We all know how targeting advertising works. Your computer listens to you, then shows you ads for products you might want. If your computer knows you have diabetes, it shows you ads for healthy foods. Or if your computer knows you’re a birdwatcher, hello advertisements for high-tech binoculars. Or if your computer knows you’re a middle-aged male barber who loves to garden, cue the ads for boner pills.
But if you’re a diabetic birdwatching middle-aged male barber who happens to be gay, you’re not going to see any of those ads. No, if you’re a diabetic birdwatching middle-aged male barber who happens to be gay, the only ads you’re going to get are for underwear.
Here’s a #fact: if I purchased as much underwear as advertisers think I should, it would be a problem. I would be in rehab. You would consider my underwear shopping habits an addiction.
Last Thanksgiving, I was showing a Facebook album to my Aunt Elaine on my laptop, and as we scrolled through the photos I suddenly realized that each one was accompanied by a 2(X)IST ad. Aunt Elaine saw more bulge that day than all of the German and American troops on the Western Front during World War II.
Which is why I’m here with this urgent message to advertisers: THERE ARE OTHER THINGS YOU CAN SELL TO US. Seriously, sell us ANYTHING ELSE.
I realize I can’t speak for all gay men, but I can speak for most when I say: we don’t need you to convince us to get more underwear. We already have sexy date underwear, and sexy casual underwear, and sexy work underwear. We’ve got drawers-full of jocks, briefs, and boxers. Our bananas are well-hammocked.
We’re gay. We’ve got underwear on lockdown.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not complaining about the photos. They’re great! But do they make me want to buy more underwear? Not in the slightest.
But slap a pizza on top of a naked guy and you’ve got me saying “that’s not underwear, that’s DiGiorno!”
So, advertisers, do you want to be smart? Sell me pizza. Sell me lamps. Sell me sunglasses. Sell me cat litter. Sell me literally anything other than underwear. I have money I want to spend. And my Aunt Elaine will thank you.