Monday, April 2, 2012

Of Vodka and Inappropriateness

Last week, I was reading my Outside magazine and came across the following ad:

Exactly what instincts are we talking about here?
Obviously, this ad is property of Belvedere Vodka.
It disturbed me pretty dramatically. I was expecting to read about ice picking, mountain climbing and marathoning, and here I am assaulted on page one by an extremely powerless looking woman being pushed over by a dude who looks like he wouldn't last two seconds on a camping trip. I asked the Grige what he thought of the ad. He shrugged, so I prodded him him a bit: "what exactly are they trying to sell here?", "Why is this ad in Outside, of all places? Lots of tough women are featured in these pages..". The Grige agreed that he thought Outside readers were probably more whiskey types anyway and even consented that the ad was a little creepy.

I let the matter drop and went on to read about women who climb mountains and kayak rapids and generally kick ass. I also might note that most of them probably don't drink at all, due to the seriousness with which they view their training and physical fitness. Poison does not a superior body make.

 However, the ad kept rattling around in the back of my brain as inherently wrong. The woman looks super excited to be losing all her power in the face of an extremely strong drink and a guy who looks like he's done this before. How is this supposed to get me to buy vodka? Frankly, I don't want to do or buy anything that puts me anywhere near this situation.

So then this morning, as I'm combing the internets for fresh news, this little gem stops me short:
OMG, you guys! Rape is HILARIOUS!
Obviously, this is also the property of Belvedere Vodka.

Gross. Apparently, they are sorry. You can read more here.

So clearly, our friends in the Polish vodka world have been running a campaign that insinuates rape for months and have finally crossed the line from un-settling to downright horrifying. The best part? They stole this image and now the actress it features is suing them.

The whole situation begs two questions:
1. How did we not see this coming based on their previous advertisements. I think even the first one is disgusting and inappropriate and we should all stop feeling so desensitized to the way the alcohol industry sells women and say something about it.
2. What kind of sick freak sees the photo above and thinks "hmmm - I'll just add the implication of forced oral sex and BOOM! Perfect way to sell vodka". Seriously, Belvedere. I'm sure your vodka is lovely, but it's probably also purchased and consumed mainly by women. You should probably hire some new advertising folks. Maybe even a woman or two.

The bottom line? I'm officially on the hunt for a good micro-distillery.


1 comment:

  1. I like Tito's Vodka. It's good, and I've never seen any sexist ads from them.