What's sex got to do with...lite beer?

| 10 Comments

As I was watching the Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers game this afternoon, I saw this commercial for Miller Lite:

Here's the text:

Customer: Lite Beer, please
Bartender: Sure. More taste or less taste?
Customer: I don't really care.
Bartender: Okay. When you change out of that European man-thong, I'll give you a Miller Lite.
Customer: ...But, it's stylish.
Bartender: Not in this country.
Voice-over: Man up and choose a lite beer with more taste.

Who is this commercial for? What norms/expectations of masculinity are being presented here? According to this commercial, what does it mean to be a real man? How does the representation in this commercial of being "real" connect with sex, gender, and race?

10 Comments

I find a trend in commercials where the dumb male is set straight or helped out by the smart and capable female. It's as if it is acceptable to for females to ridicule males (in commercials), but the opposite is not allowed.

Or maybe this is a strong marketing tool. I'm definitely not an expert in marketing.

Just found an entry on one of my favorite blogs, Sociological Images, that mentions this commercial in their discussion of "mediocre man". Check it out. I added this entry to our reading discussion list for our day focusing on masculinities on march 9th.

This commercial reminds me of the article "Gay or Asian?". And I heard another story from my friend that a Korean straight guy was bullied by others just because he was so into fashion unlike other 'American' straight guys. My friend said everybody thought he was gay and nobody wanted to go prom with him. That's why she had to go prom with him! Regardless of whether he is gay or straight, I think making stereotype based on one's fashion can be very mean sometimes. Even worse, this commercial ridicules it and seems to exclude different people by establishing 'American masculinity' or 'real man'.

@gyeongeun Thanks for posting the link to the article/image! I think you raise an important point about how the representation of a "real" man in this commercial is used to reinforce a particular vision of "American straight guys". Anyone else want to weigh in: How is "real" American masculinity positioned against other visions/representations/practices of masculinity in this commercial?

@/Gyeongeun: This is funny, and I agree with what you said. Making stereotypes about someone is not the right way to know fact about the person. Somethings we tend to make them without knowing that we are making them, and that is bad.

Commercials such as these are a constant reminder to the male population of what is considered acceptable masculine behavior. The appearance of male ordering the beer pushes the boundaries of what is "normal" by American standards and emphasizes furthermore that "real" men should not only drink manly beer, but also dress for the part as well. Maybe it is constant reminders such as these commercials that keep men and women acting the way they do.

Like Mike said, the guy in the speedo is portrayed as ignorant in the sense that before he ordered the beer, he thought he looked good. This is then reinforced by the second guy in a speedo at the end of the commercial. They both are depicted as "stupid" because they apparently should be aware of how ridiculous they look. I think it belittles their characters in the clip. As an audience, we are supposed to join in with the other actors in laughing at/judging these two and making them "outcasts". We are supposed to want to fit in by drinking their beer because it makes them cool. Of course it makes total sense...if we don't drink Miller Lite, we clearly will look as ridiculous as the speedo guys, right?

I also had to notice the undeniable amount of "beautiful" people. Every actor, especially the bartender and the woman at the bar, are classically gorgeous by society's widely accepted standards of beauty. The commercial forgoes an air of reality to enhance selling their product.

In this commercial a real man doesn't wear a speedo, they wear swim trunks. Speedos look ridiculous, which the girls point out to the guys. This is kind of the same concept as tightie whities. Real men wear boxers.

The commercial, I think, is for men, telling them to drink Miller Lite or they'll look like those poor guys who don't get the girls.

First,Did you hear the Voice-over man said? Man up? And one more,what's the relation between men and beers?Does it mean that if you are a "real" man,so you can drink beer,Miller Lite,Otherwise,you can't? It's really absurd.Who can truly tell us what a real man is? It aims at showing prejudice on gay.

Second,this advertiment is discriminative not only reflcts on gay,but also on race that which the bar counter girl said,''Okay. When you change out of that European man-thong, I'll give you a Miller Lite."and"Not in this country" .Still,what's the connection between European man-thong and beers?It's very ironic which laughing at the origin of fashion.But the point is still on gay.As we know that most of famous fashion brands are gay.Such as D&G.

First,Did you hear the Voice-over man said? Man up? And one more,what's the relation between men and beers?Does it mean that if you are a "real" man,so you can drink beer,Miller Lite,Otherwise,you can't? It's really absurd.Who can truly tell us what a real man is? It aims at showing prejudice on gay.

Second,this advertiment is discriminative not only reflcts on gay,but also on race that which the bar counter girl said,''Okay. When you change out of that European man-thong, I'll give you a Miller Lite."and"Not in this country" .Still,what's the connection between European man-thong and beers?It's very ironic which laughing at the origin of fashion.But the point is still on gay.As we know that most of famous fashion brands are gay.Such as D&G.

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