Solving The TV Advertising Conundrum


The other day an ad for the McDonalds dollar-menu popped up on my TV. I stared at the screen, thinking “Please God, tell me that Ben Harper hasn’t sold out.” Thankfully, upon closer inspection I realized that the guy bouncing around and smiling like he’d just won the lottery was only an actor, not the actual singer.

But this gave me an idea. One time in college I was sitting in a bar with a group of friends. We couldn’t focus on our conversation, however, because everyone kept glancing at the next table over. One of the guys sitting there looked exactly like me. He was clone, down to the way he laughed. The guys at my clone’s table were similarly distracted, and eventually we merged into one group, with me talking to me.

Trust me, you can’t drink twice as much when there’s two of you. It doesn’t work like that.

But back to McDonalds. Companies like this have two options in advertising – they can pay out the nose to have celebrities pitch their product or they can hire actors. But both approaches have serious downsides. The celebrity route is risky because celebrity-hood is an unnatural state that makes people crazy. You don’t want crazy associated with your brand. But on the other hand, everyone knows that an actor on TV who isn’t yet famous is a total nobody.

But everyone (including celebrities) has an exact duplicate, a human clone. Of this I am convinced.

So, companies should track down the clones of famous people and pay them a fraction of what the real celebrity would demand to tarnish his or her reputation for cash. Just picture an ad like this:

The Other Robin Thicke is chomping on a Big Mac like it’s the greatest food in the world and not something that’s slowly killing him. On his other hand is a big foam-rubber finger, which he is using to stroke the bikini-clad ass of The Other Miley Cyrus. And next to them The Other Justin Timberlake is shouting “You guys totally rock!!”

And somewhere in America two guys are sitting on a couch, watching the ad. One guy taps his buddy on the shoulder and says “Yo, dude, I gotta get some of those dollar-burgers. Celebrities love ‘em. Trust me, this thing is heading for a three-way. The food is that good.”

The possibilities are endless. Just think about how much vinyl siding a Bill Clinton look-alike could sell.

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