Lexi prom video gets you tweeting. Patriotism or public relations?
It startles us sometimes to see what gets you going. Today it's Lexi Thompson, the amazing 17-year-old LPGA player who posted a video
on her Facebook page asking for a military man between 18 and 20 to tell her why he should be her high school prom date. Patriotic. Cute. Innocent. Right? Golf Digest tweeted, matter-of-factly: "Lexi Thompson is using Facebook to find a prom date."
Photo by Jensen Larson
Not so fast. Here are some of the comments and tweets that the video and our tweet produced. (Things got cynical swiftly).
On Geoff Shackelford's blog:
Scott: "I think her pr staff or agent came up with this idea. (At) least she did not ask the commissioner of the LPGA to escort her."
Brian S: "I think its terrible. Its her Prom, not a PR / Marketing opportunity. This just emphasizes what a non-normal childhood she has had. Not good."
Ky Laffoon's Ghost: "Lexi is a breath of fresh air, probably mature beyond her years, but who in his right mind lets his 17-year-old daughter go out with a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine? Just askin'."
On Twitter, amid some polite acceptance, and even a few kudos, media debate ensued. Selects:
Stina Sternberg: If you want to take a soldier to prom, why not find someone at your local base? Shouldn't be a premeditated PR move.
Steve Elling: @ShoshEAK Re Lexi deal: You take girl who had an atypical childhood and then put her prom date up for bid? Nothing creepy there!
Ryan Ballengee: The Lexi prom thing is a tad weird, no? But guess who I took to my senior prom? A girl I dumped the month before, to keep my word. #dumb.
Alan Shipnuck: Pretty cool. Slightly creepy. RT @RandallMellGC Want to be Lexi's prom date? If you're a military serviceman apply here on.fb.me/IdINLU
Kevin Price: Mostly creepy. @AlanShipnuck: Pretty cool. Slightly creepy. MT @RandallMellGC Want to be Lexi's prom date? Military serviceman apply here...
Matt Ginella: Only reason why @Lexi prom date promo is weird is if you assume it's more than just a night at a prom. And if you assume that, you're weird.
Stephanie Wei: I just watched the Lexi Prom video. It's even more creepy and cringe-worthy than I imagine. How did that corporate stunt get approved??
There are many more.
Here's what we think. Lexi Thompson is 17. Seventeen-year-olds, even
17-year-old professional golfers with professional handlers, do sweet,
naive things. They aren't nearly as clever or calculating as we give
them credit for -- or as we are. That her parents or her agent didn't
anticipate the backlash here is unfortunate, but it offers us all a
Patriotism is in season right now. On
the campaign trail. On TV. On tour. It is so in-season, in fact, that
corporations are "cause marketing" the military. What brand can seem
most grateful for our soldiers -- and in the process collect a bit of
gratitude for itself. Maybe Lexi reminds us that patriotism isn't that
easy. Read the Pulitzer-Prize winning Huffington Post series by David Wood
on wounded vets---read it all, as a patriotic act--and you'll see what
we mean. Good for Lexi to try to draw attention to their sacrifices. And
if you think her video is too calculating, make a contribution to the American Lake Veterans GC
and don't tell anyone about it.
-- Bob Carney