Thursday, March 13, 2008

More Leg Room?

An advertisement for Continental Airlines' new jets, spotted at a bus stop in New York:

"Do our new planes make us look fat?"

Smart marketing, or another bone to pick?


Anonymous said...

A little bit of both, was there a picture?

azusmom said...

I personally like the tactic another airline used. A guy calls customer service to ask about the extra leg room, and says he's confused because he doesn't have an extra leg.

I guess this one could be construed as making fun of perceptions, but I think it still reeks of fat phobia.

Palmtreechick said...


Notice the little flag signs hanging up along the streets. I think I saw one on Park Ave yesterday. They are sponsored by one of the hospitals here. It said something about walking and getting healthy or burning calories or something. Nothing negative though. I've seen a bunch of different ones around here.

Anonymous said...

Our planes make us look very tall, too. ;)

Maybe tall people should have to pay for two seats? Also, if I'm both tall and fat, does that mean I have to pay for three seats? ;)

I think it's smart marketing. Sure, they could have said it better, but it gets the point across.

Anonymous said...

In this context "fat" can be taken in a more positive context, as in Asian traditions, specifically Chinese, the word "fat" in Cantonese means wealth and abundance. In most major cities you can see license plates and businesses including the word "fat" in them. In Chicago, I came across one labeled "Fat Jap."

I could be reaching, but I would not be surprised if part of their aim was to speak to their international customers. It would certainly be smart marketing if that was the case.

Greta said...

jeez, definitely not a bone to pick. As someone who has been fat at times in life and had an ED at another time I think its totally fine. Nothing offensive about it. IMO

Rachel said...

I think the ad doesn't make fun of fat people as much as it pokes fun at the cliched neurotic women who asks the question.

But is this ad so very different from the Apple ads which played on the "You can never be too rich or too thin"? (Apple since rephrased its verbiage after a barrage of complaints).

emmy. said...

hahaha i gotta be honest, i think it's pretty funny. they're just making fun of a common line that everyone makes fun of. never hurts to have a sense of humor.

emmy. said...

in response to rachel:

i would have to say this is far from the degree of apple's ad. like you said, it's just poking fun at the neurotic women who use the line. everyone pokes fun at that line. it's like a famous sitcom line from years ago that people still find funny. like, "i've fallen and i can't get up."

apple's ad was cute considering they were pushing the "thinness" of their new imac, but the line they pulled has no humor by it. it's a motto people live by and a disturbing one at that. i've never heard it used in joking context, but i *have* seen it used in very disordered situations - pro-ED sites included.

i can see why so many people jumped at apple's ad they way they did, but i don't see anyone attacking this airline for their new tag line.

Anonymous said...

I'm not completely offended, but also not overly enamoured of the ad. As a fat person, such a commercial or ad would cause me to feel self-conscious, no matter how much I tried to talk myself out of it (although there's Always something to feel bad about, it seems. Most recent "feel bad" moment for me: people at the next table, at break, discussing their "fat" pets and what to do about them. I don't just attribute these feelings of shame to myself, either. I think fat people are told to feel horrible all the time about their weight, in all kinds of ways). Re: the ad - I also think of a rather obvious (to me) connection: the large size of a body compared to something Really big (a plane). It's mocking in that sense, I think. Also: what, exactly, is the Point of the ad? That if you are so big as to have to ask if a friggin PLANE makes you look fat, then, for god's sake, please don't board a continental plane! Ha. Ha.