To promote its new line of "Recipe Makers" products, Kraft has launched an ad campaign featuring TV food personality Carla Hall and the once-great chef Rocco DiSpirito as freakish, real-life bobbleheads who criticize their dinner. The campaign’s accompanying slogan is "Get your chef together," which sounds a lot like the admonishment "Get your shit together." But a Kraft brand manager tells the New York Times that it isn’t intentional: "We were not targeting it to be a play off a vulgar word," Ann Stockman tells the paper. "Consumers will take it in the spirit it’s intended." Perhaps, but the ads themselves are so ill-conceived that one really hopes consumers just tune them out completely.
First of all, seriously, why doesn’t this mom realize her children have been replaced with tiny mutant versions of Carla Hall and Rocco DiSpirito?
Secondly, the message here seems to be that aspirational TV-show foodie-ism has hijacked everyday life to the point where no one can tell the difference between taking a place at the table and judging on MasterChef. Which, Kraft wants you to know, is why you should buy this packaged dinner instead of preparing something simple from scratch.
Then there’s this ad, in which the celeb-chef duo tells a man who has literally just prepared a meal from a box that he could eventually have his own show.
It’s jarring to see DiSpirito, whose culinary career derailed around the same time he went all-in with Jeffrey Chodorow on NBC’s The Restaurant, say, cheekily, "Keep this up, you can have your own show, chef." Because he nowadays spends the better part of his schedule showing kids how to cook simple recipes from scratch, it’s extra hard to watch the chef shill for Kraft. By the time bobblehead Hall — with a bobblehead nod to the camera — fake-mocks DiSpirito for his commentary, you realize you’re not in a regular commercial, but actually peering through a portal in a tortuous food-TV-personality purgatory. Hope they emerge safely, or at least before the Verde Chicken Enchiladas come out of the oven.
Off-Color Wordplay From Kraft, Part of a Big Marketing Blitz [NYT]