(Note: this is an interesting perspective on what they deem the mainstream embracing of “fringe oddities.”)
I haven’t actually watched much tele-vision since Magnum PI, and so was only made aware of this attempt to sway me to Liberty Mutual’s services through the Twitter machine. My first impression was that Danny Trejo is looking even more surly than usual. Which, I suppose, you would too if some Madison Avenue quack had just stuffed you into a dress.
At any rate, Mr. Trejo, or for purposes of this ad campaign “Bamby Salcedo,” is apparently a professional squalling Mexican transvestite. This being an occupation with extremely poor prospects outside America. Though in the land of opportunity, no greater opportunities await than for foreign psychotics citing insufficient enthusiasm from the natives. In fact, Trejo’s Salcedo character has seemingly excavated enough of a z-list celebrity niche to keep tacos on the table so long as the girl-next-door good looks hold up.
Here are a few of his more alluring publicity photos.
Contemplating the length and girth of The Wall
Bamby Salcedo with Monica Belluci
The ones in skirts aren’t real females
Though what’s far more fascinating than Trejo’s in-drag lark is the fact that a very large and stolid insurance firm would intentionally feature this craggy creature in an actual ad campaign. I was initially certain the promotional video had to be the work of a mischievous troll, though it continues to sit primly on the company’s youtube page. Which means that men who are paid handsome salaries to evaluate such matters concluded that moving whole life policies would be aided by such exotic advocacy. There’s a couple of observations to make about that.
Given the presumed sparsity of mestizo men shopping for insurance in garter belts, the intended audience for this ad is plainly not the flouncing peers of “Bamby Salcedo.” The so-called transgendered community–a term 99% of Americans had never heard of a couple of years ago–is not even a numerical trifle. There are probably more transgendered personalities in Ashley Judd’s prescription cabinet than there are most American towns. The transgendered aren’t Liberty Mutual’s prospective customers, they’re its mascot.
In conspicuously embracing such a fringe oddity, Liberty Mutual is wagering that a thin margin of normal (such as they are) liberals will find such unctuous displays of BLT exaltation irresistible. More importantly, they are wagering that that margin of liberals, however thin it may be, will still be broader than the cohort of legacy Americans who bolt their policies out of understandable revulsion. That’s not a compliment to legacy America.
Because if they are right, as industry metrics have surely advised them they are, then traditionalists have made their own bed of indifference. The left screams as the right dreams. Of course that’s a bit harsh since the right is more occupied with earning a living and raising families than it is with monitoring every degradation of the culture schlock. Nonetheless, that culture slides left silently with no oppositional friction. And soon enough conservatives are peering into their magic rectangles to see Mexican transvestites scowling back.
I expect within five years outlets like National Review will be lamenting the lost age of wholesome commercial miscegenation. Rich Lowry will ask Whatever happened to advertisements showing America’s traditional black husband, white wife?, as donkey shows dot the Super Bowl.
Though in the meantime, I’d encourage readers to treat companies like Liberty Mutual as they would Bamby Salcedo in their bedsheets: with feet of wings.