December 1997
s m u g
target audience
by Leslie Harpold


With This Wring

As soon as you announce you're going to get married, everyone you know, betrothed or otherwise will begin dispensing advice in your general direction. No matter how sincerely and protracted your decision to be altar bound was, this is a vulnerable time for you as you feel the weight of a lifetime of commitment encroaching on your happy go lucky spirit. Some of the advice you get is good. Some is silly. And now, some of it is advertising.

When better to prey on boys and girls than when they're the most frightened? If you can't get in on the action like all those companies that sell overpriced wedding paraphernalia, then at least seize these couples attention as they face a life of joy and trials together and use their vulnerability for the most American of all dreams, a branding opportunity.

It has recently come to my attention that when you go to City Halls all across this nation to fill out the paperwork for your marriage license, you are given a "Newlywed Pack" which includes things like fabric softener samples, coupons for cereal, and various advertisements all in a lovely plastic bag with bells printed on the outside. Formal, yet recyclable. Oh Joy!

Apparently these packages are such a hit that now people are creating ads exclusively for inclusion. This little gem, mined by one of our talented guest writers who recently pledged her honor in a tasteful civil ceremony. Naturally, I must invite you all to the reception of this advertising crime.


On the front of the brochure, we see a pesky hound having knocked the ceremonial red drink off the table as Greg - they don't call him Greg, but I've never seen anyone with more Greg-like qualities than this model - agape at the horror about to be perpetrated on the shiny wood floor of their post nuptial home as she selects the winning toaster from his arms. The big box marked "his" in the background shows us that these two - not exactly young are merging two already complete households.

Delving further into the brochure, we are told that "this is the perfect time to do a test, as the dog watches them, slightly ashamed, and they stare lovingly at the spilled Hawaiian Punch.


Honey, look at this fine opportunity we have to grow closer as a couple: we have a spill to wipe up! Let's compare brands! I can't tell you how this is already so much like my life. Note, the boxes that once littered the living room are gone, which means they took the time to finish up unpacking and the liquid just sat there in the interim. Dog memory doesn't even last that long. The dog isn't ashamed, he's mortified, that they would be so irresponsible in their new home. Forget that in my new house I would be freaking out about the finish getting damaged from letting sugar water sit on it for more than a second. Advertising has no use for reality.

We are told that he buys what's on sale and that his paper towels just go to shreds when sopping up pesky liquid spills. She's already a Bounty user, and what luck! The Rinse & Reuse towels are just the thing. So well suited to their needs, in fact, that we are allowed to follow them through the fascinating machinations of cleaning the entire house. Again, the loving couple gazes at stains, first on the counter where she overshot the plate with the spaghetti sauce. You know, the kind of spill "you thought only a sponge or rag could handle." Consumption is the key to happiness, but we've known that for a long time. Greg and Laura (face it, she's a Laura) share the most coveted consummation of marital bliss, the longing stares - loving, but certainly not lustful (remember, Bounty is a product of Procter and Gamble!).

Time for the money shot. More loving looks as he - in a gesture of homage to her towel selecting skills, installs a paper towel holder for her. This actually provided me with a sense of relief, as I feared the poor couple would spend their married life as they had been depicted, holding a roll of paper towels at all times. This would be cumbersome at certain times, but then again, I have a dirty mind. Maybe a few passes with the Bounty Rinse & Reuse towels would help clean it up and I could bag a babe like Greg.

Or maybe not. All I know is I feel a lot better knowing that my friends' sacred union has been blessed by the Branding God, and that they will now have all the tools they need to love, honor, cherish and absorb for the rest of their days.



in the junk drawer:

November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997

and such
and such


·feature· ·net worth· ·bumping uglies· ·smoking jacket· ·ear candy· ·feed hollywood· ·target audience· ·three dollar bill· ·compulsion· ·posedown· ·the biswick files· ·mystery date· ·and such and such· ·blab· ·kissing booth·

·contents· ·freakshow· ·fan club· ·junk drawer·

copyright © 1996, 1997 fearless media