Monday, October 17, 2011

You Want A Revolution? Occupy Wall Street Movement

By Eric Brothers

A specter is haunting America. The specter of revolution.

The jackals and hyenas on Wall Street, in the banking industry, at the Federal Reserve, and in the government are laughing at America! They grab everything they can and crap all over the good people of America! Through the giant propaganda machine that is controlled by the U.S. government and these giant corporations, they are trying to sooth and comfort people who won’t swallow the big lie any longer! A revolution is brewing.


A social-political movement is beginning to grow, a movement of despair, a movement of frustration, a movement of hope. This movement includes every political, ethnic, and economic segment of our society. This will be a movement of true CHANGE, not the bogus ‘change’ of President Obama and his weaselly advisers and Congress.


The media has begun to say that the anti-Wall Street Movement protests are “anti-capitalist.” Considering all of the rewarding of failed banks and auto companies, it would be safe to say that capitalism--as we know it--is dead.

"capitalism--as we know it--is dead"


Perhaps if capitalism had been left to its own devices, there would be no need for such a movement. In real capitalism, companies are allowed to fail. Upon failing, other investors and companies come in and start to rebuild on what is left of the failed companies. But not in the world of the 21st century! When GM and Chrysler failed, and failed miserably, their CEOs went to Washington with their hands out begging to be helped. And what did the government do? Hand these losers--yes, losers!--billions of dollars of tax-payers money.


And the banks who failed miserably were also given big, fat gifts. Those giant corporations who put us in the housing mess in the first place--in collaboration with the Federal Reserve--have been rewarded by being given billions to save their sorry asses. And what do they do? Hold onto the money they are given and charge monstrous interest rates to people who can’t pay off their credit card debt because jobs are not to be found because of the grievous errors of the banking industry. A revolution is brewing.

A specter is haunting America. The specter of revolution.

Is Fed chairman Bernenke giving us the finger?

The ‘Federal Reserve‘--which, dear Americans, is not ‘Federal’ but a series of private banks that make profits in the multi-billion dollar range each and every year--also made their contribution to this wonderful mess we have. For several years the ‘Federal Reserve’ made borrowing money so easy with very low interest rates, that everybody who had a job and $100 in the bank was buying houses and flipping them within a year. The ‘Fed’ did that because the banks, including their own Federal Reserve banks, were making money hand over fist by handing out money to anyone who asked. And the stock market was scaling new heights. Everybody on the food chain was making money.



But it was a phony economy based upon speculation, greed, and corruption--and the players knew all along that it would crash down like a house of cards. Who were the players? Wall Street, the ‘Federal Reserve,’ the banking industry, and the government. You see, when unemployment benefits run out and Congress is asked to extend them, that is considered entitlement spinning out of control. But when GM goes belly up--they are handed tax-payer money--and it is explained through American propaganda that it is good for the economy and will save jobs.


The bottom line is that anything will be done to help a failing company but absolutely nothing will be done to help a failing family. So when protesters demand free health care, free education, and guaranteed employment, it is exactly what the Congress, Federal Reserve, banking industry and Wall Street already have had all along! A revolution is brewing.


What form will this revolution take? I guess that we'll just have to wait to find out.

Copyright (C) Eric Brothers 2011. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Iconic Revolutionary Lenin in Pop Culture

 Sculpture named “The hero. The leader. The god” (L to R: V. Lenin, M. Mouse, J. Christ) by Alexandre Kosolapov.
The revolutionary and writer who led the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Russian Federation and the early Soviet Union has always been a popular yet controversial figure.  He was in the news recently when an archival KGB document declassified in Russia proved that Lenin had Jewish heritage in his background.  A report in Time magazine says that the document was on exhibition in Moscow's State Historical Museum documenting that Lenin's maternal grandfather, the son of Moses Blank, was born Jewish in Zhitomir, Ukraine.

Vladimir Lenin Cola-Flavored Head Pops.
It was in a letter to Joseph Stalin in 1932 — six years after Lenin's death — that Anna Ulyanova, Lenin's older sister, wrote that their maternal grandfather "came from a poor Jewish family and was, according to his baptismal certificate, the son of Moses Blank." In the letter, Ulyanova said her brother "had always thought highly of Jews." She also urged the Soviet leader to reveal Lenin's Jewish background, concluding that "it would be wrong to hide it from the masses."


Lenin on a t-shirt.
Lenin gave a speech in which he spoke about Jews and anti-Semitism which was recorded on a gramophone record in 1919.  During the Khrushchev era all of his recorded speeches of that year were published except this one.  He said, in part, 

The tsarist police, in alliance with the landowners and the capitalists, organized pogroms against the Jews. The landowners and capitalists tried to divert the hatred of the workers and peasants who were tortured by want against the Jews. ... It is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people. The enemies of the workers are the capitalists of all countries. Among the Jews there are working people, and they form the majority. They are our brothers, who, like us, are oppressed by capital; they are our comrades in the struggle for socialism. ... The capitalists strive to sow and foment hatred between workers of different faiths, different nations and different races. ... Rich Jews, like rich Russians, and the rich in all countries, are in alliance to oppress, crush, rob, and disunite the workers. ... Shame on those who foment hatred towards the Jews, who foment hatred towards other nations. 


Lenin advertising the Museum of Communism in Prague, Czech Republic.
Stalin, however, ordered Ulyanova to keep Lenin's Jewish roots to herself. A few years later, Stalin began to purge Jews from among the leaders of the revolution. Stalinism included a strong helping of anti-Semitism beginning in the 1930s.  Prior to his death in 1953, according to the published Time report, he was preparing to send the whole Jewish population living in the Soviet Union to concentration camps in Siberia.
The name "Lenin" has lost its power in his hometown.

A young woman cannot help but give the revolutionary a kiss. All rights reserved by morganfitzp (C).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

EAT CANDY, LOSE WEIGHT! Propaganda From the Candy Industry That May Kill You

This propaganda is from 1940, but candy industry propaganda in 2011 is saying the same thing.
A study sponsored by the National Confectioners Association was reported in media around the U.S. as if it were news.  In a press release it says, "Children and adolescents who eat candy tend to weigh less than their non-consuming counterparts, according to a new study (1) published in Food & Nutrition Research, a peer-reviewed journal."   



There is a qualifier, however, by the lead researcher Carol O'Neil, PhD, MPH, LDN, RD, of Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.  "The study illustrates that children and adolescents who consume candy are less likely to be overweight or obese," O'Neil said. "However, the results of this study should not be construed as a hall-pass to overindulge. Candy should not replace nutrient-dense foods in the diet; it is a special treat and should be enjoyed in moderation."

Perhaps someone in the candy industry should tell this girl about the study.
AN INDUSTRY THAT WILL KILL YOU TO MAKE A PROFIT

The above "study" is one way industry propaganda is used to help kill you in order to make a profit.  The United States has the highest rate of obesity in the developed world.  Here is data from the Center for Disease Control showing the growing percentage rate of obesity in the total population of the U.S. from 2000 to 2010.  These figures do not include overweight people who are not obese:

2000                20.0%
2001                20.9%
       2002                21.9%       
2003                22.9%
2004                23.2%
2005                24.4%
2006                25.1%
2007                26.3%
2008                26.7%
2009                26.9%
2010                27.6%

A marketing tool that promotes eating candy to children.
CANDY PROPAGANDA AND MISINFORMATION TARGETING CHILDREN

According to rawfoodexplained.com a propaganda booklet distributed to over 60,000 students in the U.S. by the National Confectioner's Association says the following: 
  1. "Candy is vital for weight watchers. To reduce, eat candy before and after each meal. We can promise you it works."
  2. "Candy helps fight fever and can prevent vomiting and diarrhea."
  3. "Candy is not the cause of cavities, but the lack of hard chewing causes tooth decay."

Additionally, the the National Soft Drink Association passes out industry propaganda to children and high school athletes that tell them "soda drinks are a good source of water."  The Hershey Foods Corporation says the following about proper nutrition in their "Nutritional Information" handbook: "Calories are important, and foods which supply only calories can, if used correctly, contribute to good nutrition."

RECESSION HAS A "SWEET TOOTH"

According to a press release from the American Sugar Alliance dated August 2, 2010, "Grocery shoppers paid a lot more for candy this past year despite the fact that other sugar-containing product prices fell, according to the annual Sugar Price Survey ..."   Most candy bars included in the report saw a 10-cent price increase, rising from 99 cents in 2009 to $1.09 in 2010.  "The recession seems to have a sweet tooth,” the New York Times reported in an article cited in the press release.  “As unemployment has risen and 401(k)’s have shrunk, Americans, particularly adults, have been consuming growing volumes of candy…say candy makers, store owners and industry experts.”  According to Business Week, in 2008 Americans spent $8.8 billion on snacks.  The average per capita consumption of candy that year was 25 pounds per person. 

Here is a mixture of M&Ms propaganda and merchandising in Las Vegas.

CANDY INDUSTRY INTRODUCED THOUSANDS OF NEW PRODUCTS TO "MEET CONSUMER DEMAND"

The NCA released a press release from their SWEETS & SNACKS Expo dated May 24, 2011, that read in part, "From unique flavor blends like chili and mint to more cost conscious bites, new sweets and snacks hitting the store shelves in 2011 aim to satisfy ever-evolving consumer appetites."  As mentioned above, "Candy and snacks continue to represent an affordable indulgence for consumers in a slow economy, demonstrated by industry sales growth over the past two years."  According to the press release, the candy industry saw a 3.6 percent gain in 2010, which outpaced the overall growth of food sales in leading channels. Meanwhile, salty snacks experienced steady growth with a 2 percent gain over the previous year's sales.  

Citing the NPD Group for NCA, "The average American consumes chocolate confectionery about 107 times per year."  The Futures Group for NCA says, "Parents claim children who consume chocolate daily exercise nearly twice as often as children who eat chocolate weekly."  

The press release states that in 2010, thousands of new confectionery and snack products debuted to "meet consumer demand:"
  • 2,655 new confectionery products debuted:
    • Chocolate: 1,480
    • Non-chocolate (sugar confectionery): 1,077
    • Gum: 98
  • 3,805 new snack, cookie and cracker products debuted:
    • Cookies: 786
    • Crackers: 259
    • Potato chips: 526
    • Popcorn: 237
    • Nuts and seeds: 308
    • Cereal bars: 550
    • Other snacks (pretzels, tortilla chips, puffed snacks, fruit snacks, meat snacks, etc.): 1,139
Are you being seduced by candy industry propaganda and marketing?

ECONOMIC COST OF OBESITY $270 BILLION PER YEAR IN UNITED STATES

According to a report in U.S. News and World Report, the total economic cost of overweight and obesity combined in the United States is $270 billion per year while the cost in Canada runs about $30 billion a year.  The $300 billion combined total cost in both nations is the result of:  "increased need for medical care ($127 billion); loss of worker productivity due to higher rates of death ($49 billion); loss of productivity due to disability of active workers ($43 billion); and loss of productivity due to total disability ($72 billion), said the Society of Actuaries (SOA)."  

People are considered overweight if their body-mass index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 and obese if their BMI is higher than 30.  Separating the economic cost of overweight and obesity in the United States in 2009, the SOA researchers found that it was $72 billion for overweight and $198 billion for obesity.   

"Overweight and obesity have been shown to increase the rate of several common adverse medical conditions, resulting in this extraordinary economic cost to society," study author Don Behan said in a SOA news release.  "We can't stand back and ignore the fact that overweight and obesity are drivers of cost increases and detrimental economic effects. It's time for actuaries, the employer community and the insurance industry to take action and help consumers make smart, healthy decisions," he added.

COPYRIGHT (C) ERIC BROTHERS.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 




Thursday, May 26, 2011

Paranoid Propaganda from the America of the 1950s

There were many threats to worry about in the 1950s and Communism was just one of them!


The United States in the 1950s is perceived to have been a bland, blissfully happy place with no crime, neighborhoods where people went out with their doors unlocked, and ever-growing material wealth.  Images of happy families on TV shows calmly solving problems and the 50s nostalgia exemplified by TV's "Happy Days" with the lovable greaser Fonzi and the Broadway play "Grease" and later film loosely based upon it are generally what come to mind when the 1950s are brought up in conversation.

"He May Be A Communist" is from the paranoid 1950s.

The reality of 1950s America, however, is quite different from the popular perception.  America was a democracy of fear--fear of Communism and the Soviet Union; fear of the homosexual "deviant;" fear of nuclear attack by the Russian Communists.

What was the basis of the fear of Communism in the 1950s?  Communism threatened America in several ways.  It is diametrically opposed to capitalism.  The Soviet Union and other communist states had a one-party system that held all power, while the U.S. has a two-party system with free elections.  Communist Russia had atomic weapons and was seen as a military threat to America.  The perception was that Communist states "enslaved" their citizens while the U.S. stressed the "freedom" of its citizens.  Communism threatened U.S. economic prosperity as well as religious freedom around the world--thus the U.S. believed it had to act.   China and Eastern Europe had fallen under the red tentacles of Communism and the United States was determined to stop its spread around the world.

Gay pulp fiction of the 1950s stressed the seamier, violent side of homosexual life.
Please click below to read the blog post by Michael Phillips entitled, Homophobia and the Birth of the Gay Civil Rights Movement in 1950s America.    It is an excellent essay on the fear of homosexuals during the 1950s.
"Boys Beware" is a homophobic propaganda film from 1961.

 The below is taken verbatim from Wikipedia post on the propaganda film, Duck and Cover (1951):

After nuclear weapons were developed (the first having been developed during the Manhattan Project during World War II), it was realized what kind of danger they posed. The United States held a nuclear monopoly from the end of World War II until 1949, when the Soviets detonated their first nuclear device.

There was much fear about an atomic attack from the Soviets during the 1950s.
This signaled the beginning of the nuclear stage of the Cold War, and as a result, strategies for survival were thought out. Fallout shelters, both private and public, were built, but the government still viewed it as necessary to explain to citizens both the danger of the atomic (and later, hydrogen) bombs, and to give them some sort of training so that they would be prepared to act in the event of a nuclear strike.

The solution was the duck and cover campaign, of which Duck and Cover was an integral part. Shelters were built, drills were held in towns and schools, and the film was shown to schoolchildren. According to the United States Library of Congress (which declared the film "historically significant" and inducted it for preservation into the National Film Registry in 2004), it "was seen by millions of schoolchildren in the 1950s."

"Duck and Cover" is a propaganda film from 1951 that tells us how to protect ourselves from atomic attack.

Copyright (C) 2011 Eric Brothers.  All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Propaganda for Birobidzhan: Stalin's Yiddish-Socialist Paradise in Siberia


A propaganda poster telling Jews about the paradise of Birobidzhan, the new Soviet-Jewish homeland.

Stalin pushed for a Yiddish-based Soviet-Jewish homeland, wanting Jews to become farmers and thus "productive" members of the Soviet economy and culture.  In fact, Stalin's pet project became the first official Jewish state since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., a few decades before the rebirth of Israel in 1948.

Train station in Birobidzhan where Jewish settlers arrived from the western Soviet Union.
"A nation," according to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, was "a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological makeup manifested in a common culture."

Soviet Jews did not fit Stalin's definition. Jewish poverty, unemployment, and overpopulation, as well as wide-spread anti-Semitism and pogroms after 1917, caused concern within the Kremlin. Many Jews lived in small towns and cities where they earned a living from petty commerce, retail sales, small-scale handicraft production, and unskilled labor.
A lottery ticket from 1929.  Revenues raised through lotteries helped cover costs of construction projects in the J.A.R.
In the 1920s, after it was determined that Jewish economic life was "ideologically suspect," the Communist party decided to transform Jews into farmers. This "normalization" would, in theory, weaken mass anti-Semitism and encourage Jews to become productive members of the economy and culture of the Soviet Union.
Propaganda poster from the one and only campaign to combat anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union (late 1920s).

Stalin pushes idea of Soviet-Jewish homeland

The Jewish homeland was to be located about 5,000 miles east of Moscow in the Soviet Far East. The plans to relocate Jews there, spearheaded by Stalin himself, began in 1924. Soviet policy in the 1920s focused upon the creation of national territories for minorities in order to normalize their status, and during the entire time of the Soviet Union being Jewish was considered an ethnicity or nationality.  The land became known as Birodbidzhan, and its official name was (and still is) the 'Jewish Autonomous Region' (JAR).

Here is a map of Russia today with Birobidzhan (Jewish Autonomous Region) in red.
Jewish settlement began in 1928, and the JAR was given its official status in 1934. The region -- about the size of Belgium -- was rich in natural resources in the north and had mountains and thick forests; there were large tracts of swampland and marshes. The pre-existing non-Jewish population (about 27,000) consisted of nomadic Siberian peoples, as well as Russians, Cossacks, Koreans and Ukrainians who mainly arrived around the turn of the century.

Concert version of song "We Came Here to Be Peasants" from musical called Soviet Zion which is about Jews settling in Birobidzhan in the 1920s and 1930s.

Here are some interesting links to information on Birobidzhan for students and non-students alike:


1) Here's a link to a virtual exhibition on Birobidzhan from Swathmore College.
2) Here's Wikipedia's post on Birobidzhan.  The sources at the bottom of the document are more important for students writing reports.
3) Here's an article about a Jewish revival in Birobidzhan from 2008.
4) Here's a link to my article about Birobidzhan published at Suite101.com called, "Birobidzhan: Stalin's Soviet-Jewish Homeland and its Revival"

This poster applauds the decision of the Central Executive Committee to establish by late 1933 a Jewish Autonomous Region with the borders of Birobidzhan.

A Soviet-style Palestine

The JAR was an experiment in creating a Jewish homeland with a secular Yiddish culture that was firmly rooted in socialist principles. The impoverished shtetl Jew would now become a productive comrade working the land while forging a Jewish homeland and new cultural identity. There were many comparisons with Jewish Palestine. One rice plantation migrant wrote in 1928, shortly after his arrival, "I thank you comrades. Here I am, getting settled, and will stop living like a 'Jew,' that is, as a luftmensch (an impractical contemplative person having no definite business or income). "

Propaganda poster promoting Jewish settlement in the Jewish Autonomous Region (Birobidzhan).

Jews poorly prepared for Birobidzhan

The "physical rebirth and renewal" of the Jews was not going to be an easy task. Many of the 40,000 to 50,000 Jews who were sent there from 1928 to 1938 did not remain. They either returned home or settled in larger eastern cities like Vladivostok. By 1939, Jews numbered about 18,000 of the 109,000 residents of the JAR. Only 25% of those 18,000 lived in the countryside, and not all of them worked in agricultural pursuits.

Shot from Soviet propaganda film, Seekers of Happiness (1936), which is about a Jewish family that settles in Birobidzhan.
Little was done to prepare the settlers -- many of whom had never worked the land in their lives -- for the hardships in an unknown and untamed area. The government failed to provide decent housing, food, medical care, and working conditions. Severe floods ravaged the region and some collective farms had to be started anew. Anti-Semitism was also an issue. Of the original Jewish settlers, few had any experience starting a farm from scratch.
Here's a brief video called Arrival in Birobidzhan (1936).


This is a 3-minute video on Birobidzhan.


The reliance upon Yiddish as the basis of culture was also limiting. Since the JAR was part of an anti-religious state, Judaism played an insignificant role in Birobidzhan. The purge trials of 1936-1938 robbed the region of its inspired leaders, who, in their trials, were charged with promoting Jewish culture in the JAR(!). Young Jews in Stalin's Soviet Union had opportunities to get ahead by moving to the cities of Belarus, the Ukraine and western Russia and learning Russian -- not the Yiddish of Birobidzhan.

This is the main street of Birobidzhan in the 1930s.

Please click here to read, "Birobidzhan: Stalin's Soviet-Jewish Homeland and its Revival" by Eric Brothers at Suite 101


Copyright (C) Eric Brothers 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The World Trade Center in Advertising Before 9/11

This is an actual ad from 1979 that was published in Le Point. This has been verified by a reference librarian at UCLA's Charles E. Young Research Library. The advertisement appeared on p.143 of the March 19, 1979 issue, #339.
The above ad from 1979 is quite an ominous visual. It is a stirring image and everything that good advertising should be. It features the WTC which was an iconic image of New York City. The shadow of the airplane against the building is simple yet striking. It tells the story the client wants to tell: when you travel to New York from Europe or Asia, call Pakistan International Airlines.

Flexon TV ad campaign that began in August of 2001 has a brief image of the WTC with an airliner heading straight for it. Watch carefully to catch it.

If 9/11 never happened it would be seen as just a great piece of advertising. It is possible that Osama Bin-Laden saw this ad at one time--and yet also possible that he never saw it. If he did see it, when he came up with the plan to fly planes into the WTC it may have been deep in his subconscious. If the ad or any reference to it is in his computer, it may come to light eventually.

Asbestos ad from 1981.
The above asbestos ad state quite simply that "Asbestos contains fire, cannot burn and holds up after metal and glass have melted down, giving vital time for people to escape." Except, of course, when a passenger airliner crashes into a building.

Texaco commercial featuring the WTC.

Print ad for The Squeeze (1987) starring Michael Keaton.
When considering the 9/11 attack, everything from before that day associated with the WTC falling, breaking, being squeezed, etc. seems ominous. Did these images contribute to the planned attack? Probably not. As mentioned above, the WTC is an iconic image and structure of New York. Thus destroying it was symbolic as well as an act of terror.

This video shows numerous representations of destruction of the WTC before 9/11 in advertising and entertainment.

Copyright (C) Eric Brothers 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Celebrities Gone Wild: Who's Careers Will Skyrocket When Dead?

Do you recognize that little girl who starred in The Parent Trap?  After Lindsay Lohan is dead, she will be an effective celebrity spokesman in advertising.
In my previous post, I discussed how dead celebrities make excellent advertising spokesmen.  In this post, I have selected three celebrities who probably will make a lot more money after they are dead--and then have really successful careers: Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, and Britney Spears.  This is not to say that I wish them dead, but if they had behaved better their earthly careers would not have imploded and thus would not have to wait until they croak to make a ton of money in advertising.

The above soused star, Lindsay Lohan, is a perfect example.  She was an adorable child actress and star, but once she became legal she thought that she could have it all.  And she has had it all: arrests, public drunkenness, drug abuse, assault charges, shoplifting charges, jail and nude pictorials.  It seems as if she is throwing away a career that many young people would die to have.  She's only 24 years old, but appears to be washed up and a Hollywood has-been.  She has been cast in a few projects that have "changed direction" and dropped her.  She also has been mentioned for some other parts--and has not been given a contract.  That's the kiss of death in Hollywood--to be mentioned all the time for roles and never actually gotten the part.

Here's a report on the washed-up has-been actress, Lindsay Lohan.

What company would hire her to showcase one of their products or services?  Perhaps bail bondsmen, but that is a limited market for a Hollywood "star."  That will all change when she dies and is in the ground.  Then her work will represent her.  She will be remembered for being a sweet child actress, not the drunken, washed up, unemployable adult actress she became while alive.  Then she will be selling all kinds of products--gin, whiskey, rum, beer, cigarettes, and legal services--and her estate will make a bundle of money!

The cash register will 'ca-ching!' when this guy checks out.
Mention the name Charlie Sheen and what comes to mind?  A suitcase full of cocaine?  Porn star girlfriends?  "Winning"; "tiger blood"; "a drug called Charlie Sheen"; and more "Sheen bites."  Someone whom you are terrified of meeting up with in a dark alley?  Bi-polar or insane?  Well, for one reason or another no companies want him to represent them in their advertising.  What could he promote?  Prostitutes?  Drug dealers?  They don't advertise. 

Here's Sheen singing his YouTube hit, "Winning."

Charlie Sheen UNEDITED version of his 20/20 interview.

Is this guy for real, the most original comic ever or completely off his rocker?  Watch the UNEDITED version above and his song "Winning" and send in a comment to this blog if you wish. 

Nonetheless, Charlie Sheen will be more popular when he is dead.  He may live to be 100 but he may croak tomorrow.  What happens when someone dies?  Everyone remembers the good stuff he or she did or said.  There will be nostalgia for Charlie Sheen.  His current episode of wackiness will be remembered fondly, not with horror and derision.  Then the advertisers will come knocking at his estate's door--and he will rake in the cash--and be loved more than ever.  All the other dead celebrities will be jealous of how successful Sheen will become.  He will sell cars, liquor, cigarettes--plus big-ticket items that will rake in big bucks for his heirs.

It's hard to believe that not that long ago, Britney Spears was a hot chick that many people wanted to have sex with.
Britney Spears seems to be making a comeback, but she still lip-syncs her songs in concert, smokes cigarettes, and at 30 her voice may be shot.  Listen to her re-mix of "S & M" with Rhianna in my post on Britney;  her voice sounds weak and not inspired at all when compared to Rhianna.  The days of her big-money advertising days are over.  Yes, she makes money for product placement, but she used to be featured in Super Bowl Pepsi commercials.  But that was before she married that creepy guy and threw her career down the toilet.   

Parody of Britney by Mad TV "Lick My Baby Back Behind"

Nobody will pay her to advertise products.  What image will come to mind?  Britney shaving her head?  Smashing a car window with a baseball bat?  Letting every photographer in Hollywood take pictures of her clean-shaven snatch as she and Paris Hilton (another great role-model for young girls) exited a car?  She could advertise for porn, but she more or less has done that already.  

Parody of "Would You Hold it Against Me?" called "Who's Got No Common Sense? Me!"

But when Britney sings her last note (that's a metaphor, by the way) her career will take off like a rocket.  The Britney we all (well some of us) loved will be back through the magic of video and digital technology.  The bad stuff will be forgotten.  She will then be beloved.  Everybody loves a dead celeb.  Then the Pepsi, Toyota, and other advertising execs will form a line at her crypt to get a piece of the dead version of her.  Then she will make big bucks in advertising.  Then we will forget the pregnant-smoking trailer trash woman Britney turned into the last few years.

In Dead Celebrity Heaven the way we want to remember them: Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen and Britney Spears.

Copyright (C) 2011 Eric Brothers.  All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dead Celebrities Make Better Advertising Spokesmen

John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe both made "comebacks" to pitch the Citroën automobile in 2010.
Over the years, celebrities who are no longer with us have been appearing in advertisements, either as spokesmen or "atmosphere" in commercials that feature several of them.  While there is definitely a creepy element to this, there are benefits as well.  Benefits?  How is that possible?

Here's John Lennon in a Citroën commercial.

Well, first of all, the ad agency and the client won't have to worry about the celebrity not showing up or hiding in his/her dressing room having a tantrum--or a bottle of Jack Daniels. 

Chris Farley "returned" for this ad campaign in 2006.
They also won't demand as much of a salary as when they were alive.  And the sponsor won't have to worry about perks and a fancy dressing room.  Dead celebrities are indeed popular, but don't command the money that they once did.
Argos, the British general goods store, "recruited" crooner Bing Crosby to promote their Christmas 2010 catalog.
When you "hire" a dead celebrity, there is instant credibility.  After all, if Bing Crosby advertises Argos, shouldn't everyone shop there?  The client doesn't have to worry about whether or not a star is "overbooked" and thus not available.  Plus there is an ever-growing catalog of dead celebrities who are "available" to pitch products and services.

Tough guy Steve McQueen has been "hired" to sell Ford cars.
When you hire a dead celebrity to push a product or service, you are guaranteed that he or she will not do anything embarrassing that will be reported in the mass media that will adversely effect sales.  How many companies have hired Lindsey Lohan or Britney Spears to pitch products?  But that will change when they are six feet under.  Then their antics can be controlled--and you will see them selling everything from whiskey to birth control products.   

This is an effective way to use dead celebrities in advertising.  All four of them--Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Belushi and River Phoenix--died from drug abuse, which makes the use of their photos meaningful to the message of the ad for Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

Dead celebrities are much easier to direct.  They don't argue with the director about "motivation" and other actor crap.  If you want Cary Grant standing among a bunch of cartoon insects, he won't give you any lip about it.  And they don't forget dialogue or say the wrong words.  Either the words coming out of their mouths exist on film and video already, or technology can make them say whatever is needed for the product.
The late John Wayne "appeared" in a commercial for Coors beer.

What kind of products will this guy be selling soon?


Copyright (C) 2011 Eric Brothers. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Marlboro Baby: Cigarette Propaganda from the "Good Old Days"

When was the last time you saw a baby pitch cigarettes?
Before cigarette smoking was determined to cause lung and other types of cancers, it was promoted by Madison Avenue in many different and creative ways. According to a report in Time magazine, Ridley Scott, who was a commercial director before he went on to feature films, said that cigarette ads were the most fun to make, because they were all image. One can only imagine the meetings and brainstorming sessions that resulted in the above ads for Marlboro cigarettes in the early 1950s. Long before there was a Marlboro Man there was an adorable little Marlboro baby!

It seems (if this image was not created via Photoshop) that you can purchase your own Marlboro Baby shirt!
Well, if Santa Claus smokes, then shouldn't everyone?
The holidays are just around the corner. Worried about catching a cold before your Christmas shopping is finished? You can "guard against throat-scratch" by copying Santa and lighting up a Pall Mall. Kris Kringle enjoys "the smooth smoking of fine tobaccos" as he gets all the toys ready in his workshop. All cigarettes advertised back in the 1950s seem to have been "mild" and "smooth." When was the last time you "let a carton of Pall Malls say 'Merry Christmas' for you"?

Now if your doctor smokes Camels, then they must be good for you!
Wouldn't you just get a warm, fuzzy feeling all over if your doctor lit up a cigarette during your annual exam? Back in 1946, when the Mad Men on Madison Avenue were sketching this one with different headlines, the link between smoking and lung cancer wasn't totally set in stone. Ads such as the above were created to reassure consumers about a product known even then as "coughin' nails." What better spokesman than a local doctor? Would he lie to you, Mr. and Mrs. Consumer? The medical community of 1946 did nothing to combat such advertising. Why should they? Everybody smoked. Notice the "T-Zone" in the ad--for "taste" and "throat." Notice how happy the smokers look.

Did you ever have to make up your mind? It seems that home run hitter and New York Yankee Mickey Mantle did not! Above he appears as spokesman for two different brands: Viceroy and Camel. I bet that you didn't know that "many of the Yanks smoke Camels"! I wonder what brand of whiskey they drank in the clubhouse at Yankee Stadium? Back then Mantle was known as the "Commerce Comet," and was only one of several sports heroes to endorse cigarettes when these ads appeared in 1957 (left) and 1953. If so many "Yanks smoke Camels" then how did they win all of those World Series? Perhaps the other teams smoked cigarettes that were not "richer tasting..." or "mild and swell tasting!"

Next time you and the little lady take in a baseball game, do what this couple does!

What could be cuter than cartoon characters making smoking seem "fun"?
Imagine being a child back in the 1950s and early 1960s. You're watching TV and all of a sudden your favorite characters are in a commercial smoking cigarettes! Now of course the cigarette companies have always claimed that they don't market their product to children. Would those giant corporations lie to you and me?

Here are three ads for cigarettes featuring the Flintstones.

Wait! Don't leave yet! Take a look at capitalist advertising inspired by Stalinist propaganda!

Copyright (C) Eric Brothers 2011. All Rights Reserved.