Saturday, January 9, 2010

Critique: Chef Boyardee travelin' can commercial

[Posterity note: I am pleased to announce my comma addiction has been cured since this was written. And I still hate this commercial.]

Love this commercial for Chef Boyardee. Little girl and her mother at the grocery store. Little girl hands her mother a can of Chef Boyardee [Processed Noodle and Beefs flavor]. Mom, whose face remains off screen (and, as you can surmise, is probably one of those awkward off screen dubs) tells her, dismissively, “no, honey, you've had Chef every week this week” or something similar and equally nauseating. Seriously. There might have been a time when I could eat canned noodles every day. That time has passed. Anyway, saddened, she puts the can back and continues to follow her mother through the grocery store. A whistle erupts! Similar to one you’d use to get your dog to come and see the TPS reports it ripped apart while you were asleep. But it’s not a dog that comes, no, but that can, that very can the little girl wanted for dinner, a modest request indeed, falls from the shelf, and embarks on a cross-country journey to find that little girl, dammit. And at the end of the journey, and coincidentally, the end of the voiceover blurb about how great canned pasta is, the can practically rolls into the little girl’s lap, just as her mother yells from the kitchen (and by kitchen, I mean a recording studio because it’s dubbed over, again) “what do you want for dinner?” The girl gives a smile, with her freshly-returned dinner treasure.

A couple of things. First, can we follow the “natural” path this story will take? Little girl hands her mother the can and…? “Where did you get that?” Little girl shrugs. “I asked you a question young lady, where did you get this can!?” Little girl, feeling like an ambushed little mouse, “I don’t knooooow! It rolled into my lap while I was watching tv!” Mother amps it up, “DID YOU TAKE THIS CAN FROM THE STORE? I WANT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW!” Child begins to bawl. And…scene.

Secondly, you let your slightly pre-toddler daughter eat Chef Boyardee EVERY DAY? That shit will kill you, don’t you know? Might as well put ketchup on Styrofoam.

Third and lastly, what is the message, here? You've made the poor kid eat the damn can for, apparently most of that week. Heaven forbid the kid’s mother wants to give her something different for dinner. No, no. Yield to your child. Feed them canned noodles. Continue to do so until scurvy and rickets set in. Because frankly, the Chef already owns your kid, and now the Chef owns you. Thankyougoodnight.

We can do better, people.
Have a field day.