To kick us off, Padma Lakshmi hearts Carl's Jr.:
Why it's offensive: This ad not only follows the classic Carl's Jr. trend of showing a hot woman licking barbecue sauce off her naked thighs, but the woman in question this time is Padma Lakshmi! Am I the only one who thought Padma (host of Bravo's Top Chef) was above selling fast food burgers by showing her cleavage? The always hilarious Sarah Haskins has a new video about the douchebaggery of Carl's Jr. ads here. Padma, how could you do this to me and Gail Simmons of Food and Wine magazine?
You might have reasons to vote for the Carl's Jr. ad as the most offensive, but our showdown is far from over! Next up, Orangina gets animalistic:
Why it's offensive: Have you ever seen anything this creepy? As if forcing unreasonable, heteronormative standards on humans in commercials wasn't enough, Orangina has animated sexy animals to objectify! WTF is up with the "lady panda" having her top ripped off? And what is the point of this ad, besides making me (and everyone else in the office who has been forced to watch this) feel really uncomfortable? I'd say I need a shower, but I don't want to follow in the footsteps (hoofsteps?) of that sexed-up doe. Yikes. Also, just imagine how long the animation process on this must have been! Was it worth the effort?
That ad might have you jonesing to become a vegetarian, but we're not through. For our next round in the showdown, Schick Quattro does yard work in the UK:
And in the US:
Why it's offensive: These ads (especially the British one with the jingle) accomplish so much when it comes to strange sexist, racist, and all-around-bizarre innuendos that you almost have to congratulate them (almost). How many cat/pussy jokes can one commercial contain? And what about how the black woman has a huge chainsaw hedge trimmer, while the Asian woman has a tiny pair of scissors? Of course, the underlying theme is that all women need to trim their pubes, ASAP. It's okay ladies, it's fun!
Before you throw out those gardening shears in disgust, hold on for one more round. Last but not least, hailing from the dirty minds at Axe Body Spray, it's "Dark Temptation":
Why it's offensive: Not only are women reduced to mindless chocolate fiends in this ad (don't they look like extra-pretty zombies?), but it is a contender for the most racist of all of the entrants in today's showdown. Once the white man puts on his "Dark Temptation" (which, btw, is a cologne that smells like dessert and sounds disgusting) and turns brown, the thin, beautiful, white women in the ad go crazy trying to ingest him. Am I wrong, or is he basically wearing the candy version of black face? I don't think bell hooks' article "Eating the Other" was meant to be interpreted this literally.
Time to vote! Take your pick as to which ad is the most offensive, and we'll post the results on Friday. Will your choice be the winner (or loser, as the case may be)?
Which offensive ads should be included in the next showdown? Leave your thoughts in the comments section!