Apparently Samsung’s new GS3 phone utilizes “near-field communications technology” which allows people to tap phones and share content. And Samsung’s new ad, debuting this week on YouTube, makes it clear that we’re not just talking about sharing Dora The Explorer videos…
Some people may posit that this ad is a bit too sexy for a mainstream brand like Samsung, but as a columnist dishing out sex and relationship advice day in and day out, I gotta say that I think this commercial is brilliant.
We see a lot of happy marriages and so-called “perfect” families in advertising, and they hook you with the notion that if you buy this product, your life will be perfect, too. Because ladies, if your floor is grimy, your husband will think you’re disgusting and your children will contract Salmonella, so you better get the right mop. And men, if your shave isn’t close enough or you don’t douse yourself in cheap body spray, you’ll never get laid and you’ll die alone.
This ad is no different, except that our idea of what makes a happy marriage is evolving. The activity that used to be perceived as the ultimate sign of love from a wife to her husband—serving a hot, delicious dinner while wearing a dainty apron—has been replaced with another ultimate act of love from a wife to her husband… And the only thing the two “acts of love” may have in common is that dainty apron.
If you ask me, the relationship portrayed in the Samsung G3S is a sign of a lot of things going right in our society as far as gender, sexuality and relationships go. While we still have the standard tableau of a mother at home with her children waving good-bye to Daddy as he apparently flies off for a work meeting, there is also something new: female desire.
Where not that long ago the virgin/whore dichotomy worked its way through nearly every media portrayal of women (in fact, the perfect wife is so completely absent of desire that we assume Beaver Cleaver and Richie Cunningham were conceived via immaculate conception), today we’re looking at an ad that portrays what appears to be just another virginal wife, then switches the narrative to show her as the sexual pursuer, so completely at ease with her desire and sexuality that she makes her husband a dirty video to watch while he’s away.
The ad makes us smile because it goes against what the media has been telling us about what what makes a wife “good” since the dawn of television: that a good wife is a vessel for her husband’s desire, not the owner of her own. And Samsung’s turnaround is actually really good for society. I think it’s good for women to have a model of a wife and mother who still owns her desire. And it will be good for husbands when more women become comfortable with being the masters of their sexuality. The husband in this ad has what so many husbands wish they did: A wife who pursues him, who recognizes his sexual needs, and who is comfortable with her own desire.
So to this advertisement I say, Nice work, Samsung. Keep up the good work! Now, get out there and break some more norms about families, gender and sexuality!