Thursday, November 19, 2009

Imperial Margarine and the effects of advertising on kids

I was raised by a mother that at the time would have been considered either a "food faddist" or a "health food nut". We didn't have white bread or white rice, and white sugar was scarce. We also didn't have dessert on any regular basis. My mom brought us up to believe that yogurt or cottage cheese with canned peaches was dessert. On occasion, she would bake peanut butter cookies and then my little sister and I would get one cookie each, one night a week, before going to bed. That was a treat!

My dad basically went along with my mom's "rules", as long as he had the stuff he liked. He was a major meat and potatoes guy that was raised in the depression and considered things like hot dogs and sliced potatoes to be comfort food.

My parents would usually do the weekly grocery shopping on Saturdays. Sometimes, though, things ran out during the week, or were just missed on the Saturday shopping trip. One time in particular sticks with me.

My little sis and I were both determined to try this Imperial Margarine. Why not, really? After all, you could eat a piece of bread that was "buttered" with this margarine, and music would play and a crown would suddenly be on your head! Well, who wouldn't want that? We begged my mom for this margarine, but to no avail. She was a Mazola gal all the way. That was the only margarine allowed in our house.

It just so happened that the Mazola was out and an "emergency", out of the weekly norm shopping trip was required. My dad was pegged with that job. My dad was nowhere near as strict with products as my mom. My sister and I went to the store with our dad. Our begging worked with my dad, and luckily we convinced him to get Imperial Margarine instead of Mazola. We were quite excited. The crown was finally in sight!

Well, we got home and unpacked the grocery bag. Much to my mom's horror, we did not bring home Mazola. She hit the roof and demanded this "crap" be returned and replaced with Mazola. We lost the battle. My dad gave in and off to the store he went to return the Imperial. Needless to say, little sis and I were not happy. The crown that was so close, was now completely out of reach.

So, for just a moment here, as you watch the video below, reconnect with your inner child and tell me if you did, or would have bought the "concept". On the other hand, how would you have felt once you did bite into that bread "buttered" with Imperial Margarine and there was NO music and NO crown on your head? To me, although I never got to try it, that would have been a HUGE disappointment. And, how exactly did the advertisers plan to defend their lies? Obviously the adults knew better, but let's face it, ads are not really geared towards knowing adults. Ads are geared towards kids that believe and then torture their parents into buying something. Sadly, maybe, my mom didn't buy into the kid torture. Maybe I should contact Mad Men for an interview and explanation of this. Oh wait, they're not real either.

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