Monday, August 3, 2009

"Extreme" Commentary on Sex Selling Everything!

Periodically, I deviate a bit from politics to talk about American culture (though it’s not so much a conversation as me griping about it going to hell in a handbasket). Today is no exception.

I love the free market system, but consumerism is getting ridiculous. Sometimes I want to yell at advertisers, “Do you think young people are that stupid?!? We know sex sells, but do you really think it can sell everything?!?!”

Exhibit A. I’m on vacation with family and my sister hands me a can of Pringles. They’re “dill” flavored, and the word “Extreme” is emblazoned in several colors above the Pringles logo. Now, I’ve never had a potato chip that tasted like a pickle before, so it’s certainly different. But to call it “extreme” is a bit…um…extreme. Remember when you could sell food by asserting that it tasted good? Apparently, you now can only sell food to adrenalin-seeking youngsters by equating eating a fried potato to doing a Travis Pastrana double back-flip on a motorcycle. This is why everything is “extreme” now, including democracy. If twenty-one-year-olds were as susceptible to prostate cancer as forty-year-olds, I’m sure we’d hear about how one of the most “extreme” things you can do is have a finger wedged up your behind by a doctor. What a rush!

Exhibit B. Vibrating mascara by Maybelline. Now, let’s assume for a second it actually is superior at eliminating smudges, applying evenly, blah blah. Can anybody tell me this wasn’t con-cocted with a sex toy in mind? It's not a mascara stick or brush on the promo. It’s a “wand.” Also, during the promo, you hear the phrases “doing what no hand can do alone” and “feel the vibe of lashes that…” They’re not selling mascara, they’re selling psychic connection to the Sex and the City vibrator-toting crowd.

Exhibit C. Even my new favorite commercial, an “extreme”-ly amusing hip hop/techno remix of that annoying guy who hawks the Slap Chop, puts a little too much emphasis on the phrase, “You’re gonna love my nuts.” (By the way, as many advertisers and hip hop artists copy everything clever, expect to have a hip hop version of everything. You already know how funky “The Clapper” remix could be, and I’m working on one for Life Alert (I’ve fa-fa-fallen, and I can’t get up!)



Dave Stone said...

I feel obliged to correct you on your reference to Pringles as "potato chips." According to our own federal government, they're not. Among other reasons, they're less than 50% potato. That is pretty extreme.

And while we in the US eat dill mostly in pickle form, the Russians have dill in about everything, and every time I smell dill I get Moscow flashbacks. The Russians know their potatoes, so I'm sure dill is a nice complement to your basic extruded potato snack.

Chris Worden said...

Well, if the government says it, you KNOW it must be true!

IndyDem said...

This was great..! but what is the other half of Pringles if its not potato??