Thursday, October 7, 2010

While We're on the Subject of Absolutely Baffling Ticket Host Product Endorsements . . .

In the previous article I painstaking analyzed the All-Pro Foundation Repair and (to a lesser extent) Bakers Brothers Plumbing ads in which almost the entire galaxy of Ticket stars convert their apparently ramshackle houses into a nice endorser’s paycheck .

Today, I heard an ad that made my brain freeze, as though a Zen master had posed an insoluble dilemma that brought all the conundrums of the eons into a single concentrated point originating from SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket.

It was Bob Sturm’s ad for the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse.

Phrase after phrase, my neurons violently resisted the assimilation of what I was hearing.

Before I get to a point-by-point exegesis: the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse is a program offered by the Ticket weekend host of The Train Station Fitness Show, one Mr. George DeJohn.  You can find more information about it here.

George DeJohn, host of The Train Station Fitness Show,
Saturdays at 7 AM on SportsRadio 1310, The Ticket

If you visit that site, you can both see and hear a testimonial by Bob. By the way, I am a regular listener to The Train Station Fitness Show on my way to work at 7 a.m. on Saturdays, and I urge you to get up early and tune in as well.  I’m serious. It’s a fun show and George is a fascinating host. (And it is followed by the excellent TeeBox with Rick Arnett and Craig Rosengarden, who always engage in a jousting mix/mingle with George, and the TeeBox leads you quite naturally to The Orphanage with non-orphans Danny Balis and Dave Lane at 10 am.)

There are three things in Bob’s radio ad that make my brain tiny:

(1) Bob begins his testimony by stating that he goes for the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse when “I’m feeling a little doughy.”

Say, now there is one damned fetching image for you.

Bob Sturm, “doughy.”

That is, having about his person unwanted weight which puts one in mind of “dough.”

Look at this man. Fix his image in your mind. (Ignore the spare hand growing from his elbow. It belongs to Dan McDowell. I hope he grows on me, too.) Now close your eyes and imagine him “doughy.” I’m sorry, eventually you will have to open your eyes and rejoin a world that has been introduced to the concept of “doughy Bob Sturm.”

(2) The ad and even the website are rather coy on what a “21-Day Full Body Cleanse” amounts to, but since this is a weight loss program, we may surmise that it has something to do with transporting material – dirty material, material that requires cleansing – from the inside of one's doughy body, to outside of it, thus subtracting it from one’s total weight.

This may be one of the downsides of an active imagination, but when I hear Bob extolling the greatness of the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse, all I can think of is what dirty cleansable effluvia Bob is expelling from his Full Body (and a doughy one at that) in order to achieve Cleansing.

And now that I’ve pointed this out to you, you won’t be able to, either.

(3) Bob says that the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse “stops all unwanted cravings” (apparently leaving the desirable cravings intact) and breaks unhealthful addictions. That’s a good thing, is it not? Well, yes – but then Bob says that he’s done it five times.

One of the benefits of being a mature adult male is that you can remember a bunch of old stale jokes. And the one that comes to mind upon hearing this particular bit of testimony is the one that goes: “It’s easy to quit smoking. I’ve done it twenty or thirty times.”

Which – and check me on this if my logic is impaired – means that the 21-Day Full Body Cleanse does not stop unwanted cravings at all – it merely interrupts them for 21 days. After which time you do what all dieters do, which is to reward yourself for your 21 days of denial and newly scrubbed innards by binging on Gordon Keith-endorsed Hostess Cakesters and both servings of the Real Deal at the Hardline-endorsed Texas Land & Cattle, where you celebrate your liberation from the once-daily 21-Day Full Body Cleanse shake – Bob says there’s just one shake a day – by consuming both the cattle and the land.

* * *

I like and admire Bob Sturm. I like the Train Station Fitness Show and I wish I looked like George DeJohn and had his pipes. I very much regret the dough that has accumulated longitudinally and latitudinally around the manly core of my being, my image appearing on the upper left of this page notwithstanding.

But I ask myself whether Bob’s eeewwww-provoking endorsement of a one-shake-a-day diet that must be purchased with considerable frequency to combat chronic doughiness through appalling-to-imagine emetic processes is penetrating the beer/SoCo Lime/JR’s Steakhouse-Grill/Sean Salisbury Twin Peaks/Ticket junk-food-remotes consciousness of the dedicated P1.

As I sit here at a bar, finishing my second martini, composing this article and watching Nebraska kick the living bee-jeebers out of Kansas State, knowing that I have an eight-piece all-dark Popeye's chicken dinner congealing out on my back seat, I'm thinking that if God had wanted us to engage in three-week cleansing programs on a regular basis, He would have -- hell, I don't have the slightest fracking idea.


Anonymous said...

You seem frequently baffled by the hosts' endorsements. You do realize, don't you, that they don't get to choose? If a BMW dealer is a big advertiser, you drive a BMW. If it's Hyundai, you drive a Hyundai.

Haven't you ever heard the guys joke about Diamond Cut jeans? They hated them, but were forced to wear them to remotes and GNOs. This is radio. It's a dirty business.

P.S. Same thing goes on in Advertising.

The Plainsman said...

Anonymous, my old tormentor! Welcome back. Always good to hear your point of view. To your comment, I respond:

(1) Um . . . these two endorsement articles were jokes. Gags. Basically got good comedy reviews from my emailers.

(2) You think these guys are required to do these endorsements? In the words of the immortal Craig Rosengarden, "I think you're wrong." I think guys like Bob are solicited to do these ads by the sponsors and are paid handsomely for their agreement to use the product and endorse it. (Or maybe the hosts take it out in trade. Either way, they get something of value.) Bob's endorsement is especially flashy, featured prominently on the website. Nope, these guys are happy to do these spots for the paycheck, and I'm sure the products they endorse are very worthy.

We have to distinguish between being commercial spokesmen (Gordon's ads for Hostess Snackcakes -- he never actually says he consumes the things), and a product endorsement by a host who claims (truthfully, I'm sure) to have used it -- like the parade of hosts who claim to be customers of All-Pro Foundation Repair and Baker Brothers Plumbing.

So no, I don't think anyone forced Bob Sturm to drink a shake a day for 21 days. Whether they were forced to wear Diamond Cut jeans back when the hosts had less bargaining power than they do now, I dunno.

Anonymous said...

No question about it, they get some kind of compensation, but I think they are, if not forced, strongly urged to have endorsements. Dude, I've seen this first hand (been in radio many years ago).

My guess is, the way it works at The Ticket, when the Sales Department makes a deal with a client, they look for the host that best matches their product (this is why Corby, not Jub endorses BMW, for example). At this point in their successful careers at The Ticket, I'm sure the hosts have some clause in their contract where they have the ultimate right to refuse something they disagree with, but they're not going to do that is it loses the station $50,000 in ad revenue.

Plainsman.... Plains.... man... they're not all endorsing All-Pro and Baker Brothers because they want to. Dan sounds like he's reading that copy at gunpoint (OK, Dan always does), but so does Norm.

The Plainsman said...

I'll defer to your radio knowledge, Anon. I have none. But I'm guessing that the demand for host-read spots and endorsements greatly exceeds the supply of hosts at this point in The Ticket's history. And, of course, the hosts themselves have a strong interest in keeping sponsors happy. In general, I think the host-read spots always sound fairly sincere, except for Gordon's, since his persona includes a fair dash of insincerity. I think it's interesting when some of the second- and third-tier on-air personalities get a shot at doing a plug (usually an endorsement). Nice to see those guys able to pick up a few extra bucks.