Ask the Best and Brightest: Are Truck Ads Homoerotic?
As a high school soccer player, I shared a locker room with the football team. Apparently my choice of the world's most popular sport indicated that I and my fellow teammates were all homosexual. Huh? Not that I debated the point with the tight end, but I reckoned there was a distinctly homoerotic undertone to our tormentors' camaraderie (me thinks thou dost towel whip too much). And I've started to notice that truck advertising– always mucho macho– is wandering into the same hyper-male territory. I refer here to the glossy Silverado pimpatorial in September's Car and Driver. "If you're a man's man, you need to be driving a truck's truck." What does that make a Honda Ridegline, an F-150's bitch? I like functional tools as much as the next guy, but I'm beginning to think truck maker's might want to ease-off on the gravelly-voiced steroid approach. Or not. What's your take?
GM Pulls Out
The ads show what a fashion statement trucks have been. The message is, if your a "man's man" then this is what you should drive. It screams desperation. The lowly Mullet followed the same path. In the early days it was known as "hockey hair" and worn by rugged individualists, like Gretzky. Times change though, and we're now in the ridiculously over the top "Achy Breaky Heart" stage of truck marketing.
The exagerated masculinity themes in truck ads don't strike me as any different than the image of sports cars enjoying the 'freedom' and fun of the open road. Chances are most pick-ups will never be used in any way that challenges their specs., and most sports cars probally spend half their life at low idle on a jammed freeway doing commuter duty. Our love affair with autos/trucks has never included a large dose of logic. As for me...I love my pick-up. Use it mostly for going to work and the market, however if it should ever come to pass that I suddenly find it necessary to deliver some huge macho load of steel to a bridge constuction site...located up on a steep incline...count me in dammit...I'm ready.
Has anyone brought up the Traverse ad during the Olympic coverage? I'm pretty sure Richard Simmons directed the filming.