Brand building through storytelling

Who knew? Paris Hilton is funny!

ParisI have the good fortune to be married to a guy who understands exactly what will make me laugh and ensures that not a day goes by at our place without a humour fix.Monty PythonMel BrooksSarah SilvermanRicky Gervais….I discovered them all thanks to him. Even so, I had my doubts last night when he called from the computer, “Have you seen this Paris Hilton spoof of John McCain’s campaign ad?”

Of course I hadn’t, as he surely knew. In my book Paris Hilton is a sleek and shiny bimbo with a teacup dog and no social graces. I was one of the sophisticates who scorned Vanity Fair‘s 2005 cover story on Paris, which argued—fawningly, I thought—that the party-hopping, skin-flaunting heiress was actually pretty damn smart.

McCain was playing to preconceived notions like mine when his now-infamous addismissed Barack Obama as “the biggest celebrity in the world” in the Britney/Paris tradition and then asked, “But is he ready to lead?”

As campaign slurs go, it’s downright tame, less a contemptuous attack than a sign of sheer desperation. But as fodder for parody, it’s heady stuff. To my amazement, Paris pulls it off, sending up her own image (which demands at least a soupcon of self-awareness) along with John McCain: “That wrinkly, white-haired guy used me in his campaign ad, which I guess means I’m running for president….I want America to know I’m, like, totally ready to lead.”

Oh, Paris, how I’ve misjudged you! You’re pretty damn smart after all. But I can’t keep up with the guardians of cool over at Vanity Fair. They’ve decided your video isn’t funny. Which is fine with me, because pointing fingers isn’t nearly as much fun as laughing.


Posted by Rona

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