I am a bit short on time today since I am having my bathroom renovated for the second time in a month, this time to correct the previous contractor’s mistakes. I have time only for a short update, but it’s a fairly depressing one.
For most Americans the Super Bowl is something akin to a secular holiday, while for advertisers it’s the biggest stage on which to display their wares to America’s largest television audience. That’s why it is so horrifying to find that Taco Bell, a division of Yum! Brands, will be promoting the ancient astronaut theory and cross-promoting the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens during an event seen by more Americans than any other.
As part of a “celebrity” campaign to promote an as-yet unnamed new product, Taco Bell provided ancient astronaut theorist Giorgio Tsoukalos with a green box that will be digitally replaced with the new product when the advertisement debuts February 8 during the big game. Tsoukalos will join basketball player James Harden and YouTube star Bryan E. Wilson in the advertisement. Tsoukalos jokes that the mystery product is a “conspiracy” and perhaps “alien technology.”
In the teaser trailer for the ad, Tsoukalos can be seen posing with an elongated skull, one of his favorite pieces of “evidence” for extraterrestrial visitation. He is seated in a reasonable facsimile of a Victorian explorers’ club, with dark wood, leather-bound books and a floor globe.
While I suppose it’s reasonable that Taco Bell considers Tsoukalos to be the equivalent of a YouTube star and one of the Kardashians’ boyfriends, I am disconcerted that he will now be exposed to the largest television audience in America, along with an elongated skull, which will undoubtedly serve to increase his profile and increase interest in the ancient astronaut theory.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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