Minions: Scourge of the World

Kiss my ass, you adorable yellow fucks. 

Minions3

That’s right – I don’t fall for your charms, nor your obnoxiously cute and deeply disturbing genetic deformities. You’re nothing but a nuisance to anyone who isn’t below the age of 6 and your seemingly infinite populous will reign no more.

It’s not like this problem crept up on us either. These abominations have been on the front lines since the release of Despicable Me in 2010, where they stole the show from the protagonist of the movie. Back when they were but an accessory to the movie’s plot, they were relevant and even necessary as they were used as a tool to complete and display the main character’s true self.

And that’s where it should have ended.

Minions should have been laid to rest right then and there, in a deep grave with dignity and clergymen at their side. They were introduced to fulfill one simple motive, which they did in spades, making them one of the most linear and complete characters in Pixar’s history.

But y’all got greedy. You let these Minions in to your hearts and they immediately reproduced and spread like a violent parasite. Now, they’re the ones inside you calling the shots. You have no one to blame but yourselves, you infested freaks.

It seemed as though that the summer of 2015 was dominated by Minions. You couldn’t take two steps outside for a smoke without seeing their movie being promoted, their chattering idiot faces on a myriad of products, or they’re off-kilter stare sucking your soul dry of what ever sense of self-respect you may have once had.

They had become the most easily deploy-able marketing tool of the year, and this is where the problem lies. They were everywhere and their shtick never changed.

For example. McDonald’s (the burger chain, not the cigarette brand, you degenerate) partnered with Pixar to include Minions toys in their happy meals, much like they have with dozens of other Pixar movies before. The lineage makes sense, as happy meals are for children and children’s movies follow suit. To prove I’m not some kind of lifeless monster who fun forgot, I remember being thrilled to receive hot wheels and Jungle Book toys in my happy meals all the same.

The problem lies in the ads which feature Minions; for example, a specific 30 second MacDonalds spot, which ran on television. The ad featured about seven seconds of legitimate content and almost twenty seconds of Minions literally standing around, laughing and chattering amongst themselves. That’s it.

I understand that ultimately, all Minions do is chatter like bumbling idiots but it has removed the creativity and the nuance from marketing. Minions quickly became a catch-all for views (impressions, as industry folk call it) and the product being sold had became entirely irrelevant. Toilet paper? Wipe your ass with Minions. Selling your fridge on Kijiji? Throw a minions GIF in there and watch it sell within 10 minutes. You know where this is going.

Worst of all? You fell for it.

Facebook may be perhaps the worst offender in this regard. You’ll see images with brief blips of nonsensical statements in imges about “being true to friends” or “what love is” etc which is incorrigible to begin with, but slap a Minion on there and you can bank on tens of thousands of shares and likes. It was fluff stacked on fluff and you drank up every last drop.

I remember the good days when marketing was creative and intuitive. One particular ad stands out: Terry Take: Office Linebacker; a Reebok effort from 2002.

This was ground zero in internet viral marketing and set the precedent for years to come, most of which current marketers still follow. What made Terry Take: Office Linebacker so effective was that it was fresh, innovative and extremely subtle. The only sniff of Reebok brand placement you’d see was a large gold chain with the Reebok logo on it sported by Mr. Tate or a small jersey logo. Other than that, it was pure entertainment designed to captivate viewers, while subliminally implanting the Reebok message in to the delivery, not to mention a few sexualized innuendos that are easy to miss.

It was a true stroke of genius, one of which the measure of success and innovation has yet to be replicated.

With Minions on the rise and no sign of falling, we are only ensuring the demise of true, clever marketing that not only sells us on products, but enriches our lives with hilarious subtext and subtle messaging. Marketing has always been an industry reserved for the informed, the creative and the intelligent but this current trend ensures that the talent pool of marketers is diluted, making it easier than ever to ingrain even the simplest of dumbasses in a cushy paying position. At this rate, the likes of Terry Tate will never be seen again.

The problem stretches beyond just marketing. Capitalism, which in case you don’t remember, is the primary societal system around here, lives and dies on marketing. With a simplification of the messages we process every day comes the simplification of the minds in our society. We are literally dumbing each other down and we have the Minions to thank for it.

So call me a old, grouchy piece of shit. I don’t care. The Minions could have exited quietly with grace and forever lived on as cute little characters that served their complete purpose but instead, they now fuel what is the progressive decline of civilization as we know it.

Indeed, the Minions are a sign of the end of times, and only you have the power to stop them.

Or can let shit like this continue to crop up:


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