"The spicy kick of her Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil Triscuit crackers bristled on her tongue. Senses aroused by this new treat, her thoughts of Diego quickly faded. Tracy gazed at the box. She'd found flavor where she least expected it.... A tasty romance awaits."
My first inclination is to criticize these two print ads, primarily because they mingle mass-packaged supermarket snacks with relational intimacy. In fact, they do more than mingle the two: they switch the values. "You know how thrilling romance can be, right? Well, that's nothing."
But the switch is so obvious and so exaggerated that I am partially disarmed of my criticism. Food cravings sometimes lead to outlandish comments, not because we would forever exchange sex for Shredded Wheat, or the deep thrills of a romantic encounter for seasoned crackers, but because the right food, in the right moment, begs for more than an unembellished description.
Questions to ponder:
1. If you were to create a personalized version of one of these ads, what would you be eating and what inherently valuable idea would be down-played?
2. Does the medium change the message? In other words, does this type of exaggeration in a magazine advertisement differ from the same message in a poem about food?
3. As a U.S. citizen, I already have enough trouble governing my quest for pleasure, especially when so much is available to me. Do these ads (and the many like them) create potential dangers for consumers? If so, what are these dangers?