What does mayonnaise have to do with baby chickens? A relatively new activist groups hopes its shock-treatment video will inspire consumers to connect — and reject — the two.
Activist groups are always fighting for their cause, and for one of a myriad of reasons, it’s seemingly always about going veggie. Climate change, land use, food safety, public health, animal abuse, resources consumption, consumer choices — the list is lengthy.
But a quick distillation of most advocacy organization’s white papers and ad campaigns and marketing tactics quickly uncovers the not-so-hidden agenda: Stop raising livestock and stop eating meat.
Oh, and bash corporations while we’re at it.
But a recent attack on a charter member of “Big Food” by the Farm Forward group was puzzling, which I’m guessing is exactly the reaction its sponsors were hoping to spark. The email message stated, “We’ve just launched a new video to send a message to Best Foods and Hellman’s that baby chicks aren’t trash.” There was a video still of baby chickens and a link to a clip that promised to explain the chicken-mayo connection.
Okay, I was more than puzzled; I was intrigued, and I admit that I clicked on the embedded link. The YouTube site hosted a petition and a shock-mock TV ad with high production values, complete with professional voiceover (click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2akHz_3JH4&feature=youtu.be).
As the “action” unfolded, the voiceover begins:
- “We made the same sandwich today my mother made for me 30 years ago.” (mom in kitchen making sandwich, as the too-cute girl toddler tries to pull the pit out of an avocado half)
- “It’s a family tradition.” (motherhood, parenting, family, tradition—the video hits a lot of high-touch triggers in the first 10 seconds)
- “We buy food with quality ingredients produced in a way my family can be proud of. Food that reflects our values.” (the scene shows the little girl spreading mayonnaise on a slice of bread — get it? Mayo means “values”)
- “We buy nothing but the best, from companies we trust.” (As the toddler and older boy bite into their mayo-laden sandwiches, there’s a subtle play on the Hellman’s slogan “Bring out the Hellman’s, and bring out the best.”)
- “But that’s not Best Foods and Hellman’s.” (shows a clip of a bin of baby chicks being dumped onto a conveyor belt, headed, we’re not sure where). “Ask them to put the trust back in their mayonnaise. They don’t need to do anything like this.” (more footage of baby chicks riding the conveyor belt).