Apr 022003
 
Authors: Andrew Whelan

Corporations and products splice their way into everything we love. They got Mile High Stadium, the Orange Bowl and gratuitous appearances in our favorite movies -I’m looking at you, E.T.

If most Americans are following media coverage of the war in Iraq then why haven’t any corporations taken advantage of the possible publicity or product tie-ins?

I can’t believe this war hasn’t been sold out. I guess I need to give them some ideas:

Exxon

If Exxon can outbid Conoco, I say they go for the whole shebang. Call it “The Exxon war in Iraq.” This is a war for oil, after all. The people of Iraq are going to see a lot of this company in the future. Why not get some publicity now?

The licensing agreement would stipulate that all references to the war by media and in history books must include the name “Exxon.” How do you regulate that stipulation? You’re the government. You make laws for lobbyists all the time, do it again.

Evian

The desert is a guaranteed place to find thirsty folks. Evian, a bottled water company, needs its product placed in the hands of correspondents and troops. Start giving out bottles, and see your water everywhere. Nothing says “the war in Iraq” better than na/ve backwards. Aaahhhhh!

Milton Bradley’s Risk

America’s least favorite board game has an opportunity for shameless self-promotion. All those analysts using maps should be using the board and pieces from Risk. I can hear now it now: “It’s time to check in with a former U.S. Army general at our high-tech Risk board. How are the blue pieces faring, sir?”

Pets Mart

Pets Mart has a wide array of dog muzzles. After NBC fired Peter Arnett, it became apparent journalists would have to watch what they say. Why not send the media your muzzles? They can keep quiet, and all of America will be staring at your product while we watch the correspondents stand in silence.

Shady Records

Eminem’s blossoming record label could find its niche in the war. We’ll call it “Shady Records presents Donald Rumsfeld.” Rather than babble on in half-broken diatribes and whirlwinds of clich/, Rumsfeld could send out a daily battle rap to Iraq.

If you had one opportunity to have everything you ever wanted, would you change the name to “50-Centcom?”

Etch-a-sketch

The next time Geraldo Rivera wants to reveal secrets of national security, he shouldn’t be scribbling troop movements in the sand. He should be carefully drawing the movements on an Etch-a-sketch. Plus, nobody can make those contraptions draw what they want. He won’t even be able to map out the correct plans.

Marlboro

You guys are okay with killing innocent people, right? Why not sponsor the daily update on collateral damage. Plus, nothing makes someone want a cigarette like an impending sense of doom. You better act now; the people at Camel have a lot more to work with.

And the rest…

For you other money-grubbing corporations, don’t worry. There are still ways to capitalize on the war:

* With all the posters of Sadaam being torn down, there is unprecedented amount of billboard space in Iraq. Just don’t let the salesman talk you into space in Baghdad. We haven’t destroyed that city … yet.

* Our tanks and missiles could still be covered in decals, a la NASCAR. If the ‘number 8 Viagra’ tank is the first to Baghdad then the company may add firm believers in their product.

* You should try to get your message on the back of the pamphlets the U.S. is dropping: “Surrender now and get half off your second meal at Denny’s.” Equal or lesser value, of course.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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