Wednesday, June 15, 2011

That's Cold

Recently, I was hired to do a freelance gig for a huge multi-billion beverage company that makes a habit of using celebrities in their advertising. I'm not particularly a fan of the celebrity approach as it seems forced and contrived.

I certainly have no intention of using a deodorant or a salad dressing just because Lady Gaga or Justin Timberlake do. But maybe that's just me. Americans are notoriously dumb and easily misguided, witness the recent Sarah Palin/Paul Revere dust up.

In any case, I'm a mercenary now so I went about the business of selecting interesting celebrities and writing the kind of smart, witty scripts that I'd like to see on TV. Naturally, they all died a quick and semi-painless death. 

Probably because focus groups tell us people want this kind of tripe...

It's Ice Cube facing off against an ice cold Coors Light to see who's colder.

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in that corporate marketing meeting when a bunch of lily-white, khaki pants wearing execs were high-fiving themselves over this nugget of brilliance.

Over and above the choice of celebrity here, does anybody else see the inherent weakness of trying to build a brand on the premise of Cold? If you were to count the folks who have extra fridges in their garages, you'd see there are approximately 1.6 refrigerators for every man, woman and child in America. In other words, any swill including the distinctively-urine-y Matt's Utica Club from upstate NY, can be made super cold.

And does anybody on God's Green Earth, including the Rocky Mountain states, believe Compton's own Ice Cube drinks Coor's Lite? Maybe I've succumb to media stereotypes, but I picture Mr. Cube drinking a 40 oz. malt liquor with a little more kick to it. Or a beer with any kick to it.

Let's face it there's more alcohol in a bottle of room deodorizer than in the Silver Bullet. You can buy Coor's Lite on a Sunday morning in Provo, Utah. People drink Coor's Lite when they're drunk at a party and they need to sober up before leaving.

Thankfully I've just been hired to write some intelligent copy for a European based beer company that appreciates wit and a snarky sense of humor. But I'm so mad about this misuse of a celebrity and Ice Cube's subsequent selling out, I've got a good mind to trash every single one of my N.W. A. records.

Oh wait.

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