Commercial Break / OMGWTFLOL: The Creepiest Hair Care Ad in History
Posted by Andrew Unterberger on September 19, 2008
Suddenly those orgasmic Herbal Essences commercials seem so innocuous
Just For Men’s ad campaigns recently have been pretty weird in general. There’s the hippie-baiting one that seems to suggest that being able to play guitar and basketball makes you an immortal. There’s the surreal rhyming one where an uninvited Keith Hernandez and Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier berate a poor, defenseless and apparently senile Emmitt Smith for having subpar facial hair. But props gotta go to Victor on this one for tipping me as to what a horrifying, skin-crawling commercial this one (labeled on YouTube as “Daddy’s Girls”) is. It’s not creepy in that cool, Lynchian way all those recent, warped Starburst and Skittles ads have been, either. It’s just emotionally disconcerting, in a way you never thought a hair coloring ad could possibly be.
“Dad? It’s time.” Two oh-so-precious daughters approach their father, who probably thinks that the girls need to be driven to their clarinet lessons or something. But these are not your ordinary, self-centered young daughters, obsessed with their BeJewlers and their posters of Cutting Crew and the like. It becomes clear, as they present their father with a Just For Men box, that they have loftier goals in mind. “You’d make a really nice catch for somebody!” the younger and cuter of the daughters squeaks. Just in case they’ve yet to do a sufficient job of selling their dad on hair-coloring, they unleash the final dagger, a heart-piercing, in unison “PLEEEEEEAAAAAASSSSSSE?????” Soon, Dad is shown on a date with some mystery woman in a purple dress, and texts the girls a pic of him and chick smiling together. “YESSSS!!!” the girls exclaim, high-fiving.
The number of eye-widening, bone-chilling implications in this ad are almost too numerous to list. First, it seems pretty clear that these kids’ mother is dead, right? I mean, I guess technically you could argue that Mom and Dad are divorced, but there’s no way the kids would’ve stayed so sweet and naive, and no way Dad would seem so stoically true, were that the case. For whatever reason, it’s clearly been a long time since Dad was in the game, so Mom’s definitely been out of picutre in one way or another since these kids were in pre-school. And now these kids are so wanting for some sort of maternal influence in their household that the one thing they want for Christmas is for Dad to snap out of his relationship funk and go get himself (and, presumably, them) a woman.
And what do they single out as the one area in which Dad is so insufficient, so sorely lacking, that it would no doubt increase his mating chances infinityfold to improve? Why, his hair color, of course. So much for the dignified salt and pepper look, I suppose–clearly, if there’s one thing the single ladies of the world absolutely will not tolerate in a widower with two kids, it’s a grey mane. Normally, this would be the moment when the father sits his daughters down, and tells them “Girls, I love you, but there’s just some things about adult relationships you won’t be able to understand until you’re a little bit older.” But instead of that scene, Dad apparently views his little angels as acceptably knowledgeable relationship consiglieres, and takes their advice.
Naturally, he is instantly able to land himself a purple-dressed catch–or at least, to go on a single date with her. For all we know, this is their first time meeting, and the two girls might never have even met this mysterious woman (it’s not like we see a proposal or a ring or anything). But so desperate are these girls for a mommy that any old vagina off the streets will apparently do just fine, and it’s a high-five, “YESSSSSS!!“-worthy moment of celebration. And all of it, of course, is due to Just For Men, without which Dad would’ve certainly been a hideous wretch of firmly undateable proportions. Just be thankful that it wasn’t an Enzyte commercial, I guess.