I can’t find a link to this ad, so I’ll have to describe it. It’s one of those Quizno’s ads in which people are tasting sandwiches and telling someone off-camera how great they are. One of the tasters is a woman who says, “It’s not lacking any meat! And that’s what real women need!” And then she lets out this totally phony, unnaturally high-pitched giggle. She sounds like a lunatic in hysterics. I can’t decide if I think they were going for Valley Girl and missed, or if it came out just the way they wanted.
I couldn’t help but feel like it’s making fun of women at the same time as it’s inviting us to enjoy Quizno’s. I mean, had she just laughed naturally, I’d have thought it was just a play on the unfounded correlation between men and meat that results in quotes like “real men don’t eat quiche”; as if all women are vegetarians and all men are maniacal carnivores. I thought maybe I was being oversensitive, so I looked up some other Quizno’s ads on YouTube and wherever I could find them.
That’s when I found the Baby Bob Superbowl ad. I mean, what the hell is this?
Bob is a genius, who by the way, happens to look like he’s an Eight-month-old. Like cartoon characters, Bob will always be the age he is today “” he never ages even though the people around him do. Bob was born smart and he started talking at three months. He doesn’t know how to walk and his motor skills are limited. This lack of mobility, dexterity and (by the way) molars “” annoys the heck out of him because he can’t do all the things that he wants to. His brains and infinite knowledge are both a blessing and a curse.
Well, only when he’s dealing with men like Andy Irons, who can do things Bob can’t do, and apparently can get a Quizno’s sandwich without Bob’s help. Holly McPeak is not so lucky; in order to get another sandwich like the one she enjoyed in her bikini on the beach with Bob, she has to give Bob what he wants (strap him to her front while playing volley ball).
What I’m seeing here is a man emasculated by being encased in a baby’s body. He can’t do many of the things an adult can do. But even in his condition, he still has power over women.
And in case anyone comes in here whining, no I’m not saying it’s the worst case of bigotry since Hitler, nor arguing it should be taken off the air. I’m just pointing out one more meta-message that puts women lower on the totem pole even than infant males.