Wednesday, January 03, 2007

When Marketing Kills Our Fantasy

As I sat in my hotel room in Dallas last Thursday morning I was casually getting ready for the day ahead when a commercial came on the television that literally shook me to my core. I sat there in total disbelief and in near tears.

It is still painful to talk about even today. I found my boyhood lust suddenly ripped from me like a burger being served to Rosie O'Donnel. All I had left was this surreal cold empty feeling of disbelief and confusion. Why? Why did this have to happen? How could it happen? How could it be happening to her?

Let me just say if you are a male in your mid-late thirties may this hurtful piece of marketing cinematography never sneak up on you as it did me. I would never want another to feel the incredible pain that has forever stricken me. I am but a shell of the man I was just one week ago today.

The commercial I speak of is one where Cheryl Ladd, the subject of my super secret boyhood, teen, young adult and okay...occasional thirty-ish lust is talking about.....

- Prepare yourself boys!


At first I suspected it was some great product Cheryl was pitching on how she had discovered a unique way to pause all the men in her life as I am certain she has a jillion gentlemen callers. But the more I was sucked in, I realized that Men-o-Pause is not some super killer electronic pause mechanism and literally has nothing to do with men at all. No, it was outright public admission that she was going through "a change of life!"


Little Cheryl Ladd one of the cutest things to ever hit Hollywood?

Say it isn't so!

My heart slowed to a droopy pace as Cheryl, my Cheryl, openly talked about this "change" and what women should do to combat this horrible affliction. Thanks to these marketers I am quite certain that two minutes has forever altered and scarred my life.

I bring this up because I think marketers need to be more responsible! I don't know much (okay...anything) about menopause but thanks to these Hollywood brainyacs I am now going through my own change of life right now and it is all their fault! I believe without a doubt they should have had a disclaimer warning unsuspecting fans of Cheryl Ladd that what they are about to witness is quite possibly something that will radically alter their life's perspective and their youthful lust forever. Totally irresponsible broadcasting and advertising if you ask me!

I am coming to the realization that that beautiful young Cheryl Ladd is getting old and if that is happening, then it must be happening to me as well. Oh Cheryl, why couldn't we keep what we had. The fantasy was still working for me, was it not for you? You were still as pretty as that girl I proposed to all those years ago when I was nine. You remember that don't you? You, me, some apple juice, a half-eaten salami sandwich and a few precious stolen moments!

Well actually they were literally stolen because I had kidnapped Cheryl from some girl named Veronica who happened to have Cheryl on a lunch box in third grade. Though my attempt to rescue my girl was eventually foiled (caught behind the cafeteria by the janitor) we did have a few memorable moments and I think we made a real connection. Oh I can still remember her beautiful face on that raised lunchbox. Her smile. The way she winked at me. The steely angle of her nose as it rose from the confines of the box. The other Angles looking up at me wondering what she had that they didn't. If they only knew. Yes...our love affair was hard to describe.

Now it's over. It's all over. I can never ever look at Cheryl in the same way. And thanks to that horrible commercial, I am quite certain I will never recover!

The message is this....Marketers should not use the unfair advantage of timeless beauty such as Cheryl Ladd, Olivia Newton-John, Erin Gray (the gal from Buck Rogers and Silver Spoons), Lindsay Wagner (Bionic Woman), Connie Sellecca (Hotel) to pimp their make-up for liver spots, adjustable beds, Life Alert or their AARP insurance. The Ripples they create can never be undone!

Until next time....I will be using my TIVO to skip commercials exclusively to avoid the shock and awe of recycled seventies starlets!

Ripple On!!!



Anonymous said...

Now you know how our grandparents felt when June Allison was pitching Depends Underwear. (apparently you leak when you get old, too). And does Lindsey Wagner really fit with those others you mentioned? Maybe you should have said Linda Carter!

Steve Harper said...

Linda Carter....oh how the heck could I have missed that one! You are so right!

However, Lindsay Wagner was pretty cute as the Bionic Woman and now she is hocking the Sleep Number Matress so she definately belongs!

Thanks for the comment Anonymous!

Drew McLellan said...


Bless you for having the courage to speak aloud what my own inner voice screamed when I saw the same Cheryl Ladd commercial.

And hear hear for Lindsey. I'd still help her dial her sleep number any day!

Drew -- an inpressionable boy from the late 70's!

Anonymous said...

Dude....this is some funny Sh*t. Where in the hell you do come up with this stuff? I only recently discovered your BLOG and can not tell you how much I am enjoying reading it. I never know what to expect. Sometimes it so spot on inspirational and then other times it is just funny as hell. Today's post takes the cake! I laughed so hard imagining you sitting in that hotel room with a sudden look of disbelief passing over your face.

Keep writing because I for one love it.

Brad Thomas
St. Louis (Where the World Series Champs Live!)

Liz Handlin said...


Your comments on my personal blog made me laugh. Thanks for your very entertaining comments. I love the idea of letting my dog chase the punk with the drums down the street.

I read your post about Cheryl Ladd last night and thought it was great. She has aged a lot better than fellow angel, Farah Fawcet.

I have a more serious blog called
and if you read the Jan 5, 2007 entry you will see a piece about the newly formed Austin Business Bloggers Club (its on Thom Singer's and Scott Ingram's blogs too). Hope you can join us in February for our next get together!



Anonymous said...

Funny, funny, funny!

Leave it to Steve Harper to tackle the Menopause marketers!


Anonymous said...

Well I am flattered. Imagine my suprise when I started receiving emails from my friends saying some Ripple guy is writing about you.

I am sorry that I have had to get old on you. I know your post was tongue and cheek and I am quite flattered.

And based on your picture I might have really missed the boat.


Cheryl Ladd
(yes...the REAL Cheryl Ladd)