Is this Spud for You?

In an earlier post I compared creative writing—notably fiction—to advertising. I observed that both had characters, situations, plots. In a story there is conflict and some form of resolution. In the case of advertising, there’s a call to action. Both evoke feelings.

This is certainly all true of an ad currently in rotation for Heinz Ketchup. Maybe you’ve seen it. And if you’ve seen it, I think you’ll remember it.

The ad, produced by a creative agency called “Rethink Canada,” stars a potato. Yes, a potato. And not just any potato. He (and it could only be a gentleman potato) is a passive, pensive looking spud. His expression could well be described as sad. (It would definitely be sad if he knew what was coming). We follow him through his final day. He’s dropped into a vessel of water, and then his face is vigorously scrubbed with a brush (lucky potatoes have some extra eyes). And then—here’s where things get really gruesome—we see Mr. Potato placed on a cutting board. A tear runs gently from one eye down his face. Then a disembodied hand reaches for a glittering, sword-sized knife. Nooooooo! The scene changes (thank heavens) and we see a container full of fries among which are several Mr. Potatoes their faces in tact though much narrower.  Finally, the plate is doused in blood-red Ketchup. No more pensive little faces. No more Mr. Potato. Scrubbed. Sliced. Cooked. Dead. And all this to music—an ‘80’s song called “What About Love?” Indeed! What about love?

On a website talking about the ad, we’re told that the piece is intended to show the love story between food and Heinz Ketchup. I guess it’s a love-ate relationship.

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