A vulgar commercial on Tucker Carlson tells a very good story
I watch Tucker Carlson regularly. I don't always agree with him, but I find him engaging and informative. However, when the show cuts to commercials, I hit the mute button. Today, I couldn't find the clicker and found myself watching a Gillette Venus commercial celebrating pubic hair, something I found vulgar. However, my attitude changed when I realized why I was watching this ad: it's a signal that advertisers are recognizing that, if they want to reach Democrats in the coveted (because profitable) 25–54 demographic, they must advertise on Tucker.
The commercial is not obscene. As I said, it's just vulgar. If my kids were still young, I would not be very happy to have the news interrupted by a commercial focused on "pubes" and having singing pubic hairs on the beach:
As a general matter, that commercial represents the decay and coarsening of public culture. Once upon a time, whenever people were out in public, they wore nice clothes, hats, and gloves. The idea of wearing pajamas and slippers in public or going out with one's pants falling down or a barely-there top was inconceivable. Just look at this picture from Louisville, Kentucky, in 1939:
The people in that long-ago world would not have approved of dancing pubic hairs with their nightly news commentary.
Nevertheless, when looked at the correct way, those dancing pubic hairs tell us something very good. For decades, nightly news shows have tended to have commercials that cater to old people: tactfully phrased ads for hemorrhoid relief, will-writing software, and digestive aids. The shows were not geared toward or reaching a younger audience.
This ad, though, is defiantly directed to young people, and not stodgy young people, either. So why would Gillette (which ran into trouble with conservatives over its embrace of so-called transgenderism and "toxic masculinity") buy ad time to cater to edgy young women and, I guess, young men? The answer is, they're buying ads because you go where the customers are.
You remember the report from February 2022 about October 2021 viewership, don't you?
In October, the most recent month for which data is available, Carlson's 9 p.m. ET program was the top cable news show among Democrats in the advertiser-coveted age range of 25-54.
More surprising are the stats about Carlson and Fox News' pull with self-proclaimed Democrats. Of those demo-aged viewers surveyed who identified as Democrats, 39% chose Fox News, 31% chose MSNBC and 30% chose CNN for programming from 8 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET. In total-day viewership, Fox News grabbed 42% of Democrats aged 25-54, CNN nabbed 33% and MSNBC got 25%.
What this means is that, when I'm next watching Tucker and find myself subjected to a vulgar commercial more suited to a 30-year-old mid-level tech company manager than to me, I'm not going to be offended. Instead, I'm happily going to tell myself that it's a good thing.
Oh, and when it comes to razors, in our household, we use Jeremy's razors: