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.