Monday, August 24, 2009

They'll be lucky to have you, after a few minor adjustments

Middle-aged guy nervously adjusts his tie in the mirror as he tells his teen-aged daughter doubtfully "it's been a long time since I've had to wear a tie..."

Teen-aged daughter: "Dad, you're going to get this job, I know it." And she holds up a box of Just for Men hair coloring.

(Yes, I've snarked on Just for Men before- check the archives. Some companies just keep gift-wrapping presents for me. )

The guy uses Just for Men to change his hair from gray to brown. Next thing you know, he's walking through the door and telling his anxious daughter "Honey, it looks like I'm going to need......some more ties!"

"YES!" Exclaims daughter, and she gives her dad a hug. Aww, how sweet. I guess Dad can keep custody now.

Ok, so what's the big deal? What's so snark-worthy about this commercial. Simply this: As in all "Just for Men" hair coloring ads, we are being sold the concept that there's something WRONG with having gray hair. Gray hair means you don't get dates. Gray hair means that the cute girl at the bar won't give you a second glance. Gray hair means that you are doomed to remain unemployed and your teen-aged daughter is going to have to go live with mom Upstate.

And what happens if gray-haired guys use Just for Men? They get dates. They get picked up by the cute girl at the bar. They get jobs. They get their daughters' respect and admiration.

Really, why stop there? Why don't we see commercials where the daughter hands her father not just a box of hair coloring, but a paper bag which contains Hair Coloring, Lifts, Botox, a two-month supply of Dexatrim and a Gym Membership? Because "they'd be lucky to have you," but they aren't going to give you a second glance unless you are younger-looking, taller, and slimmer, right?

I wish Just for Men would include the tagline "Because Once You Have Gray Hair, nobody is interested in you, period." I also wish their commercials would stop implying that every guy out there who has gray hair is a divorced loner who needs affirmation from the Little Girl in His Life. There's something really creepy about seeing daughters begging their dads to pretend to be younger than they actually are. But maybe it's just me.


  1. This commercial creeps me out even more than the one you commented on previously. The daughter helping with the tie and waiting anxiously for news just has such a strong Oedipal (Electra?) theme it makes the whole ad...icky. I had visions of daughter kissing dad, making dinner and having a lovely June Cleaver incestuous relationship.

    (P.S. Hello from the Foobiverse)

  2. Ugh, yes, to all of the above.

    And Hello right back to you!

  3. At least they don't have an ad like this promoting a product for erectile dysfunction; the "Smiling Bob" range for Enzyte that has the man grinning the rictus grin of death is bad enough, thank you.

  4. How about the dad putting on a suit, selecting tie, and then dying his hair? My guess is the ad plays out this way because they can't show the daughter in the bathroom with him while the dad, presumably undressed, applies the hair coloring.

    And how about going to a job interview during the day while the daughter isn't in school? Is the dad interviewing on a Sunday?

  5. The guy struggles with the tie, too- what kind of job did he have before his stint on the unemployment lines? I'm guessing something to do with computers, if he isn't used to wearing a tie, considering the rather opulent-looking house he has. Seems like a white-collar guy- But the he doesn't strike me as the techie type, either. So it's anyone's guess.

  6. I still think that the two little girls who want their dad to color his hair and get a date because he'd "be a really good catch for someone" is creepier, and much more detached from reality, than this commercial. It's one thing to be a teen-aged girl who wants her dad to get a job. It's another thing to be eight years old and want your dad to date someone who is not your mom. I mean, get real, Just for Men.

  7. And nothing like reinforcing the age discrimination that goes on in the job market. Way to go, telling the older folks they'll never get a job if they actually *gasp* look like they're over forty. Experience? Knowledge? A solid work ethic? Why would any company want those? Psh! Who cares about hiring someone who'll be an asset? Hire someone who's been in the workforce half as long and have a good chance of getting someone with a weaker work ethic you'll have to invest time and resources into training--but you can pay them half as much as someone who'll be more productive. Looks good in the short-term, so who cares about anything else? *twitch* [/soapbox]