Neither Have You? That’s True, Actually.
Okay, so this is fraud. Unless you’re doing something like changing your name from Goldberg to Mueller because you live in Nazi Germany, nothing can excuse fraud. But more than that, what this commercial says is that “guys never change.” That is: guys will always do whatever it takes to attract women. They will even fake their souls. Yet at the same time the makers of Jim Beam are advertising that their souls have never been faked; as evidenced by the fact that they’ve been making their product the same way since the beginning. They could have pretended to be who they weren’t – the kinds of distillers who prioritize initial, superficial attractions, and thus are willing to compromise on quality just to make a quick sale off cocktail fads – but they didn’t.
Presumably, we are supposed to look up to them for this. Not admire them as equals, but look up to them. After all, we, the consumers – the “guys” – are low, lying, deceptive, compromising, and they’re not. We might not ever be able to regain the integrity they never surrendered, but at least we can have a taste of it the great beverage it produces. And, to boot, we’ll even be able to laugh at ourselves with them. The irony is that by laughing at it, if he really does have one, all a “typical guy” is doing is driving his character flaw deeper; making it that much more difficult to extricate. And what do people do when they’re not authentically happy? When they’ve failed to achieve their values, or worse: achieved them under false pretenses? One of the very common things they do is drink.
Maybe that’s the point, and worse: maybe the folks at Jim Beam aren’t asking to be looked up to after all. The approach they’re taking is self-defeating. They’re saying, just in a more difficult to detect way than renting a puppy, that they are just like their customers: willing to bond with you on a superficial level (ie: they know you want to think that your habit of lying to women isn’t really part of you, and they know that one of the ways you convince yourself of that is to point it out and laugh at it, so they’re giving you another opportunity to do just that), willing to believe that they’ve done more than that (ie: they rationalize that because their means of doing it to you isn’t as obvious as your means of doing it to women, it’s not the same thing), and finally willing to take advantage of it all by selling you whiskey, taking the money, and believing that they’ve achieved something.
This is exactly the same as a man insinuating to a woman, by holding a puppy, “I know you want to believe that a man with a puppy is kind, and because I’m really good at pretending I am, so long as you give me the superficial (ie: sexual) relationship I’m seeking, I’ll never break character so that you can go on believing it. I’ll even let you down nicely later on.”
The moment the makers of this advertisement realize that they’ve been forced to resort to making light of spiritual fraud – not in the sense that some people will always be like that and deserve to be laughed at when they breakthrough the underground periodically, but in the sense that fraud is the basis of love – in order to make a buck, just like you’ve turned to pretending to care deeply for puppies just to get women, they’ll turn to drinking just like you have.