DirecTV Ad: Aggression = Undesirables

I’m home this weekend, which means that I got to watch Thursday night shows on my parents’ big screen instead of on Hulu the next day. (On that note, reruns already, ABC? Come on.) Watching real TV means more commercials, like this one:

At first I thought, okay, good. We don’t need to be teaching kids aggression. Cool. But the ad kept going and it just kept getting worse.

What bothers me most about this ad is that they are trying to sell us premium television services by threatening our daughters’ chastity. Which logical fallacy would that be most? Slippery slope, non sequitur, red herring, veiled threat? Maybe my freshmen comp students can help me out.

I also, however, take issue with the insinuation that somehow a little girl showing any aggression would lead to her getting expelled from school and entering a hyper-sexualized premature marriage with a punk*. Getting angry at the TV is just not that big of a deal. Obviously, the ad is meant to be hyperbolic, but it’s playing on very pervasive underlying assumptions that little girls shouldn’t be aggressive, shouldn’t show anger, or else they are bad, bossy, scary, etc. Further, it plays into a very popular “Save the Girls!” narrative that is often counterproductive at best and damaging at worst.

Well done, DirecTV. This almost undoes the good you did by saving Friday Night Lights.

*Interesting also is how they coded “undesirable.”

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