Oh, people. Sigh, sigh, sigh. The more things never change around here, the more they stay the same. Record? Meet broken. You’ll be living in Italy for probably the rest of your God-forsaken dizzy life, spinning a sordid tale of greasy, misogynistic ploys for consumer dollars.
Folks, honestly. Today is my last day of vacation, so believe you me, I frankly didn’t feel like writing my 501st (yay me, BTW, yesterday marked 500 posts!) post today, and much less on this topic. But when duty (doodie) calls, one must, well—answer. So here is my response. *deep breath* [Inner voice: "Stay calm, Shelley. Just hold it together."]
So, watch as history continues to repeat itself. Behold the in(cream)inating evidence:
For those of you who speak Italian, I’ll be back with you in just a moment.
For those of you who don’t speak Italian, good. You’re the ones who can best decode this image without the distraction of the words which are the part that is causing trouble. Question for you: what does this ad say to you? I mean, really with the image of the woman, what’s going on there? You don’t have to comment on it. I’m just giving some “food” for thought.
Anyways, whether you speak Italian or not: this is a play on words for those of us who understand the Italian language well. There’s a famous phrase in the Italian language that says “Parla come mangi” which literally translates to “Speak like you eat.” In that link, there’s a thread of responses as to what this phrase actually means. I liked these responses the best [my comments in brackets]:
mah, penso perchè solitamente si associa chi mangia molto e di tutto a persone poco fini e viceversa..quindi quando una persona cerca di fare la colta e non lo è solitamente gli si risponde così.
Well, I think it’s because usually we associate someone who eats a lot and eats anything, with people who aren’t very refined, and vice versa…so, when a person tries to be all cultured and actually isn’t, we respond to him like that.
lo si dice solitamente alle persone semplici che mangiano in modo semplice e nn “raffinato”. e quando tirano fuori vocaboloni gli si dice parla cm mangi..cioè in modo semplice
You usually say it to “simple” people [“semplice” in Italian refers to someone who is sort of a naive or ingenue type person, or another good way to think of it would be something akin to “down-home“] who eat in a sort of unrefined way. And so when they pull out these big vocabulary words, we say, “Speak like you eat”…meaning, [talk] in a “simple” or down-home way.
perchè quando si mangia in genere si è spontanei…si è se stessi…presi dalla foga del cibo e ci si dimenticano le formalità! E’ un modo simpatico per chiedere di parlare semplice!
Because when you eat you’re usually spontaneous, meaning, just being yourself, so kind of losing yourself in the passion of eating [translated loosely here] you forget all formalities! It’s a nice way to ask someone to “dumb it down” a bit when they’re speaking [again translated quite loosely here].
Anyways, folks, you get the point now.
So, translate that application to the advertising slogan above, which the Philadelphia Cream Cheese people have been ever-so-clever to twist around to this:
“Eat like you love.”
But then, there’s the nail in the proverbial coffin. The tagline.
Yes, people. Don’t think you were getting out of here without a tagline. Oh, no. Nonononononoono!
The tagline reads: [Breathe, Shelley. Breathe!] “Choose pleasure.”
CUE EPIC FAIL HORN, PLEASE, ROD RODDY!
No–seriously, folks. But if you think I’m the only one who’s disgusted by this cheap pandering to the … well, God, I’m not even going to say “Italian male” because why generalize in the opposite direction, right? But, I mean, who else is their damn target audience supposed to be here? For fuck’s sake, people! But, no–once again, think again.
You see, not one to rest on my laurels, I went over to Philly’s Facebook page. And, surprise, surprise, folks–now, would you look at that? I think I just saw a pig with wings gracefully glide by my window. Because 1/3 of the following female comments (i.e. math majors, 33.3%) seem to approve of this advertising. Ugh.
First lady says, “Great job on the morally depraved ‘Eat Like You Love’ ad!!” I don’t know if this is supposed to be sarcasm or what, but … mah.
Second lady says, “The new Philadelphia [this is how they refer to Philly over here] ad ‘eat like you love’ is irritating! You should be ashamed of yourselves…I won’t be buying Philadelphia anymore.”
Third lady says, “You should be ashamed of yourselves for the advertising you do!!!! If you’re so convinced that women are really that stupid, then it’s probably best that you change your advertiser (who is certainly a man)!”
I dunno, folks. I mean, we’re not treading new ground here. However, if you notice in the comment thread of those posts, the two negative ones were followed up by this:
Segnalate anche voi allo Iap. http://www.iap.it/it/modulo.htm Ci vuole un minuto e più persone lo faranno più speranza c’è che réclame così svilenti spariscano anche da noi come è successo in altri Paesi europei in seguito alle proteste. E a breve manderò una lettera allo Iap in proposito che potete sottoscrivere se credete, iscrivendovi al gruppo di uomini e donne che ho fondato
“You should send a report to Iap. [Iap is the "Istituto dell'Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria" which appears to be a sort of self-governing regulating board for the advertising industry. I don't have time right now to go through and research it.] It only takes a minute and the more people who do it, the more hope there is that these types of ads will disappear also around here just as has happened in other European countries following protests. And soon I’ll be sending a letter to Iap regarding this ad, and you can sign it if you want, by joining the group of men and women that I’ve started here.” –Facebook user Annamaria Arlotta
That is all. I will now go back to the rest of my previously-scheduled day.
*walks away, shaking head and mumbling incoherently*
And, postscript for my Italian-speaking friends: further proof that this is of course nothing new (this clip from Che Tempo Che Fa is from 2010), and proof that even if La Littizetto has one of THE most annoying voices on the planet, still, she is brilliantly humorous, simply BRILLIANT.