New Fig Newtons Ad Preys On Inherent Human Weakness

Top Headlines

Food

Outback

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Man Proud Of Food He Ordered

DEDHAM, MA—Noting how the man grinned with satisfaction after his Buffalo Chicken Ranch sandwich with a side of spiced panko onion rings arrived at his table, sources at Chili’s Grill & Bar confirmed Tuesday that local diner Matt Schoesse ...

Café Adds Heartbreaking Little Lunch Menu

EUGENE, OR—Noting the new food items in a small boxed-off corner of the overhead chalkboard, patrons at local coffee shop Fairmount Java told reporters Monday that the café had apparently added a heartbreaking little lunch menu.

How Michelin Rates Restaurants

For decades, the French company Michelin has published a restaurant guide that rates restaurants on a scale of one to three stars, giving them a coveted Michelin star status.

People Apparently Been Using Rest Stop Barbecue Pit

GREENVILLE, SC—Scrutinizing the ashes of charcoal briquettes inside the weathered firebox, motorist Matt Palmeri reportedly deduced Thursday that people traveling southbound along Interstate 85 have apparently been using the rest stop’s barbec...

Man Who Stopped Dieting Already Seeing Results

MIDDLETOWN, KY—Noting that his new look had really turned heads among friends and family, local man Steven Jensen told reporters Wednesday that he had recently stopped dieting and had already started to see results.

Fast Food Customers Less Appealing Than In Commercial

GREENVILLE, SC—Expressing his disappointment shortly after sitting down for lunch at a local franchise location Wednesday, area man Peter Strauss told reporters that the customers at Burger King were actually far less appealing in real life than the...

Restaurant Gives Totally Unwanted Twist To Mexican Cuisine

BERKELEY, CA—Claiming that the eatery was already generating a buzz among locals with its “East Meets Mex” flavors, owners of the Bento Burrito location on Shattuck Avenue explained to reporters Tuesday how their new restaurant offers a ...

Scout Returns With News Of Quicker Checkout Line To The East

SALINAS, CA—After venturing forth into the vast, unexplored territory beyond the battery display, a scout is said to have returned from the farthest reaches of the Safeway cashier lanes with word of a quicker checkout line to the east, sources confi...

Cake Left Out In Break Room With No Instructions

MINNEAPOLIS—Leaving dozens of workers unsure as to whether they were permitted to consume the enticing dessert, sources at the offices of Highwood Insurance told reporters Wednesday that a cake had been left out in the break room without any instruc...

Local Oaf Not Sure What Part Of Counter You Order At

FAYETTEVILLE, NC—Appearing visibly confused as he scanned back and forth from one side of the establishment to the other, a local oaf was reportedly unsure which part of the Hilltop Deli counter he was supposed to place his order at Tuesday.

Lunch Barely Misses Area Man’s Vital Organs

CHICAGO—In what doctors are calling nothing short of a miracle, local man Jared Fox narrowly averted catastrophe Wednesday when the bacon cheeseburger he ate for lunch managed to pass through his body without hitting any life-sustaining organs.

Middle-Aged Man Having Best Snacks Of His Life

MORTON, MN—Marveling at the increases in both quality and satisfaction that have come with decades of experience, local 51-year-old Doug Kearns told reporters Tuesday that he has lately been having the best snacks of his life.

The Pros And Cons Of Going Vegetarian

While the vast majority of Americans are meat eaters, USDA statistics show that a growing number of Americans are becoming vegetarians and vegans to adopt healthier diets, ensure food safety, and practice ethical eating habits.

Man Regrets Straying From Sour Cream And Onion Potato Chips

COVINGTON, KY—Expressing a deep sense of regret regarding his decision to take a chance on jalapeño, local 36-year-old Mike Willhite told reporters Wednesday that he now sees all too clearly his folly in straying from his beloved sour cream a...

FDA Recalls Food

WASHINGTON—Saying it was vitally important that citizens avoid consuming any of the affected items, the U.S.

Male Gaze Falls On Buffalo Chicken Bites

BINGHAMTON, NY—Patrons at Thirsty’s Tavern and Grill confirmed Monday that the objectifying male gaze has fallen upon a $6.95 plate of buffalo chicken bites, resulting in the menu item being treated as if it serves no purpose beyond providing ...

Man Feeling Guilty About Chowing Down At 9/11 Museum Café

NEW YORK—Eagerly digging into a Southwest chicken wrap after touring the site for two hours this morning, Michael Frydland admitted to reporters that he felt a little guilty about totally pigging out at the National September 11 Memorial & Museu...

Takeout Bag Feels Light

OAKLAND, CA—Moments after picking up his carryout order from local restaurant Hunan Palace Monday evening, area man Alden Welch, 31, reportedly experienced a sharp sense of unease upon noticing his takeout bag felt unusually light. Unable to effecti...

Determined Restaurant Patrons Tough It Out On Chilly Patio

CHICAGO—Steeling themselves against the occasional breeze and the cold of the wrought iron table and chairs against their skin, a group of determined restaurant-goers reportedly braved the slightly chilly temperature Thursday and dined on the outdoo...
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Satisfaction

Sleep

Food

Outback

New Fig Newtons Ad Preys On Inherent Human Weakness

NEW YORK—A television commercial for Nabisco's Fig Newton bars that debuted Friday preys on a wide range of innate human weaknesses, from greed and gluttony to the compulsive need for self-gratification in an otherwise cold and uncaring world, industry sources reported Monday.

"Flattery, pride, self-aggrandizement, fear of rejection: This latest Fig Newtons ad campaign fires on all cylinders," advertising executive and CNBC talk-show host Donny Deutsch said. "It has nothing but contempt for its target audience, its exploitative nature borders on the unethical, and it's one of the most brilliant marketing strategies in years."

One of the most egregiously manipulative shots from the latest Fig Newtons TV spot.

Though the mise-en-scène of the 20-second spot is simple enough—an overworked suburban mother experiences a dream of paradise while biting into a Fig Newton, oblivious to her overflowing washing machine and four raucous children—it reaches consumers from every age group and background, as well as those suffering from all forms of fear, regret, and crippling uncertainty.

"Mmmm," intones a tellingly paternalistic narrator, masterfully invoking humanity's pained longing for a supreme truth and its often reckless pursuit of short-term solutions. "So chewy! So delicious! So completely irresistible!"

"Isn't it time you took a Fig Newtons break?" the commercial continues, ruthlessly preying on mankind's escapist tendencies and seizing upon several deep-seated self-destructive impulses.

Although the first 10 seconds alone employ enough psychological gambits to sway even the most emotionally secure viewer, Nabisco's latest ad leaves little to chance, tapping into bedrock human faults like susceptibility to guilt and the slavish desire for acceptance to push the sale of its fig-filled treats.

"It's a perfect, wholesome snack for any time of the day," the commercial eagerly announces, while the image of a young child—himself a physical representation of purity—tempts viewers with the prospect of recapturing their long-lost sense of innocence. "Fig Newtons are ooey-gooey great!"

"Go on, you deserve it!" the psychologically manipulative onslaught persists, at once addressing, encouraging, and currying feelings of inferiority and self-doubt that have been a mainstay of the human condition for the past 6,000 years.

"Fig Newtons—it's not a cookie, it's fruit and cake!" the advertisement finally concludes, subliminally appealing to consumers who have long yearned to break free of the confining categories into which society has placed them, and for whom even a commercially available dessert might symbolize the individuality they so intensely seek.

According to marketing media analyst Glenda Howth, besides plumbing the depths of the human psyche, Nabisco's latest commercial also takes advantage of phenomena unique to modern society.

"Nabisco shrewdly taps into a mother's conflict between wanting to care for her children while still retaining her pre-maternal sense of freedom and identity," Howth said. "Add an emphasis on the fat-free qualities of the snack that appeals to one's vanity and plays upon the often shallow connection made between physical attraction and self-worth in today's world, and you have one very powerful ad."

Brown University psychology professor Scott Luchs concurred with Howth's assessment.

"This might be the most subconsciously manipulative commercial I've seen since Procter & Gamble used man's fear of death to market Crest toothpaste," Luchs said. "In time, this ad could even rival M&M's 1983 campaign of jealousy, resentment, and the need for human companionship."

Although the true effectiveness of the commercial has yet to be seen, early figures from Nabisco indicate a nearly 4 percent sales increase among many prized demographics, including unmarried women ages 18 to 37 who desperately wish to have a family, single men between the ages 25 and 40 who suffer from unresolved abandonment issues, and girls in the 7-10 age bracket who already possess debilitating body image concerns.

"I used to think Fig Newtons were bland and tasteless," said Martha Waterson, a recent divorcée from Aberdeen, MD who is reflexively averse to change, is governed by prejudice and assumption, blindly trusts authority, believes in retribution, desires reassurance, is guilty of envy, lies to avoid hurtful truths, and suffers from separation and alienation anxiety. "Now I can't stop eating them."

"I guess you never really know someone, huh?" Waterson added.