Monday, March 17, 2008

If Those Meat and Dairy Ads Were Written by Vegetarians

For years we vegetarians have had to put up with the public relations campaigns of the meat and dairy industries. We've been bombarded by advertisements that are often obnoxious, nonsensical, or just plain misleading. Sometimes all of the above!

Well, I think we vegetarians could do better. Heck, we could design ads for the meat and dairy industries that would still be clever and catchy, but would be lots more truthful than what they've been getting from Madison Avenue. I wonder why they haven't asked us already?!!

As just a teeny-tiny example of the improvements that could be made, Mr./Ms. Meat and Dairy Industry Executive, here are some of the ad campaigns I'd like to see:

"Beef: What Can We Say?"

What can we say about a cow who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?

Unfortunately, as they continue to lose customers and market share, there's very little that America's "beef" producers can say about their product. No, it's not healthy, it's not trendy, and it's not attractive. So instead of attempting anything substantive, the industry has come up with such nonsensical fare as "Real food for real people" or "It's what's for dinner," sung to the tune of western-sounding music. Poor Aaron Copland is turning over in his grave.

The "Beef: What Can We Say?" ad campaign will continue this confusing tradition, but with the addition of an all-important play for sympathy from the meat-buying public. No, no one will understand these new beef ads, but at least they'll tell folks that this stuff is still hanging around out there. It can be bought for a price, and eaten for a higher price.

"Pork: It's What Those Hog Farms Are All About."

Pity the poor, pathetic "pork" industry. For years they've been trying to make the flesh of pigs seem more like the flesh of chickens by saying it's "white" meat. But how can they expect America's burgeoning minorities to relate to that? Instead, all the "pork" folks are getting is tons of bad publicity as hog waste saturates the Midwest and floats around hurricane-stricken North Carolina.

The "Pork: It's What Those Hog Farms Are All About" campaign will remind the public that those hideous hog farms do indeed have a purpose. Maybe not a good purpose, but hey—when you're on a sinking ship you take whatever you can get.

"Chicken: When You Don't Have Time to Think About Dinner."

In contrast to the hog folks, things are groovy in the world of chickens. Jeez, these guys hardly ever have to advertise. People just think, "Hmm, chicken. …Doesn't taste like much, somebody once said it's healthy, and what the heck, it's cheap." Actually, people may not think at all. They just toss the package into the grocery cart or eat what's put in front of them at a billion "rubber chicken" dinners.

Let's face it, most people don't want to think about what they eat, and the "Chicken: When You Don't Have Time to Think About Dinner" ad campaign will remind them that that's okay. Chickens can be the official food of choice of the non-thinking crowd. Kind of "anti-brain" food.

"Eggs: Everything's In the Packaging."

Just like "beef", there's precious little anyone can say that's good about chickens' eggs. (Yeah, they produce chickens, but that's another subject entirely.) Remember, we're talking about a product loaded with fat, cholesterol, and dangerous bacteria. And eggs look gross to boot. How can people be expected to want to put these things in their mouths???

The "Eggs: Everything's In the Packaging" campaign will emphasize the only good thing about eggs—that they come in easy-opening individual containers. Why risk it by saying anything else?

"Milk: The Best Thing You Can Get From the Back End of a Cow."

With its massive marketing budget, everyone follows the dairy industry's advertising. The old "Health Kick" ads didn't go over so well (health promotions—even phony ones—rarely do), and the milk mustache thing has been beaten to death. But the "Got Milk?" promotion has been a real winner. Sure, detractors have countered with "Got Cholesterol?" and "Got Heart Disease?" but we can't argue that these cutesy ads haven't sold lots of gloppy white stuff. When "Got Milk?" finally gets old, I propose following it right up with "Milk: The Best Thing You Can Get From the Back End of a Cow." This is a slogan that not only tells it like it is, but is sure to appeal to the most banal and prurient interests of the American public. Really now, what more can advertising be expected to do?


More Slogans We'd Like to See (You've heard these before—I just added the stuff in italics):

  • "Come alive! You're in the Veggie generation."
  • "A-1 makes hamburgers taste like dead cows with sugar on top."
  • "Plop, plop, fizz, fiz, oh what a relief it is …to be a vegetarian!"
  • "Promise her anything, but give her tofu."
  • "Vegetarians… the ultimate eating machines."
  • "Heart disease… Have it your way."
  • "I'd walk a mile for a Boca Burger."
  • "Does she or doesn't she …eat meat?"
  • "Things go better with organic apple juice."
  • "Be all that you can be (and you know it starts with a 'V'!)."
  • "Almonds are forever."
  • "Aren't you glad you're a vegetarian? Don't you wish everybody was?"
  • "Be a Pepper (preferably, an organic green one)!"
  • "Vegetarians keep going, and going, and going...."
  • "Compassion is Job 1 (and it's our most important product too)."
  • "Come to where the flavor (and fiber!) is. Come to Vegan Country."
    • "Two all-seitan patties, special sauce, lettuce, soy cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun."
  • "Nothin' says lovin' like vegan from the oven."
  • "Head for the Border (the rice and beans are great down there!)."
  • "You can trust your lunch to the man who won't meat munch."
  • "Broccoli is a terrible thing to waste."
  • "Vegetarian food—It's everywhere you want to be."
  • "Where's the beef? Thank goodness it's not here!"
  • "If all the world were vegan, and Tofutti filled the sea, then the only spoon from here to the moon would have to belong to me."


Yaacov said...

Awesome, those cracked me up. Great after being vegan for a week.

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