Gay/Straight Ad Watch: Freaky Hitler Edition

Gay Guy,

Other images in the "AIDS is a Mass Murderer" campaign include similar boom-chicka-wow-wow poses from Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin. This campaign is a few years old, but I remembered it when I saw...

The colorized Hitler Image is for a fashion line in Italy. Slogan: "Change Style -- Don't Follow Your Leader."

You know the deal. Both campaigns resulted in (1) indignant outrage and (2) the priceless PR surge that only an outrage-fueled media storm can provide. Mission accomplished.

What? Me? I'm just a critical observer, sharing these incendiary images and refusing to acknowledge my small role in making these campaigns successful. It's a new twist on the old axiom that a scientist can't observe something without effecting it. In this case, you can't blog about tacky ads without giving the advertisers publicity they don't deserve. Future generations will call it the Pink Hitler Principle.

OK. My take: Beyond the toxicity of the horny Hitler image, the mass murderer campaign makes the inexcusable mistake of suggesting that infected people, not the disease itself, are mass murderers. Let's save the sex=death metaphors for schlocky horror movies, where the lustful kids always meet an untimely end.

As far as pink Hitler, I'm less miffed by the attempt to subvert the world's most shameless propagandist by toying with his own image. I understand that many can't find humor in Hitler's general vicinity, but even for them, can we at least acknowledge how he would hate this! But, how it works to sell trendy denim, I'm not so sure.

Sidebar note on Hitler/Nazi references: Glenn Beck recently tried to call foul -- on critics of the Arizona documentation law -- for the use of a Gestapo metaphor. The Daily Show fired back with this great segment. How does Beck survive these critiques?

--Straight Guy


Oddyoddyo13 said...

I know this kind of isn't the point of this post...but you're so funny SG. The ever innocent, "Me?", like the most innocent person in the

Straight in Upstate said...

Saw the Lewis Black bit a few weeks ago - it's the only thing that keeps me from blowing a gasket when I'm around FOX News.

kathryn said...

It's the ever-present rule of advertising: If it makes you stop...even for a second, they've done what they set out to do. The ad on the left would make me stop. In horror. The pink-Hitler? I wouldn't even break my stride.

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