Ah, Marketing

On my way to work this morning, I noticed this ad on the Metro:


So… Any guesses as to what this adorable, pop-eyed child is advertising? (The answer is after the jump.)



(Which — if the tagline is to be believed — is life’s main ingredient. Yum.)

I find this entirely bizarre, and not just because using a cute little kid seems like a strange choice for a fertilizer campaign. It also has a lot to do with the fact that it seems to be part of a coordinated marketing effort for the building blocks of corporate, processed food. No longer content to just sell us Coke, McDonald’s, and Frosted Flakes, we’re now being sold on the components that make these products happen. I first noticed it with the strange, slightly creepy pro-high fructose corn syrup ads, and now comes a tot-filled campaign  about the greatness of fertilizer. What’s next? Propaganda about the benefits of flying/trucking food halfway around the world to American grocery stores?

Clearly, the whole organic, local, seasonal food movement has some people scared.

And I can understand why. It’s easy for me to see the benefits of nearby, small-producer farms on the quality of food  — everything I buy at the farm line at Eastern Market tastes better than its supermarket equivalent. It’s also not hard to believe that a family farm treats livestock more humanely than a factory farm, or to understand that transporting food around the world consumes a ridiculous volume of resources.

Here’s the thing, though. I still buy junky food at the store, and love certain things (pineapples!) that come from far away — and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. As a consumer, I’d like companies spend money on finding ways to make their fertilizer-and-fructose laden products healthier and less resource-intensive; instead, I get marketing campaigns telling me what both my palate and common sense tell me isn’t completely true.


At any rate, I’d be much happier if life’s main ingredient was cupcakes (organic, free-range cupcakes are fine — so long as they’re chocolate).

3 thoughts on “Ah, Marketing

  1. sprite December 16, 2008 / 10:09 pm

    Mmmmm…. cupcakes….

  2. Mom December 17, 2008 / 10:05 am

    Yeah — pineapple & cupcakes — good diet!!

  3. common loon December 17, 2008 / 10:54 am

    There’s some pink fleece with cupcakes all over it and it’s 50% through Friday…..

    And thanks to you, I have been noticing more and more cupcake places springing up around here. I don’t know whether to thank you or slap you, as my “fat” pants are now necessary EVERY day. Maybe I should tend more towards the pineapple?

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