Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What's Next? People Making Sandwiches For Dogs?

While the California Supreme Court let a ruling stand that allowed gay marriage (or, as those who are gay and getting married refer to it, "marriage") to occur, that doesn't necessarily mean that everyone is thrilled about it, nor are they going to be thrilled about it any time soon. Yep, that's right. Two people of the same gender are legally allowed to marry each other in California. ("What's next? People marrying dogs?" I love that, the most ridiculous of all ridiculous arguments.) And while it's legal there, it isn't necessarily a union that will be recognized in all of the other 49 states. That's up to the states whether or not they want to acknowledge the gayrriage. And some do and some (most) don't. But if the United Kingdom were a US state and it's Governor was the Heinz Corporation, there wouldn't be any gayrriage there. No way. There certainly wouldn't be any Deli Mayonnaise commercials that have two guys kissing, that's for sure. Wait. What?

About a week ago, Heinz aired a TV ad for it's Deli Mayonnaise. The ad was scheduled to run for five weeks. It was pulled last Friday and is not scheduled to be run again following what Heinz is calling "consumer feedback". (Translation: People freaked. In fact, over 200 people formally freaked.) According to our friends across the pond at The Daily Mail Online, the Heinz PR guy, a one Nigel Dickie (oh, that's the name of the PR guy, but the commercial gets pulled. OK, I see how you are.) said, "'It is our policy to listen to consumers. We recognise that some consumers raised concerns over the content of the ad and this prompted our decision to withdraw it. The advertisement, part of a short-run campaign, was intended to be humorous and we apologise to anyone who felt offended." Interesting. Hmm...

Well, if over 200 people are going to pick up the phone or start typing out an angry email because of a commercial for mayo, I want to know what's what. I mean, it's mayonnaise, for cryin' out loud. It's probably the least intrusive of all the condiments (along with it's cousin, the Miracle Whip). Both flavor enhancing, but not anything to raise a ruckus about on most occasions. The commercial as it aired is below.

That was it? Um, I don't get it. I mean, I get the commercial (Humorous. I liked it.), but I don't get what all the uproar was about. Well, apparently, the uproar from viewers about the ad was that it was "offensive", "inappropriate" and "unsuitable to be seen by children". (Yeah, so was my last date. Big deal.) According to The Daily Mail, "...some parents were angry that they had been forced to explain same-sex relationships to their youngsters who asked them about the ad." The AD "forced" them to explain?!? It DID?!? Well, that is some Must-See-TV right there, if you're asking me! hell, I don't know where to start.

First of all, I have to say, I'm a little disappointed in the UK. They're supposed to be a bit more liberal over there. Yeah, they're stuck up and tight asses a lot of the time, but in a good way. Not in a horrifyingly, overreacting way.

Second of all, it's a commercial. It's supposed to be funny. It's not supposed to be "real" (although it is required that the product being advertised IS). How boring would THAT be? (About as boring as mayonnaise itself. Do you really blame them for trying to be creative?)

And finally, back to the "forced to explain" scenario described above. What exactly did these people feel that they were being made to say against their will and to their children? Is there some sort of UK tenet that I am unaware of that would disallow a simple, "They're just being silly."? I mean, good Lord, if they find themselves in that sort of a predicament when their kids see a commercial, I'm going to have to recommend they keep their children far away from things like "Bambi" and "Old Yeller". You think explaining the Great Mayo Caper of 2008 was tough? You're going to have a lot more explaining to do when Bambi's mother gets shot (also known as "when the guy stopped drawing the deer."). Or worse, when a title character, such as the Yeller himself, gets put down for the last time. Good luck with that one, ol' chaps!

Naturally, I had to find another offbeat commercial which had aired over there in the UK that people didn't have a problem with but, given their clamor over the homosexual mayonnaise (and it's apparent ability to force parents to give their children explicit details in regard to the sexual habits of gay men who are living in sin whilst simultaneously enjoying a particular condiment atop their sandwich), you'd think that they would have had a problem with.

Introducing the 'Angry Whopper'! Correct. Apparently, this was launched by Burger King last year. It's a Whopper (shocker, I know) with jalapeno peppers, pepper jack cheese and spicy onion rings (also known as "Angry Onion Rings"). I guess because the toppings on the burger are spicy and fiery that makes it angry? I really don't know and I couldn't find a clear answer anywhere. But here's the commercial for it anyway.

Seriously, how come no one bitched about that? You mean the parents didn't have to hear, "Mommy, why is that woman going crazy as she eats that meat sandwich? Does meat make you crazy? Are women crazy? Are all women crazy? Is it because she ate that meat sandwich that she's crazy? And angry? Is she angry just that man or at all men? Why does she hate all men? Mommy, what's a lesbian?"

Way to cave to the over-reacting soft-heads, there, Heinz Corporation. If you had just stood ground and kept running the ad despite the hypersensitive maroons that complained, you would have had a customer for life over here. But now? Eh. Not so much. (Now, granted, they could say that they just appointed Satan as their CEO and moved their headquarters to the middle of Hell, I'd still buy their ketchup. But it's the principle of the thing with the mayonnaise. The principle, and that I don't care that much about mayonnaise.)

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