One Super Bowl Ad Was Totally Inappropriate
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
Tens of millions of football fans across the country tuned into the 53rd Super Bowl this past Sunday to watch the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots duke it out. For some, the commercials are arguably more exciting than the game, prompting advertisers to spend millions of dollars on funny, heartwarming, or controversial TV spots that stand out. In the lineup for this year, Devour, a Kraft/Heinz food brand, aired a new provocative ad satirizing porn addiction.
Reportedly due to advertising restrictions, a 30 second “censored” version aired during the third quarter, but earlier last week Devour took it upon themselves to draw attention to their upcoming ad by generating buzz with an uncensored version.
The uncensored video ad focuses in on an unmarried couple where the girlfriend speaks to the audience relaying that her partner has an addiction to “frozen food porn.” As it continues, viewers see the girlfriend’s dismay as her partner salivates over plastic-wrapped meals, looks up “food porn” at work and neglects moments of intimacy. Near the end of the one-minute ad, the girlfriend states, “now we’re into amateur food videos” as the ad concludes with the slogan, “never just eat, devour.” The ad is full of innuendos mirroring sexual porn addiction and other sexual acts, and all that does to create distance between couples.
In tandem with the ad, Devour set up a hotline number for people to call that “suffer from” food porn addictions. When called, women and men in sultry voices talk about the various things they’ll eat. In the fashion of a sex hotline, they give the caller options of what to listen to.
According to Fortune, Devour ran extensive ads on a very popular porn site on Monday that read “see hot food porn now.” In 2017, this same site got over 25 billion visits. In a statement, Devour said, “Devour is explicitly talking about #Foodporn, which has become a cultural phenomenon with over 185MM posts on Instagram today.”
Marrying pop culture to make a product more attractive to a large audience is an effective way to increase the reach of a product and Devour certainly seems to be using this model. The sad thing is that while some may find this clever, it normalizes porn addiction in our culture, even celebrating it. The company wouldn’t spend big money with a large porn website unless it condoned the addictive behavior of the customers they’re trying to win over.
Fox News points out, “Devour foods has released sexually suggestive ad spots in the past and uses the tagline ‘food you want to fork.’” Additionally, earlier in 2018, the swearing a superhero Deadpool also lent a hand to advertise for the food brand. A few years ago, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese had a similar provocative marketing campaign called, “swear like a mother.”
It’s a pity when the media plays off the lusts of this present age for their own gain, but it also presented a greater opportunity for believers to see past the “comedy” of the ad and to turn off the TV during the third quarter commercial break. This commercial would not be acceptable to most if the ad parodied alcoholism, drug addiction, or other life and death addictions. More studies every year are revealing the destructive nature of porn addiction, so it’s no laughable matter. Kraft/Heinz should reconsider if they want their brands advertising and supporting porn addiction, because millions of families may choose to stop purchasing their products.