The Ultimate Sellout? Phantom Leasing Ad Space On Mask
by Zach Raffio. @zachraffio.
NEW YORK, NY - Reports are circulating that the Phantom of the Opera - unemployed since COVID-19 shuttered all live performances as of March 2020 - is selling ad space on his little half mask to corporations in order to help make ends meet, sources confirmed.
“I’m like a spooky, heartbroken, singing and dancing race car,” noted the Phantom while reviewing his Buffalo Wild Wings contract to see if he has to include the “Wings. Beer. Sports” catchphrase. “I’d say it’s only temporary, but the ad world pays really well. They’re even offering to p[ay extra if I change the lyric ‘The Phantom of the Opera is there, inside your mind’ to ‘The Phantom of the Opera is there, inside this Ruby Tuesday Airport Express, enjoying half off apps not including tableside guac’.”
Other sponsors of his little tiny portion of a mask include Zillow, Petland Discounts and Sprite Cranberry Zero. Some smaller companies have even paid for ad space inside the mask, although many have pointed out that this feels counterproductive. Still, marketing reps worldwide are thrilled by the new partnership.
“He’s such an iconic figure in theatre history,” noted Chief Creative Officer Dale Wiggletip while negotiating for the Phantom to wear a red Wendy’s wig at least two shows a week. “I’m hoping that by Q4, we’ll be able to extend the mask across his entire face, maybe even his upper chest. Yes, I know it makes no sense in regard to the show’s plot, but you have to remember - the Nissan logo is pretty big.”
Some fans, however, were less than enthused by the Phantom’s new role as a multi-brand mascot.
“He's such a sell out. I’m all for making money however you can, but I think he’s getting carried away,” noted longtime Andrew Lloyd Webber fan Alyssa Terrence, whose Phantom backpack was somehow mysteriously replaced by a Wells Fargo fannypack. “I used to think ‘The Point of No return’ had some of the most poignant lyrics in all of musical theatre, but ever since he added ‘We Are Farmers, Buh Buh Duh Buh Buh Buh Buh’, it doesn’t hit nearly as hard.”
At press time, corporations were looking to other theatre icons to use for ad space. Ford is reportedly looking to brand all helicopters used in any production of Miss Saigon; Lyft is looking to get in on the bring pink branding for Legally Blonde; and Whole Foods and Spotify are in a bitter bidding war for Elphaba.