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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

That ridiculous contraception ad for Obamacare

I object to this ad on numerous levels.

You have heard of this ad, featuring a young lady on oral contraceptives oh so happy she can have sex safely with that.... I-guess-he's-attractive-but-he-looks-slimy-to-me.... "guy" - I hesitate to use the word "man"... because she is sooooo smart and signed up for health insurance that lets her pay $300 a month (or whatever) to someone to pay for her $30 a month contraceptives.

First, let me object on professional grounds. I am a creative director in healthcare advertising, and this ad is, what we say in the business, "sh*t." Yes, that is the technical term for it.
  • It is creatively bankrupt. It is a lampoon of the iconic and ingenious "Got milk?" campaign, which just turned 20. Gotta hand it to the dairy folks' ad agency for coming up with that one. It was brilliant. (I especially loved the commercial that revealed the origin of the name, Oreo.) But an agency that spins a 20-year-old milk adverstising campaign for health insurance is just lazy and stupid. It might be funny, if you're, like, OMG! 12.
  • And using "OMG!" OMG, really? That is supposed to be hip and sexy and smart and all that? C'mon, Yahoo uses it for its silly entertainment gossip "news," even my wife's gym uses it (but spins it to "Our Monthly Guarantee" which is what you gotta do if you're gonna use a cliche). Again, maybe it's ok if the audience is, like, 12 or 13. And OMG! what kind of slimy "guy" likes a girl who talks like that? LOL! WT*! Man.
  • And "let's get physical" -- what, from an Olivia Newton John song from 1981?? Anyway, this makes three - count them, three -- overplayed, trite, and inept cliches in the first 6 words of the ad. If my copywriter came to me with this, I'd be really ticked.
  • Regarding the graphics, it looks composed in Photoshop of two separate people. It is an unreal composition. She is too small, her hips are too high in relation to his for their relative heights. Her expression is over the top too happy about having birth control. And, the birth control was probably PhotoShopped into her hand. She is more likely (this is just a guess) in the original photo to have been holding something like, say, an iPhone than birth control.
I will tell you who the hip, young advertising pros are who did this ad. They're people who were irresponsible hippy teeanagers in the 1970s, aging 30-something teenagers when "Physical" came out, jealous that someone else younger and smarter than them came up with the Got Milk? campaign in their 40s, and who are now in their 60s. Aging hippies who think they think young and who wished they had "free" birth control back in the day. There is no other way to explain it.

Now I will object to it on a bioethical level.
  • It proves that Obamacare health insurance isn't about taking care of your health, but about facilitating your indulgent pleasures -- at taxpayer expense. The ad is very explicit about having insurance coverage so she doesn't have to worry about having sex.
  • Birth control pills are not medicines. They are drugs, but not medicines. They alter the body's normal, healthy functioning and make it function abnormally. They neither treate nor prevent any disease but regard health and pregnancy as diseases. For these reasons, they are unethical on the face of it.
  • Their mode of action may include abortifacient effects
  • They are not a legitimate part of health care, but a lifestyle choice; although it is understandable that people who want them would rationalize it as "health care" since they are drugs and require a doctor's prescription. Yet they address no health issue and such people should, like people who want cosmetic surgery, just pay for it themselves
  • Birth control should not be covered by health insurance, or if it is, the customer should pay for that coverage separately
  • That the government is focusing on this issue to drive up enrollment is telling
  • It demeans women and exploits them, it reduces them to making major life decisions based on the effect of those decisions on their sex life - most importantly, it comes off to me as a ludicrous and weak attempt to rally the liberal, self-indulgent Obamacare base
Now I will object to it as a theologian.
  • "OMG!" means "Oh my God!" Actually, it probably should be "O my God!" In many cases, it is indeed a prayer and not always taking the name of God in vain. But here, it is sacreligious.
  • It is insidious that it uses this phrase in this context of sexual promiscuity and immorality
  • It says "all she has to worry about" in having sex with the "guy" is actually convincing him to have sex with her. There is a little disclaimer about sexually transmitted diseases, so she still has to worry about that, too. But what about if the guy turns out to be a jerk? What if he turns out to be an abuser? What if she falls in love with him and he turns out to just want her for sex, since that was the whole purpose of them hooking up? What about her immortal soul? She has a lot to worry about actually.
Now I will object to it as a man.
  • If the male human being in this ad is supposed to be a "hot" guy, ok, well, look, I am not a young woman so I have no idea what they think of as a hot guy. I think he looks slimy.
  • Men are only as slimy as women let us get away with. Now, I'm not blaming women - men should find it in themselves to be decent men. But, if women are "easy" then men are going to resist commitment and will act like immature brats and dump them when the relationship gets too difficult or requires too much sacrifice. The guy in the add seems like such a guy, because he's hooking up with a chemically sterilized airhead floozy who thinks he's hot
  • I object to the notion that such a man is a desirable man, or that getting "between the sheets" with such a man is WHY someone should buy for health insurance
But, in the last presidential election, Mr Obama ran an ad about the "first time" someone voted, making it sound like it was losing one's virginity - to Obama. So, I am totally not surprised.

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