Bil Browning

Snickers goes nuts with the Colts

Filed By Bil Browning | February 06, 2007 7:29 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living, The Movement
Tags: Christian beliefs, fundamentalists, hate speech, homophobic behavior, Indiana Family Institute, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Colts, Tony Dungy

If you blinked you might have missed this story. I didn't get a chance to blog about it yesterday and by now it's a completely different story.

Think back to Sunday's game. Do you remember the Snickers commercial that showed two mechanics eating the candy bar a la Lady and the Tramp? The two men recoil in horror at the idea of a same-sex kiss and to prove their manliness they both rip large sections of hair off their chests. Funny, huh? Yeah. I didn't think so either. Neither did large sections of the gay community... Late yesterday the website supporting the marketing campaign got pulled down by Mars, the candy bar's maker.

The website had four versions of the commercial. All four started the same, but one ended with ever more horrific endings. One showed an effeminate guy walking up and asking the other two, "Is there room for three on this love boat?" So gay equals promiscuous. Ending number two ended with the two men drinking motor oil and antifreeze in an attempt to "do something manly." Yeah, better to die than be gay. The third though, took the cake. Entitled "Wrench," this ending had one of the men bashing the other with a huge wrench and being smashed into the hood of the car himself. Cause gay bashing is the "manly" thing to do, right? Are you laughing yet?

But here's the interesting tie-in:

At the bottom of the site there were clips from various Colts and Bears players' reactions to the commercials. While the Colts players obviously registered discomfort at the commercial's premise, the Bears players were offensive with their expressions of disgust and their comments.

So, yeah. Coach Dungy is going to fundraise for the Indiana Family Institute and then the entire team is featured heavily in a homophobic advertising blitz. Way to score points with your LGBT fans. These past couple of weeks have me thinking maybe we should be calling them "The Dolts" for their actions surrounding our issues.

All of the big blogs picked up on the Snickers story and also quickly linked it all back to our story about Coach Dungy speaking to IFI - Indiana's most vehemently anti-gay organization. So far the only thing the Colts are saying is still the same thing I got last week, "No comment." With Americablog, OutSports, Daily Kos, Huffington Post, AOL Sports Blog and other huge mega-sites helping to drive publicity about this, how much longer do you think the mainstream media can ignore this story? As I type this, Paula Zahn is on CNN covering the Snickers part of the story.

Coach Dungy and Colts owner Jim Irsay both gave big speeches about how important God was to the team. Apparently the Colts are important to God too - after all he won the game for them. From Jericho's walls to the Superbowl. What's God been reduced to? With God being featured so prominently, a tie-in to homophobia through the Indiana Family Institute and then a homophobic commercial's website featuring Colts players, can the media still ignore Dungy's speech? Several bloggers are referencing all the stories in their posts now. Will the local media continue to ignore Dungy's speech to a hate group?

See the commercial after the jump:

2/7/07 Editor's note: You can find more on this story on at the following links:

You can find the original story at: Tony Say It Isn't So!
The story breaks nationwide: Like deja vu all over again
Last week's poll on the Colts: Show me your poll!
The Colts make a non-statement: The Colts respond - sort of
More blogs pick up the story: Don hits it big
Snickers adds to the fray with this week's poll: Snickers goes nuts with the Colts

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I thought that the two "striaght" guys were pretty much being made the "butt" of the commercial's joke, so I found no offense. The Dungy/IFI story is the one that causes me concern.

I saw the commercial and it made me very uncomfortable. Maybe the straight guys were supposed to be the butt of the commercial's joke, but I felt there was an underlying prejudice in it. I didn't like it at all.

I also am not happy about Dungy fundraising for the IFI. I find all of this very sad.

The commercial itself didn't cross the line much, but the "extra footage" videos on the site were all very disturbing, and made it clear that the main part of the commercial wasn't innocent at all.

Let's Make Signs | February 7, 2007 6:29 AM

...and picket the dinner at which Dungy is going to speak. Seriously.

And write to Dungy at the Colts complex.

It's all we have.

And the commercial was disgusting. Nothing funny about it. I've eaten my last Mars candy. Today I'll write Mars and tell them as much.

Judy Sheppard has waded into the fray. Here's a clip from her recent press release. Emphasis mine.

Mars' campaign Web site ( shows alternate endings for the ad - among them, a version called "Wrench" where, instead of ripping out their own chest hair, one man grabs a wrench and uses it to bash the other, who responds by slamming the hood of the car down on his head. Mars is asking visitors to vote on this and three other endings - including the one aired on the Super Bowl telecast - to determine which version will air during the Fox broadcast of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18.

The site also shows five NFL players, two from the Indianapolis Colts and three from the Chicago Bears, reacting to the several versions of the ad. The players' reactions range from general amusement (Bears quarterback Rex Grossman and Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison) to non-verbal disgust (Bears wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad) to overt expressions of prejudice (Bears tight end Desmond Clark and Colts linebacker Cato June).
"I am outraged that Mars, the NFL and these players would promote such an anti-gay message. This campaign encourages the same type of hate that led to the death of my son Matthew. It essentially gives 'permission' to our society to verbally or physically harass individuals who are gay, lesbian or bisexual," said Judy Shepard, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. "In particular, I am dismayed that these players, who are role models to our young people, would participate in perpetuating such discrimination and prejudice."
The Mars/Snickers Web site bears the logos of the NFL and PLAYERS, INC (National Football League Players Incorporated).

The New York Times got this statement from a Mars spokeswoman. They sound sorry, right? Right!?!

?As with all of our Snickers advertising, our goal was to capture the attention of our core Snickers consumer, primarily 18-to-24-year-old adult males,? said a spokeswoman for Masterfoods, Alice Nathanson. ?Feedback from our target consumers has been positive, and many media and Web site commentators on this year?s Super Bowl lineup ranked the commercial among this year?s best.?
?We know that humor is highly subjective and we understand that some consumers have found the commercial offensive,? Ms. Nathanson said, adding: ?Clearly that was not our intent. We do not plan to continue the ad on television or on our Web site.?

I also just loved the commercial's homage to the far-right assertion that most gay men enjoy eating feces. [/snark] My first reaction to seeing those two go to town on the Snickers bar was that it looked like they were fighting over a turd; they couldn't have stuffed much more gay-panic crap into that commercial if they'd tried.

Getting the homophobic commerical at the beginning of the game and the code-laden Godspeak at the end from Irsay and Dungy left me shaken to a degree that surprised me. Dungy is more interested in being seen as a Christian than as a black coach (emphasizing a chosen affiliation over an inborn trait), but is willing to shill for organizations that actively work against gay people (emphasizing an inborn trait over chosen affiliations). It makes me sick.

You really are going to have to forgive me here but I kind of think people are over reacting a bit. I find it more offensive that they have dragged Mr T out of retirement to make ads more than anything else. Gay, metrosexual or whatever it says more about the stupidity of 80's television shows than it does about anything else.....

Hey I'm transsexual and I actually find this ad for Snickers bloody hilarious