Tag Archives: candy

Sorry…I Was Eating a Milky Way

Today at the Storytime we are going to have a special talk for the Admen! Squeeze in tight so everybody can fit, there’s room for everyone at Aunt Mary’s!

Guys, I understand you are under a lot of pressure. Your creations have the ability to last forever now thanks to the internet and I’m betting your clients are asking the impossible from you. I’m sure they want an iconic campaign that reaches every target market and spans different media all while sticking to a tight budget. I’m guessing you got to hear all about your client’s neighbor’s nephew who is just a wiz with that social media stuff.

I really feel for you. It’s hard. But I wanted to give one small, gentle piece of advice from someone who loves advertising:


milkyway ad road

Yes, I get it, assholes are really in vogue right now. We might even we living in the golden age of the Jerk-Almighty.  But here’s the thing: nobody wants to buy stuff from a jackass.

Currently the biggest knuckleheads in my book are the folks in the campaign for Milky Way candy bars. These commercials feature workers accomplishing terrible results at their jobs (misspelled tattoos, poorly painted street markings, hair burnt off client’s head) and when called on their poor work retort with an eye roll and snotty “Sorry… I was eating a Milky Way” not unlike a spoiled valley girl who was caught in her parents liquor cabinet.

My best guess is they were trying to edge in on Snickers brilliant “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign, but just not hitting the mark. The characters are rude and dismissive and truthfully not anyone I would want associated with my brand. I suppose a case could be made that the candy bars are so on point your forget about everything else…but I’m not buying it.

What’s more, none of these incidents are particularly creative. Misspelled tattoos happen and the “No Regerts” tattoo was featured in the movie “We’re the Millers.” Especially eyebrow raising is the cruise ship scenario which hits a little too close to the 2012 crash of the Costa Concordia in Italy which resulted in the death of 32 people. Not  exactly a gold mine of hilarious content.

We’ve talked about the choice of weird spokespeople before in the Liberty Mutual ads, making me wonder if the anti-hero is a trend with some legs.

But, Aunt Mary must give credit when due, I have to admit I find the print ads for this campaign creative and attractive, even though the sentiment is the same. Perhaps the stylized cartoon imagery makes it a little less dismissive? hmm…



Thanks Easter Bunny! (Bawk Bawk!)

Easter candy of my childhood was gross. The research team here at Aunt Mary Industries performed a very scientific study* and found 1980’s Easter candy to be just the worst. You can’t argue with facts, people.

Ass-deep in neon plastic grass that would soon lend a festive air to your cat’s hairballs, you were lucky to dig out a waxy chocolate rabbit and some sticky jelly beans from your basket. If the Easter Gods had smiled upon you, you may find a package of Peeps or a Cadbury Egg.

Sure, the wrappers were often very pretty, but like many things 80’s it was all style over substance. We resigned ourselves to the idea that Easter candy was just a hallow, chalky, tasteless cousin to it’s Halloween and Christmas brethren.

And that’s why this ad is so important to me. It gave a generation hope. Hope that we could soon be freed from the nasty candy prison.

Why, M&M’s are delicious! These kids got them in their Easter baskets and look, Mom! Their fancy Easter clothes are still pristine because M&M’s melt in your mouth, NOT in your hands.

And that, Kids, is how M&M’s saved Easter.

Now you can get pretty much any of your favorites candies in the form of an egg or bunny or in pretty spring wrappings. Kids today have no idea how good they have it.

Shout out to this poor kid who evidently had the pudding kicked out of him over a bag of M&M’s. She was NOT going back to Palmer bunnies, you hear me?

Yeah, Thanks a friggin’ LOT, Easter Bunny.
*Research team is me asking folks on Facebook.

Just One Ad -Two Great Tastes!

I hate to think there was a time in our history that we had to be told that peanut butter and chocolate were amazing together, but this ad took great pains to deliver this message in the strongest of terms.  “Hey dumb-dumbs!” it seems to say, “Eat these things together. All the cool kids are doing it.”

Not only was a delicious candy bar made, the beloved Reese’s Cup, but a slogan that lives on in time was born:Two great tastes that taste great together.

For the youngsters in the group today, the young people are listening to WalkMen. Or WalkMans. I don’t know the plural. They were the forerunners of diskmen which were sort of like prehistoric ipods, which were early iphones. It’s all terribly confusing.

Let us take a moment to acknowledge the man who takes time from his busy day to stick his nose into these kids’ business. No dude, you’re not creepy at all.

reeses man

I will also state for the record, no one  in the 80’s would have been found dancing down the street sticking her paws into a crock of peanut butter. Cocaine? Maybe. But NOT peanut butter. Eww.

Just One Ad – Snickers has Gone Nuts on Sports Illustrated

It’s no surprise why folks love Snickers’ “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign, we have it to thank for the comeback of Betty White! Also, everyone can relate to being so hangry you behave in bug-nutty ways.

For Sports Illustrated always anticipated Swimsuit edition, the candy makers have unleashed this ad which has caused titillated folks the world over to pause and say “eh…what the hell…”

snickers retoucher_5_
You want to look away and yet you can’t

Both engrossing and just sort of gross, it’s also rather funny. Some poor schmoe  photo editor was so damn hungry not even this fine young lady in her undies was enough to keep him on track.

The message: eat snickers or you’ll screw up and folks will be mad.

Oy, the belly button, the weird baby toes, the floating hand reminiscent of a Dan Brown novel. It’s rather compelling in a hidden picture sort of way. Everybody loves a good “look how the photo retoucher messed up!” story. See here for some great (and by great I mean terrible) examples.

On the other hand,  associating your product with hedonism and nearly-nekkid ladies isn’t the worst idea as far as advertising goes.

Halloween Ad Grab Bag

I was unable to settle on just one ad, or really get my teeth into any one story this week so let’s just spoil our dinner on a buffet of awesome retro commercials! Like a good trick or treat bag, Halloween ads are varied and plenty.

When door-to-door trick or treating became an actual thing in the first half of the 20th century, manufacturers tussled to get a piece of the Halloween action. For a while cereal companies tried to strong arm their way in by advertising that individual cereal boxes were perfect to hand out to the ghouls at the door. How cool would that be to crack open a box of trick or treat on the morning of November 1st?

Keep the sugar rush going 'round the clock!
Keep the sugar rush going ’round the clock!

When it became apparent that this whole trick or treating thing was going to stick, the candy gods figured they could take a hold of the market by selling bulk, mini treats as a convenient answer to the homemade sweets many families handed out..

This is Just For Halloween, ya hear.
This is Just For Halloween, ya hear. The kids in this ad seem a little nervous. 

I like this ad just because it says “tricks or treats” on the kids’ bags just like from Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I’m also glad the kid from A Christmas Story found a use for his pajama bunny suit present.

Full sized candy bars! What are we, rich?
Full sized candy bars! What are we, rich?

Our final Halloween tribute ad is a gem from the 2000 Olympic Games and reported to have been banned. Staring a smokin’ hot Olympiad and a Michael Myers/Jason Voorhees type, the take away message here is Nike shoes will save your life. Also if you have plans to be a crazed serial killer it might be good to include some cardio in your prep.

Happy Halloween!

The Sweetest Day

Kids, this one combines some of Aunt Mary’s favorite things: clever marketing campaigns, early nutrition ideas, candy and a splash of altruism. Let’s go!

I’ve heard of Sweetest Day my whole life. I remember our local ABC affiliate used to run a Happy Sweetest Day message during commercial breaks when I was a kid. I always thought it was a pale cousin to Valentine’s Day, cooked up to get folks to spend money or feel the pain of an angry spouse.

It’s not! Well, not exactly…

“The Sweetest Day of the Year” was  created by Cleveland candy mogul and philanthropist Herbert Birch Kingston and was first celebrated in 1921. Herb promoted the day as a way to show care for the less fortunate by giving them small boxes of candy. This would not only spread the love, but it would provide badly needed “food energy” from the sugar.  Numerous contemporary celebrities gathered in Cleveland that year to pass out boxes of sweets to orphans, widows and newsboys. Aw, that’s nice!

Here and orphan, or newsboy, or orphan enjoys candy
Here an orphan, or newsboy, or widow enjoys candy

Quickly the tables turned and the next year Sweetest Day was endorsed by Cleveland candy manufactures as a way to get in good with the missus.

Forget the orphans. Show your lady some love instead.

Folks were also encouraged to give treats and small presents to friends and neighbors as a way to slow down and engage with those around you. Still nice…

Despite national marketing campaigns, Sweetest Day never spread farther than the Midwest. I live in the Midwest and I actually heard it advertised yesterday in a radio spot for a grocery store. Sweetest Day may just be the Little Engine that Could of D-list holidays, chugging along for over 90 years now in the form of ragged flower bouquets, and half-hearted candy displays. I say we try to restore it to its original altruistic purpose, though I’m not sure how to approach the widows or where to even find a newsboy.