BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Monday, February 07, 2005

And the Jingo Award Goes To...

Well...it happened. During the Superbowl.

Courtesy of our very dear friends at Anheuser-Busch.

On Saturday, I wrote:
Do you think we'll ever see a BUDWEISER or Ford commercial with a subtle "join the military" message on the side? That would be "the end of days" for me.
I was joking, of course, so I wasn't really prepared for A-B's "Thank You" ad to the troops.

Not really a "join the military" ad, but definitely jingo-istic.

The ad started in the fairly busy "gate" area of a typical American airport. (Didn't look like LAX. Maybe the terminal they built for the "Terminal?") All of the sudden, a traveler stands up and starts clapping. Then another. And another. And another. Pretty soon, everyone near gates 14-28 is giving a standing ovation for a few dozen troops. Men and women...in full desert gear.

Troops who've just returned from Iraq.

The screen goes black, a "Thank You" graphic appears, followed by the corporate logo for A-B, and we're out.

Ballsy. Ballsy and jingo-ey. Ballsy, jingo-ey and really creepy.

So here's my thing; yes, absolutely, "thank you" for doing a job I'd never do (unless we were invaded by Martians). And, yes, "thank you" for putting your life on the line. What you're doing? Very brave. Don't agree with the folks who sent you there, but God bless 'ya.

So I couldn't help but think (as I was watching the ad) that the only appropriate message we "freedom-loving" citizens could send our returning troops is, "Don't go back, you poor bastard." Maybe, "Hey, you're being lied to. You aren't figthing for freedom; you're fighting for Cheney and Rumsfeld and the people they work for. So get out before you get your leg blown off."

Who's got the balls to produce that commercial?

A crowded airport, a bunch of troops get off a plane, and people start screaming, "Dude, two words; Mexico" "Quick! Before you go crazy and shoot your wife, get a boyfriend. They'll kick you right out!" "Hey, man, take three hits of acid when you report back for duty! They'll give you a discharge on the spot!"

Or how about a "Thank You" ad that features a single camera shot of the recovery room at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany? Hmm? The camera pans around the room...showing a few dozen soldiers just out of surgery? Soldiers trying on their prosthetics for the first time?

(Not one amputee or wheelchair among the "returning servicemen" in the "Thank You" ad, BTW.)

Or maybe a few shots of some soldiers sitting around a room...talking about "post-traumatic stress disorder?"

That's the ad I want to see.

According to The UK's Guardian:
"Though the (British) Ministry of Defence does not publish statistical predictions, military psychiatrists in AMERICA have been warned to expect PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER to occur in a remarkable 20% of servicemen and women RETURNING from Iraq."
Don't think the "Thank You" ad featured THAT KIND of soldier. (I'll check Can't imagine they'd cast an actor with "that kind of look" in his eye.)

Those are the types of soldiers we really gotta "thank."

And take care of.

Capice?

More later...

PS - Apparently, the soldiers in the ads were "real."

PSS- NPR broke down the Superbowl Ads this morn. Their favorite? The above-mentioned "heart stopper." Their least favorite was the ad for GoDaddy.com, which mocked the wave of (conservative) morality that's currently slamming into our shores.

Figures.

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