Questions To Consider

  • What gender(s) is the ad targeted toward?
  • How would changing the gender of the audience change the ad’s message?
  • What is sexualization?
  • Why are women more often sexualized than men?

What We Think

Really, what the heck!? This is about as explicit as sexist media gets!

When Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine and Sammy Hagar of Van Halen (a popular 70s and 80s rock band) launched the alcoholic beverage Santo Mezquila — a combo of mezcal and tequila  — we didn’t take much notice. That is, until we saw the advertisements for it. But really, what did we expect from a couple of frontmen for bands that have sexism as a hallmark of their music?

Both the print ads and YouTube commercials feature thin, long-haired, light-skinned women writhing and casting come-hither glances at the camera in tight, cleavage-bearing tops. In one confusing commercial, a woman climbs into an empty bathtub wearing lingerie and high heels to sip her cocktail and suggestively suck on an ice cube. Even in the commercials where men are featured, only the women appear to be hyper-sexual, draped indelicately on a sofa or rubbing her cocktail class down her cleavage. The men, by contrast, are dressed in suits, laughing, drinking, and clinking glasses.

But the kicker in these ads is the main text: There are still places your tongue has never been.

Huh?

We’re not sure if they’re directing this cringeworthy line at an audience of men (“Is the woman in your life boring you? Try someone/thing new!”) or to women (“Hey ladies, we know you’re always busy sexually satisfying your fellas, but hey, here’s something else to [wink] taste.”), but either way, it displays women as only sexual beings in the service of men’s pleasure. It’s disappointing that an inventive new product would use such an antiquated marketing hook, and it’s time we end sexualization in this form — and all forms. — Amanda E. Snyder

Where We Saw It

YouTube, April 12, 2018