All of them involve various levels of misogyny.

1) Subaru Impreza

I loathe this commercial. Television advertising has finally discovered the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Here is its Dr. Frankenstein apologizing. The setup of the ad makes you think this is a long time couple. They're going for good shakes! They're being silly with fruit! But that ruins the commercial because the twist is that they've just met and he's helping her get gas for a stranded truck. A condition of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope is that a person will act very familiar and friendly to a stranger. Now, I'm all for letting your guard down when meeting new people—so that you can become friends with them—but this is ridiculous. No sane person would act this way to a guy who just stopped to get her some gas. The reason this fulfills the MPDG trope as well is because the ad says buy a Subaru, take a risk, and you will easily meet the love of your life. That the love of your life is stupid enough to leave her number on the trunk of the car where it will get washed off by anything is not mentioned. But I bet in the history of the world, no one has left their phone number for a person they really like on the trunk of a car, because they have two working brain cells, usually.

2) DirecTV

Who the hell with two functioning brain cells thought this ad was a good idea? Sterling Draper etc. would pass on this thing as offensive. Equating your wife with your other pleasure entertainment option, your TV! She's a fucking puppet who asks " Do you think I'm pretty?", disrobes to reveal puppet skin, and then she puppet dances for him to keep his attention from the TV. There are other ads with puppet kid and father-in-law but why didn't the company make the only human a woman? Because women don't watch TV, right? As I'm writing this, this is more loathsome than the first ad.


3) Carl's Jr

Given its level of skin and general skeezy vibe, this is surprisingly the least objectionable commercial of the three. It has hot woman (and Paris Hilton) gyrating in black bikinis while pretending to eat a burger. It's going for a porn aesthetic but it's the bad kind of porn—an industrialized, impersonal porn that is not indie feminist porn where the women have control and usually inject some passion into it. This is just equating writhing women with hamburgers. Sex and junk food are two mutually contradictory pleasures—more of one is less of the other, unless you're into that—and displaying both iconographies of desire—the greasy food and the sexy woman— is superfluous. I don't need an attractive woman in a bikini to sell me a burger, not when the burger looks attractive itself (a lot of fast food lighting has borrowed from the films of Terrence Malick). Similarly, I don't need a sexy woman to eat a burger. She could do anything and I would find her sexy. Except act like she knows me when I help her with gas, or be a puppet.