting, Aerosmith heavy-metal music tag punctuating every spot.
Fact No. 3 is that one of the introductory commercials from BBDO, Detroit, features the juxtaposition of a burly tough guy and his Doberman with a sweater-draped girlie man who is walking four little lap dogs. Fact No. 4 is that the only line of dialogue in the commercial is the burly dude exclaiming, "Silly little fairy!"
And Fact No. 5 -- the genuinely astonishing fact -- is that Daimler Chrysler asserts that none of the above is meant to invoke a sexual insult.
"Was it intentional? Absolutely not," says spokeswoman Suraya Bliss, whose voice quavered as she spoke, perhaps because she was choking on the corporate line. "It's not the kind of company we are."
Preposterous corporate line But, of course, the corporate line is preposterous. Much more likely is that someone at BBDO realized they could call people fairies if their commercial depicted an actual fairy. Get it! How subversive! A flitty little fairy! We can imagine the hilarity in the cubicle as they contrived a way to set up the "Not for sissies" selling proposition based on an innocent magical fantasy. The result-mean-spirited but undeniably crafty -- is as follows:
A winged little pixie, fluttering along an urban skyline, waves her magic wand and -- in a puff of magical dust -- turns a skyscraper into a gingerbread house. Next she turns a commuter train into a colorful toy choo-choo. Then she spies a new Dodge Caliber, which she waves at with her wand.
But nothing happens. Three times she tries her magic, to no avail. For all her efforts, the shiny black Caliber remains a tough, rugged subcompact. Meanwhile, her momentum sends her flying-splat! -- into a building.
'Silly little fairy' A passing brute (he's also all in macho black as he walks his Doberman) is very amused by this scene. "Silly little fairy," he laughs.
So she wands him -- turning his Neanderthal getup into a wimpy tennis outfit, and his Doberman into four Pomeranians. "Oohhh!" he simpers.
Then the voice-over: "Introducing the all-new Dodge Caliber. It's anything but cute."
Oh, is it now?
Look, there's nothing wrong with positioning an economy car as a car with truck values. In fact, "the manly subcompact" is a very good idea. You can even suggest that everything else in the category looks effeminate. Though political correctness is out of control in this society, you're still allowed to choose your own sexual demeanor.
But what no advertiser has any business doing is calling people fairies, because it is cheap, because it is gratuitous, because it is hateful.
Gay and lesbian consumers Also self-destructive, undermining Daimler Chrysler corporate entreaties to gay and lesbian consumers -- not to mention the much larger sick-of-sexual-bullying population. But never mind the business consequences.
There is simply no room in advertising for hate speech. Period.
For the record, Daimler Chrysler and BBDO protest that this spot is obviously not homophobic because the guy with the lap dogs is a preppy type-as opposed to some flamboyant queen. Of course, the same people swear they were totally unaware of the "fairy" double-entendre.
They say we're seeing things. We say they're living in a fantasy world, and it's anything but cute.
Review: Zero stars Ad: Dodge Agency: BBDO Location: Detroit
I saw the ad last night and he still said "silly little fairy". Of course since the fairy in question is a Tinkerbell style and turning everything into Disney-esque colorful versions it's pretty obvious that it's not some comment on gays or sexuality.
Is This Dodge 'Fairy' Commercial Actually Hate Speech in Disguise?
Once they're out of the closet all they do is b tch & moan it seems. Normal people have no problems with fairies and pink leashes. Much ado about nothing.
I worked for a BBDO sister company in the same bldg, and often interacted with the employees.
They definitely had nothing against homosexuality over there.
I think you'd be hard pressed to find a traditional-values-conservative in the whole company.
I TOTALLY agree! I LOVED the commercial as it was. I didn't get the gay connection until they took the line out.
I thought about it - and went "Noooo, someone didn't get offended by someone calling a faerie, a faerie....did they?" Then I come online to do a search...and I find out I was right.
really REALLY sad. The guy looked more snooty/preppy than he looked gay - to me.
And every time I see him I see a little thought balloon over his head that reads "Don't laugh. At least I am not on welfare."
I just saw that commercial this weekend, "Silly little fairy" line and all. I love it! Course, I'm from the Midwest, where we laugh at guys whose wives dress them right out of "Golf Digest" and who walk animals we call "dustmops-on-a-leash".
I think someone was looking to be offended, and sadly Adage published his tripe (do I still have to pay to read their stuff?)
For the highly offeneded-but-terminally-stupid viewers, the commercial is about how tough the new car is. It's (the car) tougher than a biker dude (yep, that's what we see) with a Doberman.
Now someone send this to BBDO so they won't back down.
I saw it for the first time, too! Truthfully, I can't believe they got away with it. But I guess it's kinda like Ahnahld calling guys "girlie men," although it doesn't connote quite the same thing as "fairy" does.
Real men don't even known what Pomeranians are. To us, all yappy little ankle-biting cat-wannabee dogs are the same.
Yes, with the addition of a sparkling diamond collar they
are just right to be dragged behind a 30' power boat in search of large voracious fish.
I'd watch it for that alone.
This ad has been on quite a bit during the hockey playoffs and it seems about 50/50 with and without the "fairy" line.
If you ask Jim Rob very nicely, I'll bet he'd let you change your screen name to, "Tinkerbell."
Oh give me a friggin' break. I tihnk it is (was) funny and the fairy line never invoked a gay image to me, but then again I have a sense of humor. I don't get POed at fat jokes, blonde jokes (when I was a blonde), redneck Texas jokes, etc etc etc. Good grief! Why even have an ad on TV as it MAY offend some bunch of sissies.
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