42 Below, Man, I Don't Understand How Anyone Can Be Gay


This irreverent New Zealand-based vodka company, whose name refers to their location at the 42nd parallel, has made some bold ads to stand out in a mature category where several vodka brands already seek gay drinkers, including Absolut, which has been in the U.S. gay market for 25 years.

This ad reads at the top, "Drinking 42 Below Passionfruit vodka is like walking along the street and seeing this really hot girl and all you can think is "Man, I don't understand how anyone can be gay."

The bottom of the ad then adds, "Sure I can see how some buff young guy all decked out in Gucci can turn your dial. But when you compare him to this girl with her high heels, forcing her bum out a little, and her t-shirt just a pinch too tight, and that confident 'I don't care about you' walk -- Bam! Now that's what I'm talking about!"

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User Comments
Mike Guerrero
I'm confused - is it supposed to appeal to gay men that prefer straight men that objectify women, with the crazy notion that a beer-drinking, no-girly drink guy would for whatever reason drink 42 below passionfruit vodka? I think I'm missing it... clearly doesn't appeal to straight guys, does it?! Just wondering how this resonates with gay men, other than capitolizing on internalized homophobia - like, "yeah he's straight, he's very straight, but this guy could be my friend AND drink 42 below vodka with me!"

Freya Dixon
As an Australian 36 YO straight female I can picture EXACTLY who this ad's psuedo-dialogue is meant to represent, and trust me, it's SAD. Strikes me as a sly dig by the marketer at their own target audience. But it eludes me how this is really expected to sell the product - who would actually want to identify with this? The product stands on its own merits, but the 'type' who would seriously identify with the literal written message are going to be hard-core rum / beer / bourbon drinkers through & through. Just a ridiculous waste of ad space.

I laughed out loud!

I think it sucks that sexuality is now used as a persuasive tool to persuade any one person to buy a certain brand of alcohol. What has our society become? A society that allows that kind of branding of any female body. I myself am asexual and I hate it when any person - male or female - try to persuade me that my so called biological imperative overrules any logical decision to be made. Shame on the poor person who bought a bottle of this alcohol.

Cindy Clardy
I see this as sexist rather than edgy. Unless this ad ran only in a male publication, it alienates the 51% of the readers who are women by assuming the reader is male. Some lesbians might like the same type femme, but I imagine most women will be irritated by a "girl" shown as a sex object.