JIM SHARPE

Will masked mascots and high-flying hot dogs save us from COVID? Maybe.

Jul 31, 2020, 1:18 PM | Updated: 1:41 pm
(Twitter Photo/Max Walker)...
(Twitter Photo/Max Walker)
(Twitter Photo/Max Walker)

Not much new stuff was rolled out during Gov. Doug  Ducey’s coronavirus update on Thursday except for the debut of some new pro-mask public service announcements. 

Are these ads even needed? After all, at the same press conference, Gov. Ducey said we’re seeing 90% of Arizonans wearing a mask.

If we feel the need to convince the other 10%, I have to ask: will a PSA that features a hot dog using a surgical mask as a parachute and the words, “save live sports, wear a mask,” be the one to do it?!

Will the anti-mask folks finally realize that their anti-science ways are all wrong? Will a floating hot dog convince them that wearing a mask is their civic duty because it will save the jobs of highly-paid athletes (and, oh yeah… a few lives too…)?

I don’t think so. That ad is so cheesy in English and Spanish that it’s almost a cheese-dog commercial.

The other Ducey-debuted, sports-related, pro-mask ad from Thursday’s presser was one called “Join Arizona’s Maskots.” It features various Arizona college and pro sports team mascots wearing a mask.

Get it?

I did. 

But maybe what I didn’t get was whom these ads are targeting.  

Remember the pro-mask ad Ducey showed us a couple weeks ago? It features a tough guy who points out he’s still tough while wearing a mask! I don’t think that spot convinced many guys to wear a mask and I don’t think the one touting mask wearers as the saviors of “live sports” will do the trick either.

Buuut… the “Maskots” ad does have potential. If the ad isn’t targeted at adults but the end result is more adults wearing masks — then this all starts to make sense. 

One of my daughters went ga-ga when she saw Howler, the Arizona Coyotes’ mascot, in that commercial. I’ve taken her to a few games and she’s much more interested in Howler than what’s on the ice.

If the “Maskots” ad was designed to target the ultra-specific demo of kids who love mascots and have anti-mask parents, then it’s brilliant!

With kids across Arizona pestering Dad and Mom to wear a mask because D-Baxter, The Gorilla and Big Red think it cool, we may be getting somewhere. A goal of 100% of Arizonans wearing masks suddenly seems attainable — because nothing is more annoying than a whining child and you can’t turn off that sound like you can with a cheesy commercial until until they get their way.  

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Will masked mascots and high-flying hot dogs save us from COVID? Maybe.