Friday, February 18, 2005

I'll Have a Duff, You Have One, Too (Or Two)

Being a publicist is nearly as thankless a job as being a freelance television reporter, or at least I imagine that to be the case. However, whenever I think that some publicists must be locked in a mind-numbing cycle of puffery and half-truths (a bit like myself in that respect), I read a release that restores my faith in humanity.

Ice Breakers Liquid Ice Causes First-Ever Disagreement Between Superstars Hilary and Haylie Duff.

Seriously, just when you think that irony is a dead art in this country, you have a release that beins with this immortal paragraph: "Up until now, mega-stars, best friends and sisters Hilary and Haylie Duff have agreed on everything -
from clothes to hairstyles to guys. But when the dynamite Duffs tasted Ice Breakers Liquid Ice mints from Hershey Foods Corporation, they came up with different answers to the puzzle posed by the popular product: 'Is it liquid? Or is it ice?'"

Don't you just want to keep reading?

There's a nice moment later, for example, where some suit at Hersheys says that the company is "flattered" that the Duffs are schilling for them. Does that mean, Mr. Goodbar, that the Duffs are doing this pro bono? That'd be neat. However, while Haylie may be willing to work for breath mints, Hilary probably requires some form of more advanced compensation. After all, the gal's got needs.

What makes the release sweet is just how doggedly intent young Hilary Duff is to bring her ungainly older sister into the limelight with her. Perhaps Hilary is justifiably concerned with the Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?-style ramifications involving baked rats and endless repeat viewings of Napoleon Dynamite. It's that kind of sisterly bond that should make the Duffs as effective for Ice Breakers as similarly mis-matched sister Ashlee and Jessica Simpson. The Simpson-based ad worked because of the believability that Jessica would be confused by which state of matter Ice Breakers Liquid might be categorized under.

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