TNN Goes Macho

I was sent this today under the cover “I’m ashamed to be a guy”, and I’m still not 100% convinced that it’s real, even though it is at TNN changing its name to Spike. They want to appeal to male viewers more, drawing off their lineup of WWE, Star Trek: TNG and “Slamball” and their 66% male audience. When did Spike become “a guy’s name” anyway? My association is with the Buffy villain, and while I love that character, I’m not sure he’s the image of manhood for the WWE and Slamball.
What makes me find this particularly sad, is that for a while TNN was my example of a network that knew it had a male audience but used advertising which built off that without being offensive to women. Consider those appalling chick-fight beer ads which supposedly poke fun at stereotypical beer advertisements by framing the objectional content inside a fantasy ad. Contrast them with TNN’s ad for Star Trek: TNG in which two TNN employees are talking about the surprising success of their latest ad campaign, while a poster from said supposed campaign featuring a breast-exposing Klingon woman is in the background. The subtext is made explicit as one of the employees asks his friend if he’d “you know….” said Klingon, and the incredulous look on his friend’s face, and the more-nerdy-than-not appearances of the two men sells the ad’s ironic humor. And without turning off female viewers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *