So the NFL season has ended with a bang. (Not to mention paying off for me in the Hot Air Super Bowl thread. Insert victory dance on Ed’s lawn here.) But in case you either didn’t watch it or tuned out during the commercials, you’re likely seeing some potentially confusing headlines and social media posts this morning. They deal with one of the advertisements from Doritos which might not have grabbed all that much attention were it not for the reaction from some in the pro-abortion community. The advertisement features an expecting couple at the doctor’s office (or possibly in a hospital) where mom is getting an ultrasound. The baby looks healthy and fine, but dad is paying very little attention to the procedure because he’s eating Doritos, much to his wife’s consternation. Then he notices that when he waves a Dorito chip over mom’s belly, the baby follows the motion, straining to get the snack. The finish is, well… a little disturbing for some, but here’s the ad anyway.
The reason I say “disturbing” (at least in my house) comes on two levels and it has nothing to do with the social media flap we’ll get to in a moment. The end of the advertisement struck a negative chord with my better half because of the idea of a preemie baby suddenly shooting across the office floor, casting a less funny tone on the whole thing. As for me, well… I had to make a rather embarrassing admission after some soul searching. I grew up in a Ward Cleaver era household where dad usually experienced the delivery from the waiting room, (if not the bar across the street) waiting to be informed when everything had been cleaned up and the baby was made presentable. All the stuff that took place in the delivery room was, well… you know.
But that’s not the sort of reaction which caught the attention of everyone else. The pro-abortion community, as embodied by NARAL, found the ad disgusting because it portrayed the fetus as (*gasp*) a person who might want some snack chips. Sarah Rumpf at National Review explains.
What’s causing controversy is the portrayal of that unborn baby as one with an actual human personality. As NRO’s Jay Nordlinger noted earlier, the ad dares to portray the unborn child as human, and “not a meaningless blob of protoplasm.”
The pro-abortion activist group NARAL tweeted its disapproval, criticizing Doritos for “using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses.”
— NARAL (@NARAL) February 8, 2016
By showing a “fetus” as not a “clump of cells” but a tiny human being, Doritos exposed the weakness of the pro-abortion worldview: The commitment to denying the humanity of the unborn child is in conflict with basic common sense. Those who prefer to describe their side as “pro-choice” cannot tolerate any evidence that shows the human life that “choice” could be ending.
The backlash to NARAL’s Twitter rant briefly took up more of my timeline than comments on the actual football game. It was hilarious in a gallows humor sort of way, but it also typified how far out of touch NARAL is on the subject.
One thing which didn’t get quite as much attention during all of this was the fact that this wasn’t really even an advertisement from Doritos. Yes, it was selling their product, but it wasn’t cooked up at their HQ or by their chosen advertising agency. The ultrasound ad was the winner of their “Crash the Super Bowl” contest which has been going on for ten years now. (And has produced many memorable ads.) The spot was produced by contest entrants along with thousands of others, with the winner to be shown during the big game. Further, the winner was picked by the fans, getting national exposure along with a one million dollar prize. It will also be the last year they run the competition. (Business Insider)
Business Insider spoke to Dortios-owner Frito-Lay’s chief marketing officer Ram Krishnan to find out why.
He said: “It was 2006 when we created this program. The context was different. The consumer target was millennials, MySpace was the number one website, Facebook was only in college dorms, the iPhone hadn’t launched. At that time the notion was: can you actually have consumers create content?”
He continued: “Fast forward to 2016, the landscape has changed. Consumers are grown up. Millennial consumers are now having kids. The Gen Z consumers are now our core target — most consumers are already digitally native and they’re content creators. They have their own social networks.”
So there it is. The ad did the job of drawing a tremendous amount of attention to the brand, made a name for some young and upcoming filmmakers and NARAL pretty much made fools of themselves. I’m not “offended” by the ad nor do I think they shouldn’t have run it. It’s just a matter of personal preference. (And I’ll still happily buy their delicious chips.)