Raise your hand if you weren't quite sure BRUT still existed as a brand? Maybe it is an aging thing. I vaguely recall coming upon the forest green bottle in drug stores here and there since my youth, but we are long past the days when Joe Namath, Jimmy Connors and Muhammad Ali fronted for the brand. Perhaps I am being unfair but I tend to identify BRUT with long sideburns, oversized gold medallions on hairy chests that were made apparent by the shirt that was open down to the sternum. Now BRUT seems intent on identifying itself with yet another awful male stereotype from our era.
In the last decade, AXE seems to have usurped BRUT's role, but the older brand appears to want some of its dude cred back. In a new video series launching this week on Facebook, BRUT News Network goes after (no, wait for it) the oafish male market with a collection of edgy online video clips.
The series is hosted by nerdish Ned and Zach Galifianakis-ish Bob in Ned's garage. Bob is crashing in the garage since his mate tossed him out. The two-minute episodes have some narrative premise between the two characters as a frontispiece for Web video clips with voiceovers from the two emcees joking about the silly antics. Jim Rome, of ESPN Radio, is supposed to do call-in cameos via "The Rome Phone."
And that is about it. In its promo materials parent company Idelle Marketing Director Mark Broccoli says, "We believe that young male-focused content is a burgeoning market." Well yeah, for the past ten years. Anyone notice Break Media, Metacafe and all of that AXE branded media? Perhaps BRUT's re-entry into the market signals the beginning of the end of the post-Homer Simpson era of male as unapologetic buffoon.As an American male who watched both the lounge lizard cartoon of the American males from BRUT's heyday in the 70 s evolve into the rude, fat, oafish, slovenly caricature of masculinity that seems to reign today, I can only say - these are our choices?