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They Brand Cattle, Don't They?

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From flickr.com/photos/19132040@N04/3420464371/: aniston
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by Walter Brasch

"Branding! We have to make you a brand!"

"I'm not cattle," I told my sometimes faux foil assistant Marshbaum, who had just burst into my office. "And if you think I'm getting a tattoo," I replied, "my body isn't a canvas."

"It's sure wide enough," Marshbaum flippantly replied. Before I could throw sheets of wadded up paper at him, he explained what he meant. "It's not a fire-iron brand," he explained. "It's strategic marketing."

"I'm a journalist," I reminded Marshbaum, "I don't do that kind of thing."

"You will if you want to stay in business."

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"I've been in this business four decades, and I've never been branded."

"That's why we need you to do TV commercials," he said.

"I'm a print journalist," I reminded him.

"Yeah, well, not all of us are pretty enough for TV, but you still have to do a commercial! Just like Jennifer Anniston."

"As if she needs more money," I sneered. "She's got a net worth of something between $100 million and $150 million, depending upon which magazine you believe."

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"You can never have enough," said Marshbaum.

"Yeah, that and her eight-figure salary for commercials that tell 45-year-old women they can dab junk on their faces and look like ingenues. She's hawking hair products, beer, and some fragrance Besides, she's taking money from low-income hard-working actors who do need the bucks."

"You said that before. And before. And before."

"It's the truth," I said. "A-list actors have branched into TV commercials. Selling everything from eyelash liners to prescription drugs to--"

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http://www.walterbrasch.com

Walter Brasch is an award-winning journalist and professor of journalism emeritus. His current books are Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution , America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of (more...)
 

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