I’m writing this early today because I don’t want a repeat of last night: me, hunched in my dark office at home, clicking and cutting and pasting and cropping those pictures until even my perfectionism could not defeat my exhaustion, sending me to bed with a mediocre product of a post. I just fixed it, so the pictures should be bigger now, although you can’t read my very clever captions anymore…eh, still done.
I’m also writing early because my topic hit me first thing this morning. As per my normal ritual, I turned on the Today Show and had it playing in the background as I got ready for my day. I don’t actually WATCH TV in the morning; I typically just listen from the bathroom while I brush my teeth and whatnot. There have been many times when I’ll see a commercial for the first time and be able to quote it verbatim because I’ve been listening to it for weeks, storing it’s dialogue in my subconscious.
Anyway, this morning I saw a new commercial for Foster Farms chicken. I take it they’re a northwest company, because all of their commercials emphasize the fact that their chickens are “locally raised” and not shipped from “across the country”. And they take not-so-subtle shots at another national chicken company from an area of the US that’s particularly close to my heart.
Now, I understand the humor. I understand that Arkansas is an easy target. I’m not even a particularly huge fan of Tyson chicken. But really, once the chicken is frozen, isn’t it all the same? Didn’t you all raise the things with every intention of hitting them over the head with a mallet and ending their oblivious little lives? And if it takes an extra day to make it from the chicken plant to your freezer, does it really taste any different? I’m going to say no.
And good gracious, can we say stereotyping? The pretentiousness that comes across in these ads makes me want to buy up all the Tyson drumsticks I can find and hurl them at the cars of the marketing gurus who came up with the things. I drove by those stupid chicken plants everyday of junior high and high school, I toured them in elementary school, and I complained with everyone else when the summer sun caused Springdale to reek to the point that we all referred to it lovingly as “Chickendale” (it’s Arkansas, and we were in junior high; we weren’t particularly clever). So if anyone has the right to make fun of Tyson chicken, it’s me and all the others who have suffered the unbearable stench of chicken feed for years on end, not the ad execs and FosterFarms tycoons who are trying to pull themselves up by taking hits at the little guy. Er, maybe the big guy. Whatever, it’s not nice.