Aktion Mensch, Duell


In an effort to recall a movie-like Old West showdown, this commercial shows two cowboys -- one older, one younger -- slowly walking toward each other as members of the town watch nervously.

The two men stare each other down, with hands near their guns as they get closer. Suddenly the music changes from threatening to romantic and the two embrace for a dramatic kiss. (A mother then withdraws her son, who was watching with her.)

The narrator then says, "We are deadly sorry to have robbed you of your pleasures. Do let us have ours."

This clever ad appears to be educating the general population with a twist that asks to be treated equally.

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User Comments
David Mahon
The neutral rating might have come from that "Not For Children's Eyes" subtext. If a particularly stubborn homophobe saw the child being removed from the scene, they could see it as a confirmation of their beliefs. A fully positive reaction would have had the mother hide the child's eyes during the impending violence and allow him to see when the cowboys kissed.

Justin Akin
To what does "We are deadly sorry to have robbed you of your pleasures" refer? Is this a not-so-oblique reference to AIDS? That's the way it reads to me and, as such, should put this in the negative campaign.

Andrew Ogus
This is hilarious, and well done. Why isn't it in your "positive" section? I especially like the subtext that it's okay to witness violence but not affection.

Uhm... duhhh. The "deadly sorry we robbed you" joke is about disappointing the poor, poor audience who had sooo expected a nice shootout (presumably with lethal results). The fact that with such a blatant implication, some could still only think of AIDS being somehow implied simply because there are gay men in it, makes me wonder about [i]others[/i] internalized prejudices, not the moviemakers'.

What a very erotic ad, I'm from Texas and that turned me on. Very clever and my all time fantasy about cowboys.

The "We are deadly..." line refers to the audience's expectation and hope that they will see violence and bloodshed, and their disappointment at not getting their show (I'm pretty sure). It gets the neutral rating because it shows the way things [i]are[/i] (violence valued over love) instead of how they [i]should[/i] be. "Deadly sorry" is a double entendre, used as "very" but implying the deadliness of dueling, I don't think it has anything to do with AIDS. If anything, it might refer to the deadliness of the admiration of violence many cultures have.

Gene Delgado
Great ad. I see it as juxtaposing violence and love. In other words, it would have been "ok" had the cowboys killed each other but, as the woman who scurried her child inside showed, not okay that they instead kissed.