Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fair Assessment?

Last night was the start of the LA County Fair, which means those commercials are back that they've been running for the past few years, with the dumb Valley Girls and the uninformed LA schoolkids, and... oh, you don't need this blog to tell you how staggering the LA stereotypes are here.

What's so off-putting about this campaign is not just an ad agency's jokey assertion that we're a bunch of idiots who don't know what milk is or that a cow says "moo," but that as those being advertised to, we're supposed to identify with and somehow see ourselves in them. But marketing to Los Angelenos by mocking how stupid Los Angelenos are is an insulting strategy which not only presumes that we're as dumb as the commercials make us to be, but that we don't have any civic pride either. These commercials don't laugh with us, they laugh at us.

It might be easier to swallow a little gentle ribbing if the "grains of truth" made any sense. But come on:

Yeah, yeah, the women are dumb and shallow and talk like Valley Girls and... concerned with their health? Perish the thought. The assertions here are just odd and reactionary: That you can't make healthy food that looks or tastes appealing, that the women don't know that apple pie contains apples, that anything that sounds remotely vitamin-like should be mocked, and that eating food that's good for you is some crazy Los Angeles fad.

The agency folks can't even keep up a consistent stereotype, because here the presumed health nuts chow down on cotton candy:

Oh wait, they're eating it because they think it comes from cotton. Or perhaps from soy. Or... what in the world are you talking about?! Perhaps their next spots should be about confused advertising executives trying desperately to stereotype a major metropolitan city, and throwing anything against the wall to see if it sticks.

No comments: