The following isn't necessarily true:
The Ugly American concept was a Soviet ploy used during the Cold War to disenfranchise our way of life, cause us immense dubbing difficulties with our movies especially in North Korea, and like an avalanche, to damage or hinder our dating opportunities overseas. This was done, of course, before Mother Russia turned to capitalism and shrugged off the yoke of totalitarianism; at which juncture she was forced by free market riptides to adapt a creative standard of advertising, using more Machiavellian sales pitches to promote an idea or product instead of just ramming it down the consumer’s throat with Gulag accuracy.
For instance, say, ah, if you were selling a particular brand of soda pop here in America you wouldn’t say “buy our brand because the other brand stinks.” This method of marketing might instill within a “consumer’s” mind a choice of brands only as “a lesser of two evils.” So a “consumer” might bypass soda pop altogether and drink milk. This would be fiscal suicide for the soda business in a free market…
However, the more milk “consumed” the more milk cows at large (you know the supply and demand Adam Smith thing). The more milk cows the more methane gas; the more methane gas in the atmosphere the greater impact on global warming. On the flip side, with a more robust “consumption” of soda we’d have an exponentially greater human methane gas increase within the atmosphere, the wear and tear of trousers and skirts at the buttocks, and a subsequent impact on global warming too.
Of course with the soda impact on the human physiology, our overall health-care costs are impacted (dentist, false teeth, tummy tucks, Type Two Diabetes, etc.). The more health-care engines and infrastructure employed the greater the power outlay, the greater the power outlay the greater the impact on global warming. With milk the production facilities power consumption hurts the environment, not to mention the chiropractor manipulation of the farmers’ lower backs and hands (after years of milking), and of course the transportation pollution committed by the farmer’s vehicle traveling to the chiropractor and then to a bar…
In any case:
You’re right -- as a responsible advertiser you’d sell your brand this way, “Our brand is extraordinary and excellent.” You might lie a little bit and claim: “Our soda brushes and flosses your teeth even as you drink it” or “Processed sugar is good for you,” but even if the Federal Trade Commission lets you get away with it Laura Bush and Michelle Obama and Melania Trump will not.
With chocolate or strawberry milk you can advertise: “It came that way,” because it might have milk in it.
Socio-political international advertising slogans can be effective too: A couple of our best slogans during the Cold War aimed at the Soviets were acts of genius: “better dead than red” and the “Soviets are peckerheads.”
However, as our world has become smaller and more civilized and advertising more advanced one of the few anomalies left within the formula of “selling” a regular “consumer” the lesser of two evils is in politics. For instance: you might vote for someone because she or he is not as bad as the next guy but you won’t drink a soda pop for the same reason --
Not unless you’re a dumb shit! - from Dangerfield's Drum, a story by Kevin O'Kendley
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Kevin O'Kendley is the owner of Carbuncle Moon, and the author of all original material -- cartoons, blogs, shorts, essays, articles -- on the website (there has been a very limited editorial input in some of my work). All quoted sources are noted. I am responsible for all posts. The only blogs not time-dated are those advertising nonprofits. All nonprofits are vetted, investigated, though after the summer of 2018 my vetting has lapsed: (6/1/21).
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