I really don’t need to spend a lot of time pulling this Verizon commercial to pieces, but sometimes a target makes itself nice and big, and then just to make it irresistible they throw a giant pile of hypocrisy on top.
The ad is short and simple, with Dad coming in to tell his children about the fabulous new phone service plan he’s signed them all up for.
Dad: Now you can IM and send text, pix, and flix messages to anyone. On any network, as much as you want.
Kid: But we do that already.
Dad: Yeah, but now we can afford for Mom to quit her second job.
At which point Mom walks out through the kitchen and out of the house dressed as a giant taco, picking up a pile of restaurant flyers on her way out. Her husband says ‘hola’ just as she walks out the door, her two teenage children don’t really acknowledge her presence at all. She’s going out to a minimum-wage second job to pay for their cell phones and they don’t even say good-bye. Dad is the hero of course, for finding a better deal that will enable her to quit that job, rather than- oh, I don’t know, not expecting one member of the family to work multiple jobs to pay for a luxury for her ungrateful family?
The hypocrisy comes in here: back in 2004, Verizon received complaints from fatherhood rights activists about an ad for their DSL service which featured a father being mocked for his lack of internet-savvy by his wife and daughter. That ad was pulled from the air.
An interesting quote from that article:
After watching the ad, Sacks began urging listeners of “His Side” to protest to Verizon — contending that the company would not have commissioned a comparable ad with the parents’ genders reversed.
Beg. To. Differ.