Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Real People

There are two commercials on the air right now that bother me. Both for the same reason. One is a KMart commercial, showing four women dancing around in their new outfits they bought from KMart. The voice-over says something like:
"These are real women wearing the latest fashions--and they bought them at KMart."
The other commercial is the Pizza Hut spot where families are gathered at what appears to be a fancy Italian restaurant. They are eating pasta, laughing, joking...only to find out that the pasta was prepared by Pizza Hut...not a top chef. Again, the caption on the screen reads something like:
"Real people at a tasting event."
Man. I'm glad they told me those were real people. What...am I supposed to think they are some sort of animatronics or something?
I know what they're trying to say. "These are not paid actors." So say it that way! But to infer these people are real because they're not actors is a bit silly, isn't it? What? Are actors not real people?
I think what bothers me most is that the messaging further perpetuates this celebrity obsession we have in this world, where "real" people are separated from the supermodels, actors and rock stars. Last I heard, celebrities still put their pants on one leg at a time. (Though some may have someone to do that for them!) If we are "real" and they are not, then what are they? And are we to infer from these messages that being "real" is something less than desirable?
I think I'd be even more upset if I were a celebrity. Imagine someone saying to you, "You're not a real person...you're a celebrity!" What?!
I have news for you, Pizza Hut and KMart, we are all real people.

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