Every year, at least one Super Bowl commercial pisses off feminists and family groups by objectifying a woman so blatantly it's almost funny. For every baby talking about E*Trade and aging '80s star remixing his most famous role, there's a pervy GoDaddy.com spot, a Victoria's Secret supermodel, and a girl shoving her ass in the face of a dude who's ignoring her to play video games and eat Doritos.
This year, that ad features Florida-born model and cat daddy champion Kate Upton. And viewers do have a right to be upset. Not because of its blatant objectification (though yeah, there is that), but because it's so blatantly lazy in its execution.
The ad, shilling Mercedes-Benz cars, begins with a slow-motion shot sliding up the length of Upton's body. She's wearing jean cutoffs, the standard uniform for hot chicks shilling products to football-watching dudes. Add to this cliche the sounds of a bawdy Tom Jones rip-off tune. The song isn't "You Can Leave Your Hat On," but it might as well be.
Fade to white, followed by some title text: "Kate Upton washes the new Mercedes CLA." And then, to underscore the extreme sexiness/craziness/can you believe this-ness of the not-that-sexy, played-out, entirely predictable thing that's coming next, the ad clarifies, "in slow motion."
Here's the thing: Upton's in slow motion, but she's not washing any cars. She's walking, at times normally, at times awkwardly, as if even she knows this is a pretty lame concept, around a bunch of guys (high-school kids?) in football jerseys as they wash the car. Early on, she raises a handful of suds, and blows -- get it? Blows? -- them into the air. Also in slow motion. Reeeeal subtle.
Maybe I've become immune to the objectification of women in commercials -- ads have been using hot chicks to sell things to straight dudes ever since companies had things to sell to straight dudes in the first place. What's more offensive is the lack of effort on the part of the people creating this ad. Kate Upton can be fun. Kate Upton, generally, is game. Kate Upton dances like a weirdo on the Internet and the whole world eats it up. So why would you stick her in a dirt pit in the middle of nowhere and ask her to do nothing but walk around? That's just a waste of her super-hotness.
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On the other hand, maybe the company behind the ad just didn't have the budget to oh never mind, it's effing Mercedes-Benz and they could have done literally anything else.
If this is how the Super Bowl commercials are going to be this year, I might actually have to watch the game.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.