The other day I was watching a very important PBS documentary. Okay, it was Real Housewives of NYC.
(After which Nate said, “We really need to talk about your TV habits because they’re bad.” )
(And then I realized that I’m not going to take TV-watching advice from the guy who still watches the Powerpuff Girls without irony.)
During the show, a commercial came on that had me shouting BRILLIANT! HILARIOUS! AWESOME! And evidently I am alone here.
If you haven’t yet seen the Burger King commercial promoting a Spongebob Square Pants partnership (SpongeBob, Nate’s other favorite show) take a look below. In a well-produced, over-the-top parody of the original Six Mix-a-Lot video, I Like Big Butts, this 21st century made-for-commercial TV remix features the lyrics, I Like Square Butts.
Reading the comments about it this week on blogs and message boards and email strings, I feel like the bad mom who’s supposed to be outraged but isn’t. I am supposed to be seeing how this commercial is single-handedly bringing down decade of feminist progress and is one teeny step away from inspiring the next generation of pole dancers. And yet instead, I find myself arguing, “What? It’s a parody!” A parody of a silly 90s pop culture moment, aimed at parents, only running at night on adult shows.
Which makes sense. Because if Nate is any indication, mostly who wants all that plastic SpongeBob crap is guys like Nate.
And stoned college kids.
It’s also pretty much right on brand for Spongebob which, if you’ve ever watched it, you know lives and dies on the butt joke.
Joanne Bamberger, who I lurve to death and am proud to call a fellow Momocrat, took the more popular parental point of view which she expressed eloquently in an editorial piece on NPR (NPR! Go Joanne!) One aspect of her piece is that she is surprised that moms who disliked the Motrin Mom campaign (ahem) could think this was funny.
I take some issue with the question because that implies that what the Motrin watchers lacked was a sense of humor and that now they’ve miraculously found it.
In fact, I think it was the Motrin commercial lacking the sense of humor.
What can I say, I like irreverence. I like seeing the guy get hit in the nuts with the soccer ball on America’s Funniest Home Videos. I liked Madagascar 2, and I’m not sure how exactly Big and Chunky is so much more acceptable than the Burger King ad. And yeah, I guess I like seeing otherwise attractive women with phone books in their butts. (Although admittedly I could live without the “Booty is booty line at the end.”)
I’m not stupid and I completely appreciate the notion that some see the ad combining a children’s icon with “sex” and that’s a dangerous place to go — but I have to use “sex” in quotes because a parody of a ridiculous song to begin with isn’t the same as having Giselle come out in a bustier and lick a Spongebob shaped ice pop for the camera.
Humor, to me, makes all the difference.
In other words, it’s hard to say to your child, “Oh this video? That’s just Fergie simulating felatio on a British palace guard.” It’s easy to say, “Oh this commercial? That’s a joke because there was this silly video back long before you were born where all the people did this funny butt dance and everyone used to laugh about it and dance to it at parties.”
At least that’s what I said to my daughter. But then, I have it easy. She doesn’t like SpongeBob. And she doesn’t like burgers.