Dumb sheep. Rednecks. Ignorant church ladies who'd even flock to Tyler Perry's version of Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments." Ignorant bammas who'd even flock to see Lil'Wayne's version of Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" soundtrack. Screeching "tweeners." Grubby texting teens. Gamers. Old farts. Old widows. "Twilight" fans. Limbaugh dittoheads. Lifetime movie female couch potato-ettes...
This is how marketers, advertisers, corporate media consultants carve us up from the more traditional demos in order to sell, to control, to spin. This makes Mad Men and the toothpaste account debates at McMahon & Tate on Bewitched seem trite. Indeed, they are part of the equation, the calculus that's brought us everything from the Iraq War to partisan gridlock to Viagra commericals to the economic meltdown (that one's ironic, eh?). This story slipped through the cracks back in November due the the election, but it's instructive, given what's been stealing my productive time along with every other red blooded American male (another demo?): the NCAA Tournament. ESPN, another carrier of the sales and hype word in which we live, and killer of the traditional analytical/expose sportswriter is the culprit. It hired Anomaly, an ad agency, for a campaign kicking off their 09 college hoops coverage.
In our new Age of Obama, of Thought is the New Cool, of Greed is NOT Good...this is what these tools came up with. Note, in our lamebrained culture, we don't have time or inclination to deliberate, and our news/analysis outlets (devoid of partisan crap or unprofessionalism) are evaporating. Which makes even the smartest folk susceptible to this trope. Now image how it sticks in the minds of the harried masses? This taken verbatim (including racial requests) from a leaked memo. Enjoy...
[ DUKE UNIVERSITY ]
MALE. Our guy for Duke UNIVERSITY is a smart, with it, young WHITE male. He's handsome. He's from money. He is, in short, the kind of guy, everyone can't stand. He is the kind of guy everyone wants to be.
[ NORTH CAROLINA ]
FEMALE. She's a Southern bell. She is the counterpoint to Duke. Being young and pretty everyone wants to be around her. She's charming. Not a dingbat, she's sharp.
[ TEXAS ]
MALE. Straight out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog, Texas is a young man's man. He is the kind of guy that could field dress a deer and then take you to the debutante ball in 20. Polite, farm boy. He's good at everything. Except call centering.
[ KANSAS ]
MALE. Kansas is straight off the farm. However, he takes great pains to point out that Kansas is very cosmopolitan, as witnessed by their record, their burgeoning tech industry, and their hybrid corns (bonus: modified by fish genes!)
[ CONNECTICUT ]
MALE. Connecticut is all things Connecticut. He's a little bit older. He's a little bit thicker around the waist. He's WHITE. He's also competitive. Very. Waspy, blue blood.
[ OKLAHOMA ]
MALE. Oklahoma is awesome and he thinks everything is awesome. He's very enthusiastic about all things call center and all things life and he wants to share this contagious enthusiasm with everyone he meets. Wide-eyed, as naive as they come.
[ LOUISVILLE ]
MALE. Louisville is very true to place. He's short. He's HISPANIC. And one day he hopes to carry on in proud Louisville tradition and race thoroughbreds.
[ TENNESSEE ]
FEMALE. Tennessee is orange crazy. The ice tray in her orange fridge, that freezes the water she dyes orange, is that orange. The party girl cowboy hat she wears is a white and orange zebra print. The tattoo on her lower back is Pantone 3 for that Tennessee orange. The only thing that's not orange is her dog, which is the mascot Smokey. Did we mention she's crazy? A slutty girl who would hang out at the cowgirl hall of fame.
[ PURDUE ]
MALE. Child prodigy. 14-year-old. Or open to an 18-year-old who looks 14. Aeronautical engineering. Wiz kid. Think McLovin from Superbad.
[ VILLANOVA ]
MALE. Villanova is the poor man's Duke — he's not quite as handsome, he's not quite as rich, he's not quite as dapper. After 2 or 3 beers though, who cares? As he's friendly enough.
[ NOTRE DAME ]
MALE He's an ASIAN kid who is in to all things Notre Dame, ridiculously so. Oh, and he's always fighting. Every time we encounter him he always has some words or another, be it the faint traces of a black eye, or a scab or whatever. He epitomizes the fightin' Irish.
[ PITTSBURGH ]
FEMALE. Pittsburgh is a tomboy. She obviously grew up in the neighborhood and isn't going to take any guff from anyone and she'll wallop you in the eye with a crowbar if you suggest different. So don't. Think Tina Fey type.
[ SYRACUSE ]
MALE. Jewish kid from Long Island that is loving the college experience. It has opened up a world he never knew existed. All you can eat buffets in the cafeteria — who knew? To Syracuse, everything is a party.
[ GEORGETOWN ]
FEMALE. Georgetown, a 4.36 GPA who's lived in 9 world-class cities, but all the time in her sister's shadow (her GPA is 4.37). She's sort of the female Duke, except most people like her. Think Reese Witherspoon.
[ GONZAGA ]
MALE. No one knows what Gonzaga looks like because no one knows where to find him. He is still stuck in the grunge look, reckless, in from the wild. Flannel look. Chews tobacco. Guy that would go to school in the Pacific Northwest.
[ MARQUETTE ]
FEMALE. Marquette, on a scale of 1-10, she's a six. A B-, C in every category you can define a person by. Her defining characteristic is you don't really remember her. You're not breaking your arm to get to her, but you're not chewing it off to get away. She does have a winning personality though. Midwest, sweet girl.
[ MICHIGAN STATE ]
MALE. Blue collar to the core. Michigan State is one tough kid that grew up by putting a few down. That's just Michigan State's way. Big beefy kid.
[ MEMPHIS ]
MALE. What can we say about Memphis? He's a southern BLACK kid, really culinary and polite. He's artistic, and draws comic books really well.
[ MARYLAND ]
MALE. He plays lacrosse. A dude. Low key. Mid Atlantic, wears baseball hats and chinos.
[ OHIO STATE ]
MALE. He looks like Jim Tressle (head coach of Ohio State football) in the dress code. Red sweater vest. Always. Doesn't care for swearing either — of course we never really test this out as they are commercial advertisements and no one swears in them, but it's true nevertheless. A Republican.
[ ILLINOIS ]
MALE. African-American. Young Obama. Think Toofer-the straight-laced, Harvard grad writer from 30 Rock (Keith Powell)
[ OKLAHOMA STATE ]
FEMALE. She's a fun loving girl, Oklahoma born and bred. Decided not to travel out of State so she should be closer to home. She's a flirt. She's a hot chick.
[ TEXAS A&M ]
MALE. True to the region, Texas A&M is one tough dude. He's not big physically, but he is imposing. He's an ROTC kid and his 100-yard stare lets you know it.
[ BAYLOR ]
MALE & FEMALE. Baylor is not one people but two. It's a couple. In fact, we're not even sure which one goes to Baylor. We only know they are madly in love. Their world is each other, which is really sweet or really sickening, depending. Think Sheri Oteri and Will Farrell as the cheerleaders.