108/365: False advertising

Sent 17 July 2010

Speaking of advertising, I have begun to notice that everything I buy, whether it be clothes, toothpaste, a car or toilet paper has some celebrity’s tick of approval. Retired basketball stars advertise carpet. Britney promotes Pepsi and gets herself into legal celebrity strife when spotted drinking Coke. MacGyver extols the virtues of MasterCard, all which is based purely on monetary remuneration rather than on the actual merits of the product. Do I really believe that Jackie Chan drinks Mountain Dew or that Justin Timberlake eats and enjoys McDonalds?

Even fictional characters have gotten in on the act. The Simpson’s swear by CC Lemon – a Japanese soft drink. Bugs Bunny really digs Nike shoes and USA War Bonds. And Kermit the frog, since he has the need to drive places all the time, wouldn’t go anywhere if it wasn’t in a Ford or BMW. What makes advertising executives think that I would allow the opinion of a Muppet to influence my car buying decision?

Even if they did actually believe in their products and wished to share their wonderment and awe with the rest of humanity. Even if Big Kev really did rejoice whilst using Shower Power in his spa bath, what possesses us to believe the recommendation of random famous people? Do Britney and Kate Moss have such great track records that I would want to believe what they say?

Some prominent individuals in the circle of household names have serious drug problems, anger issues or are inflicted with an addiction to one thing or another. Some celebrities get married eight times in the space of 3 and a half days. That should tell me that they may not be the greatest judge of character. And if they aren’t any good at picking their future partner, what makes us think that they would be any better at choosing a car or a skin care product? When I choose my household cleaning chemical should I trust the guidance of someone who is familiar with chemicals of the pill popping kind? I don’t wish to disparage those people who have achieved stardom, but wish to stress to people the fact that surely there is someone better than Tara Reid to plug the newest Kenwood Chef Mixmaster.

So who should the advertising companies use instead of the rich and famous? People who know their onions, I think. Someone I can trust to really know what they are talking about. Someone that I would bump into down at my local Chinese restaurant. I’d like to see my Nan advertising pasta sauce. A greasy mullet-possessing mechanic advertising my car. Somebody my size advertising my clothes. My friends Bernie and Andy advertising the latest movie. A highly-strung teenager advertising caffeinated soft drinks. A geeky IT guy advertising my iPod docking station.

I want no more good looking, rich, famous or skinny people with fake teeth trying to sell me stuff. If you were on a billboard I would smile and probably purchase whatever it was you were peddling. That’s because you are like me. I can relate to you. You are just like my brother, my mother, my aunty or my best friend. You have probably never been married more than 3 times and have probably even used Shower Power or Easy Off Bam. So I always seek out personal recommendations….plus then if whatever I buy is crap, I have someone to blame.

Till tomorrow



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