Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mind-Blowingly Inappropriate!

It’s gotten ridiculously ridiculous out in the marketplace right now, absolutely anything goes! With American culture reaching new heights of trashiness, the rules have changed. It used to be that a sex tape was a career ruiner (Rob Lowe) instead of a career starter (Paris Hilton). Campaigns and ideas were meant to be elegant, even if the product itself was, well… malt liquor. Remember Billy Dee Williams and Colt 45? You know, it still works every time. Back then you would avoid any possibility of your product being linked to something the public is at odds with. Just ask Pepsi and Madonna. Pepsi paid Madonna a truckload of cash to be in one of their commercials. They were more than proud, they even ran a commercial for the commercial at the Oscars that year! Then her Like a Prayer video (with the burning crosses, stigmata and images of a black saint) was released and they dropped her like a hot potato.

Today, not so much. The watchdog organization Parents Television Council reviewed Gossip Girl and had nothing but scandalous things to say about the show. They basically think and said that this show will ruin your children’s lives and their hope for a sane future. Usually, a network would do all it could to distance itself from those quotes and definitely not respond to them. But the CW marketing department decided to use direct quotes from the PTC over salacious shots of characters as the marketing campaign! Whoever came up with this idea deserves a promotion, a fat raise and a better parking space if you ask me because this is brilliant. This is exactly what it’s all about. And it would never have happened even five years ago. Progress!

We are now accustomed to celebrities having their own fragrances and clothing lines. Generally they are products that go along with the perception of that celebrity’s brand. Sarah Jessica Parker having a clothing line just makes sense. Who the hell knows if she can design, but we already associate her with style. Or the Michael Phelps branded bottled water I’d been seeing at Ralph’s since 2004. Hell, water is about the only thing I associate with Phelps, so good job! But I recently saw something that took me back. I was at the counter of my corner store (that’s a bodega, New Yorkers) where the lighters, lollipops, European candy, and those weird sesame seed bars reside when something caught my eye. It was a picture of the Notorious B.I.G. staring back at me. I was amazed that his estate has moved on from releasing posthumous albums and onto something more physical. So I took a closer look to see what it was. Notorious B.I.G. branded blunt rolling papers. I’m not going to lie, Biggie was well known for smoking some serious weed and I definitely associate that with his image, but dag! Blunt Papers?! That’s when I knew for sure that we’ve definitely crossed the line for good. Like I said, anything goes nowadays. It’s a Brave New World, and the adults just have to watch out. Here we come!

© 2008 MD TOTAL all rights reserved.

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