What’s wrong with this ad?

Someone on Twitter pinged this satirical ad for a new line of American “Paleo-esque” snacks to me. It’s a very clever pisstake of the latest health fads, specifically the Paleo movement. Self-referring pisstakes are always the best.


I love it all, except for the punch line, which is a sell for a fad-free health snack of nuts and cubes of cheese. I love this, too, except for…the plastic.

A bunch of basic snacks that anyone can package up themselves in a reuasable container at home is instead passed along an assembly line, packaged in molds and wrapped in plastic, shipped around the world and then marketed with expensive (albeit clever) ads. We get lulled into accepting this atrocious waste via a “good” ad message.

We’re going to see more of this: great messages masking atrocious means.

The world is waking up to great messages. And so manufacturers are catching on and catching up.

But none of us are getting the wastage thing. At all. This kills me.

I’m seriously finding it harder and harder to cope with our blindness to wastage, our acceptance of crass consumerism and our embracing of “hygiene phobia” (which drives a lot of the wasteful packaging these days).

We talk green, but accept the free snack on the Virgin flight and the plastic bag of hygiene accroutements.

We worry about the environment, but drive to work when it only takes 5 minutes extra to walk.

We carry our eco laundry detergent home in plastic bags.

It’s like we want to be associated with “good” but we don’t actually want to do anything ourselves. We just want to buy into it. We don’t want to wash up a lunchbox or bother to ask the waiter for a doggie bag (and then take it home, store it and remember to take it to work the next day), or carry our own drink bottle.

For some reason the fact our plastic bottle (which took 300ml of oil and seven litres of water to make, and that’s before it’s transported from Fiji or wherever) is recyclable makes everything OK.

The hypocricy of the earnest class is what gauls me the most. My Australian friends – did you check out the new national newspaper The Saturday Paper last weekend? It’s very much geared at the earnest class, myself among them. But as The Australian reported, “The pitch to advertisers identified an audience of “lighthouse” readers. ‘They are 35-49,’ the brochure said. ‘They are image-conscious and environmentally conscious, brand-aware and socially aware.’ We are told they are creative and have money to spend. He has a Moleskine and a Netflix account” and ‘she subscribes to Vanity Fair and The New Yorker’.” Advertisements were predominantly for luxury brands, including Mercedes Benz and Rolex.

A picture forms. Green and good, so long as I get to have My Things.

For crying out loud! When are we going to have a good hard look at ourselves and do the truly good thing and go without Our Things? When are we going to cut our cubes of cheese ourselves??

OK. Rant over. Feel free to share examples of “good” masking waste that rile you right now!



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