Gay/Straight Ad Watch: WTF, FAO?


Classy, Mr. Schwarz, very classy.

Took me a few moments to get this campaign... See, the kid in the red shirt has an official FAO teddy bear, so all of his rambunctious urges (even the hormonal ones) have been suppressed. Hmmm...

"Better rewards, better kid." That's the slogan. Why not just go with "everyone has their price," or, more succinctly, "rich kids are better than poor kids"? Sure. Because all the evidence proves that kids who have been rewarded/spoiled with toys are always the most enjoyable to be around, as are the parents who try hardest to buy their child's love with material things.

We'd never stand for a "Better rewards, better wives" campaign... so how is this OK? (Though I admit that those holiday-themed diamond ads which hint that buying the right bracelet just might get you laid are not the feminist ideal either.)

Obviously they are going for an old-school Goofus/Gallant vibe (including a "Highlights" reference). But does anyone else catch a whiff of a straight/gay dynamic here, or am I reaching? Bad, straight boys, bad!

--Straight Guy


Kathryn said...

Oh, God! I think this ad is just AWFUL! I can't believe anyone gave the green light for this to run!!

It's just...wrong. On SO MANY levels.

SteveA said...

It's disgusting and in poor taste!

Michael Rivers said...

Interesting. Once again it's amazing what gets thru the marketing teams!

Straight in Upstate said...

SG, it didn't jump out at me, but I think you're right. The teddy bear-kid isn't mooning, and not looking at giant naked boobs... and he's holding a teddy bear. So buy toys at FAO and your child will be gay!! (not that there's anything wrong with that) Yet another message that the marketing team didn't think through.

Spot said...

Seriously, I thought these were cartoons not ads. As cartoons they were mildly humorous. As ads,!! What exactly are we trying to promote here? I saw the gay/straight thing right away. Ridiculous. My gay guy friends growing up were just as gross as my straight guy friends. Maybe it's because none of us had FAO teddy bears. Damnit. Now I feel underpriveleged.

At least I know what to get my kids for christmas this year. So what if they're all teenagers. Isn't that when you really need a hormonal suppressing teddy bear anyway?!


JD at I Do Things said...

Woo! "Highlights" shout-out!

Yeah, the red-shirt kid looks like the boring one of the bunch, too. The others are high-spirited and free-thinking. What's more lovable than being mooned by a pubescent boy? Er . . .

Gay Guy said...

There is so much that's bad about this ad campaign, SG.

Let's start with the concept, 'better rewards, better kids.' Can you buy your way to a better kid. Or, more delusional, buy your way into thinking that you are a better parent.

I get a gay/straight vibe, too. Kiddy and teddy 'read' gay in this strip. The ad says "buy a gift to prevent all this embarrassing straight boy stuff from happening to you." I don't know that it means "buy a gift to make your kid gay."

I know that you feel the anti-straight slam, but I check a chuckle out of something, anything that says the straight-acting kid is the embarrassment/problem.

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