Hey Football Fans, Wouldn't It Be Funny if You Were All Homosexuals?

I guess there are only a handful of memes available to Super Bowl advertisers, and one that seems to keep on resurfacing in recent years raises that eternal question: "Say, what if you were gay?"

There are sub-variations -- for example, "What if you did something gay by accident?" or "What if someone else mistakenly thought you were gay?" -- and then sub-sub-variations: The last question contains untold possibilities, including "What if someone who is not gay mistakenly thought you were gay?" and "What if someone who is gay mistakenly thought you were gay?"

But whatever the details, the concept always basically boils down to bringing You, The Viewer, (as represented by the protagonist in these ads) into contact with the Idea of Being Gay.

(I should also add that the Super Bowl TV spots are -- so far, at least -- just about men maybe being gay. I guess the idea of women maybe being lesbians isn't as funny. And also, there seems to be a rule that requires snack food to facilitate the blurring of sexual boundaries).



Previous entries include Snickers, which aired an ad during the 2007 Super Bowl. It showed two auto mechanics eating a Snickers-bar from opposite ends until they accidentally lock lips, a la the spaghetti scene in "The Lady and the Tramp" -- then expiating this transgression against their masculine identities by inflicting injury on themselves in outlandish fashion.

Then in 2010, CBS rejected an ad from showing two Super Bowl fans on the couch reaching for the same chip, which triggers the revelation of their erotic feelings for each other, expressed in a passionate kiss.

The latest entries in this crowded field come from Doritos, which has executed the classic PR stunt by circulating two ads which it claims to be trying to get into the Super Bowl broadcast.

In the first ad, two men are sitting in a sauna, visible only from the mid-torso up. The man seated to our right looks longingly at his sauna companion, checks to see if anyone is looking, and then reaches over to... steal a Dorito from a bag between his legs! After a brief brand message, we return to the sauna to see the second man draping his arm around the Dorito-stealer, who looks slightly alarmed as his muscular sauna-mate intones: "You like that?"

Now, this could be over some of your heads, but I'll try to explain why this is funny. Confusing as this may sound, the protagonist isn't actually gay -- he really just wanted some of the other man's Doritos! But it resulted in a very comical mix-up because the other guy somehow misinterpreted this desire for his snack chips as evidence of homosexuality.

And for some reason, the first guy still hasn't had a chance to explain that he's not gay! It's impossible to know his motives, but maybe he is letting the second guy think is he gay and eventually have his way with him because he wants the Doritos that much. In which case he is like a rent boy, except you pay him with snack chips. In short, Doritos appears to be encouraging male prostitution.

The second ad is even more complicated. A man is out trimming his hedges when he spots his neighbors enjoying a bowl of Doritos by their pool. He immediately becomes fixated on the bowl of Doritos, feverishly licking his lips, filled with unsatisfied yearning. Then the camera pulls back -- and we see the neighbors are two gay men in tiny jean shorts!

Meantime, the hedge-trimmer's wife or girlfriend comes up with a beverage for him -- just in time to see him apparently ogling his scantily clad male neighbors... which would make him a homosexual!

Too late, the hedge-trimmer grasps the tragic irony of this situation, because you see, he isn't a homosexual -- but now his wife thinks he is a homosexual, causing her to question their relationship! Adding insult to injury, at the end of the ad one of the men by the pool says to the other one: "See, I told you so!" Which means these two homosexuals also think he is a homosexual! What a hilarious mix-up!

1 comment about "Hey Football Fans, Wouldn't It Be Funny if You Were All Homosexuals? ".
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  1. Alfonzo Chavez from Compete Sports Media, January 25, 2011 at 12:10 p.m.

    You're headline really caught my attention, being someone who works for a media company whose audience includes gay football fans (as well as gay sports fans of many other sports and gay people who play them).
    While I do believe it is funny to see heterosexual men in situations where they are mistaken for gay, the sports and advertising communities would be mistaken if they only believed that the idea of gay men as sports fans and athletes is a joke (and a very tired one at that). I don't believe a single one of Greg Louganis' gold medals was joke, nor was the fact that Esera Tuaolo managed to play in the NFL for around ten years.
    When I think about the concept of sex with a straight guy, only one work comes to mind: disatrous.

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