ENGELHARD: Those repulsive Geico pig commercials

Finally Christians, Jews and Muslims can be offended together. Photo: Maxwell pig/ public image

NEW YORK, August 14, 2013  What gives with Geico choosing a pig to sell insurance?

You do not have to be Jewish or Muslim to hate those Geico commercials that feature Maxwell the pig. A Christian group called One Million Moms, part of American Family Association, publicly complained about one particular spot that featured a woman trying to seduce the pig, in a car, apparently on a date. “Repulsive,” they said.

They also said that the madmen geniuses who came up with the concept were promoting bestiality.

That is exactly what I thought when I first saw that commercial. I turned to my wife, the wiser of the two, and said, “Am I getting this right?”

We know that in selling a product the trick is to sell it two ways, 1, say it loud, 2, say it soft, subliminally. Well, this does both.

So is Geico saying that bestiality is okay? There seems to be no other explanation. The Web says that Warren Buffett owns Geico through the parent company Berkshire Hathaway, and that Buffett would spend $2 billion on Geico ads if he could. So far the cost is about $1 billion a year.

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“Geico advertising campaigns,” it says, “are known for their humor and satire.” Got that. But are pigs the way to go?

Surely Mr. Buffett would stop the pig campaign if he were made fully aware of the number of people who object to such depictions.

The insurance company appeared to pull that particular dating commercial but here comes another one, again with the pig, and these spots run on every TV show every hour on the hour, and sometimes every minute on the minute.

So it must be working, especially on kids who are now being taught a brand new politically correct imperative. Pigs are people, too.

We can date pigs. We can mate with pigs. Says so on television.

Let’s not call this the sort of depravity that ends entire civilizations through moral decay, but it is a start.

Giving the pig a cutesy name like Maxwell, and giving it a Facebook page, makes no difference. The whole business is no less disgusting. A pig is still a pig.

Here, finally, is one place where Christians, Jews and Muslims can all link arms and be offended together. We have already heard from the Christian group One Million Moms. As for the Jews, the Torah is clear enough. The pig is not kosher. I am not a rabbi, so do not hold me to every word.

But here is the gist. Jews may eat any animal that has split hooves. That’s one. The animal must also chew its cud. That’s two. The animal must do both.

So here is the problem with Maxwell or a pig by any other name. The pig has split hooves, yes it does, but it does not chew the cud, rendering it un-kosher.

How long have we known this? Oh, for about 3,500 years when Moses brought down The Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai along with the rest of the Hebrew Bible.

The pig, incidentally, sometimes represents hypocrisy, as it advertises itself half kosher, and there is no such thing. Kosher is an all or nothing deal. So the pig shows off its split hooves, which everyone can see, but hides its front end, where it does not regurgitate its food. “See?” the pig says. “I am kosher.”

Muslims picked up the Hebrew prohibition against pigs and likewise refuse to have anything to do with the animal.

Who knows what they must be thinking over there at Geico. Surely there came a day when the ad execs met with the Geico execs for approval of that campaign.

How best to sell insurance?

A pig? Yes, a pig.

Great idea, and let’s be sure to swamp TV with those spots.

Who can possibly be offended, except for Christians, Jews and Muslims?


New from Jack Engelhard, the novel: Compulsive

Jack Engelhard, a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, his memoir Escape From Mount Moriah, and Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist, Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer, brings his words to the Communities page covering all topics, with special focus on the absurdity of human behavior and reaches around the globe.

Read more Jack Engelhard, A Novelist’s View of the World

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Jack Engelhard

Jack Engelhard enjoys international fame as a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, which was turned into film starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. His memoir Escape From Mount Moriah has been acclaimed for excellence and a movie version was an official selection at CANNES. Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist is Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer. Engelhard’s journalism covers all topics, with special focus on  the absurdity of human behavior, and reaches around the globe. He can be contacted at www.jackengelhard.com


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