Tag Archives: advertising

2nd Day of Fall: Pumpkin Spice BS

Let’s just gloss right over my nearly months of utter silence and pick right back up where we left off.

Like a great relationship with an old friend or riding a bike or a third thing, let’s just pick right back up like no time has passed.

What have I been doing? I did some advertising for clients with a celebrity (#sponsored). I bought a house. I did not cook much.

What have you been doing?

(Leave space for reply.)

That sounds cool!

Let’s talk about something.

It’s fall again. (UGH.)

Listen, I’ll admit some things that I didn’t want to admit before. I’m enjoying the SLIGHTLY cooler weather. 70 degree days are perfect. 54 degree mornings are not. But I can still wear short sleeves comfortably. And flip flops. #904forlyfe

I’m sad to see summer foods go. Tomato sandwiches and caprese salads and tomato pie. Ok, maybe I’m mostly just sad to see tomatoes go. But, I am excited to see some fall foods ushered in. Roasted veg. Soups. All the squashes. Acorn. Kabocha. Squatternut bosh.

I will there is one fall food that I’m not excited about: pumpkin spice. Yes. I’m calling pumpkin spice its own food. This phenomenon has grown from delightful novelty into a whole lot of bullshit. I blame Starbucks and Obama. Come on, you KNOW he had something to do with it.

That’s probably a pumpkin cookie…

I recently went to my new local grocery store and found a whole display of PSBS: Pumpkin Spice Bullshit. So I decided to buy a LOT of it and try it out. (I bought so much, in fact, that the woman at the check out made a comment about it. BACK OFF, LADY, THIS IS RESEARCH.)

Let’s talk about what’s good, what’s bad, and what I’ve been too scared to try yet. I shall use a stoplight rating system.

  • Red means stop. Because that’s what red means.
  • Yellow means eh. That’s NOT what it means in a traffic context.
  • Green means OH HELL YEAH. Also, not what green means.
PSBS

PSBS

Pumpkin Tortilla Chips

Yellow/Eh

Eh.

Eh.

Listen. This is just a vaguely cinnamon flavored multi-grain chip. Is it bad? No. Is it good? No. It’s fine. It’s inoffensive. I ate it with some salsa that I found in my fridge that I threw away after I checked the expiration date. There have been no salsa-related casualties.

Pumpkin Spice Oreos

Red/Stop

GREAT lighting, she says sarcastically.

GREAT lighting, she says sarcastically.

Oreo is a client of my agency and a damn good one, so all I’ll say is: may I interest you in some Oreo Thins?

Pumpkin Spice Milanos

Red/Stop

Why. Just why.

Why. Just why.

Growing up, Pepperidge Farm was absolutely the tops in grocery store cookies. Milanos and Mint Milanos were the best ones. When I was babysitting (or cat-sitting….that’s right) and found those in someone’s pantry (again, that’s right), I knew I hit the mother load. I was probably most excited for this one. These cookies taste as gross as they look, and that’s saying something because they look pretty gross.

Pepperidge Farm, why did you mess with perfection?

Pumpkin Spice Hand Rejuvenating Ultra Concentrated Dish Washing Liquid

Yellow/Eh

If it looks like hand soap, it has to be ultra concentrated dish liquid.

If it looks like hand soap, it has to be ultra concentrated dish liquid.

Well, this is a bit misleading. This packaging looks like Method hand soap. I almost put it in the bathroom. But upon further inspection, it’s actually dish soap. Why would I ever think that? Since it says HAND REJUVENATING in giant letters and Ultra Concentrated Dish Washing Liquid in tiny letters.

This product is fine. I don’t know why I need my dishes to smell like pumpkin, but whatever. Maybe I’m too old school. I like my dishes to smell like lemon or Dawn.

Jif Whips Pumpkin Pie Spice

Green/OH HELL YEAH

From JunkFoodGuy.com. Apparently.

From JunkFoodGuy.com. Apparently.

I should probably admit something to you guys right now. I’ve got a real peanut butter addiction. I can’t keep it in the house because I’ll eat it all in one sitting. Like a bowl of ice cream. It’s pretty gross. (Yes, I am still single, why did you ask?)

Jif Whips is a whipped peanut butter, so it’s less dense. Easier for spreading, dipping, what have you. The Jif Whips + pumpkin pie spice tastes like a tub of Halloween candy. It evokes memories of trick-or-treating without having to put on a costume. But if you wanted to, I wouldn’t judge you.

Details on the Pumpkin Odor Absorbing Scented Beads later. Plus, I haven’t tried the Pumpkin Flavored Morsels or the Pumpkin Pasta sauce yet. Neither sounds very appetizing. ‘Morsels’ is never a word that conjures up yumminess. And I rarely buy canned pasta sauce, but hey, this is a limited time original! Gotta catch ‘em all! Those will be to follow in another post.

The last thing I did was actually employing the thing that started it all: pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. A few years ago, my grandma gave me a collection of recipe cards. Some of them were my favorite meals that I ate when I went to visit. Others were recipes I never tried, including a brandy and a bourbon slush. Go ahead, Myrtle.

One such recipe was for a pumpkin sheet cake. It ain’t a health cake, but it sure is good.

Thanks, Myrt.

Thanks, Myrt.

So folks, if you see something, say something. This message has been brought to you by the defenders of pumpkin integrity. Fighting PSBS one autumnal day at a time.

Gramma’s Pumpkin Sheet Cake

Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts | I used pecans
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 sticks butter
  • ½ cup nuts | I did not include the nuts in the frosting, but rather toasted sliced almonds and topped the cake with it. It was a rull nice touch.
  • 1 lb. of powdered sugar

If you have a sheet cake pan, then the baking time below should work for you. If not, you’ll need to watch the oven and adjust your time accordingly. I used a Pyrex 4 quart baking dish and my cake took about 35-40 minutes. 

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Put all cake ingredients into a bowl and whisk until mixed together. Put into greased and floured baking dish.

Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.

For the frosting, put all ingredients together and mix to combine. Frost and enjoy. 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sadvertising: Baskin-Robbins Best Food Ad of 2014?

My close personal friends at Bon Appetit have named this Baskin-Robbin’s ad the best food advertisement of 2014.

Well, Bon Appetit, you just unknowingly combined two of my favorite things: ice cream and wall-to-wall VO. 

Noooo, I’m kidding. Advertising and food.

As many of you know, in my real life, I’m a producer of TV commercials and video content at an advertising agency. And as all of you know (probably more than you want to), I love food. So, this post was kind of right up my alley.

But…best food ad of 2014? For real?

Listen, I think it’s visually striking. But there’s a real lack of concept here. Beauty shots of ice cream with an announcer talking for a full :15 seconds about Cappuccino Blast customization. Not something I’d really remember or would ever want to go and watch again.

If I can make a small tweak to my friends from Bon Appetit, I may say that this is the most effective food advertising of 2014. After viewing the spot, they measured the desire that people had for Baskin-Robbins. Corporate adver-lingo quote: “Baskin-Robbins excels in its ability to drive consumer Desire.” WOOO.

But does efficiency translate to quality? In the advertising world, there are many awards for creativity (Cannes! One Show!), but there is a separate award that measures a campaign’s effectiveness (The Effies). From an industry standard, there appears to be a delineation. 

If I had to tell you the best food ad of 2014, it would be this.

Because this is the best ad of every year forever amen.

But seriously, folks.

So often, food advertising is focused on driving people in store/restaurant. These ads rely on relatively unappealing product shots to entice people in for $12.99 or $9.99 or $0.99. Thus, creating a blah ad with blah food.

In my opinion (cause this is my blog and everything is my opinion. YOU’RE WELCOME.), I think that the best food ads of 2014 actually give something to the viewer. Something new. Something sad. Something happy. But SOMETHING, as well as showing beautiful food

In no particular order, here are my favorite food ads from 2014:

Mel’s Mini-Mini Mart from Oreo

Now, in full disclosure, Oreo is a client at my agency. I don’t work on them directly, but they seem to be pretty rad. I do eat my fair share of Oreos, so you know, I’m pretty much ready whenever they want to work together. (THOSE MINT OREOS, THO.)

I love this spot. I think it’s charming, it’s clever, it’s illustrative of the product’s key benefits (they’re mini! great for snacking! all fit in your hand!) and the cookies look great. I want to eat them all. 

Newcastle Super Bowl 2014

This was hands down my favorite (non) Super Bowl ad this year.

Firstly, Anna Kendrick has become one of my favorite actresses. She’s talented and funny as the day is long. And, she did a quirky video for Kate Spade, and I was kind of obsessed with it. Newcastle gets points for casting.

Secondly, Newcastle really went for it here. It was a wink and a nudge to the industry in both content and tone (their website had animatics and focus group footage, which can’t be funny to too many people…) It’s nice to see something so tongue-in-cheek from a beer advertiser. They aren’t usually known for their subtlety. 

Meet Me at Starbucks

I tend to like the funny stuff. But this is an emotional piece from Starbucks that speaks to their global reach in a way that makes them seem small and intimate. Personal even. It’s touching, at times funny, but very sweet. And major points for technical/production difficulty.

McDonald’s Minimalist Out of Home

I admit fully that every link I’ve posted thus far has been 1+ minutes. So, for my final food ad of 2014, I give you the simplest of all. The out-of-home/billboards that were done in Paris for McDonald’s. McDonald’s food is iconic, so why not let the icon speak for itself. This is powerful yet simple and incredibly clean. I’ve never wanted a Big Mac more.

via Adweek

via Adweek

So, those are my best food ads of 2014.

Am I a food or advertising expert? Nah. I’ve got tons to learn about both.

But I’ve been doing them both for awhile (30 years of eating and going strong! 8 years of advertising and going strong!) So enjoy the opinions of a professional advertiser and an amateur eater. (I’m going to maintain my amateur status so I can eat in the Olympics.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to find myself a Big Mac.  

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Betcha Can’t Eat Just One!: Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Taste Test

On Tuesday night, Anna, Kevin and I embarked upon a Lay’s taste test cage match. Four flavors will enter, only one will survive. Who gets the vote to be saved??

Chip Tasting with a PBR palate cleanser

Chip Tasting with a beer palate cleanser

No, literally. You vote to save one flavor. This is some real Lost type shit happening here.*

*I only saw that first like 3 episodes of Lost. But, I’ve got a whole mythos created in my mind. Everyone on it was a potato chip and had to be saved. But in the end, all the chips wound up in heaven. Or something.

As promised, I am sharing with you the good (Wasabi Ginger), the bad (Mango Salsa) and the ugly (the DoUsAFlavor.com website).

Our incredibly scientific and not-at-all-ripped-off-from-a-wine-tasting criteria is as follows. We scored based on the following criteria: Appearance, Aroma, Taste, Finish, and Texture. Each category was worth 5 points for a total of 25.

Spoiler Alert: I can't spell cappuccino and I'm a huge nerd

Spoiler Alert: I can’t spell cappuccino and I’m a huge nerd

The good. The undeniable winner was Wasabi Ginger. While for me, its appearance was sort of blah (the little flecks of flavor feel cheap), the taste and texture were undeniable. Out of the 4 new flavors, these were the only chips that were kettle cooked. For that reason, they were by far the crunchiest. (Crunch = my favorite texture.) They also had the added benefit of being the chips that tasted most like the inspiration. The flavor started heavy on the wasabi and then rounded out with the sweetness of the ginger, with just a hint of spice in the finish. We just kept eating them. (Betcha can’t eat just one!) We quite literally finished the bag in one sitting and I liked them so much that I bought another bag at the grocery store yesterday. #savewasabi

Then, there’s the bad. To call the Mango Salsa artificially, cloyingly sweet would be kind. We started referring to it as a ‘garbage chip’ and we started feeding it to the dog. (YOU’RE WELCOME, FULTON.) We actually threw the bag away. It’s a real shame because mango salsa sounded like it would be the easiest one to accomplish. Plus, chips and salsa are a natural marriage. But the texture was unpleasantly soft, particularly when you compared to the crunch of the kettle cooked Wasabi chips (#savewasabi). The smell was overwhelming and the taste was chemical.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that these are standard, regular American potato chips. I’m not pretending these are organic or all natural. This mango salsa spice was created in a lab, not picked from the mango salsa spice tree. But, Kettle Brand potato chips have given us some really authentic chip flavors. So, it’s not impossible.

Beyond that, we were split in our voting. Anna and Kevin really liked the Cappuccino chips. I wasn’t sold. To all of us, they tasted like dessert (my brain: tiramisu, Anna’s brain: sopapillas). But even more than that, it tasted of gas station cappuccino. I couldn’t see eating them with a sandwich. Chips are the sidekick to sandwiches, so…

Bacon Mac and Cheese was heavy on the cheese, light on the bacon, and the mac wasn’t anywhere to be seen. This was a standard, cheesy chip. Would’ve been greatly improved by a thicker, kettle cooked texture.

So, the ugly. The Lay’s Do Us a Flavor website. Hoo boy. First things first. You can vote on the site, but ONLY if it links to your Facebook. All three of us opted to text our votes in. Because how embarrassing would it be if I voted for the Wasabi chips EVERY DAY for the next 66 days. (But #savewasabi, y’all.) But the weirdest part is that both the “Flavor Reviews” and “Flavor News” sections link to aggregated pictures from FB and Twitter using the Save Flavor hashtags. The #savewasabi hashtag (et al) aggregates to the Flavor Reviews section. And the #dousaflavor hashtag aggregates to the news section. I realize I’m being overly critical here, but very rarely are the #savewasabi comments more than that. I’d be hard pressed to call them reviews. Even more hard pressed to consider the photos of other chip tastings “news.”

In the end, I think the experiment is worth it. Only good comes from this. Except for the Mango Salsa chips.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ooh, heaven is a place on earth: Publix

I think it’s safe to say that there are a few things people are willing to come to blows over in this world: college football (SEC fans will fight you), family drama (your dad’s new girlfriend who is two years younger than you will fight you), and grocery store supremacy (I will fight you).

Now, I am perfectly willing to let each person have his or her own opinion. I just happen to know that my opinion is the correct opinion.

You can keep your Harris Teeters, your Trader Joe’s and even your Wegmans. The greatest grocery store on the face of the planet is Publix.

And it’s coming to Winston-Salem.

Publix!!!

Publix!!!

It’s not to say that those aren’t good grocery stores. Frankly, Wegmans isn’t good. It’s amazing.

But Publix far surpasses all of them. (Hell, Buzzfeed agrees.) But let me explain, if you will. Which you will, because this is my blog and I’ll cry if I want to.

Publix is a southern grocery store chain that is FINALLY expanding to North Carolina in 2014 and to Winston-Salem in 2015. I’ll pretend I’m unbiased when I go into the details but I’m not, so let’s not kid ourselves.

Publix a beautiful, clean grocery store. Is it weird to call a grocery store beautiful? Yes. If it was a normal grocery store. But Publix is a way of life. Publix is where shopping is a pleasure. And it is. (No seriously, it IS a pleasure and that line is their tagline.) You go in, you get a cup of complimentary coffee, you walk through the lovely produce and the easy to understand aisles. Sometimes when my dad is shopping there, he sends me pictures of the lovely produce. And it soothes me.

Their staff is incredibly friendly. One of my best friends, Lauren worked there all throughout high school. And Lauren is really nice. She’s one of my best friends, y’all. So you can trust me. Friendly staff. CHECK.

They know how to brand themselves. The packaging on their store brand is simple and clean. I’m a label whore and I would exclusively buy their store brand.  Their Thanksgiving commercial is still one of my favorite commercial of all times. And since it is now officially pre-Thanksgiving (IT IS NOT CHRISTMAS YET, PEOPLE), we can watch said commercial.

True story: Publix actually sold a version of the salt and pepper shakers from the commercials and they sold out immediately. They were impossible to find. They made another set at Christmas where the characters were dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus. This is how much people love Publix.

In conclusion, Publix, we await your imminent arrival. With your Publix subs. And your chicken fingers. Your cookies. Your complimentary coffee. Your amazing store brand. Your price + value + service. Your pleasurable shopping.

There’s nothing more I want from you. Except to be here way the fuck sooner.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ZOMG, FINALLY, a soup for ME!

ZOMG, finally, there’s a soup out there for young people on the go: Campbell’s Go! http://www.campbellsgo.com

You know it’s hip because it’s talking to you from a tumblr-esque page. Yeah. Tumblr is HIP.  

It’s got kittens on it. Yeah. Kittens are HIP. 

Check out its watered down personality! 

Moroccan Style Chicken with Chickpeas Animated Soup Gif. YEAH. Gifs are HIP.  

Do: Light an inspirational fire within a person. 

Don’t: Light an inspirational person on fire. 

Campbell’s Go. You are IRREVERENT!

Or the CRPAOTD (Creamy Red Pepper’s Abbreviation Of The Day), which is below.  

Image

OH, SOUP. YOU GET ME. 

Tagged , , , ,

Got some cheesy drizzle/Running down my chizzle

Did you ever want something so bad but not KNOW you wanted it until you actually GOT it? 

As I was blow drying my hair before work yesterday, I got a gift straight from The Man Upstairs. I was doing my usual lap of social media on my phone: Twitter, Facebook, and lastly, YumSugar where I saw a link to some fried EFFING gold on Grubstreet. It was a video of the hottest rap/food collabo in town.

Snoop Lion (nee Dogg) rapping for Hot Pockets.

What song did he choose? …You’re joking, right?

Y’all. It’s the LONG awaited pastry-filled remix of Drop It Like It’s Hot. 

May I introduce to you: Pocket Like It’s Hot 

At 5:48 am on Saturday morning, I emailed this to a group of my friends. PEOPLE NEED TO SEE THIS.

Yesterday, it was at around 300,000 views. Today, it’s at over a million. PEOPLE ARE SEEING THIS.

And how could they not be with such ah-mazing features like:

  • “I just heat it up to eat it up.” (EW)
  • A dancing Hot Pocket with sunglasses and a pimp-ass cape
  • Music that is really similar yet SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT from Drop It Like It’s Hot (Legal reasons, y’all)
  • Aforementioned Hot Pocket in a hot tub with some beyotches. To quote the Grub Street write up, “somehow [the Hot Pocket] can withstand a leisurely jacuzzi soaking without detriment to his crispy pastry exterior.”
  • A rapper named DeStorm Power (who with a name like that, should be rapping for the Electric Company) with a blinged out necklace that says HOTT CHEESE
  • Lyrical brilliance like: “pepperoni pizza much better than some fish heads,” “let’s sign the pre nup/me and Hot Pockets is never gonna split up”, “Got some cheesy drizzle/dripping on my chizzle”
  • And a shot towards the end of Snoop taking a real life Hot Pocket out of the microwave and saying “Oh yeah, now it’s time to undress you.”

I… I’m… I just. I just have to ask a question. ….Do the people want to sex the Hot Pockets? I’m getting that vibe. It’s not an American Pie thing, right? Because I’ve eaten Hot Pockets before. And they scald your mouth so you can’t taste for DAYS. So, I’ve got to imagine what they could do to your swimsuit area.

PS, my favorite Hot Pocket thing ever? When Jim Gaffigan talks about it in his stand up. But probably wasn’t endorsed or paid for by Hot Pocket themselves. 

Honestly, I’m not sure what marketing purpose it serves. But frankly, we’re all talking about Hot Pockets. So, points for that.

But it doesn’t make me want to eat one. And I definitely, DEFINITELY don’t want to bed one. 

Tagged , ,

Will somebody PLEASE get that man some pot holders?

In my professional life, I’m a broadcast producer at an advertising agency. I produce television commercials, video content for the web, agency videos, all kinds of stuff. It’s pretty rad. It’s how I met Big Bird.

Image

Basically, this is how you justify a career of watching TV. (I HAVE to watch TV. I NEED to see the commercials!!)

If I’m not watching the best television there is (British television), I always have Food Network or Cooking Channel on in the background. I’m not even going to lie, I actually LIKE Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. But I refuse to go to Flavor Town. I know inexplicably disgusting innuendo when I hear it.

But that’s not the point here. I watch a ton of food TV, so I see a ton of food commercials. And I happened to see this great Frigidaire spot last night, which you can see on their site here. All about the history of Frigidaire and how their company made innovations in the last century. They’re even making innovations today, with this amazing double oven that lets you cook things at multiple temperatures. 

And then the commercial shows the oven. Then it shows the temperatures the oven is cooking at, which are 350 and 400 degrees, respectively. And THEN it shows the husband carrying two dishes to the table, presumably from the oven, with his BARE HANDS. 

What the what?!

Preppy Husband carried two casserole dishes straight from the oven with his bare hands. He was smiling and NOT crying, as I almost did when I had to touch a too hot plate at a restaurant earlier this week. 

The spot is very well produced. And I really want that oven. I just want to buy that man a pair of pot holders. Or at the very least, take him to the hospital. He clearly has some issues.

Tagged
curiouser & curiouser

a collection of the delicious & delightful

Food and Brew Review

Triad restaurants and farms and craft beer! Oh my!

Motherhood - WHAT?!

Making it through motherhoodhood with the grace of a camel on ice skates

costablancamama

A Spanish Adventure - raising kids and giving birth in Spain

PornBurger

Burger Perverts Welcome

NC | NY

bringing a little bit of the south to the city

Erin Lesica

Real Food. Fake Blog.

The Crafty Cook Nook

Preserving Food, Stories, and Place

Justin Timberlake Does Things

Real Food. Fake Blog.

Feed Me Phoebe

{ health, hedonism & all the delicious things in between }

pancussion

Real Food. Fake Blog.

the-frenemy.com

Real Food. Fake Blog.

THE KIDS ARE RELATIVELY OKAY

Real Food. Fake Blog.

Curious And Curiouser

I Find the World Curious

POPSUGAR Food

Real Food. Fake Blog.

This American Wife

Real Food. Fake Blog.

Eat, Live, Run

Real Food. Fake Blog.

So Delushious !

personal random ramblings from a girl who loves bacon and can't be fat.

Seasoned to Taste

I'm just a girl with an appetite.