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Commercial Garbage

Kathy Griffin - Spokesperson for Arby's®

Usually,  not a week goes by while watching the television, when I don’t have to lift my chin off of the floor. It seems more frequent that I am left dumbfounded after watching commercials. I’m sure I am not the only one. Recently, my puzzled mentality comes from celebrity endorsements. I’m no marketing expert, but I can’t seem to figure out why companies feel the need to slap someone’s name, face, or likeness on products. Look at the perfume business. Why on earth am I going to purchase perfume, supposedly, created by Britney Spears? (though the label “eau de toilette”, makes a little more sense now) Cereal, fast food, soap, hair products, beverages, makeup, and clothing all use the “celebrity appeal” in hopes of raking in higher profits.

Do I really want to smell like Fergie?

Do I really want to look like Rihanna?

If I eat Wheaties®, can even I, throw a football like Peyton Manning???

The advertising world takes a huge risk when attaching the fickleness of Hollywood to products. One of my favorite uses of irony is the commercial with M.C. Hammer. The initial screenshot depicts his fame with the 1990’s hit, “Can’t Touch This,” and then the next clip shows a dejected Mr. Hammer on the curb with a bankruptcy sign being placed on his mansion. That is creativity folks. Although I am at a loss as to what that commercial was for…hmmm…

I couldn’t believe it when Pepsi® released a promo featuring rapper/thug chieftain, Snoop Dogg. It took a full five minutes for me to recover post-ad. Is Pepsi® really so hard up that they need a little “shizzle-my-nizzle” to sell their product???

Who doesn’t get thirsty after a drive-by and a couple of capps skizzin’ by your dome?!

Though, Pepsi®’s choice is baffling, but what is downright horrendous is the recent placement of Kathy Griffin as the spokesman for Arby’s®. Among her many “talents,” she specializes in prejudiced rants mainly aimed at conservatives and in particular, Christians. The highlight of her vile career came during the 2007 Emmy Awards when she had this to say upon acceptance of her award for Outstanding Reality Program,

“ Now, a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn’t help me a bit. If it was up to him, Cesar Millan would be up here with that da#n dog. So all I can say is su*k it, Jesus, this award is my god now! ”

Nice.

According to Griffin she meant this remark not as a slight on Jesus, but rather as a satire of celebrities who thank Jesus profusely and nonsensically for their awards, especially artists who themselves are controversial.

 Yes, I feel so much better now that she cleared that all up.

Among others, these are the highlighted titles of her stand-up routines:

  • Kathy Griffin: Everybody Can Suck It (2007) 
  •  Kathy Griffin: Straight To Hell (2007) 
  •  Kathy Griffin: She’ll Cut A Bi$ch (2009)
  •  Kathy Griffin: Balls Of Steel (2009)
  •  Kathy Griffin Does the Bible Belt (2010) 
  •  Kathy Griffin: Whores on Crutches (2010)

Clearly, Ms. Griffin is a woman of class, whose reputation precedes her. The world is obviously a better place due to Kathy’s light witticism (dry sarcasm intended).

So, imagine our shock when we saw her face plastered all over the Arby’s® advertisements. This is who they have chosen to represent and sell their product? When my husband and I recovered, a full five days later, we sent an email to Arby’s® questioning their decision to have the oh so delightful, Kathy Griffin as their spokesman.

This was their response,

Thank you for contacting us regarding our television ads. As you saw in the commercial, we are conducting a menu makeover featuring a simplified menu with more of your Arby’s favorites at affordable prices, including 30 menu items under $3, plus several new premium sandwiches with bold flavors. The ads feature Kathy Griffin, an Emmy award-winning actress and comedian, who has widely publicized her own, real-life makeover. We appreciated her honest approach to the makeover topic and decided she would be a great fit for these ads, which are intended to be light-hearted and humorous. We appreciate your feedback and hope you will enjoy Arby’s new and improved menu! (emphasis added)

Sincerely, Arby’s Customer Relations

Really? So a “real-life” makeover now consists of thousands of dollars in plastic surgery, slandering religion, and the prevalent use of four and five letter words anytime one feels it appropriate. Light-hearted, indeed.

I’m pretty sure “The Arby’s® Customer Relations” team  meant to add, “So su*k it.”

Gone are the days when only the most graceful, reputable people were used in bolstering product sales. Remember when Olympians were featured? Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t think that anyone should be featured and placed upon a pedestal for profitable gain. (Do you really think Snoop Dogg only drinks Pepsi?)

The desperation of mankind to be someone else, someone rich and famous is palpable. I guess the reality is that putting a recognized face (even one wildly reconstructed and spewing hate-filled rhetoric) creates higher revenue. We all make mistakes, but why on earth would one feel better about being modeling themselves after people who make a career of being heinous?

Undoubtedly, there will be some naysayers commenting who think that I shouldn’t take it so seriously. But, consider: The people who are featured on television are the people who represent our country. Do you want Kathy Griffin as the spokesperson representing, not only mediocre sandwiches, but America? These commercials are not only viewed in our own country. There are target audiences, obviously, but celebrities receive not only monetary compensation, but increased notoriety for their participation in advertising. (The latter being just as important for their careers.) Unfortunately, when foreigners see Kathy Griffin, they think of Americans.  Wonderful.

I don’t know about you, but curly fries aren’t so appealing anymore…

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