MTV's Snooki (the hard-partying, over-tanned star of "Jersey Shore") cracked open a pistachio with a tanning bed. Former Bristol Palin boyfriend (and unwed father) Levi Johnston was hired -- "hold on to your daughters," cracked the PR firm in its pitch. There was also an ad with a crook -- ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, before he began serving a 14-year prison term. In his ad, a mysterious character hands him a briefcase. He opens it, and loads of pistachios spill out. "Rod Blagojevich does it innocently," says the voiceover.
This phenomenon is accelerating. The biggest poster boy may be Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broaddus. It's never mattered that he's an icon of pot smoking, or that he made porn films with Hustler magazine, or that he spent three years defending himself after his bodyguard committed a drive-by shooting while he was behind the wheel. Actually, it does matter, all of it. It is what makes him even cooler.
The man has a list of endorsements as long as your arm. By far the weirdest may be his Chrysler ad last year on a golf course with former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca. Not even this giant of industry seems rattled.
Right now, this Captain Cannabis is on TV trying to spread his cool vibe onto "Hot Pockets." Using his tune "Drop It Like It's Hot," he raps "Your munchies get an attitude, pocket like it's hot."
This trend never stops, with smutty pop stars like Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj selling Pepsi or Adidas. Wheat Thins even borrowed Baby Stewie and Brian the Dog from the smutty cartoon "Family Guy." Somehow, Stewie can be on Fox eating horse sperm or making Brian eat his vomit, but they can still sell eating Wheat Thins during the ad breaks.
Angus Jones will never know this filthy lucre -- unless, of course, his agent can talk him into renouncing the whole video as some bizarre psycho religious stunt.
All might then be forgiven, and there might just be pistachio advertisers on his doorstep.