How long ago has it been since Jo Dee Messina had a hit?
I don’t normally follow country music that much, so my perception of time and how it relates to a country hit is not the best. For all I know, a song like Messina’s hit “Heads Carolina, Tails California” was a hit just a few weeks ago, when the reality is that the song just missed the top of the Country charts way back in 1996.
At that time, Messina looked like a small town redhead with a bit of unique beauty and a big voice that easily disguised the fact that she was a Nashville carpetbagger, originally hailing from the un-country state of Massachusetts.
By the end of the 90’s, the Nashville industry had advised Messina to dye her hair darker, make her clothes more revealing, and tweak her sound to become more poppier.
The hits dried up as a result, and you’re likely to find Messina touring the country’s casinos, playing “Heads Carolina” and “I’m Alright” for the thousandth time for the people who only came to hear those two songs anyway.
Messina is still making records, and she might even think that she still has a legitimate chance at returning to the top of the charts again, with just that right song, sound, or budget.
Occasionally, a little nudge from a good promotional tie in can do the trick, and Messina is no stranger to this having secured screen time for shows like Nash Bridges and Touched By An Angel. She even appeared on The Real Housewives of Atlanta recently, helping one of their cast members prep for a country music song.
That probably been the first sign of help, announcing to the world that Messina is in more need of a decent paycheck than a creative renewal. The idea at this point in her management’s eye is to get their client in front of as many people as possible, and if cameo time on cable shows isn’t an option, then perhaps other marketing opportunities can be negotiated.
The other night I was shopping a K-Mart for some household items. There in the bathroom aisle is where I first notice it: a box of 2000 Flushes with a picture of Jo Dee Messina right next to the promise “Kills 99.9% of bacteria!”
I’ve never used 2000 Flushes before, and to be honest, the idea that my toilet water can turn into an unnatural shade of blue with every flush kind of creeps me out. I don’t go to the bathroom on planes for this same reason, choosing instead to suppress my bladder and bowels into the depth of pain before relinquishing my waste to a blue raspberry liquid that probably also serves as the machine’s anti-freeze.
I was so transfixed by Jo Dee Messina’s image on this box of toilet bowel cleaner that I bought it. On the back of the sticker, customers are given an opportunity to download a free Jo Dee Messina “cd” in the popular mp3 format.
I don’t know how this promotion came to fruition and I don’t claim to know any details of the arrangement, but I’m pretty sure that I would fire any manager that agreed to put such a promotion in front of me as some kind of benefit to my career.
Who in their right mind would consider a promotional tie in with a toilet bowl cleaner?
To be fair, it does appear that this promotion is also found on other items, but none of them are much better than a toilet bowl cleaner. It looks like 2000 Flushes is owned by the WD-40 company, which means that she can also be found on cans of lubricant. Messina’s mug is also on X-14 (a cleaner, I think), Spot Shot (no idea) and Carpet Fresh (a spray that covers up the smell of cat piss).
But surely, nothing can be more offensive to your music career than tying in your talent with a product used to clean the water that flushes your feces and urine into your community’s sewage.
And if it was approved by Messina herself, then it probably explains why her career ended up in the toilet too.