Friday, September 25, 2009

Hot Pockets and the Eat Freely Marketing Campaign

Advertising has officially reached a new level of absurdity.

While I was walking in Manhattan last night, a poster caught my eye. It was an advertisement, split into two images (see photo, above; click on photo for more detail). I assumed the pictures were part of the same ad since they were written in the same font and both contained a small red box with the URL “EatFreely.org.”

Written on the left photo—which showed a woman simultaneously playing tennis and holding a foodlike item—was the phrase “Winners eat on the go. Losers stay put.” Being that I cook and eat 95 percent of my meals at home, I felt like a caveman in a
GEICO commercial.

The right portion of the poster had the phrase “Live a cheesy, crispy, mobile life” superimposed o
n something resembling food. In addition, there was a small photo of a box of Hot Pockets, a product of Nestlé (see photo, left). Could this hipsterish ad be part of a larger marketing campaign?

My suspicions were confirmed when I went home, logged onto my computer and visited the EatFreely.org site. This is a definite “you have to see it to believe it” moment. There is patriotic music, (faux) videos, graphics and merchandise for sale, all in the name of eating freely, or more to the point, selling as many Hot Pockets as possible.

This ad campaign is utterly asinine. It attempts to make eating heavily-processed food on the go cool, while stereotyping eating at a table as something only blue-hairs do.

One more thing: save your energy and don’t even bother looking for an ingredient list on the EatFreely and Hot Pockets websites. Grandma
has a better chance of running down the corporate villain in one of the EatFreely.org videos than we do of finding out what is in a Hot Pocket.

6 comments:

Kath said...

Barf.
Nestle is evil in so many ways. They won't stop until we're all blindly going from their baby formula to their "ensure".
An immoral corporation that one...
BOYCOTT NESTLE!

annie said...

So funny that you noticed and commented on this commercial - my nephew is IN this commercial! He is an actor, and this was a really big deal for him...Our family, despite the fact that we wouldn't touch a hot pocket with a ten foot pole, do hope the commercial gets aired many, many times!

Stacy & Bruno said...

Ironically, you do need an oven (or a microwave) to heat the things up, so how "free" are they really? A better alternative to eat "freely"? Fruit!

But seriously, this is just more evidence that the food industry is about everything but nutrition and health. How sad.

Thanks for sharing, I love your blog!

Orsi said...

Here is a link you might be interested in: http://www.pcrm.org/
It's to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Then check out http://www.pcrm.org/news/release080708.html "Physicians' Group Responds to Smear Tactics by American Meat Institute and Tobacco/Meat Industry Front Group". Apparently the meat / tobacco / processed food industry has set up the so- called “Center for Consumer Freedom” to promote their products. How the word "freedom" can be so bastardized by these people boggles the mind.

Otho said...

Folks, you're not part of the target audience. Those who are hardly need to be coerced into eating Hot Pockets, simply reminded that it's among their options - which will never include fruit unless it's covered in hot cheese and sausage. You can belittle the target audience, you can sniff at their nutritional indifference and low-brow tastes, but what's the point? Don't they have the same right as you to enjoy their choice of foods? Take your hard-earned food dollars and spend them as you please. Then eat...and let eat.

Anonymous said...

The more people eat hot pockets the less of them will be around as they will all have heart attacks. Survival of the fittest.