Saturday, 17 January 2009

Making money out of Obama

I cannot wait to watch Barack Obama's inauguration all snuggled up on my brand new Ikea sofa. I did not really need a new sofa. But I saw Ikea's US "Change Begins at Home" advertisements and it dawned on me: what better way to celebrate the swearing in of America's first black president - a man who came to power on a platform of change - than to buy a couch from a Swedish flatpack furniture supplier?

Obviously my great hope and optimism will sustain me throughout the inauguration. But in case I need something else, I will also be ladling great spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry's Yes Pecan ice cream down my gullet. After all, if you cannot get hope from a tub of frozen dessert, where can you get it?

At first I thought QVC shopping channel had gone on the blink - it looked more like Sky News, with its steady stream of pictures of the great man. But no, it turns out a new president is just a gigantic merchandising opportunity served with a side order of politics.

Why, you can even buy an Obama sex toy. Marketed under the slogan: "You love your candidate, let him love you back", it stands at 7½ ins tall, and is 2ins in diameter. If you look closely, you can make out the Democrat's facial features on the waterproof helmet.

As companies topple daily like skittles, there is a frenzied rush of ridiculous products and mad marketing campaigns from power generators to doughnuts, hoping to profit from the Obama bounce. In trying to create products in his image, most end up with a patched-together Frankenstein's monster.

Take the coffee company that has created "Blend 44: Beans you can believe in." This draws on the Kenyan and Hawaiian roots of the president-elect (soon to be America's 44th president, hence the coffee's name). But the best twist is that they have also thrown in two "Colombian coffee varietals". These reflect Mr Obama's study at Columbia University (which is in New York) and his District of Columbia address (in Washington) - two regions that are nowhere near Colombia in South America.

Such tortuous inventions are enough to make me turn to bingo. But even the great British game of housie is not safe from the dark forces of marketers. Gala Bingo has created "Bing-Obama". What is the connection? Apparently Mr Obama's 67-year-old stepmother, Kezia from Bracknell in Berkshire, who lends her name to the game, is a "keen bingo fan".

Source: www.ft.com


2 comments:

  1. 我回来了,哎.
    HELLO MR CHRIS

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your comment on Obama.

    Is there a reason why your blog entry is so short when you KNOW you have to improve your English?

    ReplyDelete

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