Aunt Jemima takes all the heat for the racist "mammy" stereotypes, but it's the maple madam Mrs. Butterworth who really should be raising eyebrows. Butterworth is a coattail rider, trying to capitalize on the fat and sassy success of Jemima with her breezy post-slavery incarnation. Jemima dates back to the 19th century. She was (sort of) a real person. This Butterworth imposter doesn't know what it's like to limp out of the cotton field with raw hands and have to fix juleps for a sweaty old white guy guarding a secret recipe.
Mrs. Butterworth just traipses in and has the temerity to not only hijack Jemima's routine, but to literally sell herself. Butterworth is the product, spilling out her sweet brown fluids over our breakfasts from her empty head. I haven't seen that sort of grotesque narcissism since Lady in the Water.
Mistaken identity could also be an issue among America's dumbest or most intoxicated racists. Jemima is in the clear. There's no way someone thinks an obese black woman wearing an apron is a box of pancake mix. With Butterworth around to mislead inbred lynch mobs I do wonder how many CSI teams have been confronted with a partially decapitated black woman found dead next to a giant waffle.
Geico sounds kinda like Gecko. Do you get it? How about now? How about after the 50th commercial?
The Oliver Twistian Gecko is from the geniuses that thought their vaguely amusing cavemen commercials could be spawned into a sitcom. That concept was so appalling it expired before the pilot was even finished shooting, but the Gecko doesn't seem to have the decency to crawl into a pool filter and die.
I can imagine some marketing major is reading this thinking, "Well, the ads worked! You remember the Gecko and you're talking about Geico!"
"Oh, yeah?" I think back to the marketing majors. "I remember Budd Dwyer and you don't see him making 24/7 cable ad buys."
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