Oh my, you have to see this. A friend sent me the link last night during the Superbowl, and let's say it's not pretty. (UPDATE: Snickers has since taken down the ad from their site, but here it is from YouTube. Expect that to be taken down soon.)
Snickers had a vaguely homophobic ad during the game, in which two men were working on under the hood of a car, one takes out a Snickers bar and holds it in his mouth, the other starts to eat on the other end (I guess that candy bar is that good), they eat from each end like in Lady and the Tramp, their mouths meet, they jump back (I watched it several times last night and wondered how the candy bar breaks apart that easily, but that's not the point), and they do something "manly": pulling out their chest hair. Alternate versions of the commercial showed the guys beating each other up with a wrench and the hood of the car (because beating up gays is funny) and the guys drinking anti-freeze and motor oil (because it's better to commit suicide already than to be gay).
The worst part was that you could watch football player reactions to the commercials, where they say "That ain't right" and visibly react with disgust. Apparently when they hired the football players, instead of giving them a candy bar and having them say how much they like - like a normal endorsement - they had the football players just comment on male homosexuality. The only ways this could have worked in a Snickers ad producers head was:
1. People want to see football players make fun of gay people, so they put that up to keep people on the site.
2. People identify with homophobic companies more, so they'll want to buy more from the ones that are obviously so.
3. They want the image of Snickers to be anti-gay, so homophobic people will be more likely to want to buy Snickers (wink, wink, real straight men eat Snickers).
4. They want to shock people, and people are more shocked when others are shocked as well.
Any way they intended it, this is not an accident. They tried to make it look like a candid reaction from the players, but when you have all those lights up and cameras going, it obviously wasn't candid, and, more importantly, they didn't have to put it up.
I don't see why they had to take a happy and exciting event like this and ruin it for some people.
AmericaBlog, Pam's House Blend, and TowleRoad have more. The HRC responds.
UPDATE: Since they just took down the ads from their site, they're going to probably be saying soon that it was an accident, but we're going to see right through that.