Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.

2005-05-16

Pretty People Doing Ugly Things

If you have ever caught an episode of Fear Factor then you probably have noticed there are no obese or pockmarked individuals. In fact, they use every opportunity to get attractive men and women into bikinis and swim clothes, or as little covering as possible. It's part of the schtick.

You might be unimpressed with the use of pretty people - as so many shows and ads do - but what is fascinating about this show is that people watch it to see the pretty people doing very unbecoming things. On any episode, they will be asked to consume some nasty food item or lay down in a tank of tarantulas, etc. When they are not doing that, they are asked to perform acts that would scare most of us. Some are successful, some screw up royally. (And we secretly hope that they will screw up royally.)

The infatuation with beautiful people being humiliated is not new. Celebrity trash mags have always been popular, as people peruse the headlines to get the latest dirt on the celeb of the day. Tragic things happening to successful people fascinates us.

I wonder why ads have not capitalized on this - rather than focusing on beauty for the sake of beauty?

I cannot think of one ad that features someone gorgeous in an embarrassing or compromising situation - let alone, something gross. I think combining gross humour with gorgeous people would be greatly successful in ad campaigns.

It all goes back to adolescent humour, doesn't it?
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