The airing of a racy television commercial promoting Devour frozen ready meals during the February 3 Super Bowl LIII football championship game in the United States has triggered a call to boycott Kraft Heinz products by Culture Reframed.
The Sterling, Massachusetts based anti-pornography group took issue with the 30-second “food porn” themed ad which shows a woman commenting tongue in cheek about her boyfriend’s addiction to prepared frozen dishes as he catches him secretly watching food videos on the Internet.
Attempting to “cure” him of the habit with home cooling, she remarks: “I tried to spice things up, but it did not really work.”
Later in the spot the couple is seen viewing “amateur food videos” together on a smart phone by while dining in bed. “It so hot,” she says, while feeding him a forkful of Devour food from a microwaveable tray.
“This addiction can happen anyone – it’s hard to resist,” she declares at the end of the commercial.
While the word “porn” was sanitized from the ad as it was cut in half from the original 60-second version, Culture Reframed believes that not only was the commercial in bad taste, but it was grossly irresponsible to run.
“Porn addiction is widely shown to destroy the individual, the partners, and the children of addicts. And the impact of porn on the culture is enormous. To promote porn use and make light of porn addiction is the height of irresponsibility, and we call on Kraft Heinz to provide resources to groups preventing porn addiction,” stated Dr. Gail Dines, president and chief executive officer of the non-profit organization.
Though the commercial was censored prior to broadcast during the Super Bowl, Culture Reframed points out that the minute-long version was posted for a day on Pornhub, the most frequently visited hardcore pornographic video sharing website on the Internet. Additionally, banner advertisements were posted at the site.
“This one-day activation was part of a humorous juxtaposition to highlight the concept of food porn that began with the release of the uncensored 60-second Big Game (Super Bowl) ad,” according to a statement issued by Devour.
Meanwhile, the uncut version remains available to view at the Devour website, which is loaded with appetizing photography that some may regard as food porn, coupled with double entendre taglines such as “Let’s Get Steamy (Check Us Out); “Rated ‘M’ for Meaty (Try Our Sandwiches)”; “Tastes Forking Good (Try Our Meals)”; “We’ve Got Bowls (Try Our Bowls).
Since Kraft Heinz’s introduction of the Devour brand in 2016, which launched with a “Food You Want to Fork” campaign, the company has been provocative in pushing its line of meals. The portfolio boasts a growing menu that includes Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese and Loaded Potatoes with Angus Beef & Bacon.
G Rating for Mr. Peanut
Chicago-headquartered Kraft Heinz, which ranks as the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest in the world with $26.2 billion in sales during 2017, also ran a separate 30-second commercial to promote its Planters snacking brand during the Super Bowl. Apparently there were no complaints about Mr. Peanut and his Nutmobile, though we have yet to check with the Allergy Advocacy Association or the Allergy Foundation of America.
While Kraft Heinz is perhaps best known for Kraft and Philadelphia brand cream cheese, Heinz pickles, Grey Poupon mustard and Oscar Mayer hot dogs, its has other household name frozen food products found in retail stores in addition to Devour. Among them are Ore-Ida potatoes and Smart Ones ready meals.