Bells and Balls



The Holidays are around the corner and the retailers are priming up for business. The advertisements for Black Friday and holiday savings have hit both paper and electronic media outlets. One commercial for Kmart has touched a nerve for some. It features a choir of men initially behind a table and finishing a song. It then pulls the table away to reveal the men’s lower  body halves covered only with their Joe boxers and using their genitalia to play, in bells, the melody Jingle Bells. The men are being objectified and are all the standard good-looking and well-built male. I find the commercial humorous, as I’m sure many do, however the classical stereotype being employed to sell merchandise has not changed. Again the insinuation of a play on words bells/balls and the typical well built, handsome, and light skinned actors is utilized to its fullest to reach the optimal amount of consumers. The problem isn’t the commercial it’s the fact that it works. Consumers prove this when they purchase Joe Boxer because of brand name recognition from this commercial. I wonder if we will ever get away from responding to inappropriate sales tactics by not buying products that use these tactics?


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