Thursday, August 14, 2008

Things Seen 4

Sometimes, when I'm in pure procrastination mode, I get to clicking the "next blog" button on the blogger navigation bar. Last night, I ran across this on a blog post about "funny ads."

So, I did a little research and found this ad listed on the Ads of the World site that features "the best and most interesting creative work worldwide."

Yes, indeed.

Somewhere, I'm sure, someone had a good intention. But the execution of said intention leaves MUCH to be desired. Here is the logic behind the ad:
Men in Czech Republic consume the most beer in all of the Europe. Unfortunately, the beer changes many of them into aggressors upon arriving home. In order to stop this domestic alco-violence, we redesigned the trademark beer mugs of our client Bernard brewery to preventatively warn its beer drinkers to not lose control over their drinking.
Because the one thing that will stop a drunken abuser is having already had his fist pressed to a woman's face all night.

This feels like a ready made excuse to me--"Honey, you know how I get when I drink. That's not the real me." People always search for ways to rationalize and justify men who are assumed to be "good" except for that little abusive streak.

I don't think beer "changes" you. I know there are people who are exceptionally mean when they drink, and I know alcohol can exacerbate a situation, but abusers don't need validation for one of their most common ways of shifting responsibility for their actions.

Besides, I think the post on which I found the ad says a lot--I get the creepy feeling lots of people would find this mug funny, a sort of kitschy/novelty item, a "ha-ha, you get to punch that bitch over and over!"

Something else I thought about upon seeing the picture? Her bland, semi-smile does little to communicate how devastating someone's fist to the middle of your face can be.


Crissa said...

This might be lame, but I think by making the drinker's fist as part of the image, you're including them in the message more directly.

If the face was not so bland, it would be easily written off as some sort of joke.

Renee said...

I understand the connection between drinking and violence however I don't think that this leaves a lasting impression in the minds of others. Instead of investing in these cups I believe the money should be invested in DV shelters. Usually if these men are abusive they are more than physically abusive and this ad campaign does nothing to prevent emotional abuse which can be just as damaging it just does not leave visible scars.

Anonymous said...

i don't know, this sort of rubs me the wrong way. i feel like there would be lots of "play" punching with the mugs, and other similar behavior that's just playing but really reifies the behavior.

Anonymous said...

This is unintentionally validating violence against women by the principle of social proof: it tells the target "many people like you (Czech men who drink) are violent against women". Robert Cialdini's book "Yes" gives similar examples of how messages that combine moral prohibition ("don't do this") with social validation ("people like you do this") actually promote the immoral behaviour.

Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...