Monday, April 11, 2005

Mass Marketing

I was born and raised in Massachusetts. Grew up in Chelmsford; performed on the stage from Gloucester to Sudbury; went to Brandeis in Waltham; lived in Newton; sailed the Merrimack; worked and played in Lowell; stood on Lexington Green; taken a dip in Walden Pond; spent many a college night of debauchery out in Western Mass; seen many a Pats' game in Foxboro; lounged on the beaches of the Cape; walked the eerie streets of Salem; churned butter at Plymouth Plantation; told jokes from atop Fanueil Hall; saw Tiny Tim get married at Spooky World back when it was in Berlin; experienced heartbreak and victory at Fenway ... and more. Much more. I think I know Massachusetts.

So it was a little disappointing to witness my home state's latest ad campaign spotlighting "normal" people mechanically repeating the line "This is my Massachusetts" over bland and emotionless stock footage of what is supposed to be highlights of the great commonwealth.

Okay. You guys ain't DeNiro, this ain't an American Express commercial, and Massachusetts ain't New York. The half-hearted attempt to promote the wonders of Mass by mimicking credit card ads promoting New York City just comes off as desperate and lame. Massachusetts is home to the World Champion Boston Red Sox and the World Champion New England Patriots, making it possibly the best sports town around right now. It's the home of the American Revolution and home to the "cradle of American liberty," where the famous "shot heard 'round the world" was fired. It's the birth place of Jack Kerouac and John F. Kennedy, the breeding ground for some of the best comics who ever picked up a mike, the home to the dirty water of the River Charles. The Hub of the Universe. Somehow, fuzzy camera work showing blurred lights, some lady shopping somewhere, and a random girl riding on a generic merry-go-round doesn't quite convey the majesty of Massachusetts.

In my humble opinion, of course...which is wicked pissah.