Jewish World Review August 4, 2003 / 6 Menachem-Av, 5763
Is the free market doomed?
Capitalism, bless its heart, is unavoidable. It is the most beloved and
behated system in the world today. Right up there next to Islam.
Still, if capitalism really wants to gain more yards, it's going to have
to get a bit more clever than what I've been seeing lately. I've said
this before, but there is the stench of desperation around marketing
efforts these days.
Example: I got a cup of coffee the other day. The little wraparound
thingie that protects your hand from the hotness of the go-cup not only
had a logo from a candy company I will not name, it had a little
shrink-wrapped piece of gum attached to it, which rapidly turned to goo
from the heat of the cup. That unpleasantness aside, I must ask this
nameless company, do you really want to be widely recognized as the
proud sponsor of a circular piece of cardboard?
Another example: the movies. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have a movie
coming out. By the time you see this, it may already be in the theatres.
That's great. Ben Affleck is a big affable movie star, Jennifer Lopez is
everything you want in a diva. They're fire and ice, she likes to shop,
he likes to hang, he's a guy, she's a gal, one sings, the other doesn't
oh, the public relations angles are endless.
At the time I'm writing this, though, I haven't heard or seen any radio
or teevee ads, I've only seen posters for the movie which is called G I G L I. What is that? Is it Jee Glee? Is it Giggly? Is it Hard Gee Glee?
Is it Jiggly?
Mr. or Ms. Movie Producer, you have spent millions of dollars just to
get these two lovers together on film, not to mention the untold
millions entailed by actual production. So why do you saddle this
multi-million dollar production with a weird unpronounceable title?
Couldn't you have called it ETERNAL LOVE, or SEMI-PERMANENT LOVE, or
BUFF LOVE anything really? It doesn't have to make sense, but it needs
to be something you can at least get your mouth around.
But Gigli it is. I will soon see that on the little cardboard wraparound
on my go-cup, I suppose, blazoned on the separator bar at the grocers,
put up on the monitor at a McDonald's, and spray painted on the side of
The name will be everywhere. The movie will tank. Ben and J. Lo will
break up. The world will move on. But capitalism will be the worst for
it. And terrorism is one step closer to winning. Why don't people ask my
advice on these things before they put their foot in it? The world would
be a better place, believe me.
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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2003, Ian Shoales