Indianapolis is no different than the rest of the nation when it comes to advertisers" approach to the Sept. 11 tragedy: Don"t exploit potential customers with ads.
Not on 9/11: The Ox Blue Babe
Bill Reelson, head of marketing at Weebolow Whatnot, put it this way: "Even though we are the top seller of Whatnot in Central Indiana, there"s no way we"re going to put our message out on the airwaves on Sept. 11. It"s just not appropriate." Reelson went on to remark that Weebolow"s philosophy would hold forth "for all 64 of our customer-friendly outlets filled with useful and affordable Whatnot throughout Central Indiana. We will not advertise, though we will have normal business hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., bringing you the best in Whatnot." Reelson is not alone in scaling back visibility in the community. Mega-insurance conglomerate Jingo-Wingo had planned in the second week of September to launch a full-sized zeppelin, with the giant tagline "Jingo-Wingo, no matter how apocalyptic the catastrophe" as part of their new marketing plan. However, Jingo-Wingo executives decided to temporarily back off from that campaign. "We just thought it wouldn"t resonate right now," says Vice President for Middle Management Helen Ostracizeski. She adds, "The last thing we want is for clientele to consider us a pernicious, rapacious, blood-sucking entity ... even though we are." H.W. "Chip" Langton, marketing consultant for several Central Indiana businesses, confirmed that a number of his clients would refrain from advertising on Sept. 11. "In fact," Langton said proudly, "we"re planning on launching ad campaigns about how our clients aren"t advertising." Local mom-and-pop stores are having their own complicated issues with the Sept. 11 anniversary. A popular figure in television ads is "The Ox Blue Babe," a rather buxom actress who hawks various cuts of meat for the local eatery Paul Bunyon"s Big Belly. The Ox Blue Babe, whose real name is Tanya T. Tittlesworth, is often featured displaying thick steaks with juices literally running off the hand-held dinner plates. Tittlesworth"s breasts figure prominently in the ad, and the copywriters for the commercial labored long and hard to erect double entendres into the text. However, on Sept. 11, viewers will not see The Ox Blue Babe on television, according to Paul Bunyon"s Big Belly"s owner Nick Depacriole: "Yeah, we think we"ll just stay away from any crap that way," he stated in a press release. But how do the viewers feel about this Sept. 11 caution? Most people this reporter interviewed thought it appropriate for advertisers to take a back seat on this date. One man, though, who refused to be identified, lamented the lack of The Ox Blue Babe. "A day without her cleavage," he said sadly, "is a day without sunshine."