Oh, hey – did you miss me? Like a bad rash?
In case you didn’t notice, and shame on you if you didn’t, ArtsJournal was down last week. Doug has written up the whole sad tale, and I’m fairly certain the ordeal shaved Many Years off his life. Thanks, Doug, for getting us back on the interwebz. World, feel free to start spinning again: Life’s a Pitch is back.
I powered through the month of April’s magazines this weekend, and one thing that stood out in a TimeOut NY was a review of this movie The Joneses. Another was a Carnegie Hall ad, but we’ll deal with that tomorrow.
So, The Joneses: In addition to being Demi Moore’s return to the big screen (woot?), the film is about marketing! Product placement! Good Old Fashioned American Consumerism! Capitalist pig-dogs! In other words, just a few of my favorite things. Here’s the TimeOut review:
As consumers become hyperaware of–and more immune to–advertising’s
effects, the stealth-marketing industry has developed some truly
sinister ways to control how we spend our hard-earned wages. That’s the
thesis of cowriter-director Derrick Borte’s depressing satire, which
tracks the titular clan that demands to be kept up with after moving
into a McMansion community. The setup is brilliant, even if it doesn’t
play out so cleverly: The Joneses aren’t an actual family, but a
sleeper cell of ambitious marketeers hired by a mysterious
corporation–the golf nut “dad” (Duchovny) being the most recent
recruit. All of the family members are silver-tongued Type A’s: the
fake high-schooler daughter (Heard) imploring her peers to buy the
latest cosmetics and diet pills; the son (Ben Hollingsworth) hawking
tech gadgets and video games; and Mom (Moore) working her housewife
ripple-effect integration at the salon.
The spot-on cast almost
holds the movie together, but whatever potential this timely premise
has is wasted on reworking the same gag about overconsumption. Once
romance gets in the way of business and one of the conniving Joneses
suddenly finds their humanity, it’s only a matter of time before
everything implodes. More discomforting is that real Audis and Dell
computers show up among the fake luxuries, which means the joke’s
really on us: Product placement strikes again!
And here’s the trailer:
In other advertising news, in lieu of running a Super Bowl ad this year, Pepsi is giving away a total of $20 million in 2010 to good ideas through the voter-driven program. Each month, money will be awarded based on public online voting open to all U.S. residents. Here’s Pepsi’s promotion video, which I find rather calming:
Have any arts organizations applied? If so, let us know and we’ll vote for you! Everyone also has to vote for my friend Donnie Maley’s project, since he’s the one who brought this to my attention. And because he was my senior prom date.* I’m sure I have some (3?) readers from Philly, so make yourselves known! Here’s the project description:
This exciting project is in the East Passyunk neighborhood of South Philadelphia. We are working with the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association and the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District to reclaim a confusing intersection at Passyunk, 12th, and Morris for pedestrian and community use. Our proposal is based on successful projects in San Francisco and New York City [Editor’s Note: Hey-O!]. You can watch an introductory video about the project on our website.
You can vote here once a day.
And readers, please let me know if you’ve submitted a project that we should be voting for and I’ll post about it. As far as I’m concerned, all the carbonated sugar money should go to Donnie and The Arts.
*If Planning Collective’s project gets a grant, I’ll post senior prom pictures here.