Saturday, November 07, 2009

Anyone can hate this: the 'nathlete' billboard.

Like Maxfield Parrish, I dislike billboards. In a more pragmatic way, I understand that billboards featuring infants pimping out tire stores or car dealerships are good for the economy: the most likely local family business can use the advertising, and the billboard rental company employs people, too.

Still, most billboards have no reason to exist. I'm thinking of the 'Integrity: Pass it On' billboards. I don't really need to be inspired while I'm driving. I need to pay attention to the road.

A particularly egregious offender that's annoyed me more than I should allow billboards to annoy me is the Natural Light billboard defining a nathlete as 'holding two natty's while doing 'the robot''. There's just so much to dislike about this.

First off, the definition makes no sense. 'Holding natty's while doing the robot' is an act, a 'nathlete' is a person. See the urbandictionary entry. You don't hear a sports broadcaster say: 'wow! She really gymnasticed that one!' You probably wouldn't define mathlete as 'performing implicit differentiation in a competition in order to mark off a checkbox for your MIT application'.

Second: referencing the robot is a really lazy way to go for the laffs. The go-to breakdancing move for the 'look at whitey trying to breakdance' joke used to be the worm, but now it's the robot, possibly because this requires even less athletic abiliy. You can probably do better. Of course, if your job is writing copy for Natural Light ads, you probably can't.

Third: there are much better beers than Natural Light. More importantly, there are much better CHEAP beers than Natural Light (Pabst Blue Ribbon, Milwaukee's Best). There are even better horrible beers to drink ironically than Natural Light (Keystone Light).

In conclusion, the only way this billboard could be worse would be if it somehow made light of alcohol-fueled date rape. And that's all I have to say about that.

This post brought to you by helping people over 30 understand what the kids are going on about since 1999

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