Creepy slacks ad from 1970

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62 Responses to “Creepy slacks ad from 1970”

  1. Sister Y says:

    Tenn, yeah somebody needs to give that man a $10 million production budget and full creative control.

  2. Sparrowhawk says:

    The jarring aspect of seeing a head with no body. Incomparably creepy.

  3. arkizzle says:

    Tenn, i checked out ur deviantart page, nice semi-functional goggles.

    I dig ur poems too, I like ‘Past the Devils Hour’ one especially. I liked the Big Apple one too, but what made it was:

    Author’s Comments

    i’ve never been to the big apple.

    Nice :)

  4. Tenn says:

    bOINGers!

    Who’s up for funding some evenly distributed passionate commercials designed to push products? I’m interested in all types here. More men and men, more women and women, more men and women and men, more – everything!

    I can pitch in twenty seven cents and a bottlecap collection.

  5. Sorcerer Mickey says:

    Somehow, the terms “he-man” and “slacks” just don’t go together.
    Besides, I prefer Barbara Feldon in all of my tiger rug advertisements.

  6. Yep says:

    $12.95 for a product that will have women laying at your feet? What a value! Now, how much will the sexual harassment law suit set me back?

    Hey, flip this ad with a woman conquering a man and…hmm, it’s still sexist against women, isn’t it? Isn’t that diabolical.

  7. Robotech_Master says:

    Speaking of creepy and disturbing ads, seen the new Trojan “Evolve” TV commercial?

    A pig trying unsuccessfully to date a human woman is magically transformed into a handsome man through the act of working a Trojan condom vending machine.

  8. makethelogobigger says:

    They had me at “…plush-carpeted stores.”

    (Thanks for the link Mark.)

  9. arkizzle says:

    Tenn:

    I’ll make the sandwiches.

  10. trueblue2 says:

    31: during my short stint in journalism school less than five years ago, we were taught all about zeroing in on people’s base desires and more or less exploiting that to make an advertisement. The only difference between then and now is that the messages have shifted to meet the present cultural norms. Current ads still imply that products will increase your sexual attractiveness, but the images and words they use are more in line with today’s mainstream thought than, say, this ad. I found it to be a pretty foul line of work and jumped ship as soon as I could.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wait, wait, I’m confused. It must be the dain bramage.

    You mean vegetarians aren’t paint-splashing, KFC-bombing PETA members? Christians/atheists aren’t fundimentalists/satanists?

    And more importantly, isn’t that Barbara Streisand’s head on that tiger?

    –Charlie

  12. JSG says:

    Ah, chauvinism, thy name is late 60′s early 70′s advertising.

  13. Takuan says:

    it’s good to see ads like this. It makes us realize how far we’ve come.

  14. Marshall says:

    Is there nothing Slack can’t do?

  15. EvilOars says:

    There’s a jeans ad in an old Playboy I saw (from the 70s) that features OJ Simpson sitting on a chair, wearing jeans. Except if you look closely he has three legs. All with a boot on the end. It says “OJ DINGO” on top of him. The original 3 legged jeans. Weird though. If you do a search for the text you can find some variants.

  16. jancola says:

    @26
    ‘At some point, conservatives started equating “feminist” with being a radical man-hating ball-breaker “feminazi”. This is the game they play with language.’

    The language plays its own role. I think feminism is a somewhat unfortunate name for the movement, because the history of “isms” in American dialogue tends to imply superiority of one type over another (racism, sexism, classism, ageism, etc etc etc). And if it is meant to imply equality, then why does it only include a verbal nod to one sex?

    This has nothing to do with this remarkably disgusting ad, just a stray thought.

  17. arkizzle says:

    Trueblue2, nice to hear someone with actual conviction. Fair play.

    For me, it’s less about the ‘sexual attraction’ ads (because they are aimed at everybody, and you’re an idiot if you buy into it) and more about the type of ads that have to mock one group to sell to the other group.

    I don’t know about America, or anywhere other than UK and Ireland for the last 10 years, but in both of those places, the current flock of ads is about empowering women by disempowering men, rather than making everyone empowered.

    For instance: every tampon ad has to be about ‘you and your girlfriends’ getting one over on stupid men. Or almost any feminine product. 10 years ago it was to be about girlpower, and absolute empowerment, now it is relative empowerment, based on standing on men.

    On the other end, domestic products are still being targeted at women, but now it’s by employing a patronising tone and showing that men are too stupid to be able to use a washing machine.

    Progress eh?

    (and it breaks my heart when a woman takes the other side and says, “it’s about time, now you know how we feel”)

  18. mkultra says:

    Personally, I self-identify as a humanist. Feminist is too limiting.

    While I find the ad kind of horrifying, I have trouble viewing it as anything other than a product of its era. That this kind of thing was even acceptable really says a lot about the popular culture of the time. Fascinating.

  19. Gal_n_AL says:

    Obviously, in 1970, there was a large demographic of twisted serial killers with penchants for mounting women’s heads on animal hides. Somewhere in this guy’s house is a tiger’s head mounted on woman hide.

  20. Boba Fett Diop says:

    To be fair, that was $12.75 in 1970s dollars. So more like $9,758.56 now.

  21. Kibble says:

    Nothing is creepier than that Axe shaving cream commercial in which hordes of tiny beautiful women fly into a guy’s nose with looks of grim sexual tension on their faces.

  22. EvilOars says:

    Oops, yeah, boots. I was obviously distracted by the prospect of virility.

  23. racer x says:

    Yes, but why would it be nice to have something like that around the house? Can’t even get you a beer or cook you dinner.

    One could turn the image and see it as a frightened reaction to the growing power of women. They’re selling pants, which protect the peepee and, rather than emasculating, actually eviscerating the woman so she will be safe to live with. It’s all about the subtext.

    Also popular at the time was the Rolling Stones classic “Under My Thumb.” What’s all that about?

  24. Marzipan says:

    Rosethorn,

    Like many terms, “feminism” has gone beyond its original definition to include more than simply advocating for the rights of women. Feminist critique of scientific approaches, for example, has more to do with looking at alternative ways of approaching the subject than simply making sure that scientists don’t project cultural gender assumptions onto their research (which is why we’ve previously thought of the egg as passively waiting for sperm to penetrate rather than playing a role in selecting which one gets in).

    As a feminist, I question gender roles for men, complain just as vociferously about sexism toward men as I do sexism toward women, and work toward equality of the sexes rather than dominance of one over the other in any area.

    “Humanism” encompasses much more (and consequently much less)than “feminism.” “Feminism” has been around longer, has been smeared longer, but is more easily understood than “humanism” or “gender egalitarianism” or any long string of academic-sounding words used by those uncomfortable with “feminism.”

    If male-bashers have co-opted the word in the minds of conservative commentators, that’s no reason for us to run away from it, but rather incentive for us to demonstrate how wrong they are.

  25. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    pipenta – first, I was using the term “ball-breaking man-hating etc…” as verbatim from historyman68′s post. I was replying to him using his terminology. I don’t think I’ve ever used those terms myself.

    I was trying to say that extremists often try to place themselves under the same umbrella term used by the more moderate majority, and critics are invariably able to leverage it by coloring a progressive movement as extremist.

    second, your “Yassah Mr. WCC” remark is referring to what… a “Yes Sir” in the “negro dialect”? Now that is offensive. Are you implying I appreciate racism and sexism? Why?

    You sound pissed that I didn’t appreciate you bringing up topics… but that was your first comment on this post. And the status quo, my advantages over you… you’re making a lot of assumptions about me.

    Including the “Mr.”

  26. Jacques says:

    Ahhhh, the good old days, wehn men were men and women were trod upon. Of course, this are much different now, now it’s the men who are trod upon. Well, in popular culture anyway.

  27. mellowknees says:

    @ #12

    I would contend that the Axe commercial wherein the guy breaks off all of his stinky skin rather than take a shower is a LOT more creepy than the one where all the chicks fly up the guy’s nose. Although I will also contend that ad should come in second place.

  28. cinemajay says:

    Finally, truth in advertising!

  29. Kennric says:

    #5 – yes, this ad is sexist because it implies women are willing to become doormats for a man with especially nice slacks. Flipping it is sexist because it implies that a woman’s clothing choices revolve around bagging men. If this ad had a woman as both conqueror and conquered, it would be sexist since obviously such an ad only appeals to a man’s prurient interest in lesbian BDSM. (This applies also to woman/animal, woman/furniture, woman/food-item, and the case of a lingerie-clad male posing atop the conquered female.)

    If the ad were two men, this also male chauvinist, because it panders to the assumption that women like seeing guys get it on together.

    An ad feature a man in slacks sitting comfortably on a normal office chair is sexist because it does not portray women on an equal footing in the workplace.

    Obviously, they couldn’t win, so they went with the one with the sexy rug as the lesser of many evils. Surely womankind can understand the position we’re in here and give us a break?

    BTW, that was sarcastic. Please don’t hurt me.

  30. anthropomorphictoast says:

    It’s nice having a girl around the house…skinned and on display as a rug like the soulless inanimate objects they are.
    Though she was a real b*tch, our hero didn’t have to pull a gun on her. After one look at his Mr. Leggs slacks, she was ready to curl up and die at the sight of his manly wrinkle-resistant Dacron/rayon blend PANTS!

    That is basically the subtext, yes? :P

  31. Sister Y says:

    If the ad were two men, this also male chauvinist, because it panders to the assumption that women like seeing guys get it on together.

    Ah, if only more advertising would pander to this assumption . . .

  32. Antiglobalism says:

    Pretty amazing these ads were acceptable back then. Without being a feminist, I think this ad is repulsive.

  33. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    subtext is just an anagram of buttsex. Now that there’s some subtext for ya!

    Honestly, I think the ad is kind of a parody of its ilk and 70′s machismo culture. The idea of your ‘shag pad’ being piled thick with ‘sexual trophies’ The idea that “you can’t be a real man and bag a girl like this if you don’t smoke the same cig.. err.. wear the same pants as me”, to once again paraphrashe the Rolling Stones.

    As misogynist as the implications are, it was meant to get laughs. Not all comedy is highbrow and inoffensive. And I’ll correct my earlier comments… an awful ad CAN have limited success solely by making you laugh, because it makes you look at it.

    But it’s Mexican night at my place, and I’ve already had a couple of margaritas, so what do I know?

  34. iguanoid says:

    She liked his slacks so much that she gutted herself, scraped all that muscle and sinew off her hide with her teeth, and then soaked her luxurious pelt in her own brain juices, even though she was the last of the tigerladies, a once proud race.

    In exchange for her sacrifice he uses her as a putting green (when not slicing salami with his pants pleat that is.)

  35. Kibble says:

    It appears that the tiger’s tail is standing straight up, which is…weird.

  36. Antinous says:

    The tail is inexplicably lifted to strike scorpionically. Whoever designed the ad must have had ambivalent feelings toward the campaign.

  37. pinkpicnic says:

    My husband’s a feminist. I think it makes total sense that this discussion would lean towards attitudes towards sexism. Why else would boingboing have chosen to post it? We see enough weird stuff on the net that doesn’t get space on this site, but this was weird with a treasure-trove of subtext.

    And I hated that Trojan ad. Not only is it offensive to men (protection/contraception should always be shared) but portrays women (again) as sexual gatekeepers.

  38. Kennric says:

    Sister Y, please stop reinforcing these stereotypes. Imagine what kind of world it would be if people started selling toothpaste with images of white-toothed men kissing each other. If body spray were sold with scenes of men catching each other’s scent on the breeze and being overcome with passion, dancing close against each other at some trendy club, groping, kissing, sweaty…

    What was I talking about?

    Oh yeah, stop purveying your naughty sexist images!

  39. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    It boggles my mind that ad could ever sell anything.

    If the pants are well made, a photo of a man wearing them should be enough to sell them.

    If not, no amount of women’s heads on fur rugs will help.

  40. buddy66 says:

    I had a pair of those things; they were a fire hazard. It was the Better Living Through Chemistry years. Go off to work in the morning wearing Dow Chemical from head to toe. The good old days, aarrrgghhhh….

  41. historyman68 says:

    “Pretty amazing these ads were acceptable back then. Without being a feminist, I think this ad is repulsive.”

    Um, if you think this ad is repulsive, you ARE a feminist. At some point, conservatives started equating “feminist” with being a radical man-hating ball-breaker “feminazi”. This is the game they play with language.
    Whereas feminism is really, as I read somewhere, “the radical notion that women are people”. Keep in mind that less than a century ago, women weren’t allowed to vote in the U.S. If you think that women ought to be able to vote, hold office, and deserve not to be made to feel uncomfortable on the basis of their gender, you’re a feminist. It’s like thinking all vegetarians are paint-splashing, KFC-bombing PETA members or all Christians/atheists are fundimentalists/satanists.

    Sorry, it’s just a subject that gets my goat.

  42. Ned613 says:

    #6 Robotech Master: I believe the message of the trojan evolve ad is that responsible men practice safe sex. Only pigs don’t suit up.

  43. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    historyman68 – do you think the fact that many radical man-hating ball-breakers still call themselves “feminists” helps?

    FYI, i’m not being critical of feminism. Equal rights are a good thing. There is a splinter of every rights group that just wants revenge, and they never help the public image.

  44. Mary Dell says:

    Were these pants made by the same company that makes the L’eggs pantyhose? Maybe the marketing department was worried that men wouldn’t feel manly enough wearing them.

  45. se7a7n7 says:

    “our hero didn’t have to fire a shot to floor her”

    OK, that sounds too much like actual abuse. WOW, just WOW…

  46. noen says:

    For a long time advertisers have tried to sell their crap by appealing to our baser, subconscious drives. This ad would qualify as subliminal, though it clearly didn’t pass the test of time. I suppose that even says something good about us.

    I do wonder if this approach even works. I wouldn’t know, I barely watch TV or read that many magazines.

  47. historyman68 says:

    @WeightedCompanionCube – that is a good point, and one I was going to mention. The radicals of every group impugn the good name of said group.

    However, the tricks that conservatives (and I’m not picking on them here, it’s just that liberals are generally too incompetent to do it right) play with language are devious, associating one thing with another until people end up saying stuff like “Without being a feminist, I think this ad is repulsive.”

    (btw, I’m not picking on you either, Antiglobalism. It’s just the closest example I could think of)

  48. Pipenta says:

    Ah, all these terms that are red flags; feminist, atheist.

    Golly, those of us with views outside the mainstream, if we’re going to challenge any of it, we’d best be very careful, VERY POLITE.

    Perhaps it is best if we defer a little bit.

    Yassah, Mr. Weightedcompanioncube, is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable before I uh, dare to bring up topics that challenge the status quo that gives you all kinds of advantages over me?

    Yes, the language is the point here, but it is not that “feminist” is a word that is too extreme. The point is that to do anything but tippy toe over the subject is to be “ball-breaking”.

    Ball breaking is a REALLY interesting term. It is used by those who have that power, who earn more money, who are stronger (and don’t hesitate to take advantage of that), who live in a culture where the very magical being that most claim is the creator and controller of all that is, is of their sex, to describe those of the other sex who DARE to, gosh, raise their voices and challenge the privileges they take for granted.

    I’ve yet to meet anyone who used the term “ball breaking” in that context who was not both sexist and an asshole.

  49. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    noen – television, magazines, and mainstream websites all have a lot in common: catering to short attention spans, bias, sensationalism, glossing over the details… and far too many advertisements.

    This is where technology can make things better for you. It’s easier to get rid of ads when watching TV or surfing the web: My computer cleans up both for me.

  50. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    conservatives oversimplify. They are trying to conserve cognitive energy :)

  51. Anonymous says:

    Compare this ad to a Dacron ad of the same time period that I think shows an empowering image of women (more or less):

    http://pzrservices.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451ccbc69e20120a8039470970b-pi

  52. arkizzle says:

    Um, if you think this ad is repulsive, you ARE a feminist.

    No, if you think this ad is repulsive, you may be a humanist. I am. I care for both sexes.

    And if we are talking about sexist ads, I gotta tell you I’m getting pretty pissed off at the current (last 5 years or so) trend of men being the punchline to every ad targeted at women, and the punchline to more than half of the ads targeted to everybody else.

    It’s just lazy advertisers, pushing bullshit agendas because it’s easy. I thought we were past this shit, apparently not.

  53. rosethornn says:

    I prefer humanism or gender egalitarianism. Men and women both face problems based upon presumptions of gender and roles implied by that, as well as those who choose not to live as either. We should aim to make all gender-based descrimination a thing of the past. I don’t think “feminism” describes that fully as it only works towards defeating the obstacles for one group.

  54. macon d says:

    Hmm, the discussion of feminism here strikes me as mostly clueless. beginning with the title of the post (creepy? the ad’s sexism is downright disgusting). “Feminism” shouldn’t be used because “humanism” is a better word? wtf? Better for what? Men are still in power in this world, so feminism is still needed as a force to fight that. The use of “humanism” in this context would be power evasive language.

    That sounds a lot like those people who blithely say about race, “Oh, I don’t see color. I’m colorblind!” Meanwhile, they certainly do see racial color, and racism still goes on in white supremacist America. As does sexism.

    So those of you who don’t like the word “feminism,” do you also avoid the word “racism”?

  55. lala12 says:

    does anyone know where this ad was first published?

  56. Sister Y says:

    In my opinion, this ad is, at worst, merely creepy. If we use words like “disgusting” or “horrible” for things like this, what words do we have left to describe things like female genital mutilation?

  57. arkizzle says:

    To those of you who don’t like the word “feminism,” do you also avoid the word “racism”?

    Well, for me, you have answered your question for me.

    Your racism analogy fails. We say racism as a class of singular ‘isms, we don’t usually say “african-americanism” or “asianism” or “europeanism”, we use a catch all, because the similar thread linking each one is race, and it’s easy to see the parallels, whether or not they are equal.

    Similarly, here the distinction is made between using the singlular “feminism” or “masculism “, and the class “sexism” or “humanism”.

    I was describing the notion that one can want equality for both sexes under one banner, rather than having to wave two flags..

    Otherwise, which hand will hold my drink?

  58. IWood says:

    Mmmm….the luxury of Polyethylene terephthalate and regenerated cellulosic fiber…

  59. Jake0748 says:

    WHOA!

    Before I scrolled down I thought it was going to be creepy because you could see the outline of his weenie or something. This is much worse. Yikes.

  60. Tenn says:

    Sister Y, please stop reinforcing these stereotypes. Imagine what kind of world it would be …

    I, I’m sorry? What -were- you talking about? What was this thread about? Why is everyone talking about feminine rights? It’s all irrelevant now…

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