Miracle Whip Ad Goes for Yucks, Gets Icks

Miracle Whip, the Kraft sandwich condiment, now has a YouTube Channel. The Channel welcomes visitors, saying, “Hey. Thanks for stopping by. A lot of people say they hate us without every trying us. And that's wrong …” Indeed it is. But it’s hard to see how an ad associating the product with prostitution in a sleazy hotel room is going to right the situation.

Miracle Whip has a new ad campaign designed to address the prejudice of some consumers against it. The first installment of “Keep an open mouth” was a cute send-up of the “The Crucible” mixed with the Witch scene in “Monty Python & the Holy Grail.” With pitchforks and torches, colonial townspeople storm a remote cabin to burn the “foul unholy beast” of the Miracle Whip, only to go away sheepishly when it’s pointed out that they’ve never even tried it.

But the second ad in the series takes a decidedly seamier tack. The camera shows a jar of Miracle Whip on the table in a darkly lit hotel room. Next to it sits a wad of cash, and behind it, the tangled sheets of an unmade bed. The voice-over says, "Sweet, tangy, creamy ... you don't often find these things in one place … Maybe in Vegas, if you know where to look. And us." Following that, the written tag line, “Keep an open mouth,” has decidedly different – and less palatable – implications.

Coupled with the in-your-face sexual suggestiveness of the new Carl’s Jr. fast food ad that the Culture and Media Institute recent wrote about, it looks like TV ads may be beginning a new race to the bottom.

Note to ad agencies: To make your product stand out during boringly “outrageous” and predictably “shocking” shows like “Degrassi,” “Glee,” and even the Grammys, try overestimating the audience.