Friday, April 16, 2010

Not the Target Audience

I'm so glad baseball season is back. I love the game, I love the A's, I love listening to the game on the radio. I hate commercials. It's one of the main reasons I stopped watching television. This year, the commercials seem particularly bad/offensive. I had been thinking how to frame a blog about this when GeeDee215 of PostBourgie posted this handy graphic:



It appears that baseball fans are on the higher end of voter turnout, and are just about in the middle of republican/democrat voting. If you believe statistics and polls.

If you want to believe anecdotal evidence, in a very scientific sample size of two- WPHT, the Phillies' radio station I stream to hear my boyfriend (on the DL) Joe Blanton, and KTRB, the local A's affiliate, there's nothing blue about baseball. There's also a whole lot of misogyny and/or nothing political correct or even of this millenium. It's not *quite* enough to make me turn off the radio- I'm certainly not going to turn on the streaming teevee- because I love to listen to the games, but it's enough to get me steaming both when Gio is pitching and during every commercial break, and there are a lot of them.

One of my favorite commercials on the Phillies radio is for Hatfield Simply Tender Portions. I don't think we have these in Oakland, but I don't browse the frozen pork freezer section very often, so I could be wrong. I haven't heard these commercials before, that's for sure. Listen and weep:



There's a corresponding commercial where the wife sings about how her dinners have really sucked lately, but I felt like when I used to make mix tapes when I was twelve, sitting by the boombox waiting for the right song to come on: I might find it or I might not, and I'm guaranteed to get crap at the beginning and end that I don't want, and equally guaranteed to cut off some of the good stuff. Point is, wives, your cooking sucks, and you better buy some of this great pork to spice up your dinners for your man, who will then turn his radio on to listen to some ole fashioned radio, a manly game. Go wash the dishes.

There's a good commercial about lawn products, specially developed for the Phillies field: "That'll give Phil's fans something to be excited about!" I'm pretty sure they mean male Phil's fans, but since they don't state it, maybe that's redundant. The wife is inside baking the pork chops. Frying the pork chops? Like I said, I don't frequent the pork chop aisle. I also don't have any kids, so the Powerade commercial that tells moms that kids take their sports seriously and therefore need this sports drink isn't going to lead me to the sports-drink aisle. I guess it's not going to lead dads there, either.

There's a spot that explains why the station is called "The Big Talker": Well duh, Rush Limbaugh says, "it's because I'm on it!" I see on their website that Glenn Beck is also on the station. I'm feeling pretty red right now.

The A's station airs some pretty dubiously misogynist commercials, too. AM/PM is apparently (I just unfortunately found their commercials on YouTube) one of the most hideous advertisers in terms of catering to the basest of "sex sells" mantras. Ok, I couldn't find the good one- the hunting cougars one. I tried for an hour. Will post it later. In the meantime, this one is pretty "fabulous.":



Infantilizing again. Puppies and babies always do it for me!!


There's this great Supercuts commercial that says a haircut can give you the confidence to use super-human strength to win the girl (loving the infantilized girl seeking teddy bear and the heavily accented carny(?)):




And recently the A's switched to (or added to their lineup) a station hosting Michael Savage: "today they won't even review my books because I'm a political conservative." Oh. This dude is on the air 5 hours every day. Just the headlines on his website disturb me. And right now, a political candidate for governor, Meg Whitman, is running this awesome ad:



I will say, the A's have the redeeming Tap Plastics ads running. There's nothing particularly great about them except that they're Tap Plastics. Did you even know Tap Plastics was still around? With that catchy jingle, and all.

I don't know, I've never listened to a WWE broadcast or a MLS game. And the broadcasters aren't particularly political. Maybe the advertisements are exactly the same. Maybe my sample is totally unrepresentative. Maybe I'm too sensitive (this I doubt). I know I'm not the only woman ever to listen to a baseball game who thinks we're not just sex objects. We don't just go to the games as girlfriends. The ads are insulting, and the political ads are more than right-leaning. They're politically conservative and often alienating. Good thing I don't pay for radio. (I pay MLB- same same but different?)