Subtle Changes in the Realm of Food Advertising


I don’t watch much TV but once in a while I get sucked in to a “Law & Order” episode, “Jeopardy!”, or–now that it’s baseball season–a Boston Red Sox game. As much as I resist watching commercials, some still sneak into my brain.

What I’ve noticed recently is a subtle change in the messaging around food commercials. For example, a Hellman’s mayonnaise ad (which I can’t find online anywhere) focuses on its simple ingredients (even though there’s more to Hellman’s mayonnaise than just vinegar, oil, and eggs).

And here’s one I saw last week, from Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressings: Garden Party. The ad was really an effort to drive the audience to NBC’s website, iVillage.com, which is “dedicated exclusively to connecting women at every stage of their lives. iVillage.com offers an authentic and robust community infused with compelling content from experts on health, parenting, pregnancy, beauty, style, fitness, relationships, food and entertainment.”

Okay, so it worked. They reached their target audience. What’s most interesting, though, is that the commercial and the website both focus on vegetables, family farms, and cooking fresh. “Garden Party” is all about celebrating a vegetable a month. (This month: peppers!)

Is it possible a small-scale food revolution is in the works?

I’d love to hear about any of the ads you’ve seen on TV that start to address eating local, fresh, and chemical-free!

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