Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Discover Card presents: My Idiot Husband, Chapter 46,789
Here's a chapter in Discover's Oops I Missed A Payment ad campaign that rankles a bit more than the others. It was bad enough when the credit card company was just trying to present itself as the Credit Card With A Heart because it won't triple your monthly interest charge and slap you with a $35 fine the first time you are an hour late getting your minimum payment in (the second time you are late, they take your house and send Rocky to break your kneecaps, but that's another story.) After all, anyone who has ever owned a credit card knows already that getting the fine removed from your card generally requires no more effort than a phone call and a threat to change issuing companies- that works at least once.
But this one adopts the All Too Familiar "Men are Irresponsible Little Children Who Must Be Rescued By the Wise Women they Somehow Begged into Marrying Them" theme, and seriously, haven't we seen enough of this? Calm, ever-suffering MommyWife is sitting on the couch explaining to the Understanding Because Hey I'm a Woman Too I've Got My Own Helpless Schmuck at Home Discover card rep that in a moment of weakness, she stupidly let her Idiot Pet Male have responsibility for the family credit card for a month, and wouldn't you know it, he Couldn't Even Manage to Make a Monthly Payment.
Well, what did MommyWife expect from the moron- she sent him out for milk once, and he came back with a puppy. We must assume that she checks on Hubby regularly to make sure he hasn't accidentally set himself on fire or used his allowance to buy lottery tickets. MommyWife and Understanding I've Been There Sister on the other end of the line share a We Are All In This Together moment as the elderly child MommyWife is attempting to raise rushes to get the puppy out of the house before it pees all over MommyWife's hardwood floors.
What the hell? Why does anyone think ads like this are funny, or smart, or anything but manipulative and insulting and downright stupid? Several YouTube posters congratulate themselves for thinking that this commercial is LOL awesome (later, they'll pat themselves on the back for refusing to see the racism in old Amos 'n Andy skits and loudly proclaim their motto to be "Lighten Up.") I really wonder about anyone who thinks ANY ad featuring Helpless BabyMan and Wise Woman is any more appropriate than the old Wise Man and SuperKlutz Helpless Woman ads of the 50s and 60s. Yes, they are very easy to make. Yes, they sound way-too-familiar themes that aren't supposed to make us think about it too much. But when they make anyone with a brain (I put myself in this category) react with "to hell with you, I'm not using this service because you have no respect for me," are they really accomplishing anything of value?