Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Move over Peyton Manning, the new most popular pitch, um, thing in America is none other than Sasquatch, the legendary creature perhaps better known as Bigfoot.

The movement started as a small blip on the advertising radar. So small, in fact, that I can't remember which of the ads came first, but I believe it was Jack Link's Beef Jerky with their inspired "Messin' with the Sasquatch" ad campaign.

The concept was simple: What's funnier than playing practical jokes? Playing practical jokes on the Sasquatch and having him react in violent, probably fatal ways. While the ads have yet to inspire me to purchase the company's product, I have checked out the campaign's website and I chuckled at the Sasquatch's MySpace page.

Never one to miss out on an opportunity to harness some pop culture buzz, Coors Light recently cast our big, furry friend (?) in one of their ubiquitous NFL commercials (see below for clip).

The commercials, which feature footage from actual NFL press conferences interspersed with faux questions from idiot Coors Light drinkers, were fairly amusing when first unveiled. Unfortunately, like beer itself, the commercials are better in small doses and the spots now find themselves stretching to make even the most tenuous connection between the faux questions and real answers.

Sadly, my favorite of the commercials – featuring Bill Walsh glowering at a numbskull questioner – is gone from the rotation, presumably due to the legendary coach's death earlier this year. Perhaps they can match up Walsh and Sasquatch in a future spot.

But wait, there's more! One can almost ferret out the connection between Sasquatch and, say, beer (booze makes you see Bigfoot) or jerky (you eat jerky in the woods, which is where Bigfoot lives). But ice cream?

That didn't deter the folks at Cold Spring Creamery who came up with the perplexing scenario of asking whether the draw of their ice cream would be enough to make Sasquatch brave a store filled with a hunter, a geeked out Bigfoot enthusiast, and a Brazilian bikini waxer.

Naturally, anything that takes place on a national level trickles down to the local level, which explains the latest commercial to cross my Sasquatch Radar... a slacker calls his buddy to inform him that Bigfoot is sitting in his apartment (yeah, like that would ever happen) and he should come over with his video camera so they'll be set for life. In the meantime, Bigfoot asks to use the bathroom and ends up shaving off all his hair. Believing that footage of a shaved Bigfoot is somehow worthless, the announcer tells us that they'll now have to play the Maryland Lottery in order to truly be set for life.

So, what's behind this recent wave of Sasquatch-mania? It could be that, as my wife likes to remind me, most people working at ad agencies these days are old and probably grew up – like I did – in the 1970s. And Bigfoot was hot at that time, thanks to such high-profile programming as the two-part SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN episode featuring Andre the Giant as a Bionic Bigfoot, the fantastic-looking BIGFOOT movie (available, along with SASQUATCH: THE LEGEND OF BIGFOOT from, and the equally incredible TV series BIGFOOT AND WILD BOY (see opening below).

Who knows what the real story is behind this effort to make us accept the idea of a somewhat benign, ice-cream eating Bigfoot who shaves and is gentle enough to take to an NFL press conference. But you can be sure that I'll be on the lookout for more Sasquatch-related media sightings!

Updates: Just as I was getting ready to post this story my wife informed me that Nike is hawking something called the SasQuatch Driver which features "the largest footprint in golf". I was also poking around the Bigfoot Research site linked above and found these photos taken just over a month ago at a location in Pennsylvania. And, I'd be remiss if I failed to point you in the direction of our review of SASQUATCH aka THE UNTOLD, starring the great Lance Henriksen.

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