Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has put out a couple of TV spots as part of a new, anti-obesity campaign. Before I go any further, I would just like to point out that they are brave, brave people for even attempting this. The only thing people like less than being told they need to lose weight is being told they need to lose weight while they’re wearing a bathing suit.
What Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota does in their ads is show how parents can often set a bad example for their children without even realizing it. This strategy essentially says, “I know you’re busy and overweight and all, but I just wanted to let you know that you’re probably a bad parent too. TTYL!” I get what they’re going for, but I’m not sure this is going to get through to parents. I think if you want to win someone over, you shouldn’t lead off with a 30-second example of why they’re chubby and wrong.
But, I think we can all agree that more vegetables and exercise wouldn’t hurt anyone. I guess you could get hurt exercising or eating vegetables. I heard of this guy who fell on a potato once and he had to get four stitches. He’s our building maintenance man now.
Here are the commercials:
[youtube nXy2UZPncrk BCBS MN Shopping]
First, I should point out that ad is basically the same thing as this anti-smoking ad that used to run here in Des Moines (the Internet refused to give me a link for the video, the bastard). It showed a daughter following her mother around the grocery store, copying everything she does and says. When the mom gets to the checkout, she asks for some cigarettes and then her daughter asks for some too. Of course the cashier is all menacing and judgy. No one asked what you thought, cashier! I could buy and sell you, thinks the mom!
Anyway, back to the ad at hand. It’s pretty heavy-handed, and at the end, the mom feels bad for providing her child with all of these unhealthy snacks. I say, let’s look at the positive. They may be heavy, but they can afford two grocery carts of food – in this economy! Good for them. Also, they’re walking around the grocery store, which is a form of exercise. This thing is full of silver linings.
[youtube 1gCTX2EfUUs BCBS MN Eating Out]
I wouldn’t say that the first ad is particularly successful, but this one is even less so. Listen to those kids! No kids in the history of kids have ever argued over whose father can eat more! It’s never happened. They’re more likely to argue about which is their favorite episode of Murder, She Wrote. Also, the amount of food on their dad’s tray is a little over the top. I know they’re trying to make a point here, but come on. He had enough self control to put pants on before he left the house, so I think he must have enough to not order one of everything on the menu. But, that was nice of him to take his son and his son’s friend out for lunch. More. Silver. Linings.