The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Proof Is In The [Low Fat] Pudding …
June 17, 2009, 6:30 am
Filed under: Comment

Hello. How are you all? Well?

I had a shit birthday thank you very much for asking … and now I’m on the slippery slope to the big/dreaded 40, it’s only going to get worse, so before we [read: me] get all depressed, let’s get on with things shall we?

Fat Bastards.

No, I’m not talking about me … or Andy … I’m talking about Americans.

Lots and lots of Americans.

But not exclusively them.

Oh no. Australia is right up there too.

Yes, the bronze, chiselled, outdoorsy folk are fast turning into a nation of wobbly jellies … which is bad news for them, but good news for the Brits, who can now feel a little less insecure about their criminal relations..

Anyway, as usual I digress.

Now there’s many reasons why the West is becoming a society of chubbies – not least the fact we are eating so much food that is bad for us.

No, I’m not talking about Macca’s and Pizzahut … I’m talking about the brands that put words like ‘LIGHT’ or ‘No Added Sugar’ all over their packaging.

As a nutritionist said to me recently, the unhealthiest foods are the ones that are claiming to be healthy – not just because proportionally they’re still packed with excessive sugars, chemicals and god knows what else … but because they make us believe we’re being [a bit] careful, so end up eating more of the stuff.

Sure we have to take some responsibility for being so thick however the fact is the food and health industries – like the medical industries – don’t want us to be healthy, they just want us to THINK we’re healthy and they spend billions of dollars per year to help keep perpetuating this myth.

Now I’ve written about this sort of thing before …

Like how Macca’s talk big about encouraging healthy eating then spend a fortune advertising their menu where all the ‘bad stuff’ only costs a dollar.

But it’s not just them, oh no … so much of this ‘fat food’ culture is driven by Government subsidies.

Yep …

For example, the US Government encourages farmers to grow corn. Actually, “encourage” isn’t the right word. Bribe might be better.

Sure there are subsidies for a range of food groups, but proportionately, corn is the most profitable food a US farmer can grow and it’s been that way for a very long time.

And why is that bad?

Because corn is the ingredient most food companies use to make the majority of their products.

Seriously, next time you pick something up – and I mean ANYTHING, including none-food products – see how much of it is formulated around corn. I promise you, it’ll scare the pants off you.

Now imagine if the Government said enough was enough and that now on, they’d only give subsidies if farmers grew healthy food.

What would happen then?

Well you could argue we’d have stock piles of spoiled fruit – however I think what it would [also] do is drive down the price of the products, making its use [both by individuals and companies] more appealing and as such, help change the eating habits of a whole generation.

Yes … yes … I know someone out there is saying ‘but corn is healthy’ … and it is … however many/most of the food companies don’t use it for that purpose, preferring instead to incorporate/re-engineer into their manufacturing process as a cheap, efficient and effective alternative to a whole host of ingrediants.

But this isn’t about the hypocrisy of the food companies, health companies and governments … this is about congratulating one of them.

Putting aside the fact Burger King are as bad as Macca’s in claiming ‘health’ but promoting bad-food gluttony, I think they’ve done something that is smart and more effective in changing habits than a hell of a lot of the advertising out there.

In short, it’s this …

Yep, they are pieces of apple cut up like chips and placed in a packet that resembles their french fries.

The reason I love it so much is because they’ve taken into account the psychological element of eating, not just the ‘health’ element … and my belief is the group that will benefit most from this approach [albeit subconsciously] is children.

Let’s face it, eating at fast food places is fun.

Lots of noise, colour and bloody tasty grub. Not only that, but the whole way of eating is enjoyable.

You unwrap the food. You use your hands. It’s much more relaxed than lunch/dinner times at home with the family … especially if you’re a youngster … so it goes without saying that if ‘healthy food’ is presented in a way that eliminates the subconscious ‘fun’ elements of the ‘process’, it’s appeal is going to be reduced.

However by making the whole thing look/feel/sound like one of the normal ‘menu’ items, the resistance to consumption can be reduced because the ‘eater’ will feel like they’re the same as everyone else – which is especially important as a kid – which can only be a good thing, especially in markets where the consumption of fast food is disproportionately high either because of [1] poverty or [2] it represents the only location where children can play in a safe environment.

So well done to BK … because by doing this, you are demonstrating you genuinely give-a-little-bit-of-a-shit about healthy/healthier eating and that’s a damn sight more than many in your category.

For me, this is brilliant planning and creativity …

Don’t get me wrong, I love the work Crispin’s have done for the brand, but interms of changing behaviour, I would argue this is more powerful than many ads … especially those from companies who spout how seriously they regard good health and then do the absolute bare minimum neccessary to ‘prove it’.

Maybe Crispin’s were behind it … I hope so … because as little a thing as it may seem, it represents real understanding of people, business and creativity, which is more than can be said for a lot of the multi-million dollar campaigns we’re subjected to on a daily basis.

21 Comments so far
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so you had a shit birthday did you campbell? after reading your planning political broadcast my hearts bleeding purple fucking puss.

do like the fucking apple chips idea but youre going over the fucking making it sound like its the work of newton. or you. its apples cut up to look like fucking chips. hey heres a new one, pear chips, which are pieces of pear cut to look like chips, am i a fucking genius or what?

yes i know what youre really saying, dont get like a 13 year old girl. i get it, its clever thinking, now can we move on to posts with bare tits again?

Comment by andy@cynic

Great comeback post Robert.

I’ve always found it strange people haven’t noticed the correlation between the increase in supposed healthy food consumption and obesity. Healthier food isn’t healthy and often isn’t really food. When I was working on the BK stuff I never really had an issue with their big taste/big calories campaigns because we weren’t claiming otherwise but I accept the amount of money spent on those campaigns dwarfed that of their healthier options.

As for the apple chips? It’s a great little idea that shows some real insight but unless someone knows something I don’t, it wasn’t done by Crispin’s even though I think they’ve done some awesome stuff for the brand.

Comment by Pete

I dont mind the occasional chubby pussy.

Comment by Charles

dont tell me pete, the good stuff is when you were fucking playing about with it. they say creatives have egos but you planner types make us look like fucking nuns. charles you are a fucking perverted bastard. i like you.

Comment by andy@cynic

This is a very serious post to come back with Robert, I am shocked, impressed and pleasantly surprised all at the same time.

Andrew is correct in saying the idea you praise so highly is nothing more than cut up apples, but they are wonderfully packaged cut up apples.

Very nice to have you back. I hope your birthday wasn’t as beastly as you suggest.

Comment by Lee Hill

What Lee said.

Comment by Rob

A very big FMCG company\’s food division is trying to create a new social value, by telling people, the input for food products produced by the company are bought at FAIR prices directly from farmers directly! I was kinda linking the idea until I read this post, has – made me cynical.

Comment by bhaskar

I have done my job with you Bhaskar … now go out and spread the word, ha!

Comment by Rob

You certainly have;)

Comment by Bhaskar

Typo liking not linking .

You certainly have;)

Comment by Bhaskar

simon hammond always used to harp on about the damage that the health ‘tick’ has done for food/consumption and outright lying.

i’m looking forward to seeing what the GFC will do for health. i’ve noticed that maccas have jumped on that bandwagon with : look! cheeseburger! we’re cheap! what healthy options? kind of positioning.

if BK can get people to fork out money at the moment for an apple at twice the price of an apple, power to ’em. i won’t be going anywhere near them, but it’s advertising at its best – bowl of sugar as a glass of milk.

Comment by lauren

btw, welcome back rob. sad that your birthday was kind of shit…

Comment by lauren

everyone is rushing back here arent they. have people finally got some fucking taste.

and a bowl of sugar being sold as milk is still not as good as a 4 wheeled petrol burner being sold as a 20″ cock and witty personality transplant.

Comment by andy@cynic

so that’s why you bought the hummer?

Comment by lauren

hummer in a hummer? how fucking crass of you lauren. anyway money extends your cock much more than the fucking chinese arnie car

Comment by andy@cynic

welcome back rob! that bk package is really nice. i love how they put that apple on it. and “fresh apple fries” is just genius. and funny.
though i am waiting since ages for maccas or bk to turn up with some whole wheat buns. why they haven t done that yet, as they all started going ‘healthy products’ ages ago, is something i don t get. also, all their ‘healthy’ stuff is pretty expensive, compared to the unhealthy food. not sure how they calculate their prices, but i guess they could make an extra buck.

Comment by peggy

In removing the peel they’ve removed the healthiest part of the apple no?

Comment by John

And of course you’d be eating them with all sorts of unhealthy stuff too. It’s greenwashing.

Comment by John

auntie george has a rival for his mummy crown

Comment by andy@cynic

That would be psychologically traumatic for all involved.

Comment by John

thats right dodds, play it down, we might not guess youre fucking excited at the thought.

Comment by andy@cynic

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