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Do You Have A Problem With This Commercial (Redux)?

by Sergio
August 18, 2013 3:44 PM
  • |
McCourty twins

I just can’t help myself. Here I go yet again being ever vigilant. Am I being super sensitive or do I detect some more sinister going-ons here?

And I prefer to believe the latter, but here’s another ad I’ve came across which, when I saw for the first time yesterday, made me think: “Whoa! They actually did that???"

It’s a new TV spot for Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Body Lotion for men. O.K. I get it. Selling body lotion to men is a really hard sell, so it makes sense to get some masculine, hard-bodied football players to hype the product to say, in effect, to potential buyers that: “Hey, its O.K. guys. You can use body lotion and no one will think you’re… funny.”

So, for the spot they got Devin McCourty, who plays for the New England Patriots and his identical twin brother Jason, who plays for the Tennessee Titans (I had to look them up because I had no idea who they were, and in fact I was so clueless about them I actually thought it was some CGI special effect for a second).

A typical ad with some athlete hawking something I thought; that is, until, the final punchline gag for the spot, which I immediately called “The Black Man’s Dream,” when I saw it.

I suspect Palmer may see an increase in sales by black men once the spot is more widely seen.

But seriously folks, what exactly is the message the ad is really selling? You tell me. Am I out of line, or on point?

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  • renfield | March 19, 2014 1:56 PMReply

    I don't think there is any justification for it. It's plain racist.

    As a white guy, is the advertisement for me? I don't think so.

  • Shango | September 13, 2013 3:38 PMReply

    First of all mainstream media, especially commercials' ultimate goal is to influence your purchasing behavior to buy a product. With that being said there are always read between the lines subliminal messages to tap into your subconscious. So when you watch beer commercial and suddenly find yourself wanting that beer, voila! This is the science of marketing and advertising. When you analyze this commercial scientifically like a chemical in a lab you undoubtedly find some very shocking components being put into the subconscious mind of the viewer regardless of race. Basically the commercial says if you use this product you will be unstoppable (bulletproof) and have the sexual prowess of Black American male ( stereotype) Woman of all races will find you irresistible and the pu$$y will just fall in your lap (I apologize ladies) because your skin is so smooth from palmers.

  • DivaDoll | August 24, 2013 9:24 AMReply

    Well Serge, I know someone who would absolutely agree with you on this! As I watched the ad I kept thinking how ridiculous it was with players bouncing off the twins like rubber balls, them catching footballs with one hand, and that shot of them rubbing their smooth, coco butter rich, arms. I kept saying to myself that other than a bad CGI spot what's wrong with this ad? Then the two cheerleaders fell out of the sky into their arms. Really???????? I had to laugh because not only was I not expecting that but it was kind of absurd. Then I realized that it wasn't absurd at all from the point of view of black men wanting white women that we talk about all the time. Everyone on this thread who has gone on personal rants about you being off on this, complaining that there are bigger problems in the world, which there are, and how out of touch as a journalist you must be, aren't copywriters and obviously don't spend much time analyzing film and the image of the black man that are, and have been, portrayed as who we are as a people since Birth of a Nation. AND THAT FOLKS IS THE KEY! No matter how much we grow as a people, the Brute Negro stereotype will continue to be the most feared by white men and the most desired by white women. Somebody(s) at an ad agency wrote this commercial and set this scenario. Were they males? Probably. Were they black males? Kinda iffy here but maybe. Were they white women? Could be. On the flip side perhaps it's every white woman's dream as well. Also, there was an ad executive that presented this concept to the client with a storyboard. The company approved this copy and allowed the commercial to be produced. Would be nice if we could just let it all go, grow in our thinking, and not categorize or put labels on people.

  • Ivy Smith | August 20, 2013 7:12 AMReply

    What if it had been two white men, I'm just saying.

  • blackman | August 20, 2013 12:19 AMReply

    YOU A F.A.G.

    micheal strahan was the face for another lotion.

  • Richard Mckeithan | August 19, 2013 11:16 PMReply

    2 things..........we would point to any backlash of a white man dating a black woman as coming from a place of ignorance/hatred/racism from the Caucasians who would have a problem with it yet let a black man be seen with a female of another race and its a conspiracy that attacks our culture....i believe neo nazis speak similar rhetoric about how its not about hatred towards other races but preserving their own culture hmmmm........ secondly most "conspiracies" come down to money 9 times out of 10 and there has always been a danger with an all black cast in movies and misrepresents the product as being marketed to solely...well black people(an issue i wont get into but we should all agree is accurate) so just like any movie where they incorporate black characters but not enough to fuck up the marketing this commercial added other races to say hey we aren't selling lotion to just the ashy black ass motherfuckers.........oh and thirdly athletes and other masculibne icons been selling beauty products for a while now and you can easily see a commercial just like this with the black men being substituted with white men..............must we see an attack from everywhere.......kind of distracts you from the things that REALLY go bump in the night smh

  • AC | August 19, 2013 9:15 PMReply

    Not cool, Palmer's, not cool.

  • Crying Wolf | August 19, 2013 9:10 PMReply

    The girl on the left (i think) is either mixed, Latina, or some other non-White ethnicity.

  • Guy | August 19, 2013 10:09 AMReply

    Do you realized that this ad is two to three years old. And people are getting made about it now. Can we move on to something else to be pissy about.

  • Sweeta | August 19, 2013 10:06 AMReply

    I agree with the rest of the SANE people on this thread. You are not reaching and this ad is effed up.

  • Constanza | August 19, 2013 9:44 AMReply

    You have problems with reality, Sergio. You didn't even describe what you think the problem with the AD is, so I had to go the comments to be informed. That's right, your own commentators are better suited to be journalists than you.

  • Phred G | August 19, 2013 9:38 AMReply

    Uh…look a little closer…do a freeze-frame. The girl on the left is either mixed or a sistah. Checkout the nose. Either way I too am uncomfortable with the 'git me a GURL' puchline, whatever the hue. Especially since all their reasons had to do with playing better football.

  • FieldNegro | August 19, 2013 9:36 AMReply

    Its funny seeing white posters lying that they are black and then act as if they don't see color. Anyway when is a movie about Nat Turner gon get made and will all these color blind white people rush to go see it like they didn't see Malcom X?

    Disgusting ad by the way!

  • Allison | August 19, 2013 4:07 AMReply

    Black athletes date white women, athletes of all colors date cheerleaders, it happens. You seem to have a problem with reality Sergio. Maybe you should make a PSA telling Black men they are only allowed to date Black women and commercials are only supposed to have same race couples. Bet you were one of those people having a fit at the Cheerios commercial with the Black man, his White wife and their biracial daughter. LOL.

  • Kelly | August 18, 2013 11:48 PMReply

    As a white, nonAmerican woman, I personally feel uncomfortable about the manner in which black American men are represented, even overseas; it's a pretty tireless stereotype based around their value as athletes and 'physiques' and the associated wealth and overconsumption that this 'cohort' is supposed to aspire to, as though there was nothing else they could possibly value or appreciate. With the plastic (usually) white trophywife as the cherry on top. There is virtually no other representation of black men other than the perennial criminal stereotype.

    I personally had a WTF reaction to the ad, for the reason posited here and the fact that I hate the way my gender is cannibalized by the media; I can empathize with a self-aware black man taking offence. So hell yes, I think the problem is even bigger than the sneaky shit that's going on here. Call me a whiny bitch, but I'd rather be a hypersensitive liberal than a pig-ignorant denialist.

  • In this world. | August 18, 2013 11:19 PMReply

    Your average negroe has a superior body and lower intellect.

  • JEFTCG | August 18, 2013 10:24 PMReply

    Once again, Sergio, I am in agreement with you. The folks who don't have a problem with this are asleep.

  • Darkan | August 18, 2013 10:19 PMReply

    I was like, "I don't see nothing wrong with this commercial at all"... then I got to the end and was like Wow... WTF!!! You people are so Goddamn desensitized to subliminal/institutionalized racism that you have no idea what things mean anymore! That was a tremendous slap to our sisters of color and it promotes and perpetrates the continuous stereotype of black athletes claiming white women as the final and best prize once they receive the millions. You people are ******* CLUELESS and have lost touch with your ancestry and culture if you truly believe that there is nothing wrong with that commercial!!! The black culture is clearly lost. God Bless Tim Wise, a WHITE MAN whose sees more about racial inequality than some black people do!
    Thank you for continuing to bring this to our attention Sergio. God Bless you brother and continue to fight the GOOD fight!!!

  • Rocko | August 18, 2013 9:39 PMReply

    Yea you're reaching Sergio, and at the end of the day it's a lotion ad. I see how you "could" look at it as some type of message but then again, it's up for interpretation. I'm a black man from the South and I've seen racism first hand, I've dated black and white women, and I have relatives that are married to white men and woman, so for them commercials like this make sense. It's some people's truth on this world you know, interracial couples and all. In the Cheerios commercial they made an interracial commercial, and now Palmer's did with this, and hopefully next month they'll do a Mexican/Asian couple. Face it people, it exists, but just because every time you don't see a black on black couple, you can't automatically say it's racism guys. And at the end of the day, Hollywood is going to be just fine with or without support from "Black America", it'll be business as usual for them, so all of the complaining, boycotting, petitioning and shit needs to stop. If you don't like it, go come up with your own company and shoot commercial spots for it using only black people could be a solution. (sarcasm)

  • Kool | August 18, 2013 8:23 PMReply

    I am finally convinced, Sergio. You have TOO much time on your hands. SMH.

  • ALI | August 18, 2013 7:26 PMReply

    SERIOUSLY??? I'm black and this is so damn annoying you are REACHING! Just STOP IT!

  • QBN | August 18, 2013 6:27 PMReply

    It's well known that a lot of Black pro athletes have White wives, so maybe it was a play on that stereotype, but what I took from it was "use this lotion and you'll get girls".. period.

    Honestly Black folks read too much into things sometimes.. like the interracial Cheerios commerical, people trying to say "oh the Black father was asleep on the couch reinforcing that the Black male is lazy." C'mon people..

  • Nuut | August 18, 2013 6:07 PMReply

    Oh looord!!! REALLY GETTING TIRED OF THIS "IT'S RACIST, IT'S RACIST" BS!!! Geez!!! BLACK AMERICANS bitch about EVERYTHING!!! It's become so uncomfortable that you can't even joke about race cos everything is offensive now.

    They're freaking athletes and the girls are cheerleaders! Why don't you people see it as that and nothing else??? Why does it always have to be about color? You guys continuously keep bitching about everything and pulling the race card. I like this site when it focuses on film and entertainment and ONLY that, not these lame posts at creating unnecessary controversy.

    And THIS is coming from an African! In case some dumbass says I'm racist cos they think it's coming from a white person -- which shouldn't even be the case even if I was white. SMDH!!!

  • kim | August 18, 2013 4:42 PMReply

    Unfortunately the society we live makes us doubt all sorts of things. I can see both sides believing their own truth about this commercial. This goes to show that advertisers are willing to cause any type of controversy to sell their products. The one thing we need to understand is that interracial couples, friends, families all exist is this scoiety as well and we all need to accept it and stop looking at it as a disrepect to someones race.

  • AJ Walker | August 18, 2013 4:18 PMReply

    No, I don't think you are wrong at all. As a male, I'm so tired of the perpetuation of the stereotype of athletes sole prize is to get the girl, preferably a cheerleader. How can women still support, allow and follow that for their daughters, who may all NOT look like cheerleaders incidentally is beyond me. Compound that by being a Black male, this irks me every way till Tuesday that the two women who fall into their arms are white. It socializes our young males who are into sports to look for this as the pinnacle of sports success. And what does it say to young Black girls? You aren't desirable to any athlete because you are the wrong color? Again, why do we allow this?

  • Sweeta | August 19, 2013 10:02 AM

    Please speak up, so they can hear you in the cheap seats!!!

  • Angela | August 18, 2013 3:55 PMReply

    Seriously, seriously... once again a POC plays the race card, becomes over sensitive and over analyzes the aesthetic of two black men catching two (white) cheerleaders. They're selling lotion calm down! I am a black woman and honestly I am sick and tired of everything being about race it isn't and were never going to see the spread of ALL races being seen in media(in a variety of ways) if we're always critiquing and digging past the simplicity of some media.

  • Rocket | August 19, 2013 1:23 AM


    The guy who wrote this is not Black American. Try again.

  • scripttease | August 18, 2013 8:43 PM

    @AJ, I hear you loud and clear. Although you try not to believe the worst, this video is what it boils down to. People hate to hear the truth, they prefer blatant racism over subliminal racism, which in my opinion is the worst kind.
    This video is similar to the white hair care product that shows a black man with an afro, but after the product his fro turns into a clean cut..... or something like that. Another skin care product with three women at different stages of bad to good skin, and of course the black women had the worst, with the ending result being beautiful white skin.... SMDH. Acting like this crap don't exist (denial), damn sure ain't gone' make it go away... And the more love black people show towards each other (whenever that day comes), the more blatant these commercials will become. As far as the Cheerios commercial, my understanding it was white men who had the most problems.

  • Nuut | August 18, 2013 6:06 PM

    Oh looord!!! REALLY GETTING TIRED OF THIS "IT'S RACIST, IT'S RACIST" BS!!! Geez!!! BLACK AMERICANS bitch about EVERYTHING!!! It's become so uncomfortable that you can't even joke about race cos everything is offensive now.

    They're freaking athletes and the girls are cheerleaders! Why don't you people see it as that and nothing else??? Why does it always have to be about color? You guys continuously keep bitching about everything and pulling the race card. I like this site when it focuses on film and entertainment and ONLY that, not these lame posts at creating unnecessary controversy.

    And THIS is coming from an African! In case some dumbass says I'm racist cos they think it's coming from a white person -- which shouldn't even be the case even if I was white. SMDH!!!

  • AJ Walker | August 18, 2013 4:27 PM

    Angela. I'm not sure where you live, but as a Black male, I don't like the image this sends to other Black males who are in sports that the ultimate "prize" is a white girl.
    As a Black male, I don't like the message it sends to other Black females that they are always "less than" and not as desirable as potential mates to Black male athletes.

    As a female, whether Black or white, why is the perpetuation of this stereotype ok with you?

    Moreover, this is America, it's ALWAYS about what racial message is being communicated when you have a message aimed at Black people. This one says "Use this product and you'll be successful and get the white girl cheerleader. No, Black male athletes, Black girls aren't good enough, you should always be striving to get the white girls. To you Black girls, you are inferior to white women, even your own Black men don't want you."

    That's the message it's sending. Mass Media 101. How and why is that okay with you?

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