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Brand X: Plug Ugly

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Brand: MTV Agency: Fallon McElligott Creative Director: Jamie Barrett Art Directior: Paul Malmstrom

You know, there's only so much prettiness any one person can take. So now that MTV's on-air talent has gotten almost unforgivably cute, the cable channel has decided to even things out with its truly repulsive "Jukka Brothers" campaign. The plot: "Big Jukka" and the two "Middle Jukkas" share a hut in some unnamed foreign backwater, nurturing their inner hipness by watching MTV. "Little Jukka" lives alone, MTV-free, and inadvertently shows up while his brothers are watching music videos, inviting their scorn for his lack of style. We see he's wearing, say, the wrong shoes, and after the flash of a title card that reads so not cool, we see his fat ass get paddled by the violent, vengeful Big Jukka. The showstopper? The Jukkas are shockingly ugly. Once the gag reflex passes, you have to admit MTV has gotten it right again: The time has come for ugly. And not Calvin Klein pretty-ugly, but Xtreme ugly. It's payback and penance for all that teen-girl pretty-boy culture MTV has been aiding and abetting. Rude, ugly boy culture is taking over, and now that Leo is so not cool, it's time for his musical equivalents to get kicked to the curb. So long, solo New Kids. Leave now, 'N SYNC. Bye-bye, Backstreet Boys. Oh, well, except for that one really ugly Backstreet Boy with the hairdo that looks like a macramé plant hanger. He can stay.


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