Man, you gotta love the new American Swiss billboard on the N1 in Cape Town, and on whatever that road is that takes you to OR Tambo in Joburg. It's a pic of a ring or something, with the words "Pimp your Bride". Fantastic. At last, we have a company that's taking the downturn in the economy seriously, and looking after the consumer.
When you think about it, it makes so much sense. Instead of borrowing money from the bank to pay for your darling's ring, and then paying it off over the next 20 years, make the marriage pay for itself.
I've done the maths (not really), and I estimate that you'd only have to sell your bride to three men a week (depending on the exoticism of the sex act, obviously), to be able to easily pay off a fat diamond ring in three years, and still have money left over for takeaway pizza on those nights when she won't be able to cook, because she's out turning tricks.
Now I know some of you "feminists", as you like to call yourselves, are going to disagree with American Swiss' new finance plan. Well, sucks to you. The difference between a bride and a prostitute is that a bride has a diamond ring, whereas a prostitute's ring is a gold mine. Put the two together, as the wise heads at American Swiss suggest, and you have what the great economist P Diddy termed a closed cycle economy.
It's just been pointed out to me that my definition of "pimp", a man who solicits customers for a prostitute, is way out of date. I appear to have missed the point entirely. "Pimp your bride" in fact refers to a popular television program where people take ugly old cars and make them look hot.
Phew, I'm kind of relieved. Although not a "feminist" as such, I was a little uncomfortable with the idea of selling women. I mean, it makes economic sense and all, but I'm not sure most men can handle two jobs.
And it's nice to know that people who sell diamonds know how valuable women are. At least as valuable as a car, maybe even more valuable, given the current global energy crisis.
Of course, some people might suggest that you shouldn't be marrying a clapped-out bride and trying to pimp her. Surely it's better to buy new in this case? But no, like American Swiss, we all believe in romantic love. Even if the ride you've chosen has a few too many miles on the clock, pimping her will fix the problem, and will add immensely to her resale value. Did I say ride? I meant bride.
Whoah! I've just remembered writing about an American Swiss billboard over three years ago, on 16 February 2005 at 09:53 (got to love the interweb). That ad read "Don't steal her heart. Buy it." It's nice to see that American Swiss' brand essence stays constant; it's the mark of a good product.
I see my brand has remained constant as well. In 2005 I also used heavy-handed satire to make my point. Why can't I just write, plainly, that I think this sort of advertising is grossly sexist?
Well, the one reason is that Pimp your Bride is good advertising. It's spot on for a youth target market, it's witty, and the only people who'll bother to analyse the unfortunate ideological ramifications are people who don't shop at American Swiss. And it's hardly unique in the ad world in the way it portrays women.
The other reason is that it's funny, in a way that "Don't steal her heart. Buy it" isn't. And as the great Homer Simpson said, "It's funny because it's true." And the American Swiss payoff line is pretty honest too. "American Swiss: You deserve it." That's very true. We only get the advertising we deserve.
Chris Roper, the CEO of Be Deers Minding Company, is the winner of nineteen Loooorie Awards, the highest accolades bestowed by that shadow advertising industry nobody knows about, the one that pays by the vowel. The E-luminati that control the public's buying urges. Hic. Join him on http://chrisroper.co.za.
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Excellent appeal to today's generation.....From Mel Gpson 25-
Good work by the appointed agency. The concept combines the trendy bling-bling,long-term thinking,current harsh economic times,marriage encouragement as well as the perfect positioning of the company. It's this kind of brilliance that separates leaders from followers.