Saturday, November 8, 2008

Take our word for it -- our product is good for you!

Forget everything you know about high fructose corn syrup. Now watch this ad and see if you think it's safe:

Now, I'm not a nutritionist (summary: corn syrup has stronger links to obesity and various diseases than sugar), and I'm not an environmental expert (summary: along with ethanol, corn syrup discourages crop diversity and requires more use of pesticides) -- so let's just look at the commercial itself to see if it really serves to sway opinion.

Mom #1: (looking at the unlabeled jug of red juice being poured at kids birthday party) Wow, you don't care what the kids eat, huh?

Mom #2: Excuse me?

Mom #1: That has high fructose corn syrup in it.

Mom #2: And?

AND it's murdering your children, lady! That liquid just bubbled up from Hell!! You're serving your children sweet, syrupy death juice!!!

I mean come on -- just blithely dismissing the notion that a chemical might, might, be dangerous to your child's health? I think the public deserves a little bit more information than a character in a commercial just being like "So? There's a weird chemical in my kid's food? Who gives a shit? He ain't dead yet, okay?"

Mom #1: You know what they say about it.

Mom #2: (still smugly pouring sweetened juice) Like what?

Mom #1: I mea-- uh....

Apparently corn syrup critics are also the stupidest, least informed people in the universe.... according to the Corn Refiner's Association.

Mom #2: (arrogantly and profusely patronizing) That's it's made from corn?

And the potent narcotic opium is made from poppies. Your point?

Mom #2: Doesn't have artificial ingredients....

Nothing from nature has ever killed anybody, right?

Mom #2: ... and like sugar, it's fine in moderation?

Mom #1: (picks up glass of corn syrup liquid, takes swig)

Apparently corn syrup critics are also the most easily persuaded people in the universe... according to the Corn Refiner's Assocation.

So, did you think corn syrup was somehow bad for you before you saw this ad? Yeah? Well I bet you feel like a complete asshole now! If you want to be talked down to some more, and see more complete dummies like you suggest that corn syrup isn't the single greatest ingredient on Planet fucking Earth, then check out Sweet here. Because there are two more ads that follow this exact template, each more patronizing and insulting than the next!

Here's the thing about this commercial -- besides being a misleading, information-less vamp, does it really do anything to quell people's misgivings about corn syrup? Say you knew nothing about corn syrup when you saw the ad -- wouldn't this obvious snow job make you awfully suspicious? Wouldn't you want to do some digging to find out more (and by digging around I mean going to places other than

"High Fructose Corn Syrup: What do you mean you've heard it's unhealthy and environmentally destructive? Haven't you seen our ad?!?"


Quivering P. Landmass said...

Brilliant and informative (and necessary!) parody of these ads:

Ignore the hilarious continuity error of the changing Popsicle color...

Tyler said...

Nothing more comforting than the phrase "fine in moderation."

Clock Cleaner said...

I'm so sick of that ad format.

Black person=genius
White person=absolute fool

Just atrocious. I'm going to make a big long post about it, I'm so angry.

Anonymous said...

I like you guys, but this is a bit much. Sure, the ad is preachy and heavy-handed, but they're making a point, and it's a decidedly unsexy product. I couldn't really conceive of a better way to advertise for it.

And that bit about the CRA thinking corn syrup critics are morons is immaterial, and shows that this ad obviously hit a nerve with you. Will every article you do now make a similar line of attack? "Yeah, McDonald's hamburgers are delicious...according to McDonald's."

Of course high fructose corn syrup has stronger links to obesity than sugar. It's in all sorts of junk foods that people over-consume on a constant basis. That doesn't mean it's "killing your children" or really that it's harmful at all. It just means people consume way too much high fructose corn syrup, which is high on calories and little on content. However, by comparing it opium, you'd think the Cyanide Refiner's Association was doing an ad on the wonders of consuming massive quantities of cyanide. Again, I like you guys, but sometimes you take a really weird, health obsessed, almost fetishistic tone about food products you don't "agree" with.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and to "Clock Cleaner". Wow you're racist. Let's go back to the wonderful days when black people on TV were played by white actors with ridiculous makeup and were made to look like clowns, huh? Those were the days...

Windier E. Megatons said...

I didn't write this post, but I'm sorry, it's not a good ad, for at least the smug way in which it neuters its critics. I'm not surprised that HFCS stacked the deck in favor of itself, nor is that inherently a bad thing in an ad, I guess. But by making its critics so toothless, HFCS basically wastes an opportunity to actually talk itself up. It pretends that there's nothing of any substance behind the criticisms rather than actually addressing them (and effectively everything in the world is "fine in moderation," so that talking point means little to nothing). That's not a good ad, nor does it convince me of anything. I really don't see what's so strident about Quivering's post, frankly - he rightly points out that the ad template is insultingly simple and blithely dismisses the concerns rather than seriously attempting to show why they're wrong. The opium thing is clearly a joke that merely points out that "it's made from a plant!" is not, in and of itself, a defense of something's health value. Which it isn't. If that's "fetishistic," I guess we just have a fetish for making fun of poorly-constructed ads.

Oh, and I think it goes without saying that we do not endorse Mr. Cleaner's opinions on race relations.