There had to be one…
What would an opportunity to advertise on the grandest of stages be without someone committing a major miscue? Sure, there was Christina Aguilera getting the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner wrong. There was also GoDaddy.com making GlaxoSmithKline (Cialis) and Pfizer (Viagra) richer by causing widespread Erectile Dysfunction by showing Joan Rivers unclothed. But, it was Pepsi who took the crown for Super Bowl 45 with their Pepsi MAX ‘Love Hurts’ commercial.
The commercial speaks for itself. Is it normal in the average relationship for either a man or woman to be subjected such behavior, or is this the image of the Black relationship by the mainstream? From the Pepsi and State Farm perspectives, the image is that of the Assertive Black Woman and her firm hand, or outspokenness, to maintain compliance over her man.
From TFG perspective, relationships transcend race. As such, there are some very simple questions in reference to both examples:
1. In situations, minor or major, in which the gent is confronted, what is the basis for overriding his ability to handle the situation he is directly confronted with?
2. When presented with choices, what is the basis for manipulating how the gent will respond?
3. What drives a man to accept such nuisance and overbearing behavior?
4. What drives a man to conceal himself from his partner, specifically in order to enjoy simple pleasures?
5. At what point does violent behavior between two people ever become customary in a relationship?
This commercial is a tragedy on so many fronts. First and foremost, the gent depicted in the Pepsi MAX commercial is simply not a man to tolerate any of this behavior from his partner. At the first sign of such behavior, he’d simply walk away.
Secondly, though the commercial was to be comedic in intent (I’m assuming,) a bystander ended up injured. Let’s imagine for a moment that the gent’s partner was successful in hurling a soda can at him. I would imagine that he would need some serious medical attention to repair damage to his face or head.
While we’re on the subject of soda cans being hurled at individuals, did anyone at PepsiCo ever consider how a beverage can was the weapon that gave basis to the deplorable incident in the movie ‘A Time To Kill?’
Regardless of what your view is of this commercial, whether it depicts racial stereotypes, none of the behaviors demonstrated in the commercial belong in any relationship. Sadly, someone was paid for the concept, a budget was allocated for its creation, actors read for, accepted and played the roles. All the while, a chain reaction of ignorance and insensitivity ended up over the airwaves on the biggest television advertising day for all to see.
A failure to use common sense is what hurts.