Did you know that alcohol has a gender? Well, in case any of the other examples written by myself and other fellow About-Face writers hadn’t convinced you, 1800 Tequila is here to really drive that message home.
In a series of ads meant to emphasize the supposed purity of this brand, two specifically stand out as particularly sexist and demeaning. The first reminds us that “real men” don’t dress in clothes that are clearly feminizing and emasculating – like baseball caps! And capri pants! Which, you know, sounds like many people’s summer wardrobe:
Apparently, if you like to be cool and protected from the sun, and if you wear something that is aggressively marketed towards women, like capri pants, you are in danger of being seen as a weak little boy – who prances, no less. But Tequila 1800 can clearly help you with this – I’m not entirely sure how a serving of alcohol and obeying his bark to “Dress like a man, and drink like one!” automatically increases one’s testosterone, but I guess Tequila 1800 is hoping that most people don’t think that through too much.
The second commercial in this delightful series offers up a real zinger about what constitutes women’s conversations – hair coloring! Or, rather, hair “tinting”:
“What happened to men?” he asks this time. You used to talk about sports! Now you talk about hair! Did you know that switching from sports conversations to hair conversations is the international sign of no longer being a real man? Once again, Tequila 1800 offers an easy solution to the problem that you weren’t aware you had until they told you that you had it – drinking their alcohol!
Also, does anyone else find it more than a bit creepy that they’ve tried to make the bottle of the other brand of tequila look somehow girlish, while slamming their bottle down at the end of each commercial in a way that might be considered aggressive, trying to reinforce a more masculine perception of… a bottle? And it’s hard not to notice how he looks at the “feminized” bottle with such public disdain.
Of course, these commercials are insulting to both men and women. They mock the traditional stereotypes of women (like other alcohol commercials have done), while also reinforcing them and profiting off of them. And by creating anxiety for male viewers if they see themselves identifying in any way with these female stereotypes, like capri pants, Tequila 1800 ensures that they are capitalizing on the insecurity they just fostered. And of course, it’s insulting on its face because, like most things discussed amongst us, it tells us what is OK for women and girls, and what is OK for men and boys.