Metros and retros, but nothing in between

Marlboro_1You may have missed this Cannes alert: Men are in trouble! Half the men in most parts of the world don’t know what is expected of them in society, and three-quarters of them think images of men in advertising are out of touch with reality, according to a new study by Leo Burnett, which may know a thing or two about masculinity, having created the Marlboro Man. This news comes in the midst of a duel for the dominant male image between pink-shirted metrosexuals and beer-swilling “retrosexuals” (easily the dumbest social classification in recent history). Like many men, Burnett chairman Tom Bernardin knows that adapting to a newly feminized social structure is tough, and he wants the ad business to reflect the changes. “The last thing we want,” he said in Cannes, “is to look back in 10 years and find that we have unwittingly created the same clichés that female advertising is riddled with.” Too late, Tom. The message I’ve gotten throughout my life regarding men is that we are idiots mired in emotional infancy and slavishly devoted to our baser urges. If our only other choice is to be prissy, overly fashion-conscious twits, then we are in serious trouble.

—Posted by David Kiefaber