Saturday, June 16

Takeaways From The Baxter Troutman Becky Ad

As someone who rarely votes, I'm more interested in political ads for entertainment rather than facts or ideas. I feel the Baxter Troutman ad I've been seeing lately is pretty entertaining.

First off, we never hear Mr. Troutman speak. It's his wife talking about how awesome he is. It's in a way that my wife would talk about me if I wrote a script for her, so that's cool.

We learn from Becky that her hubby is a farmer, rancher, and businessman. How does he have time to run for political office? I mean, when he's not running his business, he's either farming or ranching It's probably like it is for my cousin, who wants to be a farmer, but since small farms have a hard time making it huge, he has several other jobs. OR, maybe not, since old Baxter is the grandson of a guy who was at one time one of the richest men in the world. So I'm confused. Is Troutman a businessman who happens to own a farm and a ranch? But then he wouldn't really be a rancher or farmer, right? Like a hobbyist.

We see him wearing khakis and a fleece sweater vest in a fruit grove, cutting into the fruit and handing it to his kid, but that's as close to either farming or ranching as the ad gets. That's odd, since his profession is a farmer and one of his loves is farming. The closest we get to ranching is Baxter leading his kid around on a horse. I'm not a farmer or a rancher, but I think just owning a bunch of land doesn't make you one.

I like the fact that Baxter is a job creator, but I think Becky might be confused about what the word "creator" means. After she calls her husband a job creator, she says he started a business that helped 50,000 people FIND jobs. A job creator, in my mind, would have started a business that employed 50,000 people with living-wage jobs. I know, it's a misdirection. And it's clever, too, since I didn't notice this until the 10th time I saw the ad. Personally, I'd like to think that if my grandpa was one of the richest men in the world I'd find a way to create actual jobs for people, at least for my closest friends. So like five jobs. Labor Solutions Inc., website shows two other staff members, but the ad seems to indicate there are at least two more employees.

The ad shows Baxter at a table having a meeting with four women at work, but I think it's funny that he gets to wear the CEO shirt while the rest look like maid service employees in their uniform shirts. Really, why would they need to wear double-pocket polo shirts with the company name on them to work each day, especially when he gets to wear what seems to be the same shirt he's wearing with jeans while leading his horse and wife around the ranch? It's like he stops in to check on the business for a few minutes before he has to get back to milk the cows and ride the range.

One detail I noticed right away was the wife and kid wearing table cloths throughout the ad, kind of like they were trying really hard to look like a farm family from the 1950s. And brand-spankin new plaid shirts, too. But maybe that's just because Becky knows how to wash clothing the right way, or just because Baxter's doing all the heavy lifting out on the farm/ranch, so she can keep her clothes looking brand new.

My favorite part is when the ad shows two people talking with Baxter as his wife says he has a servant's heart. Why? Well, if you look at the two folks he's talking to, you could imagine that being your cousin and his old lady from Palatka that the family doesn't like to talk about. But Baxter's just fine talking to people from all walks of life, even people who aren't wearing brand new plaid or polo shirts.

Some other details that caught my eye:

The sun coming up over the farm/ranch probably indicates Baxter's been up for three hours, doing all the chores.

The windmill water pump thing is actually working. I am not sure what it's purpose is, but it's pumping water like a champ.

In the fishing scene, there seems to be something much closer to the father/daughter fishing team than the fish that's also on the line being reeled in. It's like, "Look, Dad, there's a turtle over here, and I also just got me a fish over there!"

The family is holding a fishing pole at the end as if it's a member of the family, totally ditching the dog that they ominously called out onto the dock.

There's a dock.

And a bridge.

Becky's hair is fashionably straight when she's out picking fruit, and she's also wearing a fairly hot little outfit. However, in most of the ad she's got this fluffy kind of curly hair and a plaid shirt that she just got at a tractor supply store.

Becky says, "If anyone can be in love with the land, it's my husband." While I might say that my wife loves chocolate, I'd probably avoid saying she's IN love with it. That's some heavy stuff, and it probably explains the qualifier "if." She's not saying he is in love with he land, just that he loves the land more than anyone else, and if it was possible for a sane person to be in love with said land, it would be the man who is in love with her. Got it.

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