Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Comfort of...Jeans

I saw this commercial the other day. Got me to thinking more about it than I probably should. It had Brett Favre, quarterback extraordinaire, talking about his Wrangler jeans. He spoke about how his dog gives him comfort, and how his jeans do, too. I suppose the guy is unmarried, so his dog is his best friend, I guess? Anyway, it made me think about modern advertising.

So many families are splintered apart. Many individuals experience isolation and a lack of community. While I highly doubt that anyone takes the comfort of blue jeans past a fleeting thought, it's funny the way a company will hire a celebrity to pimp their product with steep claims of satisfaction. Who knows if Mr. Favre is a lonely person in his personal life (heck, he's got his dog), but we all know now that his jeans give him comfort. Even if it is subliminal, someone out there in the world who sees this commercial and is feeling incomplete in some way or another might take to the streets in search of the Wrangler jeans. I know it's silly and ridiculous, but I think this is the power of advertising.

Wrangler paid loads of money to purchase the power of Favre's fame. Favre says these clothes give him comfort. They're trying to sell a product to make money; he's making money from his reputation and talent on the football field. Wrangler has a vested interest in the public's response to Brett Favre and they're betting that you want comfort. To compound the situation with irony, who knows if Favre even wore Wranglers before this commercial contract? I'm sure he has an endless supply now, but does he really find comfort in his jeans?

Some might be laughing or pounding their head on the wall. "Why are you bemoaning this stupid jeans commercial," you might ask. It's because when I listen to what's pounded into us, day in and day out, I find it astounding. Would anyone from the previous century have thought their pants give them comfort?? The pants might've been awful back then, for all I know. Past a strictly functional appreciation of the clothing, would anyone think twice about it? I doubt it. But here we are, all evolved on the brink of 2009, listening to someone who we recognize but don't personally know, talk about how his jeans and dog are a source of comfort for him. How far we've come.

I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for a relationship with God. And I'm thinking I might enjoy some century-old pair of pants that's really scratchy and terrible. At least I wouldn't bank my hopes for joy on them.


ManUtd17 said...

OK, I think you may have overanalyzed this one (says the pot to the kettle).

I've seen that commercial countless times. All I get from that commercial is that Wrangler wants you to know that their jeans are comfortable. If anyone's had a really great dog for a pet, they'd understand the point of the metaphor. A great dog accepts you regardless. You can have the crappiest day and that dog will perk up as soon as you open the door. You can swat that dog on the nose for chewing on the foot of the table, and that dog will sit at your feet for hours. When no one else is there, that dog will be. There is a certain "tangible" comfort that is derived from that. (And research backs up the health benefits of canine companionship.) Obviously, there's a greater relationship available to people, but many can relate to the comfort experienced from a good dog. Hence the use by Wrangler of the dog-comfort metaphor.

And, by the way, Favre is married. Has been for a while. His wife stuck by him through a vicodin addiction, and he's stuck by her through her battle with cancer. Not sure if any of Reggie White's locker room evangelism hit home with him, but he seems to get what the marriage commitment is about.

steve and randel hambrick said...

i find comfort in a good pair of jeans too. sue me.

seantk said...

Upon further review, I believe I've overstepped the bounds here and made a mountain out of a molehill.

It was fun to think about and analyze, but really, it's jeans. It's a commercial.

I've had a couple great dogs in the past, but currently, am not a pet owner. Even with a great dog, I don't associate real comfort with it. These days, pets seem like more work than anything (especially if you want to go out of town). So I'm glad we're "petless."

Thanks for the Favre bio, Bill. Now I know. I'm still suspect of Brett's true thoughts about Wrangler.

ManUtd17 said...

I imagine much of what Brett thinks about Wrangler depends on whether the check clears. And not much more.

Margaret said...

Your Mom adds that she is glad you at least listen and are not mindless in your commercial viewing!!! Praise God for an active mind!! Love you!

clay kirkland said...

No way Brett wears way