Tui billboards have, it’s fair to say, never really cranked my handle.
Pretending irony while celebrating what-we-wish-the-world-was-really-like is just too tedious. In 2008 they topped the Advertising Standards Authority hate-list for a billboard some took as anti-religious:
Then there was the complaint upheld by the ASA in 2004, which said that Tui were undermining the human rights of transgendered people with their “irony”.
Or how about this little gem from 2005:
Basically what I’m saying is the latest billboard on view on my cycle to work:
“Two girls kissing is the same as two boys kissing……Yeah, right”
keeps up a fine tradition of find the funny. Well done with that Tui.
We have the homophobic put down of men kissing each other – from the same stable of New Zealand masculinity that watches rugby obsessively, fawning over men’s bodies which look nothing like the average man, but allow us all to enjoy perfectly toned and sculpted manhood.
“Men pat each other’s bums in rugby ironically…….Yeah, right”
Then we have the assumption that two women kissing are sexy because, well, it’s two women.
When women kiss other women in real life, actually the last thing we’re thinking about is whether it’s sexy for men. It’s all about us actually boys – you are completely unimportant in that moment – and for many women, in many other moments too.
Which may, of course, be the problem. What if lots and lots and lots of women decided kissing other women was more appealing than kissing men? Would that still be sexy? Or would it be, well, kinda sad for men who weren’t interested in kissing other men?
I’m going to quote Series 6, Episode 16 of that cultural landmark Friends to definitively make my point now. Ross has just had a threesome with two women, and is bragging to Joey about it:
Joey: So, was it amazing?
Ross: It was… it was okay.
Joey: Just okay? Did you do it right?
Ross: Look, it’s just…. Did you ever go to a party and think, Would really anyone miss me if I weren’t here?
Anyhow, I’m all about changing oppressive institutions. So I encourage anyone who finds Tui billboards as tedious as I do to enter their competition to come up with a catchy phrase to be put up all over the country.
Tui issues these guidelines (and I’m quoting here):
Within the boys world. Must be topical, beer related or just bloody funny. No more than eights words. Must not be overtly sexual, racist, sexist or rude
Last winner “Click here for free porn”.
I think I have a different definition of “overtly” than the Tui boys do. But I’m entering this:
I like my chances.