Monday, July 6, 2009

Advertising the Impocalypse

Audrina. Actual size.Takes all the fun out of it, don't it? When you start with the 'numbers' and whatnot.Mayhaps you've seen their overlong and ineptly-edited ads in which some fabulously airbrushed walking eating disorder is lounging in an unlikely exotic spot munching away at a 3800-calorie ground cattle-herd sliding around some gooey free gluten sauce. We're asked to believe that the model either doesn't know or doesn't care that she's being mistreated in any way. The company wants to give -- their words -- "hot women $1,000 and a trip to Vegas." According to a very official beg that everybody's been incredulously linking to, all you do is film yourself looking "hot" while eating a burger. This is what they're calling the ad campaign: Duh...This is what used to be known in the desperate and crowded advertising world as "the sex sell."
Another term sometimes used is "sleaze." DerBut when you toss in a frankly grotesque image -- languorous closeups of ingestion -- you really hit the jackpot. The more sensitive adwatchers and other people who are offended by this concept are slapping this story on their "blogs" and exposing people who would never have heard of it. (Which is what the Intertubes are here for, come to think of it.)
Not only are the regular customers of Carl's Jr (or whatever) grateful and encouraged by the near-nudidity provided for free by their favorite sloptrough, but other people (like those of us in the Northeast who've never heard of the enterprise) are being bombarded with advertising for it, apparently to urge us to knock the doors of those community-minded "developers" who periodically ask, "Hey, what chain restaurant that we don't already have adding to the local area's type-2 diabetes and heart disease would you like me to squeeze into a cinderblock building on Route Six next?"
I don't frequent fast-food "restaurants." I haven't been to a McDonald's in six or seven years. Haven't been to Taco Bell since the hospital stay. Even the plethora of enthusiastic reviews of the local Five Guys burgers leaves me uninterested. Out of desperation one night, I was forced into a Wendy's -- since I was assured that it was the healthiest of the fastfood sties -- and regret that decision to this day. I don't like chains anyway, and am lucky to have my choice of any number of excellent limited production food facilities in my immmediate environs. Some owned and run by people that I know and with whom I might have gone to school. I also don't like bussing my own table. Look at it the way that Nicols Fox does, or at least how she put it in this essay for the NYTimes. She says, among other fine things:

Ordinary people, it seemed, could operate gas pumps without causing explosions.They could check their own oil. They could fill their tires. They could then be persuaded to complete their purchases with the swipe of a card and be quickly out of the way with no help from any human being at all. And some of them even seemed to prefer to do the work themselves -- or, curiously in a country so adamantly anti-Socialist, people began to take pride in doing it,and to look down upon those who still wanted to be served.
And now you can even advertise to yourself by making your own exhibitionistic display of food fetishry that can be ogled and critiqued. The company wins anyway, since you'll probably have to buy a few of their burgers for the rehearsing, set-up, and filming. I wonder, though, if the company (created, incidentally, by an opponent of gays in the teaching profession) will blame you if revenues go down for the quarter when you're gracing the the Mixed Martial Arts Extravaganza :20 and :40 breaks.
Then you'll be hated and blacklisted and everybody will talk about you and you'll get your own reality teevee show. Success!

1 comment:

karie said...

Hilarious. Pathetic.