What is it with the sasquatch?

>> Monday, September 17, 2007

Is it just me, or has there been a preponderance of sasquatch references on television lately?

First there was a stupid ice cream commercial where Bigfoot has to decide whether to brave a hunter, a sasquatch enthusiast, and a Brazilian bikini-waxer to get to a scoop of Strawberry Blonde.

Next there was a series of commercials called "Messin' with Sasquatch," in which a bunch of foolish hikers and campers play pranks on Bigfoot, only to get slapped around.

And now tonight I have Monday Night Football on while I'm working at the computer, and I look up and a fan has one of those acronym signs using the letters ESPN to try and get on television. It says:

suPports the

Um, what?

Seriously, why has the sasquatch myth reared its hairy head in popular culture all of a sudden? You can certainly argue that Bigfoot hasn't ever gone away, but why the resurgence?

The article on Wikipedia suggests that "Bigfoot is a worldwide phenomenon." In the "Bigfoot in Popular Culture" article, it's argued that "The meanings of the words 'Bigfoot' or 'Sasquatch' are quickly understood by most people (at least in North America)," which might be behind their use in commercials. In advertising, you have to use concepts that are immediately recognizable to most of your audience. If everybody knows what Bigfoot is, you can jump right to the comedy. (And, presumably, some kind of useful product placement.)

Then too there is the caveman/Geico commercial phenomenon. Did you know those cavemen are getting their own sitcom? I kid you not.

I bring them up not because they're sasquatches of course, but because I can just imagine the conversation in some meeting between a business owner and his advertising agency: "Say, those Geico cavemen are funny. Can you give me something like that?"

And the answer, of course, has to be sasquatches.

I had a similar proposition put to me when I was writing radio commercials in Knoxville. The local Hooters franchise wanted me to come up with two animals talking, like the Budweiser lizards. My genius idea? Two misguided owls who thought "Hooters" meant it was a restaurant for them.

They didn't buy it.


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