You think you see or hear too many of them? The bulk of my working life, I've been places where commercials are our lifeblood; where my fellow employees were quick-witted and cynical. It rubs off.
So -- a major pizza-delivery chain is touting its latest offering, hot bread with a chocolate dipping sauce, by having a cute actress stand in front of a bakery, dressed like a baker, and offer 'em up to passers-by in a fake-Continental accent (probably supposed to be French. Fail). Once they've commented favorably, she whips off the baker's apron to reveal -- consternation! -- the logo'd uniform of the drive-by pizzeria and drops the accent. "...But they're really from [name of pizza chain here] and I just delivered them." Oh, wowsers. Gack.
...But in my mind's eye? Off comes the baker's apron and under it, the benevolent purveyor of starchy, treaclely glop wears the stained rags of a bag lady. "Heh heh," she cackles, "They're not from the bakery, I dug 'em outta a dumpster across town, scraped the green off, and made the sauce by adding plenty of sugar to some stuff I found in an old beer bottle along hthe freeway. Seeya, suckers!"
Srsly: don't take candy from strangers.
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But there's depths to which I have not yet admitted to sinking. A major soap and lotion company (and it is good stuff) has been running a series of painfully earnest ads aimed at the admittedly preposterous body image advertising tries to sell women.*
The latest one opens with a fresh-faced tween-ager looking at a poster that dissolves into a barrage of overwrought, Barbie-doll images, then stops on another shot of her with a phrase, "Girls today face more pressure than ever," before proceeding with the usual well-meaning stuff.
The Mean Roberta, though, sees the supered line and mutters, "Not the skinny ones!" (What, like you weren't thinking it, or worse?).
Hey, really, soap-people? E for effort but you don't get self-esteem just by deciding to have it. True beauty may come from within but self-esteem calls for accomplishing something. It sure doesn't need to be losing those last ten pounds you really shouldn't, or even making the cheer squad. But lacking alternatives, it somehow always gets back to that. Y'might want to mention Marie Curie or Grace Hopper every once in a awhile, hey? Florence Nightingale? Maybe even C. L. Moore?
* I have no problem with "pretty;" you don't sell look good/feel good stuff with ugly people. But the degree of Photoshopping, tweaking and all-round lily-gilding that goes into most of it results in looks that are not merely at the far end of the bell curve but actually unreal. WARNING: THINGS SEEN ON THE TUBE APPEAR BETTER-LOOKING THAN THEY ARE. Use only as directed. Or less.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago