Dear Kevin Bacon: about those adverts...

Feature Mark Foster 5 Nov 2013 - 06:00

Love Kevin Bacon, hate those bloody adverts he keeps doing...

We know we're not alone here. There's an actor very close to our hearts, who has recently found himself in a situation not entirely dissimilar to a dancing bear: a once proud creature now forced into prancing about for a cruel master, a great sadness behind his eyes. We know that you will join with us in wishing him a full and speedy recovery. We hope you will add your voice to our ideals. The man in question is the brilliant Kevin Bacon. And this message is for him.

Dear Kevin Bacon,

We love your body of work, and also your physical body. That's also rad. If we hung out – and I hope we will – you'd be among friends.

In Animal House you taught us that, to get in with the right people, sometimes it is necessary to undergo repetitive physical torture to prove yourself. Without such an example, the writers at Den Of Geek would not possess the mental and physical strength to undergo our mandatory initiation ceremony (a curious rite involving a bungee chord and a three-tongued creature of ineffable origin known only as 'Statham-Kaiju').

In Tremors, you taught us how to deal with giant rampaging worms. In Footloose you taught us that there are other ways to express our inner turmoil (also, more subtly, that there are a lot of words that rhyme with 'footloose', eg. Mongoose, papoose, caboose, and so on. A useful lesson for any aspiring wordsmith). In Apollo 13 you taught us that a combination of you, Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise and Bill Paxton is a swell bunch of guys to get stuck in an enclosed space with. I could go on, and will. You were a compelling screen presence in X-Men: First Class, and your mutton chops in that looked good enough to eat.

I think you'll probably get our drift here. We really like you, the actor Kevin Bacon. We really, really like you.

And we think you like us. You keep on pleasing us with your interesting film and hair choices, popping up in unexpected cameos in movies that are lagging. Your surname is Bacon. Everyone likes bacon. Even vegetarians non-grudgingly accept it as being a highly desirable object. Up until recently, one of the best combos in existence was that of the Bacon role and bacon roll. Have you ever watched Mystic River while noshing on your namesake? You should. You really should. You see Kevin? You see how we want to give back in this relationship?

You will already know what is is that you have done.

Every time I go to the cinema, or watch something using on demand streaming, there you are. A shadow of your former self, your utterances delivered with a faux-gleeful swagger as if this will mask the grief that shines from your eyeballs like a big sad lighthouse.

It's painfully obvious that you have never heard of Roy Walker, let alone maintain familiarity with his popular catchphrase. Coronation Street? Really? You claim to know of Corrie. I believe I know more about Coronation Street than you. While I have never watched it either, its producer used to work on Doctor Who, and so I have researched it on the off-chance that it comes up in a pub quiz.

I think you would take the continental breakfast over the full English, such is the desperation you radiate in that exchange. Do you not notice how everyone in the café looks at you with a look of utmost pity? And that's in the advert. If people who are being paid to advertise the same product as you can barely resist your pathos, what chance do we have?

There is also the issue of ubiquity. These adverts are before every film you see, and we have no choice in the matter. If you like films, you are forced to sit through endless Sisyphean cycles of the same melancholy onslaught.

You call us friends in those ads. Well, it's getting tougher to be your friend Kevin Bacon. That sentence is as true as it was painful to type. But I don't blame you. I want to stand by you in your hour of need, no matter what.

I blame Saatchi and Saatchi, who devised the campaign, for hiring Kevin Bacon solely to make an advert based on 'The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' – knowing that the actor's finances are depleted after succumbing to the biggest investment fraud in US History - and then getting 'The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' wrong. Then following it up with an advert that plays merry havoc with the official Kevin Bacon canon, and then following that up with an advert involving a massive conga line that defies physics, is narratively inconsistent, and has at least two seconds of gratuitous Noel Edmonds.

It's like seeing an old homeless man who's mind has gone. They are both discombobulating and deeply sad.

This is unacceptable.

I know adverts are going to be bad, and repetitive, and use famous people to make us think 'No way! George Clooney - star of Batman & Robin and Grizzly 2: The Predator – he likes Wagon Wheels too. I will buy more Wagon Wheels.' Those ads were class. First Class. These are more like The Last Stand. Yes, they will make loads of money, but at what cost?

Advertisers have noticed that an advert doesn't have to be good, it just has to be memorable. They have also noticed that an easy way to make something memorable is to make something terrible. And them pummel people with it until their hopes and fears bleed out of their every orifice. Even if it's a multi-million pound advertising campaign that's going to have every chance to smear itself all over their brains, you can't risk it being forgettable.

We don't blame you, Kevin Bacon. In better days, you may not have needed to accept the contract. Maybe you still don't. Maybe you have an ulterior motive, one that you've yet to reveal. You may yet be revealed to be playing your cards close to your chest. Oh, how we wish we were those cards.

With the absence of a definitive answer, we would ask of you, Kevin, to forbid any more of these adverts to be seen by the eyes of any sentient creatures (even voles, and they are proper dense). The love we have for you is too great to witness further degradations. If you lose out financially I am sure we can have a whip round and get something sorted out. For starters, you can use my Netflix log on if you like. That'll save a few dollars. Anything to stop you from taking work where your talents are not needed.

Only then will the continued sullying of your reputation be stymied, only then will its descent be halted. Otherwise, people will soon be claiming more than six degrees of separation from you.

I feel this is the only course of action left to us.

Dearest Kevin Bacon. I do not want us to drift apart.

Kind regards,

A lot of people who love your films here in the UK.

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