Junior Mad Scientist – Lab Notes

The Big Mo’: Will Gay Community Embrace NASCAR Candy Bar?

February 25th, 2008 by Weber


The Big Mo’ — A misplaced apostrophe?

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?


Posted in Editorials, Food, Weridness | 9 Comments »

9 Responses

  1. bweber Says:

    I asked my good friend “King Xerxes” to vet this rant. His comments?

    I like your article!

    Great job with researching the little details, even mentioning the new gay TV Networks shows due diligence. I’m pretty certain of one thing in regards to the naming of this product: I doubt it had the gay community in mind. In fact, I’m sure they would want to distance themselves as far as possible from anything ‘gay’.

    No, I will say this, they aren’t stupid, as you mentioned in your article. I’m sure they knew some backlash would come to them regarding the name. I mean I thought it was a joke to tell you the truth.

    Regarding marketing to the LGBT, I think all companies should head that way, one way or another. I mean, we gays eat it up!

    Look at the car, furniture and alcohol producers. Their marketing is specific, which is what the basis of marketing is, right? To find the group that would like to buy your product and figure out how to sell it to them.

    To conclude, there is one sports example I can give you which has to do with getting away from the “squeaky clean” image of what a sport should represent (e.g., Football, Baseball). The French domestic rugby team took advantage of sexual content, great bodies and people who want to see them.

    Mind you, despite the fact the majority of the people who purchase the calendar and DVDs are gays, it doesn’t stop the stadiums with filling up with fans in general…including families.

  2. deg Says:

    That’s gay.

    All I want to know is , where can I join the “the Dirty Mo’ Posse”?

    Do I get free gay candy bars then?

    Love and snuggles,
    deg “that’s gay” graves

  3. Thad Says:

    Where can I purchase a Big Mo’ t-shirt? XS please.

  4. Jeff Says:

    I can’t get enough! I want MO’!

  5. Homer Says:

    mmmmmmm, Mo’

  6. lacewing Says:

    Til this artical I never even heard as ‘mo’ for ‘homo’ or ‘homosexual’ Now down south WHERE DALE IS FROM, ‘mo’ is more like ‘more’ THAT is the proper southern slang.

  7. Candy Bars Says:

    Basically candy appeals to all age groups, but especially to children. This is because the countless varieties of candy that are available in the market cater to almost all tastes and preferences.

  8. lcd Says:

    i need a bar code from a bigmo’ bar so i can enter a contest…do you know one? thanx

  9. bweber Says:

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaah, no.

    lots of stores have big displays for the Big Mo’, and they’re usually on sale. (My guess is the candy’s not moving too well.)

    Did you try searching: “Big Mo barcode” ?

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