Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kept In A Jar By The Door

Back in November, we bellyached about an advertisement near our home in Chicago wherein an image of Carmelo Anthony commanded us to drink a blue sports beverage. Why would Anthony consent to the use of his likeness without any charisma-enhancing performative oomph? Even more disturbing is a latter-day series of TV ads where a still photo of Chris Paul, twinned with an obviously not-Paul voice, endorses Right Guard deodorant.

We couldn’t find on Youtube the ad where a hopelessly smitten Chris Paul fan smothers his armpits into his buddy’s face. Right Guard’s website features a sadly static interactive exhibit where web visitors can learn a few factoids about Chris Paul, including his avid bowling habit. Isn’t that why Wikipedia was invented? In any case, the common feature of all of these advertising efforts is the absence of any active participation from Chris Paul himself (in addition to the rather odious presentation of Chris Paul's ’pits as something worth aspiring to). The association of a star athlete with, say, property insurance or underwear is always tenuous; the endorsement is a bit more convincing if the athlete feels like showing up for half a day of filming. (In the case of Dwyane Wade and his German mobile phone masters, how did he find the time to film all those spots with Barkley? Presumably they filmed them all at once last summer, but that must have taken at least three days with all the costume and scenery changes. That’s actually rather impressive for a guy defending against a bitter divorce and playing for Olympic gold.)

Anyway, Chris Paul needs a better agent.

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