Have They Lost the Ability To Tell the Difference Between a Good Idea and a Bad Idea?

Got Milk ad campaignAmerica: Founded on mountains of meat, rivers of milk and going to 11. At least if new food industry ads are to be believed. A new campaign from the California Milk Processor Board, the Got Milk? people, centers on a mythical rock god named White Gold and his back-up band, the Calcium Twins. He was once a scrawny homeless man, the legend goes, until a milk-wielding angel nursed him from the teat of a milk-filled guitar. Thirsty yet?

Sure, food brands may have abandoned any pretense of differentiation sometime after the California Raisins' "Heard it Through the Grapevine," but still, how does any of this make people want to drink milk? Southern Comfort, maybe. Milk, no. Most of all, it makes you wonder whether the creatives behind the campaign were sniffing something. A strange white substance that gives rock stars mystical powers and super-strength? Hmmm. The idea of referring to Peruvian marching powder as white gold didn't originate with Edmundo Morales' 1990 book Cocaine: White Gold Rush in Peru. There's also a choice entry in that defines white gold as the stuff men sell to sperm banks (when White Gold's guitar fills up with ... er ... something white in "One Gallon Axe," it is at crotch level), but that definition is almost surely restricted to frat houses.

Speaking of frat houses, when Busch instructed us to head for the mountains, those boys always assumed it referred to beer-goggling a part of the female anatomy. But no, they might well have been referring to mountain peaks of meat capped with snowy gorgonzola sauce, towering above broccoli trees. At least if the Cattlemen's Beef Board - Beef: It's What's for Dinner - had its way. Its absurd new series of ads feature just such images. Really? Sure, they're creepy, but did someone think these ads would get in the head of every suburban mom as she rolls her cart through the supermarket? Nothing puts a shiny happy face on animal slaughter like admen playing with their food - making disturbing little landscapes out of them, actually. Particularly disturbing is the way the "crumb-crusted top sirloin and roasted garlic potatoes with bourbon sauce" canyon calls to mind the old meat drapes. Who's hungry?
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