Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How Dare You Feed Me Minced Fish!!?!

Have you seen this commercial?


It makes me SO angry.

Initially, I was cheesed because of the dialogue. I mean, who thinks it cute for a little girl to speak to her mother that way? Not me. If Jooj talked to me like that (being honest--WHEN Jooj talks to me like that) she gets disciplined. Because it is not okay. Because I am the mom and she is not. And if I want to buy her minced fish then, by gum, she will eat it and shut up about it. Because she is four, and minced fish is not any worse than whole fish sticks. Fish sticks are fish sticks. In fact, in order to mince fish the manufacturer has to use BETTER fish to begin with, because lesser-quality fish won't hold up through the mincing process.

About the third time I saw this, though, I realized there was much more to it than the sassy little sasspot bossing her mother around. The thing that makes me the angriest about this commercial is that it is designed to make mothers feel guilty about feeding their children something "inferior." Which is total crap. I know that it is a tried-and-true marketing technique, but there is something about the child blatantly telling her mother that she is terrible for her fish purchase that enrages me. It makes me never want to buy this brand ever again.

But, really, this is not about fish sticks. It is about tapping into the guilt that mommies face every day. It is about advertisers pushing the idea that whatever a mother does, it is never enough. Not only are we expected to bear and raise and teach and nurture our young, but we had better do it with the most expensive, modern products available. For Pete's sake, they are applying the whole Madonna/Whore concept to FISH FINGERS.

And this is why I yell at my television.

33 comments:

soybeanlover said...

Time to invest in a TiVo, or become a pirate(then you get to swashbuckle and say arrrr as you watch commercial free TV).

Whoever said expensive was better anyway? Those marketing people have some bad karma coming to them! Dang TV and it's mind poison.

AzĂșcar said...

I just...


I can't...


If my kid talked to me like that I would lose it.

b. said...

And Malawi's letting her adopt another kid!

b. said...

Probably because she doesn't serve her children inferior fish sticks.

rookie cookie said...

"You will eat whatever I put in front of you, you little beast. I am not a restaurant. And you get a time out and a beating for talking to you mother like that. I am the best mom you will ever have."

And that is how I deal with such situations.

Mrs. Organic said...

La Yen, this was so perfect.

"Now that's more like it." It's like they are pushing the whole Toddlers and Tiaras agenda with that commercial.

La Yen said...

B, I just got it. Zing!

I HAVE a DVR. But sometimes we just turn on the Spongebob and this comes along with the territory.

I am glad I am not the only one.

Queen Scarlett said...

K usually starts by looking at whatever I have prepared and saying "but I don't like...(insert vegetable)" and I say "I don't want to hear what you don't like...you're eating it".

Anyone who allows their child to be the boss...has a future stripper in the making.

Geo said...

La Yen, your vision is crystal clear.

dalene said...

"I am not a restaurant."

Yep!

Kathi said...

I am totally annoyed at the trend to bossy bratty kids speaking very disrespectfully to their mothers! This is not the first example but this is the most annoying one right now because it's everywhere. Every time I see that snotty little ill-bred monster, I have an urge to slap the mother because she allowed it. My kids would not have DARED to talk to me like that... and they never EVER would have questioned the quality of what I was serving them ("moving" broccoli - fresh broccoli from the garden plus a few unintended and totally unnoticed tiny green worms notwithstanding!). Honestly if this had been my child, she would have been informed that when she starts buying the groceries she can buy what she wants but until then she eats what I buy, like it or not... I would also give her the option not to eat it at all. My own parents would have sent me to bed without dinner but I never believed in that...

Anyway, this "kid rules" attitude comes from somewhere, but it sure doesn't come from here! If people are actually letting their kids run right over them like that, no wonder our world is so messed up.

Ugh! I can't adequately express how much that commercial disturbs me!

kieralee said...

For crying out loud, are you serious? CHILL OUT. It is a cute commercial, and the little girl's dialogue is hilarious. "Have you ever caught a minced fish?"
That's HUMOR, people. Pick some up the next time you visit the grocery store to buy your kids the minced fish you feed them before you give them the Ritalin.

sydneybrezany said...

I agree! There's nothing wrong with that commercial. She's an adorable little girl and they decided to make a humorous commercial with her. what's wrong with that? JEEZ!!

sydneybrezany said...

Besides it IS just a commercial she didn't REALLY talk to her mom like that. I'm sure in real life she's a very sweet little girl. :-)

AzĂșcar said...

Of course she's a sweet girl, sydneybrezany, because no child actually talks like that. That child was fed lines. I have a beef with the writers for using a manipulative ploy to guilt mothers into buying a product. The kind of words they had the innocent child say were ANNOYING.


I work in marketing, the thing you don't want to do is to annoy and piss off your customer. This commercial has FAILED because it doesn't make me want to buy their fish sticks, it makes me want to sock someone.

Queen Scarlett said...

keiralee and sydneybreazy - sometimes it's useful to look beyond the "cutesy" pictures and understand the message that is being delivered. When the message is not intelligent, and not even humorous... it deserves a big FAIL.

I guess we should all just sit on our couches and suck in whatever seems "cute". This is why inane news organizations do useless, fluff animal packages instead of real news.

Kalli Ko said...

I'm sorry Kieralee, and let's be honest I don't even really care about you opinion or your friend Sydney's either on here. But apparently you're 16, which would mean you know nothing so zip it.

And don't feel bad about knowing nothing, I was 16 once too so I know what that feels like.

Kalli Ko said...

I'm sorry, let's be proper here, I don't care about YOUR opinion.

My bad.

dalene said...

hey kids, we get the difference between commercials and real life. and we know someone thought they were being funny when they wrote that.

but we don't like kids being sassy to their mothers and that's ok.

maybe when you grow up and have a sassy daughter telling you she hates what you cooked for dinner and demanding something different while you constantly hear the media telling that you are not enough then you'll have enough of it, too.

oh and for the record, that ritalin comment was sassy and uncalled for. so i think you sort of made part of la yen's point for her. thank you.

oh, and humor? la yen wrote the book on humor.

Amy said...

keiralee and sydneybreazy-
Of course it is ignoramuses like yourselves who think kids acting disrespectful towards their parents on a commercial is simply adorable. Unfortunately, this leaves you with no foundation when it comes to raising a child of your own. Character and values can be found (or found lacking) in all areas of life. I suppose you can choose to ignore this....and purposefully raise bratty, disrespectful kids of your own. Hope I don't run into them.

lalalala said...

Yikes!!! Amy and Kalli Ko really need to take deep breaths!!! Can't imagine a fish stick commercial getting folks so enraged and spiteful towards those with differing opinions! I am a single mother of two respectful boys, both of whom are admired by other adults and have graduated from high school and obtained full scholarships to universities, and the fact that I think this commercial is cute didn't damage my children or cause me to be a bad parent. Life is hard and stressful - learn to appreciate the good, even in a silly little commercial.

La Yen said...

Lalalalala, I think that the thing that got the ladies so irritated was the fact that these teenagers are personally attacking the commenters and their mothering capabilities and styles. To tell us, ME, that we need to get a sense of humor about what we perceive as a systemic problem of blatant manipulation by advertisers is certainly an opinion, but more a confrontational criticism than anything. Add to that the "while you give your kid Ritalin" comment and these teens (because they are teenage girls that do not know any of us from Adam) have suggested that our children have serious behavioral, educational, and emotional issues. In addition, the current connotation of "feed your kid Ritalin" is generally a negative one IE "medicate your child so you do not have to parent." As a single mother of grown children, I would hope you could imagine how you might react in a situation where, at best, your parenting skills were being insulted, and at worst, your children were being mocked and "diagnosed" as "troubled", all on your home turf, by teenage girls who do not know you.

Yes, the little girl is adorable. That is why the advertising agency chose her. For their commercial. Which I find neither silly nor harmless--I find it blatantly manipulative towards mothers. If you find it cute, fab for you. And if you find teen girls lurking on your blogs and insulting your contributors, I hope that you can appreciate the good in their comments, because I certainly can't.

That being said, thank you for raising two good men! I hope you will continue to drop by, and fill out your profile so we might know more about you!

Salva said...

I don't get it. This is a funny/cute commercial to advertise bad food for kids. It seems to me that MOST of you have so much emptiness if their lives that they feel the need to over analyze the simplest of concepts. WOMAN FIND YOURSELF A HOBBY AND GET OFF THE COUCH!

Nate said...

As a young man of 30 without children, I know i'm venturing into dangerous waters here. But after carefully reading each comment I just can't help but throw in my two cents...and I have no illusions about what this post is. It is just my opinion, as is everyone else's post. Here's some food for thought...completely off topic, but you'll get my point in just a second...One word, HAITI. This ongoing thread, that has been going on for months, is so...insignificant, in the scheme of things. I'm with lalalala (that's four "la"s by the way) in that it's a cute commercial, and life is too damn difficult and painful not to appreciate something humorous when it comes along. Anyone with half a brain can tell you the intention of an advertisement is to sell you something, in this case fishsticks. However, going further and saying the advertiser is saying you're a bad mom if you give your kid a minced fish stick is reading way too much into, what is essentially a cute kid being sassy in a way that kids normally aren't. That's what makes it humorous and satirical...It's outrageous. I think there are two fundamental ways to interpret this. 1. It's funny. Laugh. Appreciate the few simple seconds of stupidity that this commercial represents. OR... 2. Become irritated with "how disrespectful that little girl is" and "how those sneaky advertisers are making me feel guilty for not being a good enough mom".

Plus, if you're going to get upset at a commercial, there are so many others more worthy of criticism. For example, watch NBC and you'll get continuous bombardment of commercials for GE and Boeing, two companies *constantly* trying to promote an image of the benevolent corporation doing good for America and the world. What they don't show the public is how the devices they create go towards killing and maiming humanity on a pretty much daily basis all around the globe. To me, that's so much more of a travesty than, say, a mom giving her kid some damn minced fish.

La Yen said...

Thanks for your input, Nate. As you can see from the dates, when I wrote this, A YEAR AGO, Haiti was not an issue as it is today. The only reason that there is a back-and-forth dialogue going on is because people keep commenting and I keep responding--always with my main point, which is:

If advertisers want to make a funny commercial, go right ahead.
I, however, do NOT find this commercial funny. I find it manipulative.
Unfortunately for the advertisers, neither teen girls nor 30-YO men without children are their target audience for this particular commercial. This commercial has failed in their attempt to get me to purchase their product.

dalene said...

nate. so last year. so before haiti. so ironic that you care about la yen caring about a stupid commercial.

if you're going to get upset at a blog post (because really, why else would you bother commenting on last year's post, unless someone is paying you or you have nothing better to do), there are so many others more worthy of criticism.

back to the commercial:

me personally, i'm just as annoyed at commercials that paint men as pathetic (and you should be too) as i am that send yet another message that women are not enough. most of us here on this blog are too smart for that garbage. and if we don't like the message--overt or subtle--we won't buy it.

i'm just sayin'.

dalene said...

and by "most," i mean all.

Michelle said...

Wow. Well, being a mother of 2 and having pretty decent parenting skills. I am going to have to agree with 30 year old, without child, Nate. Simply because, in my opinion, judging from many of the comments on here, a lot of you are blowing things out of proportion. I understand both perspectives. While I don't agree with the Ritalin comment, I do agree that people need to relax a little. Some people on here just seem plain angry...which seems misplaced.

Dalene, as I am doing now, Nate was simply expressing what he thought, fully aware that he may be attacked. But I actually found what he said true. I don't think it matters when he, or anyone else for that matter, posts a comment. They're just pointing out some facts. I just happened to be looking for this commercial to show my husband because something reminded me of it today..and I came across this blog post. Admittedly curious, I read the comments and though I usually never do so...I'm putting in my two cents. As I was saying, I just googled this minced fish commercial, and this is what I got. There probably are a lot of other posts worthy of criticism...but you're here commenting too, are you not?

La Yen continues to express her opinion as well, she does not agree with the commercial, which is fine. Even though she was in these advertisers target audience, she's not buying it, because she's offended by it. As many others seem to be on here. I do not buy fish sticks in general for my kids, so maybe I'm not part of their target audience, but either way, I think there's too much over-analyzation. Sure, this commercial may not be for everyone, and everyone has a different sense of humor...but I don't believe this was a malicious attack on mothers' nuturing of their children. While I do agree if a child is disrepectful, there needs to be discipline...this would not be a prime example. Now, if you do what my son did yesterday, (practically gag on the perfectly healthy and tasty homemade chicken soup and proceed to tell me that he doesn't like the green things in it, cilantro, and when i tell him to ignore it and just eat, throws a temper tantrum, eats the soup with an attitude, says he's full and can't finish THEN has the audicity to ask for ice cream afterwards) that's something to get irritated over...(he did end up apologizing for how he was and finished the soup no problem)...but not this. I don't think it's anything to go bashing each other over. I agree with lalala and Nate...learn to just appreciate a silly 16 second commercial of a little girl using dialogue that seens more mature than she is and a baffled looking mom. Lighten up people, it's minced fish. Really?

dalene said...

and this is where i say that i don't really care about the commercial.

but i don't like it when people get in my friend's face for having an opinion that is different than theirs or keep telling her she should feel differently than she does (well, really did--still so last year) about it.

totally fine with people saying "i thought it was funny." my 10-year-old thinks it's hysterical.

not fine with people telling her how she felt about it was somehow wrong or misdirected.

that's all.

Jo said...

I fully agree that children should respect and address their elders with courtesy... however, are you seriously going to avoid buying this brand because of a humorous commercial?! Are you going to cancel your AT&T/Cingular contract on the basis of their commercials depicting teenage boys sassing their mother? Don't get worked up over these things... it's just humor... not a sexist social statement. Enjoy the fact that you have sweet, well raised children of your own and have a chuckle when these ads air.

Jake Weston Harvey said...

This outrage is so incredibly stupid. The ad is hilarious and the girl is cute. A girl her size can't even read, let alone know what minced means. That's why it is funny.

I've met plenty of adults that don't know the difference between the McChicken sandwich and the more expensive chicken sandwiches on the McDonalds menu. It's cheaper because it is minced. And it isn't as good.

There are little things like minced vs. whole filets that manage to escape intelligent adults. We have a lot in our heads. Commercials like this actually educate, and are effective at selling the product.

And it's funny as hell.

Anson said...

You are a f'ing moron. By your logic you could feed your kid a steaming pile of crap, and they should be ever so grateful that you even let them have crap to eat.

How do you feel about mcdonalds advertising strategy to make parents feel bad about NOT feeding their kids mcDs? By teaching the kid to manipulate the parent into thinking so? Which is more despicable, having the kid make you feel bad about feeding her processed fish substance, or having the kid make you feel bad about NOT feeding her processed/fatty/horrible mcdonalds? I vote for the healthy alternative, you can feed your kid a steaming pile of crap and feel good about it, I will go the other direction on that.

OldAtarian said...

What they also don't tell you is that filleting leaves behind more waste than mincing does so more of the fish gets eaten rather than thrown away or used for animal feed when it is minced. Cumulatively that's a lot of fish wasted over time.