General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

What do yout think of this ad?

Asked by LostInParadise (25108points) June 13th, 2009

This Sunday’s Parade Magazine newspaper insert has an eye catching ad for Post Shredded Wheat. There is a small inconspicuous picture of the product in the corner and a large attention grabbing header:
Progress Is Overrated

There is a picture of the person supposing narrating the ad, Frank Druffel.

Here is the start of the text for the ad (I have no financial interest in Post)

Has progress taken us to a better place?

I’d say it’s taken us for a ride (Probably in a carbon-coughing guzzler.)

Honestly, what thanks do we owe progress? Just ask the Pharoahs. No sooner had they built those jumbo triangles and giant cement cats than they flushed themselves down the Nile.

The ad goes on to say how Post has kept Shredded Wheat simple and gives a slogan of “We put the ‘no’ in innovation.”

What are we to make of this? I did a Web search and found tie-ins on YouTube and Twitter, so this is apparently a serious campaign. Are we supposed to take it seriously? It seems to be written very tongue in cheek. Is the ad directed at senior citizens familiar with the product or neo-Luddites? Are we actually supposed to imagine a branch of Post as a mom and pop company?

I don’t get it. I think the ad is too cute for its own good.

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16 Answers

prude's avatar

I don’t think it is a real ad.

Phobia's avatar

I completely disagree with the ad. How about we go back before the progress and live like cavemen, not the ones on the Geico commercials.

Progress is what made Post, whether they admit it or not.

Ivan's avatar

The TV commercials seem like jokes to me.

whatthefluther's avatar

I think they are just saying they offer a good simple cereal and they are not going to mess with it, despite everyone else altering or fortifying their cereals.

augustlan's avatar

I think it’s meant to be a tongue-in-cheek way of saying they were good for you before being good for you was ‘in’, and they’re still the same.

Phobia's avatar

Yeah, maybe they are old fashioned or simple, but to deny progress when its your backbone is nothing more than a lie. If you take a walk in their factories, I’m sure you will see progress everywhere.

hug_of_war's avatar

I Definitely think you’re taking it too seriously.

Phobia's avatar

Oh no, I’m not. You won’t see me roaming everywhere complaining about their ads. Lost just asked what I think about it, so I responded. =P

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Without viewing the actual ad, sounds dumb.

marcosthecuban's avatar

they got us talking about it didn’t they?

Phobia's avatar

@marcosthecuban I guess it was pretty effective then…

fireside's avatar

Sounds like what happened is that someone came up with a pretty good tag line:
“We put the ‘no’ in innovation.”

Then they had to develop a campaign around the tag line which may have been poorly executed.

kevbo's avatar

It’s tapping into the zeitgeist of everyone re-realizing notions such as the best things in life are free. (This is thanks to our crappy economy.) In other words, why are we working our asses off to grab at the brass ring, when some shit is plenty good enough and gives us a split second to relax and be happy.

LostInParadise's avatar

@augustlan , I think there is a point to what you say, but I like your slogan much better than theirs. “We were good before being good was in.” It is straightforward but still with a touch of humor.

Harp's avatar

The psychological hook is the appeal of unchanging simplicity in times of turmoil. People have an appetite for innovation and adventure when they’re feeling confident, but want to retrench to things that remind them of simpler times whenever their circumstances become unstable and complicated. Post sees here an opportunity to push a very un-sexy product that – let’s face it – doesn’t have many other good marketing angles.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It’s a real campaign, based on the product was well-made from the start, and never needed improvement.

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