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Men Ring In The Holidays
By: Maryann Fabian
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‘Tis the season for questionable taste and tunes you won’t soon get out of your head. Usually, we’re “treated” to a Victoria’s Secret “fashion show” around this time of year with women parading around in their undies for an hour. Now, the tide has turned. Men are the eye candy this year. And if they can show off their unusual talents as they hawk products, even better. But only for 60 seconds at a time.

Of course, I’m talking about Jean Claude Van Damme in the new Volvo spot. For a 53-year-old, the Muscles from Brussels is still quite spry. It’s quite a feat to do the splits suspended between two Volvo trucks traveling backwards. And the copy is well done, too. But did they have to use that annoying Enya song? Apparently, Van Damme is bragging to anyone that will listen that it was done in one take. The Wall Street Journal asked the video director about the spot and he said, “We had him rigged [with a wire] so that if he would fall off he wouldn’t die, obviously.” Thank goodness he didn’t pull anything.

And speaking of pulling something, the new Kmart Joe Boxer commercial is as entertaining as it is controversial. Draftfcb’s ad is not entirely original. It’s a spin on a three-year-old Chippendales video on YouTube. I must say, Kmart used better casting, though I was upset to find out that the guy in the red and green shorts does not come with the product. Not even sold separately. Darn. It is extremely difficult to find a guy over the age of fifteen who wears Joe Boxer (not that I've taken a formal survey).

I could get into the whole reverse sexism angle, but let's face it; there aren't many commercials that show fully clothed guys in a good light. Guys are usually the butt of the joke in advertising.

By the way, when Kmart decides to do a Joe Boxer fashion show on CBS, somebody please call me.

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About the Author
Maryann Fabian is a copywriter who has crafted the voice of some of this country's best brands.
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