Msnowe's Blog

If you wear them, you die.

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on September 13, 2010

m.snowe picked up a large cup of coffee on her early Monday morning commute. She was ten sips in at her desk when she finally observed the sleeve that was slipped over her cup in order to keep the hot liquid inside from burning her hands off. It was a white sleeve with a green block, which inside contained white lettering.

Here’s what it said. (When m.snowe read this, she almost spit her joe.):

Every time you WEAR SWEATPANTS in public, a single guy leaves NEW YORK.”

I’ll give the people at one point for at the very least eliciting my reaction. But that’s where m.snowe stops. It’s also not linked here–you could go there yourself, but why give them the web traffic? Basically, it’s a shopping website. A dime a dozen, really.The site is plastered with other detestable slogans, like:

If your frenemy sees you out in public in your tv-watching clothes, the frenemy wins.”

What makes this marketing so detestable is that it is playing directly on insecurities. Sure, you could say that Dockers add about “being a man” is offensive in the way that it reinforces gender stereotypes and subtly plays on a man’s insecurities, his fear of not being masculine enough. That’s surely evil. But this is worse. Much worse.

It is not telling you what you should wear–it’s telling you what you shouldn’t, and how you will inevitably feel if you make the irrevocable mistake of doing so. There isn’t one lick of “if you wear our clothes, you will defeat your enemies,” there is only “if you wear that baggy shit, you will die.” I really wanted to see a slogan saying “the tapered bottoms and waist elastic of your sweatpants will cut off the circulation of blood to your heart and brain, effectively making you a unloveable bloated drone of a human being,” but I guess they didn’t have the research to back up that one.

Does negative advertising like this actually work? Obviously, this ad is meant to elicit a knowing chuckle from the likes of m.snowe. But she’s not smiling. Perhaps we’re too serious here. But the problem with this joke is that there is too much truth right below the surface of it–at least in the eyes of some dunderheads.