WootBot


quality posts: 15 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

I'm no stranger to critiquing advertising and its pathetic attempts to twist and contort you, the average consumer, into a tiny box to be ticked on a spreadsheet when someone asks if the correct demographic is sufficiently appealed to. But with so much time and money going into even run-of-the-mill, everyday commercials, it's bizarre that some can miss the mark so widely. But that's what Badvertising is for. This week, we try to figure out what the f*&% Ruffles is trying to tell us with this ad:

The ad:
Some shlubs invite a mousy woman to play poker with them. After consuming some mediocre potato chips, she suddenly becomes more stylish, aggressive, and dominant while sharking them in poker.

Sooooo, what is this telling us exactly? Do Ruffles' new "ultimate" ridges make you more aggressive? Is it the kind of chip only a scurrilous poker shark would consume? Are you more likely to be some kind of alpha-type lunkhead if you eat them? You're not sweetening the deal for me here, Ruffles.

I understand their conundrum: you can only show so many tight shots of potato chips cascading out of a bag and into a bowl in front of smiling faces before it gets old. Fine. Props to them for trying something new. But this, what is this? Who is the target here? What is the message, exactly, besides making me associate your product with douche bags?

Someone, somewhere, got paid for this. And they're probably continuing to justify their effort to the folks at Ruffles by saying something like, "Hey, people are talking about it! That's what matters!" No. No it's not. If your only goal is to get people talking about Ruffles, regardless of context, you'd be better served by having the president of the company take a dump in Times Square at rush hour while singing the Star Spangled Banner. THAT would get people talking about Ruffles, too. But Ruffles isn't doing that because there IS such a thing as bad press.

You know what kills it for me? I mean, the whole thing is kind of generically bad but innocuous, but once you hit that "Bazing" quote I honestly want to hurl something through my television. Before this ad I'd say my opinion on Ruffles was just on the positive side of indifference. Now I will actively attempt to never consume one of their products again, lest I risk someone somewhere assuming that I identified with this commercial in any way.

What's your take? Will this influence your Ruffles purchasing decisions either way? Let us know in the comments!

richardbrust


quality posts: 0 Private Messages richardbrust

HA! this is funny. I feel the same way about Carl's Jr commercials. I don't want to watch/listen to 30 seconds of someone smacking their mouth and the sound of chewing.
If I was 30 seconds away from dying of hunger and the only option was a Carl's Jr. hamburger...I'd be at the pearly gates...

SumDuud


quality posts: 22 Private Messages SumDuud

I find that most commercials don't influence my purchasing decisions, the only thing they do is bring an awareness to the product. The "Is there bacon in this dip?" bit might make me interested to check for that dip, but I am not a fan of Ruffles, too greasy, so I wouldn't buy this product regardless of the ads.

Let's see the quality impulse buys!
Wooter to blame for sellout: SumDuud
Sellout time: 8:11:25 AM Central Time

Contrarian by nature.

tedzilla99


quality posts: 31 Private Messages tedzilla99

My one question would be why aren't the other tattle tale eating the chips? Then it would be a full on poker match of stupid quotes and sunglasses!

The one small positive I take away is at least they didn't use the word ExTrEmE which makes me want to stab someone.

RWoodward


quality posts: 58 Private Messages RWoodward

If you look back at the history of advertising there is no shortage of messages designed to imply that the product magically imbues you with desirable qualities.

Deodorant makes you confident.
Cigarettes make you glamorous and/or macho.
Canned soup makes you a superior parent.
Certain dog food makes you a more responsible pet owner.
Cigars make men more attractive to blond Swedish girls in gold pop quiz evening gowns.
Chewing tobacco encourages male bonding among family members -and makes your whole family into competent mechanics.
Mexican beer makes you interesting.
Cologne provides instant irresistibility.
Cinnamon gum makes you able to enjoy things longer.
The list is endless.

dukeofwulf


quality posts: 7 Private Messages dukeofwulf
RWoodward wrote:If you look back at the history of advertising there is no shortage of messages designed to imply that the product magically imbues you with desirable qualities.



Exactly. This theme is core to the majority of advertising. Nothing special here. But I'll give the OP that the "Bazing!" line was awful.

tedzilla99


quality posts: 31 Private Messages tedzilla99
RWoodward wrote:If you look back at the history of advertising there is no shortage of messages designed to imply that the product magically imbues you with desirable qualities.



Tampons seem to make some women into excellent tennis players and equestrians...

fadecomic


quality posts: 0 Private Messages fadecomic

I guess I read the commercial differently. Don't get me wrong... I rolled my eyes. But I thought she was some famous poker player I vaguely remembered seeing somewhere, and the point was that she was hustling them, not that the chips were transforming her.

zart


quality posts: 0 Private Messages zart

I always read advertising as complete opposite speak. "AT&T has the fastest network" means "AT&T's network can't handle the demands placed upon it!", for instance. So this commercial says "if the best thing about your poker night is the ruffles dip, you're going to have a bad time."

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
RWoodward wrote:If you look back at the history of advertising there is no shortage of messages designed to imply that the product magically imbues you with desirable qualities.



Right, that's basically what advertising is: the transference of fantasy. My point is what fantasy is being displayed here? Am I supposed to identify with the mousy Asian woman who becomes kind of an asshat after eating chips? Or am I supposed to identify with the grubby dudes who are intimidated by said asshat? It feels like a lose/lose.

nparus


quality posts: 1 Private Messages nparus

I thought she was some famous poker player that I didn't know too. I also thought the commercial was for the dip, not the chips. You're right. This is really badvertising.

Moony

nparus


quality posts: 1 Private Messages nparus

I thought she was some famous poker player that I didn't know too. I also thought the commercial was for the dip, not the chips. You're right. This is really badvertising.

Moony

RWoodward


quality posts: 58 Private Messages RWoodward
llandar wrote:Right, that's basically what advertising is: the transference of fantasy. My point is what fantasy is being displayed here? Am I supposed to identify with the mousy Asian woman who becomes kind of an asshat after eating chips? Or am I supposed to identify with the grubby dudes who are intimidated by said asshat? It feels like a lose/lose.


I believe you're supposed to identify with the woman. Remember that women do the majority of the food shopping in the US, so the ad is likely following a very familiar theme in ads geared toward women: that women are better than men.

One of the more blatant examples of that premise was a toothpaste commercial from the 90s where an obnoxiously snarky wife and her even more obnoxiously snarky kid chastise the dad because he was too stupid to know that the toothpaste had changed formulas.

Dad: "I thought it always had it."
Mom: "You thought wrong."
Dad: "I thought it did."
Kid: "Daaaaad, it didn't"

I suspect dads hated that commercial. But then again, Dads don't buy that much toothpaste.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
nparus wrote:I thought she was some famous poker player that I didn't know too. I also thought the commercial was for the dip, not the chips. You're right. This is really badvertising.



I initially wondered that too, but she is not a poker player. Just a commercial actress on a gig.

jcolag


quality posts: 8 Private Messages jcolag
llandar wrote:Am I supposed to identify with the mousy Asian woman who becomes kind of an asshat after eating chips? Or am I supposed to identify with the grubby dudes who are intimidated by said asshat?



Probably "woman." Filter it through the executive (male, middle-aged) mindset. Obnoxious translates to cool in the same way that using big words translates to smart.

But, it depends on what show is on, since the only purpose of TV programming is to trick people into sitting through commercials, so the demographics usually overlap. And I don't think there's such an inconsequential demographic of guys who dream of bonding with their former school bullies and being dominated by a mousy Asian woman that a company wouldn't try to exploit the poor saps.

bsmith1


quality posts: 111 Private Messages bsmith1

I feel the same way about the commercial. Is her transformation a good thing? Is she supposed to be manlier the more chips she eats? I don't understand it.

ForbzyT


quality posts: 9 Private Messages ForbzyT
jcolag wrote:
...
Obnoxious translates to cool in the same way that using big words translates to smart.

...



Wait, wait... Sesquipedalian posts make me look smart?

drdoug99


quality posts: 0 Private Messages drdoug99

I find it funny that a potato chip becomes "ultimate" just because it has "deeper ridges". It's probably also more expensive and you get less quantity of chips as well I bet.

Also the commercial was for BOTH the chips AND dip. You can't have just one after all, gotta have chips, and dip, but please no double dipping.

I am not a big fan of potato chips, and also I am a cheapskate and always buy the generic brands of products....so commercials and advertisements have no effect on me.

zodar99


quality posts: 3 Private Messages zodar99

Potato chips are television for your mouth.

Moueska


quality posts: 54 Private Messages Moueska
RWoodward wrote:If you look back at the history of advertising there is no shortage of messages designed to imply that the product magically imbues you with desirable qualities.

Deodorant makes you confident.
Cigarettes make you glamorous and/or macho.
Canned soup makes you a superior parent.
Certain dog food makes you a more responsible pet owner.
Cigars make men more attractive to blond Swedish girls in gold pop quiz evening gowns.
Chewing tobacco encourages male bonding among family members -and makes your whole family into competent mechanics.
Mexican beer makes you interesting.
Cologne provides instant irresistibility.
Cinnamon gum makes you able to enjoy things longer.
The list is endless.



You forgot that Old Spice makes you arrogant enough to control the universe. And muscular. On a horse.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
drdoug99 wrote:Also the commercial was for BOTH the chips AND dip.



If it was, it fails horribly. The dip is barely even acknowledged and I had to pause the video to verify it's Ruffles-branded dip.

jcolag


quality posts: 8 Private Messages jcolag
ForbzyT wrote:Wait, wait... Sesquipedalian posts make me look smart?



To the very same extent that being a jerk to people makes you look cool...