Monday, February 25, 2008

Your Call

I’ve done something I’ve never done before. Let me first explain, I've studied media and marketing, and that I know just by talking about it, I am promoting this product, that marketers no longer seem to care about negativity, only that their product is mentioned. I'm doing it anyway.

After seeing a commercial twice on TV, I called the Frito-Lay company and complained about their commercial made by Goodby, Silverston and Partners. The commercial in question takes place in a laundromat with two women. In a snotty voice the tired older woman tells the younger, who has just picked up a piece of the woman's clothing from the floor, ‘that other people are trying to do their laundry, too.’ Huh? Did I miss something? Obviously the woman missed something, like she was being helped? You know you can't trust older people; they're blind, all kids know that. The girl sees an imaginary Chester Cheetah who tells her, ‘Felicia, those are her whites in the dryer.’ Where upon Felicia sneaks over and puts a handful of Cheetos in the dryer. Oh good a revenge prank! How funny. You can see this on You Tube.

Most of the comments about the commercial on You Tube seemed positive (probably from the 18 to 23 crowd who have never done six or more loads of family laundry in a laundromat — do you suppose this applies to those who dreamed this ad up at advertising company, too?), but I think most of the kudos were for the young actress, Felicia Day, who has at least five comedic episodes about a group of computer gamers she wrote and acted called ‘the Guild’ on You Tube. Very funny stuff. The commercial has the same insouciance as the You Tube episodes. Since I haven't seen this commercial lately on national TV, I'm assuming they placed it on You Tube to reach their target market.

The woman from Frito-Lay® (I had to go to their Cheetos® website and with a little searching found a number — and guess what? The website is aimed at children) was very polite and said Frito-Lay® was always interested in their customers' views, both good and bad. I explained I love Fritos® (good kayaking snack), I love Cheetos®, too (just have to contain my love for these fat laden products), but told her what I thought about the commercial. She offered me some coupons, and I accepted and hung up. A few days later I received an envelope in the mail with three coupons for any Frito-Lay® product up to $3.49 and a letter. I guess I wasn’t the only one who was appalled at the ad's message. The letter stated the commercial was ‘intended to be a tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted way for us to talk about Cheetos®’ … and … ‘In the adult-focused advertising, Chester Cheetah has gone from a larger than life character to an inner, mischievous voice for adults.’

Speech fails me. My mind reels and spirals downward on so many levels over this whole episode. If interested, go view the commercial and form your own opinion. If you like light-hearted mischievously vengeful, well hell, I’ve just passed into the old fogy part of my existence and my steps have slowed too much to keep pace with today’s society. If you are impressed or unimpressed, call Frito-Lay® at 1-800-352-4477. They answer the phone Monday — Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Central Standard Time. At least the coupons pay for your time. I wonder if Frito-Lay® is going to pay for all the re-dos of white laundry loads? Because you know some young 'adult' is going to think its just too funny to pass up a prank opportunity and snippy elders abound in laundromats.

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