Published: Jun 1, 2016 12:00:00 PM

stealing-a-fence.gifI want the Xbox One to fail. It's a gooey and black taste coating the inside of my mouth when I read about what the marketing is intending this hardware to be. A centerpiece for people that use the term "man-cave," usually shouted, who then high-five, cuddling with their hollowed-out tree trunk of endorphic validation. Then they mow the lawn, thinking, "I mean, I just want to drink A LOT of beer. I like beer best when it's cold." A quick trip to the store, and they've got chips, frozen corn, a whole rotisserie chicken, and an 18-rack of Miller Lite.

These middle-aged white-boy dad-types with string-cheese personalities and hyperventilating helplessness are tragic. They hate / fear / hate again their wives. Their wives don't understand them.

But do these men actually exist?

Marketing During NFL Games Is Insulting

Marketing for Chevy, Coors, John Deere, Frito Lay, Verizon, and even Hyundai (above) demand that they do. Millions of advertising dollars can't (couldn't! (wouldn't?)) be wrong. The ads in these campaigns make it pretty clear that there's a group of men in that particular age bracket that feel victimized by life.

They feel stuck. They feel their wives are always nagging them. They feel their identity lacking. They think they just want to hang out with their buddies: worse-dressed guy, geekier-guy, and black-guy.

The ads with The Coldest Beers, and The Tuffest Truck, and The Least-For-Nerds Cellphone (for taking pictures of daughters and checking fantasy league stats), teach them that they irredeemably indecisive, and this is the answer. They teach them to hate their lives, transforming them into whiny, hopeless dough-in-a-tube.

And it makes me hate them.

The thought that watching football has the potential to poison somebody's thoughts through advertising is hurtful. It's offensive to my intelligence. It assumes that the lowest of fears should be part of my Sunday NFL coverage because some insecure nut-hugger is indecisive with his buying choices, too fearful of being an outlier, too brave to not buy.

By all rights of good sense, if some cocksucker from Ohio transplanted to Phoenix, Arizona raised on hypocrisy and sexism can be offended by things on TV like profanity, or nipples on women, then somebody else ought to be able to scream to the fucking rafters for having common sense to be offended by the advertised superiority that men-avatars find in drinking Coors-Tainthuffing-Light.

Those men in the ads. They're a hyper-hypothetical, focus-grouped quartet, filling in every key demographic that the marketing wants to hit, and because they're casting such a wide net, hundreds of millions of people are being treated like shit, too, so the marketing is turning me, and countless others, into angry jackasses.

Bad marketing makes you feel terrible. That's no surprise. It isn't even news. Way back when, women were offered ketchup bottles that even THEY could open! Men were told even their doctors smoked, so light up, you fucking pussy, you won't get cancer.

Bad marketing curses you with an unearned, false identity. Some are harmless. Being a football fan is harmless. Drinking beer is (usually) harmless. Driving a car is harmless. Seeing yourself in a broad visualization of a man, a fan, a jock, a sportsman, a geek, an aficionado, or an underdeveloped, vulnerable teen, is not harmless.

It's fucking thought-crime.

Take, for example, the term "gamer." An obvious target. It's a word that a middle-aged man with pleated short pants and two kids loves, because it legitimizes his job at a videogame company -- it means customers for these high definition Pac-Mans exist, and his Korean War veteran father won't die in shame, somewhere in Florida.

Accepting the term "gamer" means that you're buying into old-world, confrontational marketing.

That isn't the identity that you want to embody.

It forces you to have to apologize for multiple generations of people playing games and being utterly reprehensible. You don't need to band together to defend yourselves. Everything the gamer culture and industry represents is foul. It's not a wholesome thing to internalize. It's a PR circle-jerk.

You aren't part of a club, or a brotherhood any more than the people that go to the movies every couple of weeks are in a club.

To have any single dominating force in your life that it becomes the part of how you define yourself, rethink whether that's good.

Do you play games? Do you watch TV? Do you enjoy drinks with friends? Do you enjoy big-budget event movies? How about football? Baseball? All of that stuff? Great, then why, of all those things that you enjoy spending your time on, would you define yourself as a "gamer?"

If you call yourself a gamer, then you're enabling your own cowardice, Transformers bedspread pulled up over your head, despite your toes pointing out from the other end already. Your mom called me, and she wants you to change your diet from Mountain Dew and Microsoft press releases to just bowls and bowls of Gillette Mach 5 razor blades. Eat it for every meal until the darkness gathers, signifying the end.

-- @Alex Crumb

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Tagged topics in this post: xbox one, the nfl sucks, marketing

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