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fundamental meanings of maleness. It was quintessentially what a certain kind of male does. It was quintessentially what a certain kind of American male is expected and entitled to do. Riggins’s nap may not have been good etiquette. But it was the defining image of the American male. This is what the American male, the most elemental version thereof, is supposed to do in the face of ceremony, formality, civilized niceties, and politesse. He is “supposed to” crawl under a table and go to sleep. After all, football players are works of nature. They are men who have been relatively untouched by civilization. They are men who do not know and do not care for the niceties of polite society. These are guys who are tapped into fundamental forces. They are guys who are an elemental presence in the modern world. Football is, after all, the practice of barely mediated violence. It is an exertion of the most primitive physical and emotional kind. Take football players off the gridiron, take them out of the violent male company, introduce them to polite society, and they are bored witless. Remove the elemental man from his elements, and all he wants to do is to find a soft spot beneath the nearest table and wait out the tedium. From a technical marketing point of view, the probable development of this campaign looks pretty clear. A decision was made to beef up the masculinity of the brand in order to counteract all of the associations of “liteness.” Large, mean football players were chosen to reposition that meaning of the brand and to make it more acceptable to the traditional beer drinker. But what makes these ads so effective is that they zero in on a very particular kind of American maleness. These ads are not just about tough-guy maleness. They are about Riggins maleness. And they are even more particular than that: The ads are about the way in which a Riggins male doesn’t care about polite society and the civilized world. They are about a type of American maleness that sets itself apart from the civilized world. The Miller Lite ads captured a particularly virulent, powerful, elemental version of American maleness. And it just so happens that this is the type of maleness that men most care about when they are out with one another. This is the type of maleness that

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype