Columbia Star

Delicious Salads

It’s not a criticism; It’s an observation



In the early days of television, advertising was simple and direct. Most TV ads were based on tried and true methods developed in print media. As companies learned how to utilize this new medium, a more aggressive advertising attitude began. Things haven’t been the same since.

When pet companies first began using TV to convey their message, the message was much different from today. Dogs and cats were considered animals, and the emphasis was on convenience and tastiness. There were rumors that pets were confined and nearly starved just before filming so they would eat the sponsors’ particular brand of dog food with enthusiasm and relish.

Today’s attitude is reflected in the advertising focus on pet parents; we treat animals as if they are alternate versions of our children. But the old ways have shifted to other product lines.

Panera Bread has a campaign designed to change focus away from bread, which isn’t considered very healthy, to salads, which have become the modern stereotypical healthy eating Nirvana.

In one commercial, a young lady is sitting in a Panera restaurant eating a salad as if she just awakened from six months’ hibernation. She looks up and apologizes for the absence of manners, implying the salad is so tasty she can’t help it. Gimme a break.

We’re talking about salads; a combination of raw vegetables primarily used to exercise the taste buds before the real food arrives. Not so long ago, salads weren’t even considered part of dinner; they were a preliminary course like soup and appetizers. Never been considered tasty.

Then we all got fat, grew concerned, and then went health crazy. Like all the other kinds of crazy Americans have traveled to in my lifetime, salad crazy isn’t based on either research or facts, has no logic attached to it, and just doesn’t make sense to a thinking person.

Because raw veggies are good for the system, consuming them is a low calorie source of sustenance. Because they are raw veggies, they are also disgusting to our taste buds, which have evolved to prefer sweet, salty, beer, and melty.

So salad makers began adding ingredients to salads to make them more palatable. This also gave most salads the caloric equivalent of a cinnamon swirl French toast sandwich like the one Ronda Rousey consumes in the latest Hardees commercial.

Cheese, tasty dressings, and the ever-present bacon, usually with some sort of meat chaser, make salads taste much better. Not as good as a triple cheeseburger but better than a regular, healthy salad. All those added calories make losing weight harder. Folks could just exercise more, but we suck at math. We don’t want to reduce caloric intake; we want magic.

So the evil food corporations resort to trickery by filming commercials that imply salads are tasty. They likely withhold food from young girls desperate for attention until they’ll eat Ronda Rousey’s sweat socks.

This works brilliantly. Despite having the largest and best developed brains in the animal kingdom, humans are susceptible to anything that uses sex, trickery, or scary strangers to convince us the advertisers’ claims are factual. This method rarely fails.

Common sense and logic lose to magic every time.

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