Monday, October 21, 2013

Waging war against food

Living in America, I notice an unerring rule when it comes to the ads shown on TV: it's either about car insurance, some kind of drug or health-related product (flexible self-lubricating catheters .... mmmm!) or food. I have a feeling that food generally takes up the largest proportion of the Ad break ... or is it that my brain more readily remembers the ads because, hey, I likes my food? I don't know. All I know is I start to see trends when it comes to food advertising.

First Law: Colouring
When it comes to the colours used, I think they take their styling cues from a horror film because if the packaging and surrounding elements aren't doused in primary reds, the food has a disturbing over-saturated reddish hue that, to me, looks like the post-production was handled by Satan.

Second Law: Slow Motion
Liberal use of slow motion of a glistening and succulent patty bouncing onto a mountain dew (not that kind of dew) kissed lettuce base on a wholesome bun; slow motion of someone prying a molten cheese-drenched salami slice of pizza whilst a cornucopia of cheese slowly oozes over the sides ... you get the idea. I liken this to food porn because all they show are 'the money shots.'

Third Law: Steam
To show it's freshness, post-production steam is added to every shot of whatever fast food product they're attempting to sell.

Fourth Law: An aggressive slogan promoting liberal consumption
The best, I mean the best, slogan I have ever come across in my 35 years of existence has to go to Carl's Jr's:

Eat Like You Mean It

Isn't that horrendous? Let me break it down for you (for those in the back row); they are prompting you to eat your food like they are evil dictators that need to be overthrown. When did eating food become about more than simply the enjoyment, comfort or, dare I say it, sustenance? I'll leave it for you to mull over while I open a can of whoop-ass on an apple.

Fifth Law: Bacon 
If, for whatever reason your sales are lagging, add bacon to it. Got a salad drenched in vinaigrette that isn't selling? Add bacon to it. Got a poor-selling ice cream flavour? Add bacon to it. Got a souffle that's not rising to the occasion? Add bacon to it.

And so, in conclusion, it amuses me that this kind of advertising can work. Yes, I know that red makes you hungry, I know that everything looks better in slow motion and yes, a catchy slogan is something you're going to remember but still, at some point these companies or patrons will have to be held accountable. This kind of warfare can only go on for so long before people such as this or (shudder) this pop out of the woodwork.