Thursday, January 14, 2010
A Very White Mojo
There's a bit of a furor erupting about the suggestive billboard of whitening product GlutaMax. The billboard features popular radio DJ Mojo Jojo in what appears to be a "morning after" shot, complete with blurred beefy "borta" in the background. (The above image was lifted from the blog Victorina.)
Here are my reactions to the material:
1) "Wow, we can do that now?"
2) "Wow, that layout is kinda off. And beefy borta looks like he was added in during post-production."
3) Me being snide: "So with GlutaMax, one can feel gay each day?"
Of course, only the malicious (including me) would think that the good disc jockey had sex with beefy borta, and woke up the following morning with a healthy white afterglow. But really, this ad is far less suggestive than those steamy biggie-sized Bench underwear billboards. In fact, saying that Mojo Jojo had a massage in one of 'em white-walled spas would not be too far-fetched for this material. (Unless you're compelled to question the presence of the digital clock. Oh well...)
I think the bigger issue here is not the suggestion of sex, but the fact that the word GAY is the second largest text element in the material (the GlutaMax logo being the first). This was, admittedly, what shocked me most here, for the simple reason that the word has never been used prominently in Philippine advertising. I would call this a Lambertian act--wherein one pushes the idea of being gay as opposed to making it a matter of course.
Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. This ad may be Lambertian, but there's an element of fun here. A tongue-in-cheek approach. The other side of the spectrum could be Adam Lambert's career-threatening performance on live television. (I've never seen the clip, though.)
I think if the word GAY wasn't there, reactions to the ad would be less vitriolic. Heck, it's Mojo Jojo promoting a whitening product without his shirt on. Next billboard, please.
Ditto if the word GAY was there, but the image didn't have beefy borta in the background.
This ad may not succeed in selling GlutaMax, but it does succeed in raising the issue of propriety when it comes to depictions of any kind of sexual preference in advertising. Deciphering the billboard's communications strategy, I see no point in including the word GAY in the material, unless it's a word that GlutaMax clearly wants to be associated with.
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Update: Is this a real billboard? I found this by following the links in Spot.ph.
My question for this billboard: Why does Dingdong Dantes have a "blah" look on his face? His word balloon would say, "Must get out now... Oh no! It got me!"