You know, it’s been too long — seven years, to be exact — since we’ve had some sexy controversy at the Super Bowl. But it looks like we’re headed that way again this year: According to the Advocate, Doritos plans to air two gay-themed ads during the biggest television event of the year. In one spot (both are embedded after the jump), a man licks his lips watching his supposedly gay neighbors eat Doritos; in the other, a man appears to be reaching for another’s nether regions in a sauna, before it’s revealed that he’s actually reaching for a bag of chips placed in an inconvenient location. It’s not clear whether or not these ads will really run during the big game — Frito-Lay, the PepsiCo division that manufactures Doritos, has yet to respond to EW’s request for comment. UPDATE: According to Frito-Lay, via GLAAD, these ads — which were fan-made and submitted to the company for their “Crash the Super Bowl” ad contest — will not be running during the Super Bowl.
Regardless, it’s inevitable that these ads will incite anger: On the one hand, Super Bowl viewers obsessed with keeping the telecast G-rated will likely not take fondly to the ads’ sexual insinuation — even if they’re less (or just as) explicit than any GoDaddy ad that has run in years past. On the other, it’s difficult to deny that the ads are a tad offensive, especially when you consider the context under which they will air.
As a fellow EW writer pointed out to me, the commercials would be shrug-worthy if you imagine them playing on Logo, where viewers would be “in” on the joke. Playing the commercials in front of a viewing audience that’s long been courted by boobs and booze makes it more difficult to imagine that gays aren’t being set up as the butt of the joke. (The first ad, for example, certainly seems to imply that it’s horrifying to be mistaken for a gay man.)
This isn’t the first time this year that Doritos has been in trouble for its Super Bowl ad content, though. Just three weeks ago, Doritos attracted ire for its Eucharist-themed, fan-made ad that was under consideration for the Super Bowl. (In the spot, a priest decides to replace bread and wine with Doritos and Pepsi to attract more churchgoers.) The conspiracy theorist in me can’t help but wonder whether or not Doritos is setting up their commercials to offend as many people as possible (they can check the gays and the not-always-so-gay-friendly Catholic community off their list) — but, most likely, the company is just being extra-ballsy this year.
But let’s hear your two cents, PopWatchers: Do you find these ads offensive? Or just offensively not funny? And while we’re on the subject, can we officially pan Miller Light’s awful series of stop-dressing-like-a-lady ads?