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Reel Mama: Chippendales and sexy Pop Tarts

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chippendales and sexy Pop Tarts


I was taken aback on Easter when a fellow mom saw my daughter playing with her Alvin the Chipmunk toy.  “Is that one of the Chippendales?” she asked.  I was so taken aback by her question, I stuttered an affirmative response, not wanting to explain in front of our kids that the Chippendales, the famous male strippers who perform seven days a week in Vegas to houses packed with tipsy bachelorettes, are very distinct from the Chipmunks, the trio of cute if annoying singing rodents.

Which got me to thinking about the appropriateness of products and media marketed to our kids these days.  Exhibit A: The Family Guy in syndication in the time slot when kids are getting home from school.  The Family Guy has its moments of genius, true, but it also has plenty more moments of jaw-dropping envelope-pushing.  The shock-and-awe wince factor is ridiculous.  Not stuff kids need to be watching. 

Exhibit B: Pop Tarts. No, not Bratz Dolls, those pop nasty party girl dolls who look like Barbie dropped out of high school so she could focus on impressing club bouncers.  The other kind of Pop Tart, the edible ones.  Everyone’s favorite toastable cardboard with frosting has “Wildlicious” new flavors being rolled out in a new ad set to Right Said Fred’s Gen X anthem “I’m Too Sexy.” 

To me, this is so wrong said Fred.  Pop Tarts are “wildlicious”?  Are we sure we’re not talking about a Girls Gone Wild video?  These are breakfast pastries marketed to little kids!  How are they so sexy it hurts?

Kellogg's is trying to sell to the Gen X parents and our notorious sense of nostalgia for the 1990s.  Right song, perhaps, but wrong product. In the ad, little creatures who look like walking sperm climb over the colorful new Pop Tarts, eat them, get doused in color, and then parade up a runway.  It's like a bad trip from the 1960s that made a wrong turn into the 1990s, and somehow wound up in 2012.

Watch the commercial at www.poptarts.com and tell me (or them!) what you think.

Eat too many of those wildlicious Pop Tarts and you might not be too sexy for your shirt, because it won’t fit anymore.  Are they trying to "sex up" the child obesity problem?

What the hell are they thinking?

2 Comments:

At April 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sent a complaint via Kellogg's website and received the following response which I think is ridiculous. I guess they consider anyone over the age of 12 to be an adult and there is no way that commercial was created for adults. See below:

Thank you for contacting our company regarding the advertising for Kellogg's® Pop-Tarts®. We sincerely appreciate your interest.

This commercial was developed with a sophisticated animation style that is intended for adults. Plus, this commercial will only appear on networks and shows that have fewer than 35% of viewers under age 12.

Pop-Tarts® have been a favorite of adults for years. In fact, the majority of Pop-Tarts® are eaten by adults, which is why this new campaign is targeted to adults who like to find a little joy in routine, everyday moments.

Viewer reaction, such as yours, is helpful to us and taken into consideration when developing future advertisements. Your concerns have been forwarded to the appropriate company officials and we hope future ads for this and our other products will be more acceptable to you.

Again, thank you for sharing your views and interest in our company.

 
At April 20, 2012 at 1:10 AM , Blogger Reel Mama said...

Thank you for sharing this response.

It seems that Kellogg's is playing to Generation X's inability to let go of our youth. We don’t want our kids eating junk, but it’s okay for us to eat the pastries in secret after they are in bed or when they’re watching Elmo. Times have changed. Our parents were fine with giving us Pop Tarts and Fruit Loops, which used to be loaded with a lot more sugar than they have now. Gen X parents feed their kids organic kale smoothies for breakfast, while stuffing our own faces with Pop Tarts on the sly. This face included. Brilliant.

I still contend that the marketing scheme is inappropriate. Grown ups may eat Pop Tarts, but it’s still a kids' product, and according to the company a significant number of kids will still see it (less than 35% viewership being children still means that potentially almost a third of the viewers could be children).

 

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