Monday, July 5, 2010

Selling out: Latte, home

I've been meaning to dedicate a whole post to Curtis Stone being a dirty stinkin' sellout, but that really is last year's news, and as such I probably shouldn't write about it. Only yesterday I was denouncing the Sunday Age for passing off last year's news as current. Also, I never ever ever ever ever watch Masterchef, so I'm hardly qualified.

But the more you look around, the more sellouts you will find. Wherever there's a respected expert in some field, there'll be someone offering them money to cash in on their reputation. Unfortunately, nearly* everyone has their price. Here's a question you probably don't want to answer:
Was Professor Julius Sumner Miller a sellout?

I'd go with, "Not necessarily."
Selling chocolate to kids is like shooting fish in a barrel, really, so I don't know why you need such a formidable weapon as Professor Julius Sumner Miller to get the job done. He had been all over the television teaching kids about science in his mad, blackboard-scribbling way for a long time. But there must be a way to get the message across to those who might be interested in science but don't even know it yet. What better way to get kids' attention for educational purposes than through their chocolate?
This doesn't quite translate to the Curtis Stone situation: anybody watching Coles ads is probably already aware of the existence of supermarkets. But his appearance in the Coles ad is just one strategy in the Masterchef war to get people into their kitchens. And make shitloads of cash.
On the other hand we have Mrs Marsh, whose motives were less clear. The Colgate ads she appeared in were aimed quite squarely at kids, but how many kids go out and buy toothpaste? I still have no idea what that chalk and blue liquid shit is about:

* Tom Waits has no price. He has a history of winning court cases against companies who use music similar to his in their advertising.


  1. Curtis Stone telling people to use Coles cage eggs (even though using free range eggs would still have kept the recipe under the $10 budget) was a particularly nassty example.

  2. Eurgh. That's pretty bad.
    Mind you, I'm sure he's got better things to do than proofread the recipe cards he's putting his name to. It's more likely somebody at Coles's recipe card department who was given the job of find-and-replacing names of ingredients with Correctly Capitalised Names of Coles Products.