I’m not sure what ad you watched, because the one I saw had boys clearly chasing another boy with menacing looks on their faces, not sweet smiles, and the boy who was running looked scared. The aggression aspects were crystal clear to me and I’ve not heard anyone else with your perspective that it was confusing, so I don’t think it was confusing to the vast majority of others who watched it. None of the other critiques I read or watched mentioned that.
“But really, isn’t bullying boys different than disrespecting women?” No, it’s exactly the same thing. It’s all part of dominance posturing as part of the hierarchy that is ingrained in patriarchal society. I’m not trying to be condescending or pedantic, but I thought that was also widely known. Sexual harassment and rape are about exerting power.
Just being human beings dried up about 5–10,000 years ago with the advent of patriarchy. It was only then that men began controlling women and dominating other weaker men in a systemic way. Before that humans lived in bands of about 50 people that were highly egalitarian because they needed to be to survive. I’m linking you my piece of the history of patriarchy in case you want to better understand the social system we live in and how it originated.
And the funny thing is, what you are advocating for with your story is what makers of this ad are advocating for too — that people get to be who they are rather than males “performing” masculinity as is currently required by “the man box.” Patriarchy, by its very hierarchical nature demands that men play certain roles and women play others. Dismantling that is what allows humans to just be human; to be kind to each other and live and let live.