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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student

Nutty attraction

Last week I was on the couch with my boyfriend watching an episode of “Will & Grace” I had seen a thousand times before when, during a commercial break, something strange caught our attention.

The commercial was for a Payday candy bar. The ad showed the iconic nutty caramel bar slowly peeling off its wrapper as if it were a seductress of sorts, and, when it came time for the bar’s “walnuts” to be exposed, a Sims-esque blurry patch covered the area so we couldn’t see what it was that was too “hot” for basic cable.

During this undressing, that quite frankly would make Lena Dunham of “Girls” blush, a voiceover announced, “It’s the candy bar that is too hot for TV — in all its naked glory — stripped of chocolate with nothing but salty, roasted peanuts on soft, sweet caramel. A Payday bar will get you through your day. Expose yourself to Payday.”

I’m not a prude, and it’s not even the content that disgusts me. It’s the fact that the advertising industry is exploiting our carnal desires for its own personal gain.

This is nothing new, of course, but because it’s so ingrained, it wasn’t something I was conscious of before seeing this ridiculous commercial.

So during that break, my boyfriend and I started counting how many ads tapped into sex to sell a product. We counted seven out of 12.

This was on WE or LOGO, networks for apparently pretty horny people, I guess, us gay people. Essentially not Nickelodeon or Disney Channel, but it still shocked us both.

Again, it’s not the content that shocked us. We’re not One Million Moms.

It’s not like sex on television is something horrible or abhorrent.

But sexualizing a candy bar? That’s the pinnacle of scumbag even for the advertising industry, an industry that operates so well because it is known for its scumbaggery.

The thing that really makes me mad is that this campaign, despite all the controversy, will still be successful for Payday.

What makes me even madder is the fact that I really want a Payday bar right now.

So what I’m saying is that we can criticize advertisements as much as we want, but it doesn’t matter.

They do their job. It’s the whole “all press is good press” thing.

Buzz like this just gets people talking. It doesn’t matter what they’re talking about.

Maybe a few people take a stand and boycott using a product for a few weeks or months. Companies don’t care about those people anyway.

They care about the mainstream. The average person. And the average person is not one to take a stand against a product because of an advertisement.

But this is not a call to arms against Payday or any product. I’m not going to do that. All I’m trying to do is get people to take a step back and think about why ads are so effective.

So next time you’re watching actual cable television, pay attention to the commercials.

I guarantee what you find will make you uneasy. Or oddly turned on.

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