C is for Cookie and B.A. is for Bad Advertising

**I just spent the last hour writing an awesome post which I lost so forgive me if this lacks in detail or wit.

Have you ever read an ad that pisses you off because it plays to the lowest common denominator and assumes that you/we are stupid? That’s how I felt when I saw this Dare Cookie ad claiming to have re-invented the cookie:

The body/headline copy reads: Why does the milk have to be more nutritious than the cookie?

Subhead reads: The COOKIE Reinvented.

So let’s consider the question, why is milk healthier than cookies? Well for one if I drink milk everyday I will most certainly not have elevated risks of heart disease, diabetes, or obesity. Milk has actual, tangible health benefits while the cookie gives you heart burn. Claiming that a cookie is healthy because it has fibre is about as useful as saying that Joe Louis’ will help you lose weight because they are a wonderful source of calcium. Give me a frigin’ break.

Even The Cookie Monster knows that a cookie is “a sometime food”, sweet Mother Mary, save us all.

Yea, I know he eats the cookie but geez, he weighs the benefits and tries to explain to kids that cookies are a snack that you can have from time to time. The ad above is sick and dangerous. Children might interpret this ad as cookies literally being better for you than Milk. Society has many problems already, let’s not ad this one to the laundry list.

It reminds me of something Alex Bogusky once wrote in an essay, I am paraphrasing but it went something like this: kids don’t understand grey areas like adults do. Everything is black and white. This explains why little Charlie thinks dad is going to die from a glass of wine at dinner time because his teacher taught him that drinking is dangerous in health class.

Ads like the one above are awfully dangerous for kids in my view. It tells a fundamental lie about the product. There is nothing re-invented about the cookie, who said it needed to be reinvented anyway? This ad tries to take the “perceived” features of the product and turn them into a tangible health benefit. Guess what, Doritos contain fibre too, doughheads, but you won’t catch me with a bag after a 10K run.

Take some more advice from Cookie Monster as he talks with Matt Lauer:

Of course I am not much of a post-modernist so I can’t just tear this ad to shreds without a suggestion or a version of my own.

I wrote my own spec ad which attempts to appeal to the actual benefit of the product in my mind: it is a delicious indulgence that you shouldn’t feel bad for enjoying, because everyone does.

This is a much more honest approach. Take a look:

The headline reads: Your nutritionist’s dirty little secret.

The subhead reads: Everyone has a vice, make it a good one.

I’ve lost 72 pounds in the last year and I haven’t done it by eating a cookie a day to keep the doctor away. No, in fact I did it by eating LESS cookies because I know they are bad for me. However, I kept my sanity by allowing myself to eat cookies knowing that a cookie here and there isn’t so bad. Maybe that’s why I am so personally offended by the first ad, because I know how damaging that type of advertising can be to a person.

Regardless, in the eternal words of Hulk Hogan, “To all my little Hulkamaniacs, say your prayers, take your vitamins and you will never go wrong.”

Until the internets connect us again,



One response to “C is for Cookie and B.A. is for Bad Advertising

  1. I noticed this one a little while ago and thought the same. Read the side of Count Chocula cereal for the same silliness, sure you’ve got some impressive vitamin stats, but you might as well be eating deep fried oranges or drink a cup of corn syrup with carrot shavings on top. Sure there are some healthy bits snuck into the equation, but it doesn’t make the dangerous bits dissappear.. I feel like the ad is generating more hate mail for the agency than buyers for the product… Not quite the goal is it? About as productive as eating chocolate chip cookies to get healthy.

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