People really don't like the ad campaign for "Whitney"

one of many billboards for

Comedian and future TV star Whitney Cummings described her self-titled sitcom as "an edgier, updated version" of Mad About You. Now, I may not know much, but I know that Mad About You was terrible. And so it confused me — are they trying to create the worst buzz possible? — until I looked at their national ad campaign. Then I realized yes, that is what they're doing. 

For those of you lucky enough to have not walked, driven, or ridden past an ad for Whitney, you've been spared from one of the most well funded, over-exposed, and (I'm imagining) counterproductive campaigns ever wrought by a network. Every single billboard and bus standee is loaded with tired old jokes about how terrible women are and how miserable marriage is. Gems like: 

"The Silent Treatment: Punishment or Reward?"

"Whoever invented morning sex ... forgot about morning breath."

and my personal favorite — "Half of all marriages end ... in sweatpants."

I'm not a fan of Whitney Cummings, but I do know that her material and fan base come from a much raunchier and offbeat center than this. The jokes in these ads would be too old-fashioned for The Honeymooners, let alone Whitney. This campaign has got to be setting some sort of record for getting people to hate a show before it even airs, and for setting us all back a decade or two.

By the way, Whitney premiers September 22nd on NBC. 

Another ad that's not helping

Another pun-heavy ad for Whitney.

Tags NBC tv

Commentarium (37 Comments)

Sep 15 11 - 2:53pm
GeeBee

Haven't seen any of those, but some of the on-air promos indicate it might be quite good. I think the dude playing the husband has good timing. Certainly my spousal unit is looking forward to it and has commanded me to DVR it since she is out of the country.

Sep 15 11 - 3:47pm
So...

by "people don't like ads for 'Whitney'" you mean that "Carlos Cabrera doesn't like ads for 'Whitney,'" right?

The level of hyperbole in this headline is pretty irresponsible.

Sep 15 11 - 4:05pm
Carlos Cabrera

If you don't believe me, talk to these guys over at SplitSider http://splitsider.com/2011/09/can-whitney-survive-its-ad-campaign-a-disc... - also, any self-respecting woman.

Sep 15 11 - 4:11pm
Rj

I am a self-respecting woman and I think I might enjoy Whitney. You see, I can't say for sure because I'm so rational and have decided to watch the goddamn show before passing judgement. But no, really, thanks for deciding that the television shows I enjoy determine whether I am a self-respecting woman or not.

Sep 15 11 - 5:08pm
Carlos Cabrera

I'm more referring to the campaign itself than the show. The CAMPAIGN is insulting to women. Like I said, I'm not a fan of her, but I know many are. I also can't criticize something that hasn't even come out yet. I'm just talking about the ads.

Sep 15 11 - 4:39pm
jess

I'm a woman in my 20s and I can't stand seeing commercials for this show or ad's on billboards. It just seems so lame to me. I have no interest in tuning in to watch it. That is my own opinion though, the humor may appeal to others where it just doesn't appeal to me.

Sep 15 11 - 11:38pm
OP

I agree. I'm a woman in my 20s, and it just looks lame. However, I'm not the biggest Whitney Cummings fan in the first place

Sep 16 11 - 12:20am
L

She is the least funny thing about Chelsea Lately. And that, my friend, is saying a lot.

Sep 18 11 - 12:46pm
sally

+1

Sep 15 11 - 4:53pm
turd sandwich

i'm going to watch it. the ads aren't horrible - it just seems people don't have a sense of humor. i'd rather see ads for this show than ads for christ and/or republicans lol

Sep 15 11 - 6:40pm
yikes

While I might watch the show, I think I would agree that the ads are pretty ridiculous. As a female comedian, I would imagine that Whitney might not want to further the stereotype that women will always give the silent treatment when upset and that it's a blessing in disguise, because who wants to hear a woman talk, anyway? I think that's a pretty offensive idea.

The other two ads, I don't really find all that offensive, they're really just building on the idea that being married is not all that enjoyable at times. But that seems pretty close to the truth, rather than being a chauvinistic platitude.

Sep 15 11 - 10:12pm
LS

I agree. It's awful. I was actually flabbergasted when I saw the ads (which I think were in Rolling Stone, no less) -- I couldn't believe that this was how they were trying to market a sitcom. I thought they were so awful that it made me happy to see this posting and know that I wasn't the only person who hated the ads so much.

Sep 16 11 - 4:52am
Dude

I'm already over it. Bring back Outsourced.

Sep 16 11 - 10:14am
James

the ads are hysterical guess you don't date much

Sep 16 11 - 10:28am
thinkywritey

I don't need to see the show to know that the tired old He vs She sitcom formula makes me want to kill myself.

Sep 16 11 - 10:48pm
sassypants

wouldnt that be called a 'shitcom'?

Sep 17 11 - 11:55pm
Jinna

@L, thank you for the warning. It sounds like I'm lucky to not have ever heard of her, and that bit of info about her association w/ Chelsea Handler was the final nail in the coffin for her.

Sep 19 11 - 6:02am
Martoukian

I had never heard of Whitney Cummings until they started talking about this show. And I haven't seen the billboards. I think the guy playing her boyfriend is cute, though.

Sep 19 11 - 5:20pm
benjii

I don't want to know the people these ads are tailored to

Sep 21 11 - 1:53am
Whimsy

There's the ad quipping that, "Half of all marriages end . . . in sweatpants." Well, I'd bet heavily that THAT one's dead-on. Wouldn't you?

Deeper than I'd intended, but here goes: Rather than degenerate women, one ad may give us insight into the frumpy new duds to which we may gravitate after marriage when we (husbands as well as wives). Litttle exercise suits, even as seductively comfortable and convenient as they may be, so synthetically soft, with oodles of pockets, pipings, zippers, liners, functions, safely bonuses, and FABULOUS health benefits -- well, our "behinds" and waistlines will forever need the larger size over time, not the smaller, and with an ever-more-forgiving higher-quality, newer, ever-expanding fabric that "GIVES" . . .

Sweat pants are for sweating, not for reuniting with your someone-special at the end of the day to rekindle your relationship and nurture one another. I'm in my 40s and did some damage before my husband, in desperation, finally pleaded with me to get rid of the sweats: "Tell me. Have you just given up?!"

Painful as it was to hear, his courage to put "it" out there got me over my complacency in doing what was easiest instead of nurturing our relationship on multiple levels. Changes overwhelmed us since having children, pursuing separate careers, and beginning to care for aging parents, etc. And in a way, sweat suits were a layer of insulation between the two of us to keep him at arm's length because of various unresolved hurt feelings over the years. So every now and then, I do an inventory and spring cleaning of sorts. This "sweatpants" ad reminds me of that, and of other things which are truly important. Which is why I am able to chuckle at it now, and in the spirit in which I suspect it was intended.

While we're waiting for the shows to start, I'm enjoying hearing about the ads for Whitney's new show. Actually, though, I also did like "Mad about You" -- nice chemistry!

Until finding this blog, I hadn't seen Whitney's ads. Thanks for posting here so the ads could be pulled together for the rest of us to read!

Sep 22 11 - 9:26am
???

Just a guess - Carlos is not married...

Sep 23 11 - 11:32am
Carlos Cabrera

Not married, but taken. Besides, I wouldn't want to end up in sweatpants.

Sep 22 11 - 6:30pm
autw

i think that this will be a funny show...i love the tv and print ads, and i'm a female. oh well, i guess i just have a thick skin...

Sep 23 11 - 5:20pm
Sparky

The NBC "Whitney" TV show campaign worked for me: Truly AWFUL -- I don't plan to watch. Never has sooo much $$$ been spent on sooo little talent -- be it writing (truly awful) or acting (ditto). The show tries so hard to be funny that it ISN'T. And talk about over-exposure -- from commercials every 2 seconds, to W appearing on EVERY possible NBC show to promote it (she was absolutely obnoxious on Leno the other night) to skimpy Nurse outfits, etc., etc., etc.). I had never heard of her before this debacle. Net-net: someone must have Nude pics of somebody -- namely some high-ranking NBC exec. who gave this show the green light. Makes me miss truly GREAT TV like "I Love Lucy," "The Dick VanDyke Show," "The Bob Newhart Show," etc., even more ...

Sep 23 11 - 5:21pm
Sparky

The NBC "Whitney" TV show campaign worked for me: Truly AWFUL -- I don't plan to watch. Never has sooo much $$$ been spent on sooo little talent -- be it writing (truly awful) or acting (ditto). The show tries so hard to be funny that it isn't. And talk about over-exposure -- from commercials every 2 seconds, to W appearing on EVERY possible NBC show to promote it (she was absolutely obnoxious on Leno the other night), to skimpy Nurse outfits, etc., etc., etc.). I had never heard of her before this debacle. Net-net: someone must have Nude pics of somebody -- namely some high-ranking NBC exec. who gave this show the green light. Makes me miss truly GREAT TV like "I Love Lucy," "The Dick VanDyke Show," "The Bob Newhart Show," etc., even more ...

Sep 23 11 - 5:22pm
Sparky

The NBC "Whitney" TV show campaign worked for me: Truly AWFUL -- I don't plan to watch. Never has sooo much $$$ been spent on sooo little talent -- be it writing (truly awful) or acting (ditto). The show tries so hard to be funny that it isn't. And talk about over-exposure -- from commercials every 2 seconds, to W appearing on EVERY possible NBC show to promote it (she was absolutely obnoxious on Leno the other night), to skimpy Nurse outfits, etc., etc., etc.). I had never heard of her before this debacle. Net-net: someone must have Nude pics of somebody -- namely some high-ranking NBC exec. who gave this show the green light. Makes me miss truly GREAT TV like "I Love Lucy," "The Dick VanDyke Show," "The Bob Newhart Show," etc., even more ...

Sep 23 11 - 5:22pm
Sparky

The NBC "Whitney" TV show campaign worked for me: Truly AWFUL -- I don't plan to watch. Never has sooo much $$$ been spent on sooo little talent -- be it writing (truly awful) or acting (ditto). The show tries so hard to be funny that it isn't. And talk about over-exposure -- from commercials every 2 seconds, to W appearing on EVERY possible NBC show to promote it (she was absolutely obnoxious on Leno the other night), to skimpy Nurse outfits, etc., etc., etc.). I had never heard of her before this debacle. Net-net: someone must have Nude pics of somebody -- namely some high-ranking NBC exec. who gave this show the green light. Makes me miss truly GREAT TV like "I Love Lucy," "The Dick VanDyke Show," "The Bob Newhart Show," etc., even more ...

Sep 23 11 - 7:08pm
Winston5

who's defending this turd? (besides interns at NBC...I used to work for a network, it happens people!!)

Sep 24 11 - 5:19pm
Abby

Glad it's not just me, I HATE those billboards. So does my boyfriend.

I'm so sick of those tired old clich├ęs about relationships. If that's how your relationship is I feel sorry for you.

Oct 02 11 - 2:08am
AT

Whitney just looks like the same tired, sexist-as-sexy bullshit drivel the networks try to put out every year. It MIGHT last half the season before we're put out of it's misery. I mean, really....they had her in a Sexy Nurse costume on what, the 1st episode?! And all the ads are the same way. I guess it's really, really, REALLY important that we all must get the memo that whatserface is supposed to be hot. That must be the premise for aaaall the jokes they dug out of cold storage. This time, the "let's spice up our sex" show is even funnier because the female lead is all sexy already! Get it?

Yeah, we got it. *courtesy laugh* Thank god, Storage Wars is on...*click*

Oct 02 11 - 9:41pm
B

I'm trying to watch FOOTBALL and I keep seeing those godawful spots. Are you kidding me? I won't watch anything on TV if it has a woman in it, and you think showing me this tripe during Sunday Night Football is gonna change that?

Oct 06 11 - 11:52pm
Mandy

Fuck you, Carlos Cabrera. I am a self-respecting woman and I know exactly the type of egocentric pig you are. You probably sit at home alone with your dick out--just wishing you had a real woman! I bet you have a fro and a small dick. I'm sure you look like some kind of fucked up Ronald McDonald (with a small dick of course) !

- Mandy from Atlanta

Oct 14 11 - 1:07am
Bonkers

This woman Whitney is NOT sexy - I cannot stand her big mouth and the jokes are lame. I just finished watching it and I find her/character irritating as hell.

Oct 15 11 - 8:12pm
Rob

Ad campaign aside, I took an instant dislike to "Whitney" from the moment I saw the first promo. It was a visceral, chemical reaction. She just rubs me the wrong way.

Dec 21 11 - 2:00pm
gette11

I love whitney--she so gets it!

Jan 10 12 - 10:02pm
TelevisionLobotomy

Her eyes...oh dear. O.o
She looks as if posing for these ads made her die inside, or maybe she sold her soul to television executives.
Television nowadays numbs my brain and insults my ovaries.

Jan 10 12 - 10:10pm
Michael P.

I agree with the sentiment that, 'Mad About You', was terrible.