Manipulative advertising: Are they taking us for bozos?

Updated: Feb 27, 2021

Our favorite Canadian coffee chain (The One who shall Not be named- to quote Harry Potter) recently launched a series of TV ads proclaiming "you must try our new breakfast sandwich made using real eggs...". Now, I may not be a nuclear physicist, but allow me to ask "what exactly were they feeding us before?"


Predictably, the franchise has been getting quite a bit of "egg on their face" since coming out with this poorly-worded campaign. Eggs-cuse me, but how did no one in their corporate head office realize that this commercial simply wasn't what it was "cracked up" to be? Do they not test the commercials on user groups? Regardless, this is sure to leave a dent in their leggacy.


So all this had me thinking : do the heads in charge of designing these marketing campaigns share the same belief that their viewers are all a bunch of common tarts and imbeciles, ready to be hoodwinked and bamboozled (bet you had to check this word up in the hen-cyclopedia?). Frankly, its hard to imagine otherwise.


What about the numerous burger chains who announce to the masses ever-so proudly that their patties are made with real beef or that their cows have been raised with no steroids or hormones and then proceed to jack up the price of the burgers? Thank you. We truly are so grateful that we have to pay significantly more to avoid being poisoned. We do appreciate that your cows are now being grass-fed. But if you don't mind me asking here as well, what were you stuffing down these steers' throats before? Synthetic grass? McDonald's hamburgers? I guess we'll never find out.


Other examples that come to my discouraged mind is when we're told that the chicken we are being fed was "farm-raised". Why isn't that special (as the Church lady would say). But again, prior to, where were you raising those baby chicks? In an orphanage? By a seaside resort? Did you fetch them from Noah's Ark or kidnap them from the animal farms we see at the malls during Easter Time? Please, enquiring minds do want to know.


And what about these prepared meal companies that try and sell us on the numerous advantages we will gain from subscribing to their meal plans? So I decided to try one a few weeks back. Here was I, naïve beyond belief, expecting this would actually save me time (despite costing a lot more). Boy was I wrong.


We received a box with different pouches and packets, all with different letters and numbers (I hadn't realized I had ordered a Bingo set), and lengthy instructions on how to prepare everything. As in approximately 25 steps to follow meticulously.


I was stumped. I mean, isn't the point of ordering these meals to help us busy families save some time, to offer us simplicity. Or was this a cooking class I had signed up to? Perhaps they thought I was a senior who needed someone to go get his groceries.


Truth be told, at these prices, the only effort I expect to be putting in is opening my front door, bending down to pick up the box they left me, open the box and then press on either a microwave or an oven button.


Heck, at these exorbitant prices, one would expect Emerill Lagasse to be the one delivering the boxes, that he would proceed to walk into my kitchen, and prepare the damn meal himself! And, while I'm eating, you better believe that the cost would also include the Super Nanny being there to watch over my kids!


So please, STOP with these prepared meal commercials. Stop showing us the picture-perfect family of Swedish models, all groomed and well behaved, combining their efforts to set the table in their gorgeous kitchen, partaking as a loving clan in the cooking process, while appearing to be all jovial and relaxed. The rest of us aren't the Swiss Family Robinson or the Sims!


This should NOT be like ordering from IKEA. Don't ask me to piece together this meal. If I ordered IKEA, I'd be doing it for the cost savings, not to pay more! Who exactly is paying who here?

But instead of the gracious Chef Lagasse walking into my kitchen, that "prepared" meal experience felt more like Gordon Ramsey walking up to me, taking two slices of bland, white bread, pressing them on my deserving cheeks, and yelling "What are you?! WHAT are YOU?!" upon which I would have but one appropriate reply "An idiot sandwich".





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