OK, so this is kind of adorable. It’s not going to appeal to women who aren’t attracted to men, but that’s a minority, and PSAs are doing pretty well if they can interest more than half of their target audience -- plus this potentially also nets you men who are attracted to men, and it’s not like men can’t get breast cancer. Also sglkha4woi’rVOP sorry I shorted my keyboard out with drool.
But I am unable to experience unalloyed love for this ad, because I’m so damn sick of breast cancer ads being pegged to sexy body parts and Lady Stuff. I mean, yeah, a lot of women are interested in handsome men. But a lot of women are also interested in not dying of cancer. Do we have to couch that in cute (granted, VERY cute) gimmicks like it was an Old Spice ad, rather than speaking honestly about the reality of cancer screening, treatment and aftermath?For sure, this is better than the frankly gross “Save the tatas” slogan, which (with what is probably the best of intentions) casts breast cancer mainly as a threat to female sexiness. And it’s definitely better than the Facebook memes where you post the color of your bra or favorite spot to leave your purse, and that’s supposed to somehow “raise awareness” of breast cancer despite never mentioning cancer or even breasts.
But it’s still trading on a sort of romantic comedy idea of what motivates women, instead of saying anything about cancer impacts or outcomes. And I'm pretty sure women don't all need to be coaxed into caring about their health by surrounding that bitter pill with applesauce in the form of Anthony and his ass. Asslesauce.
Are other diseases treated this way? I mean, prostate cancer ads aren’t organized around hot girls. If they were, I wouldn’t be too surprised, since pretty much all other advertising ever is, but they’re not. And they’re certainly not focused on the importance of “saving the prostates,” or how horrible it would be to live without one -- even though surgery for prostate cancer can result in sexual dysfunction, which you’d think would rate even higher than “boobies” on most men’s list of concerns.Of course, this is partly because prostate cancer doesn’t have much of a campaign. Public awareness of prostate cancer screening is pretty low, which is troubling, unless it’s not. (Screening may actually be counterproductive -- it doesn’t seem to save lives, according to a recent federal task force, but treatment carries risks.) But trust, if there were a Facebook-based consciousness-raising effort, it would not center around men revealing the color of their boxers.What would I like to see go viral instead? Maybe one of the women from the spectacularly beautiful Scar Project, talking about the anxiety of diagnosis and treatment and having to learn to live in her body again, and how she’d like to spare other women that distress. There’s nothing fun about that and you don’t get to see Anthony’s ass, but I think it’s probably appropriate for a cancer PSA to be about the reality of cancer and survival, even if that’s kind of a downer. Maybe they can put Anthony’s ass in the background.