Stanley “Hammerhead”

In ads for tools, men aren’t dainty metrosexuals. But, as we see in a new spot by Mullen for The Stanley Works, modern-day manliness differs from the crew-cut version of yore. At a construction site, a muscular guy in a cut-off shirt is driving nails into a wall with his forehead rather than with a hammer. This may look odd to you, but his co-worker knows, without being told, what the problem is: “Carpenter’s elbow again? That’s the worst pain there is.” A voiceover urges you to “Be nice to your arm” and get the AntiVibe hammer from Stanley. Do manly men really use their heads as hammers when their elbows are ailing? Probably not, which is to say that Stanley has been indulging in some irony here. But such self-mockery is at the core of modern-day macho. (Go to a blue-collar bar and eavesdrop for a while if you don’t know what I mean.) Stanley has captured this tone quite deftly. The viewer comes away quite persuaded that he can seek out the AntiVibe hammer without feeling like a weak-elbowed sissy for doing so.–Mark Dolliver