While shopping at a local Meijer’s, I encountered a Pepsi display that was centered on not the beverage in its multitudinous variants, but a potentially life-sized cardboard cutout of Britney Spears. (“Potentially” because I’m not certain whether the image was enhanced in any way, although Ms. Spears has suggested that she’s not been so exaggerated in a different context.)
The last time I saw such a womanly display it was also for shilling a beverage: Elvira, the woman who’d make Morticia Addams twirl in her grave. Elvira, who has visibly encouraged her physiology, was pushing beer in her cutout. Which makes more sense. To risk offending some readers by using an accurate but indelicate observation, let me simply state that boobs and beer tend to go together (at least in the minds of many men, especially those who have had far more of the latter and less opportunity to encounter the former). While there have been heavy-handed (or torsoed) attempts to underscore this—like the so-called Swedish Bikini Team or even the bosomy St. Pauli Girl—even the more seemingly “down-with-it” TV spots, such as those currently running for Coors Light (“Because We Can”), tend to be populated with women who are exceedingly more attractive than their male counterparts in the scenarios. The overdetermined statement is: “Drink beer, get babes.” As a line in a country song has it, “the more I drink, the better they look.” That is a male line, of course. I think that women are too perceptive to fall for such patently absurd approaches.
But what is the point of the Britney cutout? What does a—yes—pop singer have to do with pushing cola? Is it that she is representative of the “Pepsi Generation” and consequently, if you want to Be Like Brit you’ll pop the top of a Pepsi Twist? Or are young guys supposed to see her as one step closer to the beauties in the beer commercials?
Why do we think that people who have a skill or talent or shape that makes them popular or ept or appealing in one area have viability in others?
I’d answer that, but damn, I’m thirsty. Hmm, what was it that Kerouac used to drink. . . ?