Inappropriate Uses for Mayonnaise

So this may come as a complete and utter surprise to anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of being graced with my presence during a micro-conniption, but sometimes things get under my skin a little more than perhaps they ought to.

Today’s culprit is mayonnaise.

At first I was pissed at Hellmann’s mayo, with it’s innocuous claims of support for the ‘real food movement’ and it’s warm-toned commercials featuring healthy looking, natural hair coloured people lavishing their appreciation for such a fine, locally grown product with more sincerity and emotion than anyone should feel towards a condiment.  I couldn’t find the Canadian version on youtube, but the UK version isn’t much better.

Imagine our version as less preppie and more organic-cotton-hip, undeniably aimed at the urban, young adult, go-green culture. I watch it and go ‘woooooaaaah Toronto’ (or maybe Vancouver, they seem pretty hip and earthy too.) I don’t mind this culture – I’ve got a solid food planted in it. I just hate being pandered to, and this is how Hellmann’s pissed me right the hell off.

Hey social and/or environmental activists, we're your brand!

In fact, when a saw a second commercial regarding mayo that pissed me off a little bit extra, I was confounded for hours trying to find it on youtube before I realized it wasn’t even Hellmann’s. I’d been blinded with disdain for them because I consider ‘buy local, eat real food’ to consist of shopping at farmers markets when available, not choosing one massive corporation over another. I am all about growing your own food or supporting Canadian farming – but not paying six levels of middle-men advert execs in the process. Anyways, with all this fist-shaking, I hadn’t even noticed an even more irritating culprit.

Miracle Whip.

Have you seen this ad?

 

Yeah. For reals, yo.

To get the full effect, you can watch the whole commercial here. I know, I know, it’s a pain sometimes to click links and follow them. But this one wasn’t on youtube either, and I can’t embed it in wordpress. I’m just glad I found it, so just click on it, por favor. It’s a thirty second commercial, and you’ll probably get the gyst of it about halfway through.

So! Continuing on then.

Dear Various Mayonnaise Producers:

You make a condiment. It goes nicely on my sandwich, in potato salad or in devilled eggs.  And these are all lovely, appropriate and often delicious uses for your product. However, that’s pretty much the extent of it.

Mayonnaise, the average person would agree, should not be used as a thick, fattening conduit for the voice of a generation. And on that note, what exact voice do you think we have? That we’re so principled about “keeping it real” that we’re going to get up in arms if you have the nerve to suggest we change the ingredients of whatever we’re bringing to a picnik? “Don’t eat the egg salad Janine brought, she buys her food from THE MAN!”

I don’t care how organic or special or real or hardcore you think your shit is. It’s MAYO!!! Nobody dips their fist in it and then walks around with their sticky digits held high up in the air crying “Death to Capitalism!” It just doesn’t happen.

Hellmann’s – I’m not a total hippie, seeing as I too have my fair share of over processed crap sitting on the shelves. But in my ongoing efforts to avoid being a hypocrite, I’ve gone through your website in an attempt to find out where you do in fact get your ingredients. Your eggs are ‘free range’, a term thrown around all too casually and often paired up with lush imagery of green grass, clear skies and sunlight.

We're totally on your side

By the way, this is considered 'free range'

Oh, and I’ll be damn sure to ask my local farmers the next time I’m out buying berries if they happen to have any calcium disodium EDTA. Yeah, that’s nice and local.

Also Hellmann’s, you’re owned by Unilever. Just like Dove, Axe, Knorr, and every other major brand trying to sell itself as something special in their ongoing effort to make a buck. Look, if you’re out to make money, just say so. If you’re of the opinion that birds are put on this earth to be cooped up and fed to us, then fine. Just don’t lie to my face about it.

And you, Miracle Whip. It seems you’re trying evoke the mental words of ‘punk’ or ‘rebel’ or dare you say ‘anarchy’. You with your smarmy faux attitude and slightly rakish young lady – can’t be hardcore with long hair, can you? Are you trying to be hip? Are your lined up little jars going to start sporting skinny jeans if this latest campaign to thwart your do-good competitors falls short? I say again to you – MAYONNAISE!!! You want to be Gen-Y? Here’s Gen-Y: we’ve grown up with the internet and enough information to understand how marketing is driven – well enough to see through your crafted appeal to our embittered habit of spending money on things that say we’re too cool to spend money on things. You’re the salad dressing version of buying an anarchist t-shirt at the mall.

So I’m eschewing mayo. Too much damn aggravation. Do you want to know how you can tell if something is real? If you can’t stack it on the shelf for an eerily long amount of time. And how to tell if something is unique, special, and ‘not toned down’? Make it your damn self, that’s how.

Oil and eggs, people. Throw in some mustard and get a blender!

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14 Comments

  1. Jen512 said,

    July 18, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    “Nobody dips their fist in it and then walks around with their sticky digits held high up in the air crying “Death to Capitalism!” It just doesn’t happen.”

    You crack me up! I have long wanted to do a post about commercials that pissed me off, but was discouraged by my inability to find clips online. I still remember this one ad trying to convince people to move to Michigan, the state with the highest unemployment rate, while trying to make it sound like jobs were just falling like gumdrops from the sky. Okay, we watch the news…you’re not fooling anyone.

    There are a few ads around here trying to convince people to move to Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Maybe it’s just the Toronto snob in me, but I can’t help but wrinkle my nose a little bit. Mostly because, getting back to truth in advertising, I can’t help but notice that all of the pictures are in the SUMMER! Forgot to mention the winters out there, did you? Do you know who wants to be on the prairies or the coast during a blizzard? Not me. Noooooo way.

    • Jen512 said,

      July 18, 2009 at 9:58 pm

      Oh yeah, forgot to mention Brand Power commercials. That shit pisses me off too.

      Gah, me too! I want to punch that woman in her trendy hair. Ooh, hey families, did you forget to spend more money today? Here’s how this expensive bandaid will make your children love you more than that crap you bought last time. Yeesh.

      • Jen512 said,

        July 22, 2009 at 2:59 am

        There’s something very cult-ish about those ads. For a laugh, go to their main website and see the Brand Power Bitches from around the world! The one from Germany is particularly scary looking. And the Mexico one, yikes.

        Don’t gaze too long into their eyes though, or you too will be a slave to the Power.

        It is, totally cultish. For one thing, her hair is always far too perfect.

  2. July 19, 2009 at 3:17 am

    “By the way, this is considered ‘free range”

    They can sort of mill about; I’ve been in clubs worse than that and I have at least thrice their political power.

    Yeah, what irks me most about free range is that it’s thrown around like they have green pastures and sunlight. I realize that’s not really economically feasible for most farms, but if they could just tell it like it is that’d be great. Something like “Now with 50% more room!” And yeah, clubs can get ridiculous, but we do that to ourselves 😉

  3. nursemyra said,

    July 19, 2009 at 10:24 am

    my mother used to make a strangely addictive mayonnaise that contained half a can of condensed milk

    From free range cows of course

    That actually sounds really good! I’m going to have to research some recipes.

  4. Josh said,

    July 20, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Bad commercials in general piss me off. But I still love mayo and dare I say, even Miracle Whip. For one, they make sandwiches delicious and smooth on the palate, not dry and throat scrapey. Secondly, there are almost limitless jizm jokes you can make when mayo is around. But I agree with your opinion that there is no room for hipster advertising in the condiment world. Maybe you could be a bit more edgy if you were peddling hot sauce. Like those Frank’s Red Hot commercials where the old lady says, “I put that shit on everything!” But not mayo, it’s too plain. Mustard maybe, but not mayo. And as a guy who’s definitely shaken a fist or two at THE MAN, I’m just too lazy to give a fuck whether the chickens that made my mayo had comfortable lives or not, and whether the money from my condiments goes to evil, soulless corporate douchebag suits. Fuck it, here’s five bucks, see you in six months.

    Dude, I love that Frank’s Red Hot commercial. And I’m all about non-scratchy sandwiches and jizm jokes. But you can do that with homemade stuff, or at least a brand that isn’t quite so annoying.

  5. nursemyra said,

    July 22, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    1 400g tin condensed milk
    1 cup vinegar
    1 teaspoon dry mustard (more or less to suit your taste)
    salt and pepper to taste

    all you have to do is mix all the ingredients together until it thickens.

    Thanks, I’ll be sure to give this a try!

  6. David said,

    July 23, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Fun post Emerald!! Except for the picture of the Chicken Hell, which made me sad and hungry at the same time. 😦

    Funny you should mention this … why just the other day at dinner, my dad is scooping some Cain’s mayo out of the jar to put on his burger bun and complaining about how inferior it is to the Hellmann’s. That’s what HE uses and it’s the BEST. Well I’d bet $100 that if I filled a Hellman’s jar with fucking Kmart Mayo-in-the-5-gallon-bucket he’d never know it. Programmed by advertising. We all are. Advertising should DIE, it’s deception disguised as knowledge.

    Ask your doctor about Nexium, the purple pill. It may not be right for you if you are pregnant, nursing, thinking about becoming pregnant or thinking about nursing IF you DO become pregnant, or just thinking about boobs if you are not able to become pregnant …

    Or, ask your doctor about the green pill. While you are eschewing mayonnaise.

    I think I’m going to try the same switch on my dad, but with Starbucks coffee. I get it, it’s corporate enslavement, but they make good lattes and I wish he’d quit moaning every time I want one. With $4 lattes, I can’t accuse them of pretending they’re not all about getting my money 😉

    • Wendy said,

      July 25, 2009 at 2:49 am

      Well, I would disagree about the taste test thing. I hate mayo (not for the reasons in the post) but my husband loves it. And, in fact, we have a running joke about Hermaphrodite the Goddess of Mayonnaise at our house. He’s a big Hellman’s fan. I think it’s all gross. AND… I think advertisers shouldn’t be embarrassed about admitting they want your money. It’s not like we don’t know.

      Awesome and well-written post!

      Agreed! As much as I hate Cheez-Whiz for example, I like the commercial they had going for a while, which simply stated “You know you waaaaaaant it.” Yes, there are those that do, and I’m sure they all ran to the store with their cash, thinking “Dammit, you’re right!”

  7. duffboy said,

    July 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I’d get my fist in the air right now… for MUSTARD! This all comes as news for me, since I haven’t seen those commercials (my cable privileges have been on and off). “can’t be hardcore with long hair, can you?”, so true! I don’t know if you’ve heard of Che Guevara, but this side of Latin America, he was the socialist/anarchist poster boy, and still is… a million t-shirts later, bringing in top dollars for everyone who’s into merchandising (I’m sure that was his dream).

    Ha, I do indeed! I think the best representation of his image in it’s current pop culture state is on the baby shirts I’ve seen: Guevara’s mug with the caption “I don’t know who this is!” At least it’s truthful 😛

  8. Jen512 said,

    August 1, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    I ran across a hilarious article you might enjoy: 7 Insane Ads That Have No Clue What They’re Selling from the snarky folks at Cracked.com

    Doooood! I loved Cracked! I want to write for them! Cursed days only having 24 hours *shakey fist*

  9. Care said,

    August 5, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    This is a super rant. love it.

    Thanks, it really made me feel better about the whole thing 😉

  10. April 9, 2012 at 2:54 am

    […] blogger said of Mayo’s advertising choices: Mayonnaise, the average person would agree, should not be used […]

  11. April 10, 2012 at 5:53 am

    […] blogger said of Mayo’s advertising choices: Mayonnaise, the average person would agree, should not be used […]


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