The Perverse Use of 50 Shades for Marketing
The following is a re-write of something I initially shared when the first 50 Shades of Grey movie came out on Valentine’s Day of 2015. Unfortunately, 2018 finds us in similar circumstances. This Valentine’s Day will again find herds of couples stampeding to attend a movie that glorifies the unseemly and encourages others to experience perversion within their relationships. Below you will read a post about 50 Shades of Grey from 2015 that is, sadly, relevant again (still) now:
50 Shades of Nausea 2015
I know sharing this makes me guilty of broadcasting something I would prefer no one would view…but using the phrase, 50 Shades, is an attention-getter – an effort to make a moral point. I pray that some will heed the truth of the evil being promoted and walk away.
Ever since the pornographic series of books and then movie, 50 Shades of Grey, came out we have been inundated with 50 Shades of Everything. For example Target not only carried a line of 50 Shades products (lotions, hand cuffs, blindfolds, etc.) – in some stores they were even next to children’s toothbrushes. Evidently mommies with kiddies are the chosen demographic. This should makes us think twice about letting Junior spend the night at Tommy’s house – especially if you do not know one another well.
Then we had teachers handing out 50 Shades of Grey word searches to middle school children and other horrifying examples of irresponsible adult example.
This was blatant coat-tail riding on the wildly successful, albeit perverted success of all things 50 Shades. At least you knew what they were about.
Riding the Coattails of the Perverse
Now, however, we’re seeing an entirely new use of 50 Shades – mainstream, ‘normal’ products are joining the porn coattails. I have seen 50 Shades of Gray Hair, 50 Shades of Savings, 50 Shades of Debt, and all sorts of 50 Shades references from sources who have nothing to do with bondage or perverted sexuality. Is this the direction we really want to go?
We have all seen the effects of advertising and how it colors our world. Hearing the same phrase over and over again, ad nauseam (pun intended), tends to normalize an otherwise offensive topic. Yes, many columnists have expended many keystrokes to objecting to (or recommending) the offending books and movie – and using some twist of the 50 Shades title garnered interest and readership – but using this phrase in mainstream advertising runs the risk of coloring (yep, I went there) the consciences of even the most sensitive souls.
In the same way that marketing PG-13 movies to the toddler set by licensing toys to fast food chains is a problem, so is this. Currently Subway is giving out Guardians of the Galaxy take home bags with their kids’ meals, even though the movie is rated PG-13. Now I ask you, how many children will be inclined toward the desire of watching this movie, based on a favorable association with their meal and gift? Will you, a morally responsible parent, take them to see the movie in question? I would pray not.
Why then, associate anything – especially morally neutral somethings – with a horrific display of sexual depravity? That is the question and that is what brings me to 50 Shades of Nausea.
What strange 50 Shades associations have you encountered?
NOTE: Check back soon for more thoughts on Saint Valentines Day and its misuse.