Too Jerky for Jerky / Starving Children / “Exposing” Advertising /From Black-and-Blue to Silver and Black”?

These last few weeks have indeed put the “pits” in Pittsburgh. It’s just been tragedy upon tragedy upon tragedy.

First Big Ben Roethlisberger loses his “Jerky” endorsement deal. In light of those sordid revelations about events in that “small dingy bathroom” in Milledgeville, apparently PLB Sports just didn’t feel comfortable marketing a product called “Big Ben’s Beef Jerky.” (Think about that. When you’re no longer fit to sell jerky, you have hit rock bottom.)

According to sportsbusinessdaily.com, PLB Sports President and CEO Ty Ballou “ordered PLB’s entire inventory of ‘Big Ben Beef Jerky’ not in stores ‘to be destroyed at its Michigan distribution center.'” (Please, keep your snickering about starving Third World children to yourselves. Karka will have none of that!)

Karka understands this knee-jerk reaction. I mean, the integrity of the jerky industry must be protected! (There’s no bail-out money left for them.) But Karka also thinks PLB Sports missed a golden opportunity to make advertising history, to boldly go where no advertiser has gone before.

Imagine the “interactive” marketing possibilities. For example: Imagine a jerky package designed so that whenever an attractive young woman (preferably very, very drunk) walks past the display, the jerky packages magically “unzip” and “Big Ben” pops out. They could put little pictures of Big Ben’s “bodyguards” on the package as well, to reassure us that it’s all in good fun. And perhaps a picture of a dreamy young woman salivating at the mere thought of chewing on a “Big Ben.”

As for possible advertising slogans, how about:

Big Ben. Always ready when you are. And even when you aren’t.

(It’s really a shame that Gatorade has already trademarked “Is it in you?” That would have been perfect.)

Or how about:

Big Ben. You know you want it.

Or:

Big Ben. The perfect way to end your night on the town.

Or:

Nine out of ten college girls agree. Big Ben’s Beef is the one for me!

Or:

[Insert your slogan here.]

(What, you may be asking, is Karka doing  blogging when he could be making millions in the advertising biz? He was just wondering the very same thing.)

For those of you who desire more juicy details about the jerky deal:
http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/sports/23137289/detail.html.

And now comes word that Roethlisberger has taken another big hit. According to espn.com, “Disgraced Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been traded for NHL Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux—at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.”

Now you might be wondering what Roethlisberger was doing at a zoo (other than that one in Milledgeville; we all know what he was doing there). Turns out his name was on a display comparing the height of elephants with that off other creatures. (Not comparing the length of the elephant’s “trunk” with that of other creatures — for example, the tiger’s; now that would be an interesting display!)

Zoo spokeswoman Tracy Gray noted that some zoo visitors had expressed concerns about Roethlisberger’s name appearing on the display. “Mr. Roethlisberger isn’t the most popular person lately,” Tracy Gray, manager of public and media relations, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Bad things, we’re told, come in threes. Does this mean Big Ben will be a proud “member” of the Silver and Black this time next week?

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