This past weekend, a watch brand by the name of Mariner Watches came under fire for their incredibly sexist ads.
One ad shows a man with his hand around a woman’s neck. His other hand is force-feeding her alcohol. The ad reads, “Like whiskey and a beautiful woman, timepieces demand appreciation, you gaze first and then indulge!!”
In another picture, a man is shown with his arm also around a woman’s throat saying “Elegance is good taste plus a dash of daring!”
I quickly went on the brand’s Facebook and Instagram pages and noticed something really odd: their Instagram only has 12 posts and 67 followers. While their Facebook has only 1,026 likes. It’s not exactly a popular luxury watch brand, but the negative attention to their ads brought tons of traffic to their site.
Did they do this on purpose? Some people have even asked the question “is the brand even real?” No one heard of Mariner Watches until a picture of the ad went viral.
Hundreds of users began to screenshot posts from the brand’s Instagram page, which are now nowhere to be found.
The company, of course, issued a run on the mill generic apology and claimed they didn’t know the ads had been posted on their page.
I have a hard time believing, however, that a company was unaware of the advertising that was going on. Mariner Watches isn’t like Rolex or Cartier, no matter how hard they try to flex for the ‘gram. They’re a social media brand, and they had to get people talking one way or another. And unfortunately, they used a disgusting sales tactic. Just looking at the pictures, I get sick to my stomach. They honestly need to be next to the definition of “rape culture” in the dictionary.
The art of sexist advertising is, of course, nothing new. From an early age, we were all exposed to the oversexualized, objectification of women in advertising. Have you seen ads from the ’50s and ’60s? Those were just flat out sexist, mainly focusing on a woman’s place in the home.
But by the time I became aware of sexist ads, they were a lot more sexual. I grew up seeing Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. commercials. And don’t even get me started on the gross American Apparel ads that were all over the place.
At this point, it seems like brands are purely doing it for the shock value. I’m done giving the marketers and advertising teams the benefit of the doubt, that maybe they didn’t realize their advertisement is racist or sexist.
Mariner Watches is even enjoying the backlash. Take a quick scroll through their comments and you’ll see them liking comments from sexist pigs.
There are some who are convinced the whole thing is purely a social experiment to show people just how sexist advertising can be. If the whole thing ends up being fake, then great. It got people talking about a topic that’s still an issue in today’s media.
But if it’s not, this company needs to get shut down immediately.
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Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.