I like a good commercial, and historically the MasterCard “priceless” commercials have really hit the spot. I've considered them honest, insightful, and playful.
I’d consider the newest MasterCard “priceless” commercial a hit but for one word that is in the script. That one word is a commentary on our culture, a commentary on what’s considered normal and everyday. Now, I’m not what one would consider a culture warrior, I’m more a cultural observer. And this observer is disappointed.
The commercial shows a guy twisting and turning, trying to open a pickle jar. Have you seen the commercial MasterCard calls “Pickle Jar?” If not, go take a peek.
Did you catch the word I’m objecting to? It’s very subtle. The word is boyfriend. I wouldn’t have thought twice about the commercial if that word was husband.
Here’s the script: “Gym membership for February: $68. Gym membership for March: $68. Gym membership for April: $68. Finally convincing your boyfriend he should go with you: priceless.”
A sociologist will tell you that a culture that values marriage over cohabitation is stronger and healthier. Why did MasterCard choose to use the word boyfriend? Wouldn’t it have been just as clever with the word husband? Does their choice of noun reflect our culture?
I’m not naïve. I know that many people live together outside of marriage. I’m not even going to take on the why-they-do or why-they-shouldn’t. That dialogue has been around for decades.
What I want to know is why did MasterCard use the word boyfriend? Did they think no one would notice? I did.