First Nestle started advertising their Yorkie bars as 'Not for Girls!', and now McCoy's are branding their crisps as Man Crisps. The current TV ad has a bunch of guys in a pub answering a pub quiz. They're all quick off the mark to answer questions about bands and who won the World Cup, but a question about ballet has them all looking confused. No, wait, one of them does know the right answer! He's clearly not manly enough so he drops his McCoy's crisps and gets sucked into oblivion in case his lack of masculinity contaminates his pals. The website is even more hilarious, showing an interactive pub interior full of blokes, apart from one girlfriend and, of course, the bar maid who miraculously looks more attractive once you put on a pair of 'beer goggles'. Inside there's a quiz to test your manliness, and man guide that gives you tips on being a real man. How helpful.
Lots of adverts use gender stereotypes to sell products. Nestle came in for a fair amount of criticism when they first started saying Yorkie wasn't for girls, but of course that's just increased publicity and an even more successful advertising campaign for them. LIke the Tampax ad I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, the McCoys website and ads are a gift for talking about and critiquing gender stereotypes. Is that really what it means to be a real man?