Utah hates Jared Hess’s Utah State Fair ads


Utah thought it wanted Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess to create its advertising for the Utah State Fair—until it saw the finished product. Two TV spots showing actor Markus T. Boddie singing lovingly about a pig and a funnel cake (both Utah State Fair staples) have been rejected by the state, though it's not clear exactly why. The client says it's because they have "sexual undertones" and are "over the top." Hess believes it's because the actor is black. "There are some kind of off-the-record grumblings that have [been] made known to me, and I'm pretty certain that that's the reason," Hess says, according to Salt Lake City's NBC affiliate. Boddie, meanwhile, thinks it's weird that the TV spots were pulled but the radio work is airing. "That said to me, 'Well, we don't want to see you, but we can hear you,' " he says. Boddie, who says he was channeling his inner Barry White for the spots, adds: "There are black people here in Utah that aren't related to Gladys Knight. If we embrace that, then I think that's the image of Utah we want to take forward." The one lingering question, aside from the racism thing: Did the client people bother to look at Hess's reel beforehand? These ads are less weird than some stuff he's done. See the funnel-cake spot after the jump. UPDATE: It's worth noting that the Utah State Fair used the Napoleon and Pedro characters in this well-received 2005 campaign. But those ads were directed by Bryan Lefler, not Jared Hess.