We all tend to take pride in stating we are open-minded and that we appreciate witty out-of-the-box ads and commercials that push the envelope. But what happens when products, specially those we are familiar with and consider ’safe’, decide to completely shred and incinerate said envelope and simply go rogue? Yes, things might get a tad uncomfortable and result in thousands of angry letters but to be honest, the amount of exposure, traffic and ’social buzz’ generated – whether good, bad or WTF, easily overweigh all these concerned letters and criticism. Which brings me to Ragu’s (yes, the pasta sauce) latest ad spots featuring some not-so-expected situations and experiences including dead hamsters, face licking and parents’ sex. Yup.
The series of ad spots, which aired during the Olympics, were created by BFG9000, a New York based agency which has also delivered commercials for Little Ceasars, Dish and Kayak. On ‘why taking this controversial route?’ Mike Dwyer, U.S. foods director for Ragu-owner Unilever, stated “We didn’t want to come out with another utilitarian food ad. It can be tough being a kid. And when it’s tough being a kid, mom and dad want to comfort their kids and the way they do that is through meal time, and Ragu sits squarely in that space.” Hmmm what?
What does Ragú have to do with an 8 year old kid witnessing his parents having sex, a girl realizing her parents tried to switch her dead hamster hoping she wouldn’t notice and a boy with a face-licker mom have to do with pasta sauce? Maybe nothing at all, but the ads – and the music! – are funny.
What’s your take on this?
Thanks to Carmen for the tip! :)
Interview courtesy of ADWEEK.