Friday Links: Does Sex Really Sell? / Is “Brave” a Great Family Film?

1. Over at Ignitum Today, Jared Dale Combista writes a thoughtful piece about the notion that “sex sells.” Jared takes a slightly different view and he even invokes the TV show “Mad Men” to make his point. Here’s an excerpt:

“Says who? Just so you know, the people who talk that way think that monkeys can do this. They take all this monkey c**p and stick it in a briefcase, completely unaware that their success depends on something more than shoeshine. You are the product. You feeling something. That’s what sells. Not them. Not sex. They can’t do what we do and they hate us for it.” ~ Don Draper, Mad Men

I don’t know if I made a mistake placing that quote at the beginning of the article, and basically, what the smooth yet debauched ad man said sums up my point. But whatever. Now, I’ve decided to write about something which pertains to my current profession (yes, I’m currently employed as a person who makes copies) and this may be the right time to do so. The fact that I am a big fan of AMC’s Mad Men inspires me to post something.

Let’s get down to business: How many of us believe that sex sells? I’ll admit that I used to believe that. Although for me, it ain’t quite favorable to show ads and billboards displaying racy stuff, it was a quick way to sell products and services.

How wrong I was. You see, many people to get to sell products by invoking the sensual pleasures of the flesh, but that isn’t what it’s all about per se—and that’s what Don Draper pointed out; that you, feeling something, is what sells.

What do we mean by that? What did Don Draper mean? Don’t we also feel something every time we see something racy? Well, it’s true that provocative ads do affect us emotionally, but who’s to say that sex is the only thing which does so?

To discover Jared’s answers, read the whole thing.

2. Over at the National Catholic Register, Steven Greydanus reviews the new Pixar movie “Brave” which opens today, calling it one of the best animated family films he’s seen in a while. An excerpt:

…The American trailers, alas, made Brave look like yet another retread of the overworn theme of a headstrong, rebellious young protagonist resisting a domineering parent’s vision of the child’s future — a theme all too familiar from everything from The Little Mermaid to How to Train Your Dragon.

Indeed, for the first half hour or so, Brave plays much like a movie of that sort: a movie more like what I expect from DreamWorks than what I hope for from Pixar…There is even a “Corset Lament” scene in which the heroine gasps that she can’t breathe while her mother declares the restrictive gown “perfect.”

But then comes a twist that makes the familiar first act prologue, and Brave becomes a very different movie indeed. I would go so far as to call it, to an extent, a commentary on or critique of the “Junior Knows Best” trope. This is one tale of parent-child conflict that doesn’t end with the chastened parent admitting that Junior was right all along … far from it….

…for once the heroine of a Hollywood animated film has both her parents, and both matter and are ultimately entirely sympathetic. Brave places welcome emphasis both on the harmony of the family and also responsibilities toward and harmony with the larger community. Among Hollywood animated films, it may be the most positive affirmation of family since ‘The Incredibles’ and the best fairy tale since ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

Read the whole thing.

About Tony Rossi

After graduating from St. John's University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers' TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization's radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.


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