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Hornitos Tequila: Using Rape to Sell You Their Liquor

May 9, 2011

Last night I was catching Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when I caught this:

In case you don’t have the time, or don’t care to watch this disgusting rapist propaganda, let me give you the run down.  Dude walks into an apartment with a ladyfriend who gently states “I don’t know what’s gotten into you, Mike.” Dude shakes his head innocently as she walks away to go procure some Hornitos™ Brand Premium Tequila for herself and the dude. Dude’s phone starts to go off and he hurriedly answers it to reveal his identical twin brother at an airport who asks, “Dave, did you tell April I wasn’t going to make it?” to which his imposter replies “I gotcha covered bro,” as April clangs two shot glasses together while holding a bottle of Hornitos™ Brand Premium Tequil and a “come hither” expression.  The real Mike hears his girlfriend start to laugh on the other end of the phone as the the viewer is left to assume that Dave is going to have hot nonconsensual uninformed sex with April.  Hornitos™ Brand Premium Tequila than closes the commercial out saying, “Hornitos™ Premium Tequila: Purer than your intentions.”

Wow, right? First, let’s establish what it is we’re watching here. This is a commercial in which a woman is raped. The female character is having sex with somebody that is assuming a false identity, negating the informed part of “informed consent.” She thought she was having sex with Mike, not Mike’s creepy rapist brother Dave. That is rape, plain and simple.

I think this ad highlights something disturbing about the ubiquity of rape culture in our society. I’m totally blown away that this ad spot actually made it through the chain of command. Somehow this went from brain, to pen, to paper, and then from one execs desk to another, to filming and production, editing, and finally to air without anybody along the way stopping to say, “Hey, waitasecond. Isn’t this–” and then cutting this thing off before it got on air as a nationwide ad campaign.

And what’s up with the last line? “Purer than your intentions.” They wouldn’t say that if they thought what the dude was doing was okay, right? So, doesn’t that suggest that they knew something wrong was occurring in the ad but than ran it anyway? This makes it even more shocking that nobody stopped this ad in its tracks. “Hey guys, you know the creepy, sleezy, ‘unpure’ thing about this that we’re explicitly referring to at the end of this ad? Does anybody think that thing might be rape?”

“Hornitos Premium Tequlia: Purer than rape.” Wow, don’t set the bar too high for yourselves guys, lest you trip over the boners you apparently have for your identical twins’ girlfriends.

What’s even more disturbing is the likelihood that the guys that made this commercial knew they what they were doing and didn’t care. “Fuck it! Run it. We’re not hear to please a bunch of nagging Feminazis. We’re here to make a profit, dammit!”

Maybe the guys from the Yale chapter of Delta Kappa Epslion who infamously marched through campus chanting “No means Yes! Yes means anal!” graduated and became ad men. Or the guys that made the discontinued ad for Burger King’s “Super Seven Incher” all got new jobs for Hornitos to continue their careers as propagandists for violence against women.

While searching for the YouTube clip above I stumbled across an outstanding post about the commercial at the blog Not That Kind of Girl. The blogger wrote a letter to Hornitos. I’m going to write one myself and I’d encourage others to let them know what you think. Tell them that you don’t think that rape is funny and you want them to stop using it to sell their product!