Yes, these candy bars are for real. I almost tripped over a big display of them at my local grocery store.
Here’s some info from NASCAR‘s official Web site
After months of anticipation by NASCAR and chocolate fans alike, “Dale Jr.’s Big Mo’ ” chocolate bar is now on shelves at most major food retailers nationwide.
The Big Mo’ was created specifically for NASCAR’s mega star driver through the R.M. Palmer Company. The name Big Mo’ is a play off Earnhardt Jr.’s hometown of Mooresville, N.C., and the longtime moniker used for he and his closest friends, the Dirty Mo’ Posse.
Weighing in at an impressive 2.5 ounces for only 99 cents, the king-size, quality milk chocolate bar is available with either creamy caramel or peanut butter filling. Creating the exclusive recipe of the Big Mo’ bar included numerous taste-tests by Earnhardt Jr., and was tailored to please his palate
The King Size Mo’ is made by R.M. Palmer, the company responsible for a fat lot of the chocolate goodies you’ll be shoveling into your gaping maw this Easter — right on the heels of the fat lot of chocolate goodies you shoveled in during Valentine’s day.
As one business site puts it: R.M. Palmer probably produces more chocolate bunnies than anyone in the United States.
Good to know.
But what’s really going on here?
Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR, and the R.M. Palmer company aren’t dummies.
Everything they do as far as endorsements and marketing has to conform to their carefully tailored image. They’ve got lawyers, marketing surveys, image consultants, who would have researched that “mo” isn’t just an abbreviation for modus operandi.
“Mo” is also slang for “homosexual.”
There is no way these three (Earnhardt, NASCAR, and R.M. Palmer) came together and unwittingly gave this product its name.
It’s all marketing, kids.
Historically, professional sports has done zero to interest gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or trans-gendered (GLBT) fans, but those fans are out there. And, as one blogger puts it, they “don’t do anything 2 attract the gay community . . . but they don’t mind taking our gay dollar.”
In order to continue growing profits for everybody orbiting NASCAR, or any sport, really, they have to keep recruiting new fans. It’s a lesson the cigarette companies figured out early and exploited like mad: where do we find our next customer? and all the ones after that?
(Yes, I know this is the oldest business law on the books, but the cigarette companies followed it ruthlessly. And ever since the early 1980s when their practices were exposed, every company, from professional sports teams to cell phone service providers, has been following Big Tobacco’s glowing example. The easy part for these other industries is that their customers don’t die off at the same rate so their profit stream is a lot longer.)
So they start marketing to previously unexplored/unconsidered/unorthodox demographics.
A couple of years ago (right around the explosive success of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), companies from Budweiser to Subaru started serious, and successful, marketing campaigns to the GLBT demographic. Now there’s LOGO, OutZone and here!: on-line and cable channels dedicated to GLBT programing, jam-packed with GLBT advertising.
(That is, “shows and ads of particular interest to the GLBT community”, not “shows that turn viewers GLBT and/or ads for untoward GLBT products and services.” Although there are some people out there that feel GLB programing and “GLBT programing” are the same thing. But I digress.)
It’s only logical that professional sports follows suit. What fan bases/market demographics have yet to be exploited? Which ones are left?
Hmmmm. Let me think . . . .
Is NASCAR in the vanguard of this? Are they on the front of the wave of GLBT major league sports advertising? Or is THE BIG MO’ just a big accident?
With this much money involved, there are no accidents.
Clearly, it was only a matter of time before professional sports associations started mining the heretofore untapped motherload of GLBT sports fans. How soon will the other sports industries follow suit?
Like Ramon Johnson at About.com says:
“The NFL, NBA, and NHL has a long way to go as far as encouraging a more inclusive atmosphere for their gay players and fans, but the dedication of their followers remains the same.”
But when these associations start their marketing push, will the GLBT community be dumb enough to fall for it?
When the NBA, NFL, NHL, MBL, et al open their big, fat arms to welcome their gay/lesbian/bi-sexual/trans-gendered brothers and sisters; when these sports combines put on the happy face and say, “We love you; how you live your lives is none of our business;” will GLBTs be overwhelmed by the sweet warmth of acceptance?
Or will they detect instead the subtle picking of their pockets?