(I wrote this flippant piece back in December 2011 but didn’t post it for some reason. But what else am I going to do with it? It’s just been staring back at me from the Drafts folder for the last fourteen months…so here you are.)

Twix PB 1
PB + chocolate. Worth the calories.

I sat down at the computer last night for some laid-back Sunday evening blogging. Before getting started, I took a moment to input recent eats into LoseIt.com. Peanut butter Twix bars weren’t already in LoseIt’s database, so I headed over to the Twix website for nutrition data.

The page I landed on had some flash video thing called “Twix Presents: Get the Girl (An Interactive Love Story, Sort Of).” Underneath the flash window it said, “Help our guy get past Bruce, François, and his own big mouth to win over Deborah.” Hey, that’s my name! I thought. I like games. I’ll take a moment to see what this is about.

ARGH.

Your goal in the game is to help the jerkface boy try to win (have sex with) the smart and socially conscious girl he meets at the party, using lies. The video pauses at four different points to ask you to choose what the guy’s going to do next. I played through a few times to see the different outcomes and my head went all asplodey. So instead of working on the weighty and important issue I was originally going to write about, I decided to share the idiocy of that Twix piece of marketing. Hey, it was the weekend, I had a lazy break playing Chrono Trigger, and I felt like writing something fun. I’ll write that other thing up soon. Promise.

You may be familiar with this already—the first part of the story was a TV commercial a few years ago. (The entire saga can be experienced on YouTube.)

Our story begins at a party in uptown Manhattan, where our dude is in the middle of a conversation with the hottie, Deborah. Apparently she’s smart too, but we quickly learn that that’s not why he’s talking to her.

Woman: And frankly, I just feel like most politicians are completely out of touch with 99% of society, you know?
Dude: Yeah, and it’s like…
Woman: You said it! Finally someone who shares my struggle!
Dude: I know, right? Do you wanna go to my apartment?
Woman: [surprised] What?
Dude: What?
Woman: [arms crossed] What kind of girl do you think I am?
Dude: Oh…

Dude obviously Needs A Moment, so he pulls out a Twix bar and takes a bite as you’re asked: What should he do next? Options are be shallow, or be deep.

Twix Scenario One

If you pick “shallow,” he tells her he thinks she’s really sexy “like the captain of the S.S. Sexy.” This guy is a smooth operator. She slaps him and leaves.

Instead, he should Be Deep. (Should have been called “Be Derp,” as it’s completely inane.)

Dude: [with false sincerity] I thought you were a believer, someone who’d want to blog about our ideals. But…
Deborah: Oh, blogging! I love blogging!
Dude: Really!
Deborah: Yeah!
Dude: Awesome!

They walk off together, which is totally realistic, as bloggers are always looking for excuses to go blog together with people they just met at a party. Yep. They just love blogging in pairs.

On to Scenario Two: They run into her (apparently gay) friend Bruce, who Deborah invites along for their new potential ménage-à-blog. She actually says, “Hey! We’re about to go to his apartment and blog together about the media and society’s ills. Want to join us so all three of us can blog?” Of course, Dude whips out a Twix bar to pause time and consider the options: Be mean to Bruce, or kill him with kindness.

If you choose to be mean, Bruce suffers from some kind of flamboyant panic attack and the hottie is done with Dude. “Killing him with kindness” apparently means “giving him the Macho Deathgrip Handshake,” which drives him away and leaves the two of them to continue on to the apartment.

Twix Francois

Scenario Three: On the street, they run into Deborah’s old lover François, who is a total jerk to her as well. He even shows her a picture of his new lover and tells her how jealous and sad she must be that she’s no longer with “The François.” Seriously. She sputters and looks to Dude for help because she can’t handle her own shit, so Dude PULLS OUT ANOTHER TWIX BAR to decide which to do: Get involved, or don’t get involved. This is the worst Choose Your Own Adventure story ever.

If you don’t get involved, she fumes and storms off before running after François calling his name. Uhh, because hotties like jerks?

“Getting involved” means making fun of his beret. (Of course he’s wearing a beret. He’s French.) Dude says, “Maybe it’s your awesome hat that’s making her sad.” Har har har, good one, bro! She smirks at François and puts her arm in Dude’s as they brush past and walk off, leaving a sad François behind them to question his own pathetic existence or something.

Scenario Four is the one that pushed me to write this. URG. Here they’re entering his apartment:

Dude: [lying, obviously] Yeah, this is just my uptown apartment. My downtown apartment is still being renovated to go green. Yeah, I’m pretty into the environment.
Deborah: Wow. [Looks around, makes disgusted face at mess.] Ah. So, uh…where do we log on?

Dude’s face is all, “Oh crap! She doesn’t realize yet that I’m just lying to get into her pants!” So he bites into another Twix Of Time to consider his options: Be honest, or keep up the charade.

If you pick Honest, you’ve made the WRONG CHOICE and he fails in his mission. She Tasers him (sort of) and leaves. (It’s more of a stun prod.)

If he keeps up the charade:

Dude: Oh no!
Deborah: What!
Dude: [sounding fake as shit] My computer is gone! What kind of criminal would do such a thing!
Deborah: And then completely trash your place!
Dude: Uh, yeah, that too!
Deborah: Oh, you poor thing…Gosh, just, just think like an hour ago, this place was crawling with criminals! It’s just, that’s so dangerous! So…sexy… [walks her fingers up his chest]

[Cue romantic music.]

Screen: You’ve chewed it over successfully. Twix® salutes you.

Okay, what? What happened? I recognize that I might not be very experienced with how casual relationships go, but really? He lied successfully all night, and now she’s turned on by the fact that his apartment just got broken into. For that, Twix salutes you. There’s your “interactive love story.”

Some products, like Yoplait, Jergens, and Dove Chocolate, are obviously marketed to women. Some, like Slim Jim and Mountain Dew, are marketed to men. I don’t know why Twix feels the need to hit the Axe Body Spray jerkographic.

Twix box of bars
Jerk alert! Run away!

Ah, Twix. Your bro-focused heteronormative jerk-centric marketing campaign was something I was happy to pay no attention to, much like the culture represented in beer or cigarette ads in magazines, because I love your sweet, sweet caramel on cookie wrapped in smooth chocolate. But c’mon, what are you doing with these commercials? I don’t want to hate you, but you’re really starting to look like asshole-man-bars that come two to a pack.

“Need a moment to figure out how to be a jackass to the woman in your life? Chew it over with Twix.”

Although…it would be cool if we could tell how much of an asshole someone is by how many Twix bars they’re carrying…

DebGod

DebGod

Debbie is keenly interested in secularism, skepticism, magic and deception, LGBTQ issues, language and perception, and general geekery. She works at the Center for Inquiry as director of outreach, director of African Americans for Humanism, and intro-doer for Point of Inquiry. You can find her on Twitter: @debgod.

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14 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Jack99
    February 9, 2013 at 5:33 am —

    So (Twix munchers) intersect (PUA) intersect (Nice Guys) = assholes?

  2. Profile photo of EllenBeth Wachs
    February 9, 2013 at 9:05 am —

    Sad face ;( I love Twix. Now, I will associate them with Roosh. Oh well, I can spare the calories.

  3. Profile photo of marilove
    February 9, 2013 at 10:43 am —

    I have a kitty cat named Twix. I promise he’s not a douche! Well, .usually…

  4. Profile photo of Dave Muscato
    February 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm —

    Unbelievable. Here’s what I sent to the makers of Twix:

    Hello,
    I just went through your YouTube series “Get the girl” (an interactive love story, sort of).
    I am horribly offended by this ad. This is not a love story at all: This is a campaign depicting men as liars who will do anything to get into a woman’s (not a GIRL’s) pants, and women as idiots who won’t see through such blatant attempts to deceive them. I can’t believe your ad people thought this was a good idea. You show zero respect for women, honesty, or ethics. I was especially offended by your last two videos in the series, which depict the man getting Tased for being honest with his date (!), after which you implore us, “Should have kept up the charade.” Excuse me?
    If this was supposed to be funny, it’s not. I have a great sense of humor and all I see here are things that no company should desire to be associated with: misogyny, dishonesty, and deceit.
    I would like for your company to apologize for this offensive portrayal of both men & women. Thank you.
    —–
    If anyone else would like to send them a message, you can do so here:
    https://www.twix.com/Contact

  5. Profile photo of dr. dr. professor
    February 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm —

    Twix, sweet caramel & rophynol with a delicious chocolate shell!

  6. Profile photo of victoriadashtwenty
    February 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm —

    The Taser is the one that looks like a gun. This is called a stun gun. Yes, that is very confusing and why everyone gets it wrong. Prods are for animals and while they are more dangerous due to involuntary muscle contractions, they are actually less painful than stun guns.

    • Profile photo of victoriadashtwenty
      February 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm —

      It seems like everything is reminding me that I’m alone on Valentine’s Day. Also that awful cisgender people have much easier access to sex and dating than I do.

    • Profile photo of DebGod
      February 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm —

      Good to know!

  7. Profile photo of drken
    February 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm —

    To be fair, they’ve used this “need a moment?” catch phrase for a variety of situations. My first reaction to this ad campaign was “Twix, it makes everybody around you an idiot”.

  8. Profile photo of Grimmstail
    February 10, 2013 at 2:24 am —

    Surprisingly awful message.

    It’s too bad they cut the interactive adventure short at only 4 episodes. The obvious conclusion is that after munching 280 calorie Twix bars while pondering every decision in his life (not just the douchey ones, he needs a Twix to decide which shirt to wear, eggs or cereal?, is it faster to take the bypass?) he quickly develops diabetes. Unable to make any decisions in his life after being weaned off of Twix, he starves to death in a gutter trying to decide if he should get dinner at Taco Bell or Burger King. He is mourned only by the CEO of Mars, Inc.

    • Profile photo of delphi_ote
      February 10, 2013 at 10:41 am —

      What if he needed to decide whether or not to eat a Twix? Infinite chocolate recursion would unmake space time!

      • Profile photo of DebGod
        February 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm —

        Haha: “Hmmm, peanut butter Twix, or caramel Twix? I’ll just whip out this Twix to help me decide…hmmm…” A space-time vortex appears to swallow the guy up.

        I gotta say—that’s a much better Choose Your Own Adventure story ending.

  9. Profile photo of otto
    February 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm —

    Pepsi topped this a few years ago with “an iPhone application that promises to help men “score” with two dozen stereotypes of women by giving users pickup lines and a scoreboard to keep track of their conquests.” (original article has been removed). Not only were they teaching men how to be dicks, they encouraged them to try it out in real life and reinforced the habit by keeping score for them. There was quite a backlash and they dropped after a couple weeks IIRC. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same marketing asshat was behind this one.

  10. Profile photo of Steve Cuno
    February 11, 2013 at 6:20 pm —

    This excellent post inspired me to write about the Twix campaign on my marketing blog. Then I realized I couldn’t improve on what DebGod had written, so my post today links right back here.

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