Happy holidays from the ASPCA! »
Awwww, so cute. Adorbs, if I may say so. Let’s watch cute videos all day!
I have a soft spot for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals because that’s where I got both my cat and my dog. What I REALLY wanted to post today was a new ASPCA commercial I saw starring Roberta Flack! It’s another one of those super-depressing commercials where they show the shivering puppies behind bars. Sad face. I can’t really handle those commercials, for real. But this time, the commercial is with Roberta Flack! Roberta Flack and cute sad animals—the ASPCA is trying to kill me! Keep an eye out for it.
Give yourself the gift of a DOWNER »
I know not everyone watches as much TV as I do so I’m not sure if you’ve all seen the latest KFC commercial.* It’s a peach. Just kidding, it’s crazy! They tell you to “give yourself the gift of time,” this holiday by getting their $19.99 “Festive Feast” for your special dinner. They want you to make a TRADITION out of it. Dudes, that’s fucking TRAGIC. I can only imagine that you would only buy this meal for Christmas or your holiday of choice if you really had to because you can’t cook and can’t afford anything else. That is such a downer, KFC. Like I said, TRAGIC. It’s especially a tragedy considering the cost of KFC to your health and the planet is way more than $19.99.
This is my favorite scene in the commercial:
They have this winter wonderland thing going on with snow and all and then this giant snowball drops down! But wait! That’s not a snowball! Gross.
The truth is that you don’t have to eat KFC’s “feast.” If you have no money and aren’t the best cook, you can still make a great family meal. Actually, in my family, on Christmas eve our traditional meal is spaghetti! Spaghetti is cheap! Math time! Let’s look at the figures:
Walgreens sells Barilla spaghetti (16 oz.) for $1.59 and Ragu pasta sauce at two jars for $3; that’s $4.59 with extra sauce to boot! They also have garlic salt for $.99 and olive oil for $3.49, and my corner store sells french bread for $.99; for $5.47 you’ve got garlic bread (with plenty of olive oil left over). For vegan meatballs, I’m afraid you won’t have any luck at Walgreens—though in SF and NYC, you might find some at your corner store (we live like liquor store kings!). VeganEssentials.com has Nate’s meatless meatballs for $5.29 so I’d imagine they’d be priced similarly at the grocery store. All together, that’s $15.35 and you’ve got sauce, olive oil, garlic salt, and probably meatballs left over. BOOM! Yummier and cheaper than the KFC meal!
So this year, give yourself the gift of spaghetti! Yay!
*That link is probably temporary. But see it now!
Advertising beat: McDonald’s is for Old Spice-lovers, please »
[can’t see the video? watch it on vegansaurus.com!]
Since our sneakers correspondent is also our crack advertising reporter, and that Megan Rascal is still gallivanting about Europe, we’re on the advertising beat today! This 30-second spot hasn’t aired on U.S. television yet, but presumably it will, considering how hard commercial media want us to admire/be/get wet for dudes who do Manly Things. The manliest thing a man has ever done, of course, is stuffed some meat down his gullet. Also, the voiceover guy has an “American” accent, and you know ‘murrican Manly Men don’t respond to “foreign” voices—unless they’re selling “foreign” products, like Dos Equis beer, or Grey Poupon mustard.
Obviously McDonald’s can’t pretend their products are anything but chemically enhanced food-like substances, so now they’re making an appeal to the same
people Manly Men who are all about smelling like Old Spice and bringing back chivalry. Cool idea, so original! You all are the smartest ever. Maybe it’s all the sodium that reminds you, a Manly Man, of your innate responsibility to open doors for Ladies. Maybe it’s the weird dairy products in the processed cheese-food that give you super-strong hands!* Or maybe all that gnarly cholesterol is actually brain food, and BAM you can fix cars you’ve never even seen before! Honestly, we have no idea; as vegans, we’ll never eat that much cholesterol, and most of your Vegansaurus was born XX, so we’re doubly stupid about the wondrous effects of McDonald’s on Manly (Omnivorous) Men.
Has anyone is Australia seen this commercial yet? Does it make you want to puke as much as we wanted to when we watched it? This play-pretend admiration of the super-fixed gender roles of the last century is unbelievably fucking stupid—it’s not even a binary!—and emphasizing its importance is pathetic. We are moving on from “Manly,” and we’re moving on from McDonald’s. If you want to make it in this century, you’d better evolve, you creeps.
*Note to fellow homo sapiens without much hand strength: wrap a rubber band around the lid of the jar. That provides much more traction than those ridiculous rubber opener-things and you can leave it on the jar for future use. It is brilliant and amazing and another small way of maintaining your independence.
Megan Rascal here, on the advertising beat again. I don’t know if you watch as much telly as I do (TV is my BFF), but a commercial circulating lately has caused some controversy. I know, big deal, but it’s the response to the controversy that is the real story. And by real story, I mean who cares but I’m going to write about it anyway.
A recent Chrysler commercial featured a monkey in an Evel Knievel costume, setting off an explosion of confetti. AS SOON AS I saw this commercial, I was like, “Oh great, a monkey “actor.”” Man, monkeys in clothes cause such internal conflict for me! I mean, holy crap, monkeys in clothes = the cuteness; but you KNOW it’s wrong wrong wrong. I end up feeling horrible for the monkey and feeling horrible because I think it’s cute. But when it comes down to it, abuse endured by “working” animals kind of trumps any and all giggles. Sorry, bros.
As you can imagine, PETA was not happy about this commercial either. WTF? CENSORSHIP IN ADVERTISING? This aggression will not stand! First they take your monkeys, next thing you know, they pull all the Marlboro ads from Nickelodeon. This is bullshit! (Don’t worry guys, I’m just kidding! As long as we can objectify women, I say let freedom ring.)
Eventually, after pressure from PETA, Chrysler removed the monkey from the commercial—by simply erasing it. The new ad features an “invisible monkey.” OMG those clever bastards. The Consumerist is calling this a “giant finger to PETA pantywringers.” As always, the Consumerist is basically a bunch of genius poets [Ed.: and their commenters!]; however, I would call this less of a finger to PETA and more of an interesting way of solving the problem. Sure, Chrysler comes off as a petulant teenager, but really they are a soldier in the fight against censorship! Talk hard, Chrysler! Fight for your right to party! They are going to keep their monkey even if you can’t see it! No but really, I think it’s kind of funny. They may not be apologetic about using a monkey to begin with but with the new edit, they send the message that monkeys don’t belong in commercials—whether they are happy about that message or not.
One thing I really enjoy about this whole situation is that the second version of the commercial is clearly the better of the two. Come on, a monkey in clothes? Cheap laughs 101. But an invisible monkey inspired by pertinacity? That’s comedy, folks! For real, when you take away tired gimmicks, creativity can flourish. Besides the disregard for animal welfare, the sad part of this story is that they didn’t rely on creativity in the first place.
DANG. Kentucy Fried HELLA RACIST. I’m surprised the camera didn’t swoop down on them in a rice paddy. Stellar work, KFC. And wtf is five-star taste? What does that EVEN MEAN??
Humanity is so fucked.