Saturday, June 05, 2010

Motley mix

- I'm not aware of any reason to suspect Armando Galarraga is not a naturally gracious and understanding athlete, but what I do suspect is that on the long road of sports history, umpire Jim Joyce's blown call will accentuate Galarraga's profile, not diminish it. Twenty pitchers have thrown perfect games, and over the last two decades, it has occured, on average, about every other year (and twice this season alone!). Among the general public, Galarraga's name would have otherwise probably been flushed down the memory hole in a few years' time, but now his name will be invoked every time reference to the roster of perfect pitchers is made as the guy who was cheated out of inclusion on it.

- McDonald's new gay ad beautifully illustrates (unintentionally, of course) the West's apparent moribundity. An old lady-killing father thinks he is sharing a moment with his son that his son will someday share with the father's grandson. But alas, the son has no use for his father's mores and will never himself become a father:



It works on so many levels.

- The activists on the Turkish ships attempted to run a clearly demarcated blockade. They're fortunate the IDF didn't send the entire flotilla to the bottom of ocean, which would've been a legitimate response against those aiding a declared national enemy. Israel is not a signatory of the Law of the Sea Treaty, so the country is not legally bound to treat putative "international waters" as vast neutral spaces where their perceived interests cannot be fully acted upon.

- There should be a brand of casual business clothing that sells itself on the durability of the string that attaches the waist button to its pants. I'd pay a premium several times the total cost of using fishing line in place of regular yarn for a pair of slacks I could be confident that I'd never pop the button off of. Sewing it back on is so much of a hassle I usually just (lazily) use it as an excuse to buy a replacement pair.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

About the McDonald's ad--

It seems to me that while gays will understandably welcome and be amused by the ad, and while young women/girls will find it "really cool" for its tolerant stance and message, the majority of straight boys/men will not view the ad in the same way.

First, they are likely to think sarcastically, "Yeah, right" since the ad presents a kid who neither in voice nor in mannerisms seems fem at all. True, he doesn't come off as a tough soccer or rugby star, but neither does he exhibit feminine traits. The ad shows a kid just like other teen boys except in one way--the object of his affection is male. The straight male audience won't buy this kid's "sameness" in every other way except sexuality any more than they'd buy a Nike ad showing a bunch of white guys out rebounding a bunch of black guys or a relay team of whites or Hispanics or Asians beating a relay team of blacks. Yes, I know some gays aren't fem, but let's face it, every reputable study done has shown that most gay boys/men are indeed much more feminine than their straight counterparts and that most people notice these traits in them.

Second, the ad fails to appeal to straight males on another level. Often commercials succeed by portraying people whom the audience envies. For instance, while a young white male might not actually want to be black, he still finds attractive certain traits he associates with black males, real or perceived-- aggressiveness, toughness, sexual success. Thus, an ad portraying a member of another race who possesses such traits often works because the audience members envy some characteristic of the character(s) in the ad.

However, I've yet to meet a straight male, man or boy, who envies gay males.

Bottom line, no matter one's social or political views, gays are not envied, not by women, not by men, or perhaps it's more accurate to say their gayness as a trait is not envied, and I believe this is a factor whether advertising of this sort works.

If the goal of the ad is to make the corporation seem hip/cool/tolerant/wise/fair, etc. in an effort to sell more burgers and fries (of course that's the goal), then it seems to me they have to bring in the straights...and while I don't think this ad will keep straights from buy Big Macs, I don't think it will help them sell any either.

What the ad does do, of course, is create a buzz, and that was its purpose, but in marketing you have to be careful that in an effort to portray yourself in a good light, you don't show yourself as supplicating either. Is it cool to be tolerant and accepting of gays? Yes. So cool you want to be like them. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Nanonymous said...

Sewing it back on is so much of a hassle

LOL. Sewing a single button is a hassle? Oh boy, I can hardly think of a less decadent thing to say.

agnostic said...

The McDonald's ad is meant to appeal to women, especially the fat masculinized ones who predominate among fag hags and buy a disproportionate share of French fries. Hence the dyke-y folk music at the end, rather than Bananarama or something with a beat.

Why else does he look like a butch grunge lesbian from the early '90s? That was basically the wardrobe in Brokeback Mountain, not something au courant like muscle shirts and capri pants.

It was bad enough over the past 10 or 15 years when your choice of burger-monger had to tell the world something about your personality (faux macho for Burger King, progressive and sophisticated for McDonald's). Now it even has to broadcast your political views.

Fast food chains used to compete based on the quality and price of their food and service. Now people are so materialistic that these things don't matter, only what the brand identity is.

Anonymous said...

"The McDonald's ad is meant to appeal to women, especially the fat masculinized ones who predominate among fag hags and buy a disproportionate share of French fries. Hence the dyke-y folk music at the end, rather than Bananarama or something with a beat."

Hmmm. I wouldn't think the "fag hag" numbers are large enough to go after, especially if going after them costs you a share of your straight male base. I don't what % of Mac customers are male, but knowing the appetites of young males, they spend much more per visit to a fast food place than the average female and this kind of ad is off-putting to them for all sorts of reasons.


"Fast food chains used to compete based on the quality and price of their food and service. Now people are so materialistic that these things don't matter, only what the brand identity is."

Great point. I think at some point they will learn to leave the social/ political stuff alone. Huge potential for backfiring. This ad was likely created by gays and/or young women.

Audacious Epigone said...

Often commercials succeed by portraying people whom the audience envies.

Right, or by portraying people with whom the audience is able to identify with. This ad similarly fails heterosexual men in this regard.

Nanonymous,

... *Ashamed, AE attempts to shrink out of view*

Agnostic,

Fast food chains used to compete based on the quality and price of their food and service. Now people are so materialistic that these things don't matter, only what the brand identity is.

I can use this to my advantage. "Look, I don't want to be a tool projecting some cheaply manufactured branding to the world. Even fast-food has gotten in on the game. Let's just go back to my house and I'll help you fix us something."

Anon,

This ad of course ran in France, but I suspect the hetero Hispanic and black men who comprise a sizeable chunk of McDonald's customer base in the US are even less receptive to it than white guys are.

Chris said...

Contrast that video with this one, also from France. It shows a French girl being punched in the face and then to the ground after resisting the advances of an African immigrant.

Chris said...

Try this one:

http://tinyurl.com/2u6ufmf

Lover of Wisdom said...

AE:

I couldn't find a way to email you so I'll just post here. I found a data heavy report from ETS on the GRE over the past three years. The link is here.

I think you will find the tables (about halfway through the guide) very interesting. There is even a more inclusive table here.

Audacious Epigone said...

Chris,

Wow, that's a blood-boiler. Savage simians in the heart of Europe. How disgusting.

LoW,

Great find! That will provide a great complement to the post on estimated IQ by intended major via SAT scores. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ew.

I have gay friends, but there is something uh, uncomfortable to me in seeing this. Maybe it is the age of the young man reminds me too much of my son and his friends.

This will not appeal to straight women especially mothers.

Anonymous said...

"Look at Jeanine (almost certainly spelled wrong) Garofalo. She will be a old maid (in her forties now)."


For the love of mercy, let's hope she is the end of her line.

Perhaps a wave of feminism and birth control were necessary to flush out whatever constellation of genes it is that causes such females. In a muslim country she would have ten kids 'cause she is way cuter than your average burka babe and they have ways of dealing with attitude.

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teacher.paris said...

The last Spartan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxBDsr6T-AE

The electoral campaign in Belgium now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyk3-lNh92E&feature=player_embedded#!

Stockholm news not mentioning arsonists are Somalis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8l0gDAsdlE&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxi6giV2QzM&feature=player_embedded#!

Audacious Epigone said...

The drummer at 0:50 in the Belgium campaign footage looks like Barack Obama...