Oct 31, 2010

[Technicolor Musings] Sam Milby Scares Me

While this isn't quite the perfect Halloween post, I suppose it sort of fits in an odd way. Then again, I've been mapping out this particular entry for weeks now and it's high time to finally getting around to discussing it.

And as the title of the entry mentions, Sam Milby scares me. Not in a horror movie kind of scares me, but in a manner that I find him disturbing in one way or another. And thus I think it's a really stupid idea that Folded & Hung paid a boatload of money (I assume) to get him as their primary local endorser for at least the quarter.

F&H Sam Milby Blue Underwear

I think my feelings about him really came to a head when this particular F&H billboard came around. Every night on my commute to the office I'd be...assaulted by this horrible image. What exactly is he selling here? Does he even know how to pose? And what's up with the plastic underwear? This is a combined disaster due to whoever handled the art direction plus Sam Milby's ridiculous so-called "modeling" ability.

And yet we seem him endorse product after product, and I just don't get the appeal. Maybe I'm totally not his target market or something.

Granted, Folded & Hung has sort of developed a reputation for being the gay-friendly clothing establishment. Or more like, they may or may not have consciously started selling clothes whose designs, cuts and styles seem to appeal more to the sensibilities of the gay man. Just walk into the store on any given weekend and count the number of obviously non-straight guys checking out the extra low jeans, really tight over-priced shirts and all that fun stuff. Whether they acknowledge it or not, their market has become the typical gay queer thinking this is what he should wear.

F&H Sam Milby ShortsSo how does Sam Milby factor into this strange equation? Well, for one reason or another, they selected him to be the face (and the body) of F&H advertising for now. And I never really got his appeal since (1) he's an odd mix of feminine facial features, (2) somewhat local color and (3) the personality of a rag doll. Plus there's all the gay rumors about him (and Piolo Pascual, naturally) so maybe that's what contributes more to his selection.

It bothers me that as much as most local celebrities are artificial constructs, somehow Sam Milby represents a whole new level of depravity in this regard. He was thrust into the limelight as a reality show contestant in a staging that was obviously meant to launch his career. He's not a reality show person who just happened to become popular. He was the latest addition to the network's stable that they needed to get out there in the public eye. Naturally the campaign was successful and people have been lapping it up ever since.

Sam Milby is a celebrity because we were told that we're supposed to like him, when there's not that much to like. Sure, in recent years he's done well in terms of finally developing more of a body, but it's not like he has skill or talent to go with it. He's just some hollow shell of a man meant to be a lousy product endorser that caters to shallow-minded nimrods. Beyond that, he does all the usual local celebrity embarrassments like being forced to speak in Filipino badly and even sing when clearly it's not his core talent.

Sam Milby scares me because he represents how easily we fall into the trap of local network executive decisions. He's representative of a whole host of other stars who are created, crafted and packaged in some factory-like process that replaces talent with a really lousy cookie-cutter form. Sure, it's not something limited to the local entertainment scene, but it's not often that we get it as blatant as we have with Sam. Plus he's not exactly good-looking.

F&H Sam Milby White

I suppose it's fitting that Folded & Hung has taken him in then. That's another store that remains highly pretentious and won't take a clear stand as to their brand image. What's worse is that they have some really lousy art directors who don't know how to sell their own clothes. Instead they just have Sam and other models in not-so flattering poses that don't even feature their main clothing lines. Well, that's unless they've started to sell jodhpurs and those ridiculous plastic underwear shorts-thingies.

So please Folded & Hung, come up with a better image model next year and give up on the ridiculous sham that is Sam Milby. And stop scaring the public with your disturbing ideas for billboards - your creative team needs a total overhaul and deserves to be taken out back and shot.

Sam Milby scares me in terms of what he represents in terms of the local entertainment industry. And perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he outright disturbs me as a human being. Bleh.

Enhanced by Zemanta

1 comment: