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9.07.2010

Clean Balls? Not at 10am!

I got up with my boys yesterday morning. We went downstairs, grabbed some breakfast, turned on the Star Wars marathon that was on Spike TV and started to wrestle around on the floor. Everything was fine until I overheard, during commercial break from Episode IV, “Do you have dirty balls?” What?!

It was this commercial for Axe’s Detailer, their supped-up bath sponge for guys:


Hey, that commercial did its job. It got my attention and I remember what the product is for. And five years ago, I would have been rolling on the floor laughing. That was 5 B.C. – Before Children. While, I’ll admit, my inner-immature-teenager was cracking up, my more immediate reaction was to be concerned that my 4.5 half year old had picked up on the extremely-thinly-veiled sexual innuendo.

I’m not going to get on a tirade about the unraveling of the moral fabric of our society because this commercial aired. Hey, sex sells, and that’s the job of the people coming up with the commercial for the product. Like it or not, that’s just reality.

My beef isn’t with Axe – it’s with Spike TV. And it’s not even that they aired the commercial. That is a commercial that would appeal to their target audience, and far be it from me to deny a business from reaching their target audience with products that would interest them.

It’s WHEN they aired it. On a Monday morning around 10 am was bad enough, especially given that it was a holiday when kids are at home. Airing it during a Star Wars marathon, however, was not a responsible choice by the station.

Sure, there are a bunch of geeky adult fan boys like me who were watching because, well, it was a Star Wars marathon. I don’t think that needs further explanation.

But Star Wars is also a whole industry marketed to young children. So my boys, and I’m sure plenty of other young children, were watching when that commercial aired. And you know what? I’m not ready to have “The Talk” with my boys yet. When it’s time and when it’s appropriate, I’ll do my job as a dad and have that conversation. But when they’re 4.5 and 2 – and especially when Star Wars is on – is not that time.

Spike TV, I know and appreciate that you are a cable television channel devoted to men and our viewing pleasures. You frequently feed my macho needs for things like UFC, blowing stuff up, movies with scantily-clad hotties and raunchy sexual innuendo comedy. I’m glad you’re there for me for stuff like that. Really. But from now on, can you please keep that stuff off the TV until my boys are in bed? And never show it during Star Wars. Because even if it is at a time that they should be in bed, they just might be up imagining themselves as Luke Skywalker to my Darth Vader.

And I’m sure George Lucas would be at least slightly embarrassed to see his magnum opus commercially-interrupted to inquire if his viewers’ testacies are clean. Just sayin.

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