Sunday, October 30, 2011

Complaints: Now with Real Ingredients!!!

Ok, so I'm noticing a trend in advertising.  This all started a few days ago when my mother-in-law asked me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday.  Well I knew right off that I wanted the most chocolaty thing you can find in a cake mix, and since I've had good luck with Duncan Hines I thought I'd look through the flavors on their website to see what seemed to have chocolate on top of chocolate with a side of chocolate.  I ended up here:

At first glance this looks like a simple list of a variety of cake flavors.  But then I noticed something.  Under the heading "Decadent Mixes" there is the phrase "contains an additional pouch of real ingredients."  This got me wondering.  What exactly is a cake mix made up of if it's not ingredients?  I mean, when I was a kid and I made mud pies, these mud pies had ingredients (mostly mud).  When I look on the side of a box of regular cake mix, what exactly would you call the list of things that supposedly go into the box?

But it didn't stop there.  Today, I spent most of the day watching football with my husband.  Ok, so I don't so much watch football as exist in a room where football is on TV while I pay attention to other things, but occasionally something on the TV catches my attention.  This time it was a Tostitos commercial.  Now I love Tostitos.  They are the corn chip that I am most likely to buy, more because they're often on sale and in the shapes I like than because I think they're particularly nutritious, but I've eaten and enjoyed a variety of Tostitos products.  So when I heard them advertising that they're made with "real ingredients" it got me thinking.  Why in the world would anyone with a lick of sense advertise that a food is made with real ingredients?  Are these real ingredients as opposed to the fake ones?  If Tostitos are made with real ingredients does that mean that Fritos are made with paste and paint?  (I love Fritos, and would never mean to malign their excellent reputation, and they go really well with chili.)  What kind of idiot do the advertising executives think I am?  Who would spend millions of dollars to tell me that their food-like substances are made with real ingredients?

This really makes me wonder what other advertising and marketing campaigns are utterly meaningless.  Does my toothpaste really keep working for hours, or does it just remove the grubby stuff and it takes time (and eating) for it to come back?  Is lite mayonnaise really light, or is it just lighter than say, injecting lard directly into my veins?  Are these desiccated grapes or plumper juicier raisins?  Will the shoes make me run faster even though I don't like to run.  I mean really, I spend more time driving a car or sitting at a desk than anything else in life.  Will this added layer of clothing make me look thinner, or will it just add another layer to my already extensive padding?  When you say something tastes better, better than what?

Silly, silly advertising executives.  You're even stupider than you think I am.

P.S. My actual birthday cake was a Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix with the Creamy Home-Style Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting, and it was VERY good even though my husband complained that it was ugly.  I picked a cake because it would TASTE good, not because it would look good (if I'd wanted a pretty cake I'd have let him spread frosting on a hunk of styrofoam), and not because it had REAL INGREDIENTS!