Maria, I just met a girl named Maria
Okay, here's the first thing.
Maria Sharapova is a very talented tennis player. Right now, she's ranked No. 14 in the world. That's fantastic.
Let's not kid ourselves. At No. 14, the main reason she gets so much attention is not so much for her backhand but for her backside.
The way I see it, the Williams sisters, far better players, have even better back. But Sharapova is white, blonde, and conventionally pretty in that sort-of East Europe-meets-USA runway model way.
The other thing is, no way would a male sports star would be celebrated in a commercial for his looks. It would be for his prowess, speed, agility, power, ferocity and/or, yes, maybe his size if it's relevant -- say like in basketball.
Sure Sharapova is unsmiling in this, yes she ignores the people singing about her, and yeah, she caps it off with a slamming swing, but ultimately it still is about her looks which she exploits for mucho dinero.
Sure it's a great ad. But what is it selling?
(H/T to my friend Joanne Thomas Yaccato)