Daily thoughts on aesthetics and theology, and the entire world in between.

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Smooth ... like Keith Stone

One intersection away from the Union Gospel Mission is a large billboard advertising beer. It sports a picture of Keith Stone with a box of Keystone beer.

Keystone ... Keith Stone. Got that?

And both are so smoooooooth.

You can see variations of this smoooooth ad campaign here and here.

At the Mission, I meet many men who have a different tale to tell about beer. Once they start on a can, they can't stop until 6, 8, 12, 16 cans later. As a consequence their lives have been anything but smooooooth.

Rocky, bumpy, broken; these are better words to describe what they've been through.

I can't count the number of men who've lost everything because of beer: wives, homes, kids, businesses, self-esteem.

What most troubles me about the ad is the "look" of Keith Stone. His attire is everyman blue collar -- like most of the guys at the Mission. His eyes are focused on something far off, projecting a rugged but dreamy look, full of confidence that the future -- well, if not the future, at least the weekend -- will be going his way no-doubt-about-it.

So long as he lugs along that oversized box of Keystone beer.

This post is not about abstaining from alcohol; I enjoy my pizzas with beer and my meals with wine.
Okay: I love margaritas.

But there is such a gap between the ideal worlds advertising paints for us ... and the nitty-gritty reality of this world, this life.
To keep the nitty-gritty smooth, often the smooth spin of advertising must be denied.

That's all I'm trying to say. Nothing profound.

When I see that ad, I make a right turn to hang out with the guys at the Mission; nothing profound.



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