Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Waltons Drive Nascar, Part 2

As a loyal fan of the Waltons, I knew every character well. As the series limped through its final season or two, a new character was introduced. He was a wounded and shy suitor for cousin Rose. I silently cheered him on as he struggled to work through past hurts and win Rose’s heart.

So imagine my disappointment when I next saw Rose’s suitor on t.v. It was an ad and this time he was a wise, trustworthy, gentle medical professional telling me to shop at his pharmacy. And try as I might, I could not get beyond the fact that he was simply an actor. It was then that I decided I would never buy a product just because an actor told me to. Celebrity endorsements would mean nothing to me. As a matter of principle, I would avoid a product if a celebrity endorsed it. And I would not endorse a celebrity if they started hawking products. Period.

The next time I checked, I was a middle-aged mother and a passionate lover of Nascar. The engine-throbbing, tire-squealing sport was the only one Checkered and I had in common. And within a short-time, each of our kids had a favorite driver, too.

And that’s where the problem first emerged. Our daughter loves the driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. The problem? His major sponsor has been a beer, Budweiser. To be blunt: no one in this family is going to endorse any alcoholic beverage. Trying to find Dale Junior apparel without the Bud reference was an almost insurmountable task.
But things got better: this year he is driving for a new team and his new sponsors include Pepsi (Amp) and the National Guard. Now when we look for Dale Jr. clothing, if it is covered with references to his sponsors, we have no ethical trouble with. So much for my promise of seperating a celebrity from his/her endorsements.

Problem over? Of course not.

Checkered and I share a driver, Kasey Kahne. We like his blue eyes and curly hair his driving skills. It didn’t hurt either that he drove for a corporate sponsor near and dear to our pocketbook.

So we have Kasey Kahne hats, clothing, stickers, et cetera, all with reference to our favorite corporate sponsor. The new problem? Kahne’s sponsor changed this year.

You guessed it. He is now sponsored by Budweiser.

Oh, Kasey! Forgive us, but your sponsorship change may force us to find a new driver or at least stop buying your stuff. *sniff* *sob*

No comments: