Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Pledge to be a Conscientious Consumer...

Economics not upset your client base...especially if your chosen industry is not necessarily packing them in.

Warner Brothers Entertainment is the latest to cut staff, announcing 800 jobs would be lost, or 10 percent of its worldwide staff. NBC Universal and Viacom have already cut jobs, and industry watchers expect more job cuts to be announced by Walt Disney and Sony Pictures.
They're just getting warmed up. Hollywood continues to force feed the public their political tripe. That concept is amusing in its own right, but they expect us to pay for it as well. Those of us who honor and support the military watched with glee as “Lions & Lambs” tanked. "Rendition” was a financial embarrassment. “In the Valley of Elah” didn’t even break $7 Million. “Redacted” pulled in a whopping $600 K. There were more embarrassments along this line, such as “The Kingdom” and “Home of the Brave.”

Think about that for a moment. The first thought should be that Hollywood is so out of touch with the primary values of society that they believed there would be extreme interest and support translating to box office receipts. When the first four failed to generate interest…they continued to make more with the same abysmal result.

They have no idea whom their client base is. Similarly, the actors and actresses (these would be sometimes high school graduates) who stand on an “X” and regurgitate what someone else wrote a number of times until it sounds realistic fail to realize is that marginalizing a limited client base is not a proven form of marketing. It is a failed form of marketing.

On the eve of the inauguration, more than 50 celebrities teamed up with MySpace to record video pledges of service to the next president of the United States.

Among the celebrities who have finished their videos are Sean "Diddy" Combs, Cameron Diaz and Eva Longoria Parker. (You can see them at

Others making pledges include of the Black Eyed Peas, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, actresses Marisa Tomei, Courteney Cox Arquette, Lucy Liu and Laura Linney, and actors Jason Bateman and Tobey Maguire. Actress Demi Moore is directing, producing and editing the videos. (Viewers are invited to record and upload their own pledges.)
Here's the rub. These well known individuals rely on the public's approval in order to succeed in the Court of Popular Opinion. Well over 59 Million voters did not support President Obama in the election. It's a pretty good guess that there is a larger Hollywood client base in that 59 Million than there is in the 69 Million that voted for the new President. Comparative income would support that speculation.

My point is that actors and actresses (directors and producers) who feel the necessity to try and influence the rest of us by their saintly pledges (suggesting that they have acquired self-proclaimed leadership due to a very plastic and superfluous industry which is failing) only makes me want to show them that they are wrong.

As I peruse the list of those outspoken celebrities before, during, and after the election...I have to wonder if they understand that I won't be the only one taking their actions into account when deciding on whether to see a flick or purchase a dvd. I wonder if they understand that the only recourse of a consumer is not to consume...and thereby marginalize the influence held by the ones who have chosen to be so vocal with make-believe bona fides.

I recognize the sacrifice made by these participating celebrities. I recognize that they have just jeopardized their current popularity. I recognize the bottom line of basic economics. You don't piss off your client base. Actors and Actresses, in general, are not the sharpest pencils in the box. Rarely are they the most cerebral in the room. They are, certainly, entitled to pledge their heart, soul, and last breath to a man in the White House. I will treat him as the civil servant he is as defined by the Founders of this nation. I will pledge to be a more conscientious consumer, however.

They have, apparently, pledged to assist me in my decision making...and financial planning.

BONUS: Required reading for our enlightened... Shut Up & Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the U.N. are Subverting America (Hardcover)
by Laura Ingraham (Author)