Today's Paper Obits Weather Community Calendar Newsletters Readers' Choice: Best of the Best
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
story.lead_photo.caption In this Jan. 17 photo, workers use a lift to install a Super Bowl 53 wrap on the outside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium as it is transformed for the big NFL football game in Atlanta. Kraft Heinz’ frozen-food brand Devour is trying to make waves during its Super Bowl debut with an ad taking a humorous jab at one man’s “frozen food porn addiction.” Super Bowl ads have long used raunchiness and sex stand out during the Super Bowl, advertising’s biggest stage. But the approach runs the risk of offending the audience. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Sex sells … frozen food dishes?

Kraft Heinz’ frozen-food brand Devour is trying to make waves during its Super Bowl debut with an ad that takes a humorous, innuendo-packed jab at one man’s “porn addiction” — as in “frozen food porn.”

Super Bowl ads have long used raunchiness and sex to stand out during advertising’s biggest stage. Think Cindy Crawford downing a Pepsi wearing skimpy shorts in 1992 or the 2013 GoDaddy ad that showed a squeamishly close-up shot of a kiss. But advertisers have largely toned it down in recent years, focusing instead on crowd-pleasing approaches using animals, humor or celebrities. Raunchy ads risk offending or polarizing a company’s intended target audience.

That’s likely to happen with Devour’s ad, said Allen Adamson, co-founder of the branding consultancy MetaForce.

“Male millennials may get a yuk out of it, but it is going to do very little to sell any products,” he said. “It’s more likely to do more damage than good for the actual brand.”

This undated image provided by Devour shows a scene from Kraft Heinz' frozen-food brand Devour's Super Bowl debut. Devour is trying to make waves during its Super Bowl debut with an ad taking a humorous jab at one man's "frozen food porn addiction." (Devour via AP)
This undated image provided by Devour shows a scene from Kraft Heinz' frozen-food brand Devour's Super Bowl debut. Devour is trying to make waves during its Super Bowl debut with an ad taking a humorous jab at one man's "frozen food porn addiction." (Devour via AP)

So why take the risk? The stakes are high as a 30-second ad can cost more than a reported $5 million.

“It’s an example of the intense pressure on marketers to at all costs say ‘Hey look at me,’” he said. “There’s nothing worse than spending $5 million and having no one notice.”

Devour released a 60-second “uncensored” version online last month and plans a toned-down, 30-second version during today’s game. Devour isn’t giving details on what it’s cutting, beyond saying it won’t use the word “porn.” Even so, Adamson said, it can backfire because the suggestive message doesn’t tie in closely with the product itself.

In the uncensored version, a woman talks about her boyfriend’s problem with “frozen food porn” and says he watches it several times a day and has a hidden stash of photos — of food. Among the suggestive lines is the girlfriend saying that the addiction has made him a “three-minute man,” as in the amount of time it takes to heat up a frozen meal.

Though people don’t typically associate frozen foods with raunchiness, Devour’s latest ad is consistent with prior marketing efforts: It launched in 2016 with the tagline “Food You Want to Fork.”

Other Super Bowl advertisers include Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, Kia and Verizon. Colgate Total was the first advertiser to unveil its Super Bowl ad. The ad released in late January stars Luke Wilson as a close talker.

Sponsor Content

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT