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Girly Man Commercials
April 13, 2011 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Two weeks ago, the "Stupid Man Commercials. Why?" post on MeFi front page drew a heap of interest. Today, courtesy of the Leo Burnett ad agency, and on behalf of their client, Manwich, we present "Girly Men." Six days after the start of the campaign, the ads have been pulled. (Unlike Amalgamated's campaign for Mike's Hard Lemonade, who mocked girly-man-Joey-the-intern for a whole year back in 2008.) Should we be surprised that the Manwich campaign would come from an ad shop whose tagline reads: "Big ideas come out of Big Pencils"?
posted by wensink (141 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Today in gender-binary sexism?
posted by odinsdream at 9:11 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Looking forward to the comments in here matching exactly the comments at the bottom of the Adweek link
posted by spicynuts at 9:13 AM on April 13, 2011


Can't we let closeted homophobes have their manwich?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:14 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's sloppy joe in a can, for crying out loud. Eating it doesn't mean you're manly, it means you're too much of a pathetic loser to heat ground beef and tomato sauce together without having someone mix it for you beforehand.
posted by tommasz at 9:16 AM on April 13, 2011 [41 favorites]


OH BOY a chance to base my selfhood around consumption!
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 AM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


sloppy joe in a can sounds like a finalist in a Worst Euphemism Contest.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:18 AM on April 13, 2011 [29 favorites]


Is this where I sign up for the dick sucking contest? Ohhhhh.... The OTHER kind of Manwich.. my mistake.
posted by wcfields at 9:21 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's sloppy joe in a can, for crying out loud. Eating it doesn't mean you're manly, it means you're too much of a pathetic loser to heat ground beef and tomato sauce together without having someone mix it for you beforehand.
It's sloppy joe sauce in a can. Pathetic losers must still heat ground beef and sauce together without having someone mix it for them beforehand.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:21 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sometimes a pencil is just a pencil.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:22 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Manwich Heat & Serve was introduced in 2004. It contains both the seasoned tomato sauce and ground beef in a microwavable bowl.
I stand corrected, and horrified.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:23 AM on April 13, 2011 [17 favorites]


My reaction to these mildly funny commercial being pulled is eclipsed by my reaction to anyone selling burgers in a can and calling it manly. Or food.
posted by Harry at 9:23 AM on April 13, 2011


I wonder if Mike's Hard Lemonade actually did the market research into who actually buys their product before producing that ad.

Here's a hint: There's a reason why football stadiums don't carry the stuff.

Actually, come to think of it, the gays also tend to have better taste than that, so I don't actually know who buys their godawful product.

Nevertheless, that commercial provides the awesome combination of alienating/insulting the existing customer base, while doing absolutely nothing to attract good customers.
posted by schmod at 9:24 AM on April 13, 2011


The ads that tell you to man up and drink this light beer? Don't those seem like a Simpsons gag from 20 years ago.
posted by dglynn at 9:24 AM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Manwich Heat & Serve was introduced in 2004. It contains both the seasoned tomato sauce and ground beef in a microwavable bowl.

Eeewwwwwwww.

Any sexism involved pales next to the horrifying image of the product.
posted by Forktine at 9:25 AM on April 13, 2011


Big ideas come out of Big Pencils

Dammit that was a hilarious absurdism of a tagline until they went and put sexual innuendo into it.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:26 AM on April 13, 2011


But, we're talking about it and viewing the spots on youtube right? I suspect someone in the Leo Burnett ad agency is having quite the chuckle about this right now.
posted by modernnomad at 9:26 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


it means you're too much of a pathetic loser to heat ground beef and tomato sauce together without having someone mix it for you beforehand.

Ground beef? More like 5% ground beef, 95% the other unsavory parts that the factory farm grafted off the diseased bovine and other animals and ground up with the 5% ground beef.
posted by blucevalo at 9:27 AM on April 13, 2011


You would think that "watery ketchup in a can" would be a sort of genericised product that wouldn't need marketing ... but it turns out that you'd be wrong.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:27 AM on April 13, 2011


Cheeseburger in a can.
posted by adamrice at 9:28 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


More like 5% ground beef, 95% the other unsavory parts that the factory farm grafted off the diseased bovine and other animals and ground up with the 5% ground beef.

Hey, leave Mike's Hard Lemonade out of this!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:28 AM on April 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


To be fair, the pencils are actually just thick 3B pencils that were kept around the offices for note-taking, doodling and such. Burnett was never really known for much of a macho culture (other than the Marlboro Man). As Uncle Leo put it, they cultivated more of an image of "sodbusting corniness." Now they are mostly known for shit concepts.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:29 AM on April 13, 2011


I don't actually know who buys their godawful product.

Teenagers, mostly. Is there any alcoholic product in this country that's not being marketed to underage drinkers?
posted by Copronymus at 9:30 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whole chicken in a can.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:32 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, come to think of it, the gays also tend to have better taste than that, so I don't actually know who buys their godawful product.

Teenagers and/or early-20s women who can't stand beer and don't have to apologize for drinking "girly" drinks. I drank that sort of thing for a while until I discovered Scotch. (Now that gave all my friends whiplash, let me tell you.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:32 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


> I wonder if Mike's Hard Lemonade actually did the market research into who actually buys their product before producing that ad.

I've never worked on it, but I am certain they researched and market-tested the shit out of the ad campaign before it reached the public.

> You would think that "watery ketchup in a can" would be a sort of genericised product that wouldn't need marketing ... but it turns out that you'd be wrong.

Getting people to buy anything that's a more expensive, lower-quality version of stuff they already have or can make themselves is the essence of marketing.
posted by ardgedee at 9:33 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]



Teenagers, mostly. Is there any alcoholic product in this country that's not being marketed to underage drinkers?


Johnny Walker Black/Blue/Green?
posted by spicynuts at 9:34 AM on April 13, 2011


Teenagers, mostly. Is there any alcoholic product in this country that's not being marketed to underage drinkers?

Johnny Walker Black/Blue/Green?



Oh, please. I mostly drank single malts in high school, thank you very much.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:37 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Mike's Hard Lemonade actually did the market research into who actually buys their product before producing that ad.

They know they've already captured the teenage / sorority / early 20's woman market. They're not even concerned about that. They're trying to expand their market to include the guys/boyfriends who (correctly) see Mike's Hard Lemonade as a weak excuse for an alcoholic beverage.
posted by naju at 9:37 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Getting people to buy anything that's a more expensive, lower-quality version of stuff they already have or can make themselves is the essence of marketing.

This is at least 75% as sad as a three-legged puppy.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:38 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


But, we're talking about it and viewing the spots on youtube right? I suspect someone in the Leo Burnett ad agency is having quite the chuckle about this right now.

It strikes me that if you've inspired the public to talk about how awful your ads are and how disgusting your product is, you've kind of backfired.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:38 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ground beef? More like 5% ground beef, 95% the other unsavory parts that the factory farm grafted off the diseased bovine and other animals and ground up with the 5% ground beef.

I believe that if the Founding Fathers had seen what we call "beef" the Constitution would have been a very different document.
posted by tommasz at 9:39 AM on April 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is at least 75% as sad as a three-legged puppy.

As sad as a puppy with two-and-one-sixteenth legs?

That's pretty sad.
posted by Zozo at 9:39 AM on April 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


But, we're talking about it and viewing the spots on youtube right? I suspect someone in the Leo Burnett ad agency is having quite the chuckle about this right now.

We have critical thinking skills, so you needn't worry.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:40 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Few things annoy me more than the idea of "manliness". From absurd books like "real men don't eat quiche," to people who refer to something as "girly" or "gay."

Here's the thing, unless you can say "When I was killing nazi's," without referring to a video game, it's very possible that your idea of manliness comes from what you saw on television or read on the internet. In short, it's not actual characteristics or actions, it's presentation. John Wayne wasn't "manly", he played "manly." I'll take Audie Murphy over any character that John Wayne ever played, not for being "manly" but for being human, flaws and all. Most "manly men" these days would have called Murphy a "fag".

When your ideas of "manliness" don't, by definition, slander my daughter we can talk.
posted by Macphisto at 9:40 AM on April 13, 2011 [31 favorites]


I wanted to say something, but was corrected by my wife before I could.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 9:40 AM on April 13, 2011


Mike's Hard Lemonade, in my experience, is pretty much interchangable with Smirnoff Ice as far as demographics go. It's pretty much for people who want to drink alcohol, but not have to actually taste it or the robust beverages it's usually contained in.

Think people who haven't developed a taste for beer. Sadly, that's probably teens as well as people in their early 20s. The whole "manly" angle works well, as it gets men to drink what's essentially a fruity drink without feeling guilty that they're breaking MAN LAW. I think they even label it as "beer" or "malt liquor" since it's made through a weirdo filtered-malt-beverage process like most alcopops in this country (bottled mixed drinks count as spirits, tax-wise, so it's easier to just make very light beer and filter out anything with any flavor). And I get the feeling they don't scare away women, as well, since it's perfectly fine for a woman to be manly. God forbid a man be effeminate, though.

Mixed drinks like rum and coke probably satisfy the same urge, but not as convenient.

Incidentally, I remember seeing in Beer Wars, a documentary on the microbrew industry, that Mike's Hard Lemonade is an independent company that had a woman as their CEO for a good part of their history, which is particularly unusual for the beer industry. Worse than industry as a whole.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:41 AM on April 13, 2011


bottled hard lemonade is pretty disgusting. vodka lemonade can be rather good. lemonade fermented to 6% or so in a homebrewing setup? UTTERLY DELICIOUS (and does not contain malt, unlike Mike's. Just lemons and sugar and yeast and booze).

As for this? I guess the next time I feel like indulging my sloppy joe cravings, it'll be store brand sauce.
posted by jtron at 9:42 AM on April 13, 2011


Do I have to turn in my girly-man-friendly card because I laughed at the Manwich commercial?

I mean, I understand and appreciate humor in all its forms. I don't approve of it, but I still laugh
posted by thanotopsis at 9:42 AM on April 13, 2011


Manwich - Hair.
posted by dabitch at 9:47 AM on April 13, 2011


Dumb girl commercial.
posted by brenton at 9:49 AM on April 13, 2011


Update: the Manwich "Girly Men" spot has been removed from YouTube by Adland and can be seen here. [ http://adland.tv/commercials/manwich-hair-2011-15-canada ]
posted by wensink at 9:56 AM on April 13, 2011


My entry for manliest food in a can: Potted Meat Food Product. Yeah: "food product."

Ingredients: Mechanically separated chicken, pork skin, partially defatted cooked pork fatty tissue, partially defatted cooked beef fatty tissue, vinegar, less than 2% of: salt, spices, sugar, flavorings, sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:00 AM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


mccarty.tim: "Mike's Hard Lemonade, in my experience, is pretty much interchangable with Smirnoff Ice as far as demographics go. It's pretty much for people who want to drink alcohol, but not have to actually taste it or the robust beverages it's usually contained in."

Yep. Fratboys.
posted by brundlefly at 10:01 AM on April 13, 2011


Mike's at the ballpark: Bad Idea. Dad buys "lemonade" for child at game, child placed in foster care.
posted by philokalia at 10:02 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I blame the current fashion for putting 'man' in front of everything: manwich, man-flu, manbag. Findus did a crowd-sourcing ad comp recently that featured 'mancakes' (ie manly pancakes).

Does this mean that ordinary stuff - sandwiches, flu, bags, pancakes - are just too girly to be tolerated and need a bit of manning up? What else needs rescuing from this horrific femininity? Cardigans? Sun tan lotion? Trees? Cats? Where are the Mancats? Manconifers? Mandigans? This is an important question that needs to be answered.
posted by Summer at 10:05 AM on April 13, 2011


Shit like this infuriates me.

I'm a man. I'm a big ol' manly man, with a beard and a beer gut.

I motherfucking hate this performative-ass bullshit over masculinity with a passion. I hate being pandered to, I hate being told that if I'm a man I can't do certain things because I enjoy them.

Fuck you, Manwich and Leo Burnett — you do not want to get into a masculinity contest with me, you overcompensating misogynists, because you'll lose on your own terms. Manwich rhymes with "bitch," and sounds like a spit roast. And if you ever fucking slap me, I will fucking end you.

I hate the fucking "man-" prefix, the idea that I have to contextualize behaviors as "manly" in order to be permitted to do them. I find no solace in this externally constructed masculinity.

They've got an LA office. I'm pretty sure I can out drink, out fuck and out fight (and certainly out cuss) anyone that works there. Wonder if they'll take me up on it.
posted by klangklangston at 10:07 AM on April 13, 2011 [25 favorites]


Oh, please. I mostly drank single malts in high school, thank you very much.

The question wasn't 'what do teenagers drink". The question was 'is there any alcohol that is not being marketed to teenagers'. I'm trying to think of any Johnny Walker ads that are about anything other than luxury, exclusivity and wealth. I can't think of any. Those aren't the tools used to market to teenagers. I'm more than willing to be proven incorrect
posted by spicynuts at 10:09 AM on April 13, 2011


What else needs rescuing from this horrific femininity? Cardigans? Sun tan lotion? Trees? Cats? Where are the Mancats? Manconifers? Mandigans?

We've already got manties...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:09 AM on April 13, 2011


The problem with these ads isn't that they make one gender look terrible, its that they draw on the worst parts of the other gender's stereotypes.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:10 AM on April 13, 2011


OH BOY a chance to base my selfhood around consumption!
...
Oh, please. I mostly drank single malts in high school, thank you very much.

I liked that part.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:10 AM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Does this mean that ordinary stuff - sandwiches, flu, bags, pancakes - are just too girly to be tolerated and need a bit of manning up? What else needs rescuing from this horrific femininity? Cardigans? Sun tan lotion? Trees? Cats?

Yeah, this seems like a more obnoxious version of the manly cupcakes we saw a while back. It gets so butch that it winds up looking gayer than a Republican senator's secret Tom of Finland collection.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:11 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, klang. You're so rugged.
posted by jtron at 10:12 AM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


The question wasn't 'what do teenagers drink". The question was 'is there any alcohol that is not being marketed to teenagers'.

I thought it was marketed to teenagers, which is why I never would have touched it as a young man.

Athough it does go well with HAMBURGER.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:13 AM on April 13, 2011


"Does this mean that ordinary stuff - sandwiches, flu, bags, pancakes - are just too girly to be tolerated and need a bit of manning up? What else needs rescuing from this horrific femininity? Cardigans? Sun tan lotion? Trees? Cats? Where are the Mancats? Manconifers? Mandigans? This is an important question that needs to be answered."

It's the paroxysms of desperately insecure men flailing about for a place to retrench their eroding privilege.

It's trying too hard, and we're supposed to laugh with this craven terror, because aren't we all being feminized (which is bad because women are bad) and losing that specialness that makes us men (like making more money and having our opinions deferred to and being able to force others to have sex with us). We're supposed to grasp that kernel of truth while laughing with relief that we're not as far gone as THESE guys, the ones in the ads. And worse, those guys are gender traitors in the war of the sexes!

But then, if we get too homosocial, ZOMG, isn't that gay? Which is also bad!

It's bullshit. I'd boycott Manwich, but I'm a vegetarian (I know! Sissy city!) so already have a defacto boycott going.
posted by klangklangston at 10:14 AM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh, klang. You're so rugged.

Did you just give him a little push?
posted by Summer at 10:14 AM on April 13, 2011


"Oh, klang. You're so rugged."

And I have a whole choreographed dance to "Tainted Love."

I contain multitudes.
posted by klangklangston at 10:15 AM on April 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


But then, if we get too homosocial, ZOMG, isn't that gay? Which is also bad!

Me and my gay flatmate:

"At least I'm not a girl."

"At least I'm not gay."
posted by Summer at 10:17 AM on April 13, 2011


Personally I found the violence in each ad quite upsetting.
posted by jnrussell at 10:17 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]



My entry for manliest food in a can: Potted Meat Food Product. Yeah: "food product."


I humbly request you seek out the nearest Polish food outlet and saunter directly to the canned food aisle. I believe you will re-think your position quite quickly.
posted by spicynuts at 10:19 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


They've got an LA office. I'm pretty sure I can out drink, out fuck and out fight (and certainly out cuss) anyone that works there. Wonder if they'll take me up on it.

Pictures or it didn't happen. Picture must include said beer gut.
posted by spicynuts at 10:20 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's MANFILTER.
posted by Summer at 10:22 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


They've got an LA office. I'm pretty sure I can out drink, out fuck and out fight (and certainly out cuss) anyone that works there. Wonder if they'll take me up on it.

Wait, what? Your response to some douche saying manliness is one particular set of behaviours is to boast that you can "out drink" and "out fuck" them whilst also enjoying those behaviours they see as feminine? Doesn't that just feed in to the same mindset, than manliness is equated with drinking/fucking/fighting as sport or whatever?
posted by modernnomad at 10:28 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


jnrussell: "Personally I found the violence in each ad quite upsetting"

I did too. It celebrates bullying and aggressive responses. Yuck.

klangklangston: "and losing that specialness that makes us men (like making more money and having our opinions deferred to and being able to force others to have sex with us)"

My son will tell you that what makes Boys special is the ability to toot and burp on command. The louder the noise, the more special it is. Thus far, he and his friends...they're VERY special.
posted by dejah420 at 10:28 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I never thought of the Mike's Hard Lemonade intern as being girly, more of an inept man-boy.
posted by electroboy at 10:33 AM on April 13, 2011


I buy Mike's Hard Lemonade every now and again. It makes a good mixer.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:34 AM on April 13, 2011


The ads that tell you to man up and drink this light beer? Don't those seem like a Simpsons gag from 20 years ago.

You know, I hate dumb-ass pandering ads as much as the next former Adbusters contibutor (for real!), but the ability of Coors Light to transform itself, inside a generation, from something the girls in my university dorm who didn't really like the taste of beer drank to the great Maxim-crossbranded temple of frat-jock chug-a-lugging is a staggering monument to the power of marketing.

It'd be like the Democrats rebranding themselves as the political party of bowhunters. Or Greenpeace rebranding itself as the collective action group for . . . uh . . . bowhunters also.

That noted, if you're in the market for a can of Manwich, I'd argue that insecurity about your sexual identity is among the least of your problems.
posted by gompa at 10:35 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


gomba is really just looking for somewhere to go bowhunting.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:36 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


The ad that spawned a million playground assaults.
posted by Summer at 10:36 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, instead of beating up the wimps, show your product making them heros. And with chair kicking. And violence resolving the situation that made the boy become a man.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:43 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


gomba is really just looking for somewhere to go bowhunting.

Fuckin' A. Got me a case of Mike's Hard, a half-dozen cans of Manwich and some Hungry Man dinners, plus some Coors Light and a quart bottle of Zima, and I'm lookin' to go shoot me some b'ars. Big hairy ones. Deep in the woods. Without any girly men and frilly ladies around. Just guys around a campfire, eating raw meat and pissing on trees. Hard men alone in the woods. Hard. Men. Who's with me? Fellas? Brahs?

/rejected copy for Leo Burnett "Backwoods Party Contest" ad
posted by gompa at 10:44 AM on April 13, 2011


Meanwhile...Is anyone else creeped-out by the latest Doritos spot? The one with the creepy office worker sucking Dorito powder off a co-worker's fingers? Just...wrong. Definitely not endearing to the brand.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:44 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


This thread turned into gay porn pretty quickly.
posted by Summer at 10:48 AM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I blame the current fashion for putting 'man' in front of everything: manwich, man-flu, manbag. Findus did a crowd-sourcing ad comp recently that featured 'mancakes' (ie manly pancakes).

Slight correction: Manwich goes way back. I used to eat it when I was a kid and that was around 20 years ago. I just wikied Manwich and it was introduced in 1969.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:49 AM on April 13, 2011


Oh God that Doritos spot.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:49 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Manwich goes way back

Ah. I'm not from America.
posted by Summer at 10:52 AM on April 13, 2011


This thread turned into gay porn pretty quickly.

Metafilter: Gay porn.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:52 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


and a quart bottle of Zima

Have I told you guys about my bet? Let me tell you about my bet. It is a bet-for-all-seasons. Basically what it is is that the loser, for a week or so, must order a Zima first whenever he or she is ordering a drink in public. The loser must wait for the confused bartender/waiter to say "Um, we don't have Zima." before they may order their real drink.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:02 AM on April 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


I've always been under the assumption that no one ever bought Manwich. I still am. Anyone actually purchase this stuff, or know anyone who does?

I sort of see these sorts of ads as a desperation hail-mary kind of campaign to sell things no one actually wants. Given that, is it any wonder the ads are noteworthy for their level of ridiculous? If the ads didn't go viral as awful they'd be ignored.

It's like the Carl's Jr. turkey burger commercial. How the hell would you sell a turkey burger at a place selling bacon burgers and fries unless you make a meaningless connection between ground turkey meat and hot chicks?

It's suppose to be stupid. One doesn't make a cogent and persuasive argument for why people need Manwich. You just don't.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:02 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a thread about meat products, manliness, and alcohol. Hell, I think that's how they make gay porn.
posted by dglynn at 11:03 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm lookin' to go shoot me some b'ars.

I assume that b'ar stands for bezoar, which, I assume, is somehow related to the origins or productuib of "Manwich". Bring things nicely full circle.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:05 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always been under the assumption that no one ever bought Manwich.

I ate it occasionally growing up and through college. It's alright. I mean, sloppy joes are sloppy joes. The best sloppy joe is only marginally better than the worst one.
posted by electroboy at 11:09 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ralph will be very disappointed to hear that the Mike's Hard Lemonade he enjoys on occasion is not masculine enough.

On the other hand he likes chick flicks too, so maybe he's just very very secure.


(Seriously, the stuff tastes fine once in awhile. He loves lemonade in all its forms including that one.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:19 AM on April 13, 2011


Oh and I grew up eating Manwich in my family of origin. My mother would never have had a clue how to make a sloppy joe otherwise.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:20 AM on April 13, 2011


tommasz: "Eating it doesn't mean you're manly, it means you're too much of a pathetic loser to heat ground beef and tomato sauce together without having someone mix it for you beforehand."

Actually, eating it doesn't mean anything at all.

No, actually... thanks to this post, I realize that eating Manwich means that I'm supporting the kind of people who produce sexist and homophobic advertising.
posted by grammar corrections at 11:22 AM on April 13, 2011


Those ads really needed some old-fashioned shaving bunnies that are now diamonds.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:23 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's like the Carl's Jr. turkey burger commercial. How the hell would you sell a turkey burger at a place selling bacon burgers and fries unless you make a meaningless connection between ground turkey meat and hot chicks?

It's a nearly-500-calorie turkey burger. Sounds like a perfect fit for Carl's/Hardees.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:25 AM on April 13, 2011


On the other hand he likes chick flicks too, so maybe he's just very very secure.

Out of fairness to many people who don't like chick flicks, I don't like chick flicks for exactly the same reason I don't like big dumb action movies.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:27 AM on April 13, 2011


I like Manwich.

I like Mike's Hard Lemonade.

Fuck you.
posted by briank at 11:27 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Slight correction: Manwich goes way back. I used to eat it when I was a kid and that was around 20 years ago. I just wikied Manwich and it was introduced in 1969.

Ah. I'm not from America.


Still. Don't feed him no baloney.
posted by Hoopo at 11:28 AM on April 13, 2011


I think there's a correlation to the frequency of these masculinity-based ads and the popularity of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Think of it as contemporary consumer rebellion. I like the thing that's the opposite of what you want me to be.
posted by hellojed at 11:30 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


No Mr. T Snickers ad?
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:32 AM on April 13, 2011


Just lemons and sugar and yeast and booze

Sounds damn good, now I have to look up how to make this.

However, doesn't sugar+yeast == booze?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 11:36 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sugar+yeast+time = booze.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:38 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The best sloppy joe is only marginally better than the worst one.

I make sloppy joes from prime Kobe beef mixed with jamon iberico de bellota and whole truffles. Topped with saffron.

It totally tastes $10,000 better than Manwich.
posted by kmz at 11:38 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Have I told you guys about my bet? Let me tell you about my bet. It is a bet-for-all-seasons. Basically what it is is that the loser, for a week or so, must order a Zima first whenever he or she is ordering a drink in public. The loser must wait for the confused bartender/waiter to say "Um, we don't have Zima." before they may order their real drink.

This is almost as good as the Olive Garden Cheese Chicken game.
posted by odinsdream at 11:42 AM on April 13, 2011


I make sloppy joes from prime Kobe beef mixed with jamon iberico de bellota and whole truffles. Topped with saffron.

It totally tastes $10,000 better than Manwich.


SOUNDS GAY

*SLAP*
posted by windbox at 11:43 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a nearly-500-calorie turkey burger.

That's not really that many calories for an adult.
posted by electroboy at 11:45 AM on April 13, 2011


Yeah, sugar and yeast are what make booze. Of course, to be clear, table sugar is a terrible thing to ferment. It makes for sour, cidery flavors that don't really go well with most beverages. Hence the use of corn and rice as lightening agents in light beer instead, which ferment without much flavor added, so that you can use less malt (and thus a milder flavor) but keep the alcohol content up. And the use of dextrose (usually refined from corn) as a priming agent, which is the last bit of sugar given to beer or champagne to create carbonation in a sealed bottle (unless the beer is force-carbonated with an injection of CO2 as it's sealed or kegged, which is also perfectly fine).
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:49 AM on April 13, 2011


What's Wrong With Being A "Man"? (TED video and transcript at the link)
posted by flex at 11:50 AM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Zima

Back in college one Sunday afternoon (in a state where you can't buy booze on Sundays), we had consumed our small stockpile of alcohol leftover from the previous night, and were confronted with two options: Blatz and Zima. It's unclear to me now how those came to be in our possession, though I suspect a well-intentioned non-drinker and a gas station (where you can buy less-than-3.2-ABV on Sundays) were involved.

Anyway, there we were sullenly regarding these foul choices. Drinking them was out of the question, of course, but we required entertainment. It occurred to us that perhaps one could layer them, in the manner of a Black & Tan. With some careful pouring, we established that this was indeed possible - though the colors were so close it was hard to tell exactly where one ended and the other began.

We dubbed our horrid little cocktail the "Piss & Clear"; I still feel sorry for the guy who walked in late and was greeted with a chorus of, "Hey, drink this!"
posted by nickmark at 11:54 AM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I LOLed. Come on, people, clowny guy gets face full of food. You can't go wrong with the classics.
posted by Dano St at 12:04 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


On Zima: in the early 90's, the New York Press had an article in one of its summer issues where they took a Brita filter and tried filtering other beverages -- tomato juice, Pepsi, milk -- just to see what would happen. When they tried filtering Guinness, they got something pale, which they reported tasting strangely like Zima. They then theorized that if they actually did run a bottle of Zima through a Brita filter, it would just disappear entirely.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:06 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


In the history of mankind, no-one has ever reported any Zima derivative as tasting strangely like Guinness.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:10 PM on April 13, 2011


....It actually may have been something like Coors rather than Guinness. (I didn't drink at all at the time, so I didn't really pay attention.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:12 PM on April 13, 2011


Also, I would be tempted to smack someone who talked about their hair products at length. Not because it's unmanly, but because it's fucking tiresome.
posted by electroboy at 12:19 PM on April 13, 2011


It actually may have been something like Coors rather than Guinness
Common mistake, happens all the time, no worries...
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:19 PM on April 13, 2011


Oh my god this is infuriating.

Like, I need to take a 5 minute break from work (after my 5 minute break reading metafilter) to walk outside and decompress after watching that.

I mean, seriously, if the ad/marketing company I currently find myself working for ever produced a commercial that boiled down to "Shut up, Faggot, be a man!" I'd be out the door in a minute.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 12:34 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unless they were advertising Tom of Finland books.
posted by klangklangston at 12:38 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Unless they were advertising Tom of Finland books.


touché.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 12:41 PM on April 13, 2011


How to make hard lemonade. The recipe I used was similar except no malt extract and more sugar (for more LEMONADE POWER). The fermentation was done in a covered bucket, and I aerated daily for a few weeks. UTTERLY DELICIOUS.
posted by jtron at 12:44 PM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Here's the thing, unless you can say "When I was killing nazi's," without referring to a video game, it's very possible that your idea of manliness comes from what you saw on television or read on the internet.

Oh yeah, authentic masculinity is based on killing people! That's so much better than that sissy fake marketing masculinity!
posted by nasreddin at 12:47 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


flex

Can't tell you how thankful I am that you brought that talk to my attention. Thanks.
posted by Macphisto at 12:49 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


were confronted with two options: Blatz and Zima

Wait a minute. Why did you have to go and bring Blatz into this? Blatz Light Cream Ale was, hands down , one tof the best beers ever. I don't remember the ads, so it may not have been manly, but those seven ounce bottles of pure heaven were made for a summer afternoon.
posted by rtimmel at 12:51 PM on April 13, 2011


Seriously, the stuff tastes fine once in awhile.

And how would you describe its taste the rest of the time?
posted by dubold at 12:53 PM on April 13, 2011


I don't get how slapping the product you are trying to sell into a person's face is supposed to make me want that product.

"We're drowning this couple in a vat of Johnnie's Tomato Sauce. Now don't you love it? Get some today!"
posted by Splunge at 12:54 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, authentic masculinity is based on killing people! That's so much better than that sissy fake marketing masculinity!

I actually agree with you and I might not have expressed what I intended to with absolutely clarity. My intention was to point towards an age defined more by action (not to be instantly read as violence) than by consumption of an ideal "persona" as presented to them by mass media or popular culture which is where I perceive the currently idea of "manliness" is defined. And, even to that point, I don't think that era had it right because I can think of concrete examples of men oppressing others (women, other men, children) due to oppressive religious culture, or societal stricture that attempted to define what a man was or a family was.

My intention, instead, was to convey that being human and a constant attempt to be a better human is more rewarding an effort, than to be considered simply "manly."
posted by Macphisto at 1:00 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's the thing, unless you can say "When I was killing nazi's," without referring to a video game, it's very possible that your idea of manliness comes from what you saw on television or read on the internet.

Oh yeah, authentic masculinity is based on killing people! That's so much better than that sissy fake marketing masculinity!


You know, I could weigh in on this, I agree with the latter statement and the former, to some extent, but rather than lay out an argument, I'll just go ahead and paste some lyrics to the Woody Guthrie song, "Miss Pavlichenko"

Miss Pavlichenko, well known to fame
Russia's your country, fightin's your game
the whole world will love her, for long time to come
more than three hundred nazis fell by your gun

fell by your gun, fell by your gun
more than three hundred nazis fell by your gun

posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 1:02 PM on April 13, 2011


No one can compete with the White Death.
posted by electroboy at 1:11 PM on April 13, 2011


Doesn't that just feed in to the same mindset, than manliness is equated with drinking/fucking/fighting as sport or whatever?

Clearly some sissified milquetoast didn't read the recent Maxim article on Drunken Sportfucking.

It's actually pretty gay.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 1:19 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


'Sounds like a lot of you might have some sand in your manginas'
- Ernest Hemingway, Florida Keys, 1932
posted by longbaugh at 1:34 PM on April 13, 2011


No one can compete with the White Death.


Kinda missing the point of my posting the lyrics of Miss Pavlichenko...
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 1:42 PM on April 13, 2011


John Wayne wasn't "manly", he played "manly."

I thought John Wayne was usually the symbolic of patriarchal authority, law and order, civilization, stoicism, restraint, self-discipline, etc. If you had an ad with this kind of man in it today, it would come off as some kind of retro kitsch. The manly man and dumb man meme are both quite far removed from this older ideal - they tend to stand for being undisciplined, uncivilized, almost like an animal - meat-eating, violent, crude, sexually insatiable, etc., which means it is possible to read these memes as a variant of the pseudo-Freudian "countercultural" critique of mainstream society that seeks to liberate individuals from social norms, duties, obligations that repress our authentic desires, a critique that exists in certain strains of feminism.

Aren't these ads really about promoting a kind of girl power for men? Remember the slogan "Well-behaved women never made history?" These ads are also all about overturning the social order and not being a well-behaved man. The fact that they are also misogynist indicates that there is no non-misogynist identity for men - if you reject social roles, you've become this kind of anti-woman Manly Man; if you embrace social duties, you are proto-patriarchal. But ironically, the view of men as inherently misogynist and threatening to women is a typically conservative patriarchal attitude - women are only protected when men submit to the discipline of the social order and relinquish their animal impulses.
posted by AlsoMike at 1:47 PM on April 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


I have a can of Manwich sauce in my cabinet which awaits the right time for the purchase of the right meat, so that I shall make... Lambwiches.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:59 PM on April 13, 2011


The manly man and dumb man meme are both quite far removed from this older ideal - they tend to stand for being undisciplined, uncivilized, almost like an animal

There's a quite wonderful book that explains this historical shift quite well called "Manliness and Civilization." I'd say that your analysis of the more modern norm of masculinity is kind of misplaced. The reasons that the slogan "Well-behaved women never made history" is empowering is because the social order requires submission from women, something it does NOT usually require from men (now, across other social boundaries, such as race, class, and certain other power relationships, low-status men are expected to submit to high-status men, but far more rarely to women). So no, I'd say that this isn't "about promoting a kind of girl power for men."
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 2:20 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not so much a Stupid Man commercial. More so one that just makes you scratch your head. Just for Men - Daddy gets hooked up by his daughters?
posted by Fizz at 2:28 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I bought a can of Manwich sauce on sale last summer. I keep a lot of canned food around, because I live in a rural area, and we frequently get stuck for days - even a week or two - due to some weather-related disaster or another. One gets tired of eating canned chili, and I thought the Manwich stuff might add a little variety.

Cut to: day 5 of a snow storm last winter that would see me trapped at home for 8 days before I finally gave up and borrowed a neighbor's truck to get to the store. I have no fresh meat left, and produce-wise I'm down to one bag of frozen cauliflower and a navel orange. I have been reduced to dipping into my canned food stocks for at least 1 meal a day.

"Oh, there's that Manwich sauce," I thought. "I'll put that over some toast, it will be a comforting dose of childhood delight. Like eating macaroni and cheese."

My first surprise was that canned Manwich contains NO MEAT. You are supposed to brown ground beef and then mix them together.

"Well," I thought, "Sometimes I make Hamburger Helper without the hamburger. I'll give this a shot."

I opened the can and poured it into a bowl. Its texture was watery, like a very thin ketchup. The smell was halfway between "cheap spaghetti sauce" and "off-brand salsa from a jar." Also, salt. It contains so much salt that it actually smelled salty.

I tentatively dipped in a spoon and tried a little dab. It tasted like all of those things, plus "metal can."

I am an exceptionally frugal person, particularly when it comes to food. Plus, I was in somewhat dire circumstances. I was looking at potentially having to start rationing food within the next few days. Also, I am the opposite of a picky eater.

Even so? I dumped that shit right down the sink.

All of which is to say, I'm not surprised that its ad campaign is offensive. How else are you supposed to market such a useless, revolting product?
posted by ErikaB at 2:37 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pretty tangential, but my dad's a big hunter and around winter will make sloppy joes with venison meat he harvested. They're called "Sloppy Does."

They're not really that great, considering venison is so lean, but you get to tell all of the animal lovers in the family about it after you eat them and, if they happen to be around, offer them a sloppy doe, so that really makes up for it.
posted by gagglezoomer at 2:38 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


My first surprise was that canned Manwich contains NO MEAT.

Sometimes I make Hamburger Helper without the hamburger.

I tentatively dipped in a spoon and tried a little dab....


Do you drink soy sauce straight from the bottle as well?
posted by electroboy at 3:00 PM on April 13, 2011


No, but soy sauce is a condiment that's used sparingly on the final food. Like horseradish, or sriracha.

However, the proportions of Manwich sauce are 1 16oz can to 1lb ground hamburger. Which puts it in the same kind of category as spaghetti sauce: you're mostly going to be tasting IT, and therefore a taste test is (I think) warranted.

I'm not aware of a dish consisting of 2 cups soy sauce to 1lb ground hamburger, serve over toast. But I think I would probably not eat that, either.
posted by ErikaB at 3:06 PM on April 13, 2011


Not to mention that soy sauce, in tiny quantities by itself, is delicious.
posted by nasreddin at 3:24 PM on April 13, 2011


Jesus, seriously? Is it that you don't understand the relative scarcity of food, water, air, energy, and natural resources, or are you really so selfish and narcissistic that you don't give a fuck about anyone else in the entire world? I'm asking in all seriousness, I can't even begin to understand where you're coming from here

Why does being too lazy to cook make someone a 'pathetic loser'?
BTW check out The Gruen Transfer. Aussie panel show about ads
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:30 PM on April 13, 2011


the social order requires submission from women, something it does NOT usually require from men (now, across other social boundaries, such as race, class, and certain other power relationships, low-status men are expected to submit to high-status men, but far more rarely to women).

I think it's telling that your analysis of power does not go beyond what happens in interpersonal interactions. Homophobia is an obvious example of how the social order requires submission from men. Since gayness is a highly constructed notion, it includes a whole range of attributes beyond just sexual desire for other men, and that means that homophobia is a prohibition that also applies to men who happen to by straight.

A second example is the way that men are socialized into treating themselves as objects. One thing that's interesting to me is how football teams often have names with connotations of wildness or lack of control - fierce animals, natural disasters, "barbaric, uncivilized" tribes, etc. And yet the form of the game itself is the exact opposite - it's a highly controlled and structured game, with almost machine-like regularity. Maybe you can explain that as a way of intimidating the opposing team, but it may also describe the basic ideological mystification of men's submission to patriarchy. We imagine ourselves as free, unconstrained, uncivilized, etc., but secretly, our self-objectification turns us into an instrument of another, the one who stands on the side calling the shots.

The historical purpose of male socialization is to create the perception that being turned into cannon fodder on a battle field is a heroic liberation, a way to achieve true agency. This is male submission to power, even if interpersonally, a mutilated, decorated male war veteran gets more respect than a woman.
posted by AlsoMike at 3:31 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm amazed people still watch commercials. Any commercials. Why on earth would you do that?
posted by joannemullen at 3:48 PM on April 13, 2011


Mixed drinks like rum and coke probably satisfy the same urge, but not as convenient.

In Australia (and probably elsewhere, though I've never seen it here in Canada), you can get Jack Daniel's® and Cola in a single can. It's silly--basically just an alcopop--and yet, due to the manly image of Jack Daniel's, it's a man's beverage. In addition to Jack Daniel's, there are also variously branded rum & cola products as well, and they seem to serve the same niche.

Mind you, Australia also has those girly foil-wrapped beers with frilly cursive script on the label--basically beer in a wine cooler bottle--so, what the fuck.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:51 PM on April 13, 2011


Sloppy Does
I thought that meant what you're left with after the buck's already had his.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:17 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Manwich, ok - critique their ads, just don't ever eat that shit alright.
posted by thebestusernameever at 4:27 PM on April 13, 2011


In Australia (and probably elsewhere, though I've never seen it here in Canada), you can get Jack Daniel's® and Cola in a single can. It's silly--basically just an alcopop--and yet, due to the manly image of Jack Daniel's, it's a man's beverage. In addition to Jack Daniel's, there are also variously branded rum & cola products as well, and they seem to serve the same niche.

I drink these at festivals. You're lucky if you can get a JD and Coke though. Usually its Slate
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:16 PM on April 13, 2011


Real men don't use Flash. That site is hideous.
posted by june made him a gemini at 5:36 PM on April 13, 2011


I think it's telling that your analysis of power does not go beyond what happens in interpersonal interactions

Um, I wasn't analyzing power. I was analyzing the construction of identity, which is about the relationship between the self and the people/institutions/society around them. And please, tell me, what exactly is telling about it?

Homophobia is an obvious example of how the social order requires submission from men. Since gayness is a highly constructed notion, it includes a whole range of attributes beyond just sexual desire for other men, and that means that homophobia is a prohibition that also applies to men who happen to by straight.

I would argue that conformity and submission are two different things in this case. Yes, this is a power regime which requires self-enforcement. But what we're talking about is the construction of the masculine self, a major aspect of which is the idea that a man bows down to no one, be it a person, an employer, the state, etc. To do so is to be unable to assert yourself, which is a failure of masculinity. Homophobia is a key aspect of this as it is a rejection of those who do not conform to masculine ideals, whether or not they're even gay.

We imagine ourselves as free, unconstrained, uncivilized, etc., but secretly, our self-objectification turns us into an instrument of another, the one who stands on the side calling the shots.


Yeah, please see my comment about how men are expected to submit to higher-status men.

The historical purpose of male socialization is to create the perception that being turned into cannon fodder on a battle field is a heroic liberation, a way to achieve true agency. This is male submission to power

You know, without arguing too much about how this is a massive oversimplification, I would like to point, again, to how this submission is reconciled with the masculine ideal. The concept of the "Army of One" is hardly a new one: recruitment imagery often focuses on heroic males as individuals (god I love that last one), not members of a collective, certainly not as cannon fodder. Listen, I'm not arguing that men are never disempowered in society, that's absurd. What I'm arguing is that the masculine ideal is largely premised around not submitting to others, or authority, etc, with certain exceptions made with regard to higher status men. When this conflicts with social realities, there's a lot of friction or, in the case of recruitment, significant work must be put into mitigating that friction.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 11:07 PM on April 13, 2011


joannemullen: "I'm amazed people still watch commercials. Any commercials. Why on earth would you do that?"

'Cause it's so manly!
posted by Splunge at 3:19 AM on April 14, 2011


Yeah, please see my comment about how men are expected to submit to higher-status men.

I think this is again reducing everything to intersubjectivity. Everyone respects the wounded war hero, and within the universe of the social order, he's at the top. But he's no less objectified, an instrument of a nationalist/imperialist/capitalist ideology, despite his delusion of himself as heroically submitting to no-one.
posted by AlsoMike at 8:37 PM on April 14, 2011


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