Most people in the communications business try their best, but sometimes things just get out of hand. Scott G takes a look at some eyebrow-raising news involving fast food that makes you want to fast, and an auto maker invoking a name from days of the Third Reich.
Comedy programs have always created parodies of commercials, but now there is something new in the media mix: caricature ads running as part of normal commercial breaks.
It is a brilliant concept, and very entertaining. Yet it is quite subversive, because if viewers are not certain whether they are watching a real ad or a spoof, then our work as marketers is made that much more difficult.
Still, I got a smile or a smirk from the following hilarious send-ups of typical bonehead marketing:
* A phony commercial for an automobile called the “Chevrolet Impala SS.” Yes, I know that Chevy thinks SS stands for Super Sport, but, well, this is Spectacularly Stupid. While they’re a little late in capitalizing on Mel Brooks’ “Springtime for Hitler,” this is still quite humorous. The tone of the spoof is relentlessly upbeat as they pound home the name of the model. I was not up on my Nazi history, but a quick use of Google took me to info about the Schutzstaffel (SS) module of the Third Reich, headed by Heinrich Himmler from 1929 to 1945, with all their personnel selected on strict ideological and racial lines. Suggested follow-up: the Ann Coulter Edition, or possibly Model 666.
* A disgusting lampoon of fast-food overindulgence, this for an obviously ridiculous “vat o’ lard” type of product from KFC. In this frightening thirty-second send-up, we see gobs of mashed potatoes plopped into a tub. Corn is slathered on the mashed taters, followed by extra-fatty fried chicken parts and evil sludge, er, gravy. The whole artery-clogging concoction is topped with a medley of processed cheese. The photography is wonderfully dim, just like actual KFC commercials.
* Another purge-inducing satire currently on the airwaves is for Dairy Queen. They mix live-action shots of deliciously stupid “real people” and costumed slimy monsters, intercut with shocking close-ups of what appears to be vomit, which they call the Monster Cookie Blizzard. If this doesn’t get your gag-reflex working overtime, nothing else will.
Oops. I have just been informed that all three of these are real commercials.