You’d think by now that someone would have realized that insulting consumers isn’t the best way to sell a product, but apparently they haven’t. The latest incident? Subway’s sexy Halloween costume commercial, which is a misstep on the level of Veet’s horrible “Don’t Risk Dudeness” campaign. Seriously, guys? Do we really have to go through this again? Ugh. Fine. Here we go.
The gist of the ad is this: Bikini season may be over, but don’t think that you’re off the hook when it comes to staying slim. Why? Sexy Halloween costumes, of course! The ad pointedly doesn’t refer to them as “sexy,” but each and every costume modeled by a conventionally beautiful woman is modified by a word that’s clearly a stand-in for “sexy," “spicy,” “foxy,” and so on. The message is that obviously the only thing that makes Halloween worthwhile is women in sexy costumes; obviously the only people who are allowed to wear sexy Halloween costumes fit one very specific body shape; and obviously the only way to achieve that body shape is by eating at Subway.
Here, watch it for yourselves:
Now, I’m sure there are a lot of folks out there who are groaning not at the ad, but because people like me are bitching about it: “Calm down — it’s just a commercial,” “It’s really not that awful,” “Don’t you have anything better to take to task than a stupid sandwich ad?” But here’s the thing: We need to talk about this stupid sandwich ad and other ads like it because it's all still happening. It’s still enforcing incredibly particular and largely unattainable beauty standards, and it’s still doing it in a way that most people just kind of accept. And as long as all that is still happening, we need to keep talking about it — we need to keep talking about it until it doesn’t happen anymore.
Notably, comments have been disabled on YouTube for the Subway ad. I don’t think that’s an accident; I think deep down in their hearts, Subway knows this one was a bad idea.
For the curious (and for those who can’t watch the video right now), here are the costumes featured in the ad, ranked by yours truly from least to most ridiculous:
6. Hot Devil
This one is a Halloween standard, but at least she’s wearing a bodysuit rather than lingerie.
5. Foxy Fullback
The idea is weird, so why does this one only come in at number five? Because it’s not nearly insane as this sexy football player costume.
4. Spicy Red Riding Hood
Kiiiiiiiind of ridiculous, but fairy tales are soaked with sex when you look closely. “Spicy Red Riding Hood” isn’t really too far off the mark in reality.
3. Attractive Nurse
We’re getting into straight male fantasy territory here…
2. Sassy Teacher
And plunging into it fully (haha) here. The only reason to dress up as a teacher at Halloween as an adult is if you’re going to make it a sexy teacher, making the whole point of the costume to be sexy. And that’s kind of discouraging.
1. Viking Princess Warrior
She can’t just be a Viking warrior? She has to be a princess, too?
One word: Facepalm.
Images: Subway Restaurants/YouTube