Tuesday, November 07, 2006
It’s about a week old, but the following appeared in Screen Magazine. Somebody tell Hadji Williams folks are ripping off his themes from Knock The Hustle…
Revolving Door 10.30.06
By Dan Patton
AMERICA LOVES ITS PIMPS. “Pimp My Ride” rolls coast to coast, “Pimp Juice” flows down throats and during Halloween, pimp wannabes step out with phony hoes. Even those who don’t dress like hoes still slut up their clothes. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll see hooker hobos. Yep, there’s no time like Halloween for celebrating the brutal exploitation of women unless, of course, you’re a brutally exploited woman. Then it probably sucks. Protests against this trend appear in the media, but often lack the power to reverse it. Advertising’s finesse, on the other hand, might have more success.
Advertising agencies understand the pimp lifestyle better than any other type of company because they, like pimps, thrive on the art of profitable exploitation. The difference is, they do it without breaking the law and without hurting anyone. For the most part.
I mean, sure, you can argue that the woman who spilled McDonald’s coffee on her lap may have craved the piping hot beverage as a result of some ad campaign. And you can argue that kids are fat because cartoon characters in commercials tell them sugar is an essential food group. And you can argue that people smoke because the Marlboro man looks so cool with a square dangling from his mouth. Well, okay. You can say a lot of things to suggest that advertising does not do the work of a benevolent charity.
But at the same time, agencies frequently do work for free on behalf of charities. So enough already. We’re talking about Halloween, and the one thing that can steer Halloween back to the innocent garden where Charlie Brown waited for the Great Pumpkin is advertising. In other words, we need more mascots. Yes, mascots: fun, goofy, harmless spokespeople and spokesthings. We had it made back in the days before it was okay for trick-or-treaters to play adult fantasy on a night supposedly devoted to ghosts.
What happened to the Orville Redenbacher’s and the old ladies who shouted, “Where’s the beef?” Yeah, Crispin Porter + Bogusky gave us the Burger King guy, but he’s the creepiest weirdo to appear in a television commercial since Bob Dole leered at 19-year-old Britney Spears after he lost the 1996 election and pimped himself out to Pepsico. I’d rather watch an hour of tampon commercials with my mom than see that again.
Wait a minute. Did I say, “pimped”?