Friday, September 7, 2012

Tomato sauce for the soul

I hate to be sort of on the same side of an issue as that awful "One Million Moms" group, which apparently wants this commercial to be banned, but this shit is just dumb.

Look, I'm all for people dumping on One Million Moms for attacking this commercial, but a quick Google search includes comments like "one of the funniest, most endearing ads I've seen in a long time."  Whoa.  Back the fucking train up here.  Yeah, the ad isn't offensive like the dopes at One Million Moms seem to think it is.  But I do think it is (a) weird and (b) bizarrely inappropriate for the product being marketed.

Like, the ad seems a little tongue-in-cheek, but not really enough to completely get away with it.  It seems fairly serious in its suggestion that Ragu is some sort of magic elixir - serve your kids pasta with this sauce poured all over it, and they'll totally forget about their hard day!  Which included, apparently, seeing you having sex like, minutes earlier.

Doesn't the timeline in this ad not really work?  And just generally not make sense?  I mean, when are these people eating dinner that the parents were off fucking at 8 pm, pre-dinner?  I know it doesn't take a long time to cook pasta but still.  I guess we're supposed to assume that the kid is getting home from a friend's house (a friend who also eats dinner super late, apparently?), and the parents thought they could squeeze in some evening action before he arrived only to be proven WRONG.  I don't have any kids, so I guess I'm not familiar with that whole aspect of one's marital sex life.  It does seem weird though.  Also, how about locking your fucking door, people?  Why are we blaming the kid for this one?

Also, I'm sure that kid loves eating pasta, but he seems REMARKABLY unfazed by sitting at the same table as his parents given that he looked horrified to have seen them fucking like, what, 15 minutes earlier?  He's really over it already?  Either it wasn't that hard a day of childhood or Ragu is actually some sort of mind-erasing product.  "Are your kids upset with something you did?  Feed them Ragu!  RAGU TO FORGET."

One Million Moms are awful, and I think it's a bit much to attack this ad since it's frankly far less explicit in its suggestion of sex than plenty else that's on the air, to say nothing of even most family sitcoms.  At the same time, I do find it an odd way to sell pasta sauce, and just kind of creepy.  By comparison, here's another ad in the series:

See, that's actually kind of cute.  I know that "the replaced pet" and "walking in on the parents having sex" are both pretty stereotypical "bad childhood experiences," but I think one is a lot less weird to have on primetime television.  No, sex isn't weird or gross or inappropriate to even allude to on television.  But it still seems like a strange way to sell pasta sauce.


CiceroXIII said...

I totally agree. I also hate the use of the way-too-stereotypical-to-be-real country music voice. Every time I see these ads, I just can't help thinking "what the fuck does this guy have to do with a sauce that is supposedly Italian in character?" Was the thought process "this works for selling pickup trucks, why can't it work for tomato sauce?" Because if it was, I want to meet the kind of lunatic who thinks that that logic makes sense.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that the cook in the commercial snaps the dry pasta in half before tossing it in the boiling water. This was the most offensive part to me. No serious cook ever does this--it sends pasta shrapnel all over the kitchen and reduces the amount of beloved Ragu that the finished nests of pasta on your fork are able to soak up. Hate that.