Monday, May 5, 2014

Sponsorships that make you go ... WTF?

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to ding folk for finding ways to make their finances work. Sure, it makes me twitch when I'm watching this season of Deadliest Catch and the captain of the SEABROOKE is all decked out in his Bass Pro Shop finest, but (shrugs). That's his call, and at least the connection makes sense. Crab fishing (whoops, just wrote that as 'crap' ... thanks autocorrect) in the Bering Sea isn't *that* far of a leap to sport fishing. It's at least in the same family.

Same with TV ads. Sometimes Arizona and I even make a game of trying to figure out what demographics are supposed to be watching a show, based on the type of ads that are playing. Ninety percent tampons and chocolate? He'd better check his man card at the door. Truck ads and manly deodorant? Whoops, I'd better go put on more pink. (I'm totally generalizing, of course--but, hey, that's what they're doing!) 

But every now and then, there's an epic fail of sponsorship that just makes you go ... huh? 

It happened this past weekend. There I was at a romance writers' conference, sitting at the bar with an ever-growing group of friends that was sucking all the free chairs from elsewhere in the room (as tends to happen with these things). Our human amoeba had positioned itself below a silenced television playing the Kentucky Derby, and we were doing the MST3000 version of the play-by-play. You know, when you add in your own voiceover, which is arguably (and especially when slightly buzzed writers are involved) better than the real thing.

And someone asked: "What is Yum, and why is it on that horse?"

Sure enough, there it was ... Where the AmEx logo used to go quite logically, we now saw the logo for Yum brand foods, right there on a thousand pounds of very expensive horse flesh. Mmmmm...... race horse. Nom nom nom.

It got even worse when paired with some of the horses' names:

And let's consider the companies that belong to the Yum family. A&W root beer is pretty benign, but Kentucky Fried Chicken? Okay, that's getting a little creepy. Or, eek, Taco Bell? What's actually *in* those new breakfast UFOs?

Seriously? Without going into the horse slaughter debate, or whether or not I would eat old Dobbin if it came to it, that just seems ... Wrong. On so many levels. Yet (because I am going to hell for a variety of reasons), it totally makes me giggle.

So say it with me ... Race horse ... YUM!

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