Heinz Beans advert canned
Poor British kids! They must have been so shocked when they saw the last Heinz TV ad. The video shows a happy family in its morning routine, grabbing sandwiches made by a traditional New York Deli man who ends up kissing… another man. I’m not sure whether children were traumatised by this ad (or even saw it as it carried an “ex-kids” restriction, i.e. it wasn’t broadcast when children are supposed to be watching telly), but it seems that about 200 angry adults complained about it. Which has led Heinz to withdraw it.
I’m over from France and I can’t help but wonder: has Britain lost its legendary sense of humour and sarcasm? As the ad agency AMV BBDO explains, the ad is supposed to make people understand that buying that shocking mayonnaise is supposed to make you feel as if you had “your own New York Deli man in your kitchen”. That’s why the kids and husband call the cook “mum” – as if the mother, using Heinz, had turned into the deli man.
A few thoughts now. A: I’m surprised that feminist groups haven’t complained in the first place about the fact that “mum” is cooking while dad is going to work. B: I find Heinz quite gutless to pull the ad after only 200 complaints for a simple same-sex couple kiss. C: the language used by Big Brother’s contestants, for instance, is in my opinion much more shocking, and the show is now in its 9th year.
There are more and more ads of almost naked men, especially those posing for underwear. Think of the last Beckham’s one for instance. Posh must be so proud of seeing her husband’s genitals nearly exposed in magazines and on buildings. He’s hailed and acclaimed for it. Beckham has always flirted with the gay “codes” in his style. And so has the advertising industry, especially when it comes to fashion. But it seems that as soon as the thin line between suggestion and reality is crossed, then it becomes shocking and people complain.
Same-sex couples are real. And they have the right to kiss in public. I find it sad that Heinz denies them by withdrawing its ad. Publicity is a part of our culture and represents modern society and today’s behaviours. By stepping-back, Heinz only played the game of some narrow-minded viewers. Showing more gay couples on TV would do nothing but normalize a social reality, and maybe help tackling homophobia and fear related to gay men.