Watch taste testers tucking into dog food

Dog food social experiment
A dog food manufacturer ran a taste testing social experiment to prove the quality of its meat. It served up dishes featuring dog meat, and got people to describe the food. The results were fairly surprising.

The manufacturers, Freshpet, mixed the meat with more recognisable kitchen ingredients, and turned it into spaghetti and meatballs, chicken tacos and hamburgers. The tasters were asked to describe the pet food, and only when they had tried it did they reveal the 'secret ingredient'.

It came as something of a shock to all of them - but some were enjoying it so much they decided to continue. One even asked for a doggie bag.
The company included the disclaimer that although it was safe to eat, it wasn't recommended.

'Social experiment'

The film claims to be a 'social experiment', but some would argue that it's more of a publicity stunt. We have seen a number of these over the years, and they can be hugely successful for the brands involved.

Last year Always launched its 'like a girl' campaign. It encouraged people to do physical things including running and throwing 'like a girl', at which point most of them did a parody of doing something badly. Then they were asked to talk about the impact of using 'like a girl' as an insult and how it affects girls going through puberty. Finally the women and girls were asked to do the action again, at which point they put their backs into it. The advert has been watched almost 59 million times.

In 2013 Dove took a similar approach with a Real Beauty sketches stunt, which asked women to describe themselves while an artist (who couldn't see them) sketched what he thought they looked like. Then he sketched them as they were described by a stranger. Then each woman compared the portraits and realised how they were underestimating themselves. The video was viewed almost 6 million times.

It was such a success that they did it again in April this year. This time they filmed women arriving at a doorway, where one door was labeled 'beautiful' and one 'average'. People chose a door, and the majority of them chose average. They then got people to discuss why they chose that door, and many of them revealed they regretted their choice. That video has been watched almost 7 million times.

But what do you think? Do you like this sort of approach? Or do you prefer adverts to be adverts and scientific experiments to be more than just getting a few people to do something on camera to manipulate your emotions? Let us know in the comments.

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Watch taste testers tucking into dog food

It's not clear how old the Italian Mediterranean woman is at the helm of her elderly convertible. But clearly by using an olive-oil based spread on her ciabatta, she can still drive at a good clip.

The ageism is more subtle here. Imagine, an older lady still able to drive quickly and competently! And actually enjoying the experience. Sure, it's not offensive as some ageist ads, but it's a tad patronising. Welcome to ad-land.

In the 1930s, anyone more than 40 was definitely middle aged and in need of Phyllosan. Fortifies the over 40s was one of the taglines. Phyllosan ads had the job of informing consumers their pills would restore "digestive and metabolic tone strengthening the nerves and energy."

There's an implied sense of threat here too. The grim-faced doctor won't have much time with a 40-year old male who hesitates to buy this "life-changing" medicament. Be responsible; you're officially middle aged. Buckle down.

Here's another ageist piece of marketing. The hugely cash-generative insurance industry makes a lot of its money out of our own insecurities - and this ad is true to type.

But a few wrinkles are part of ageing. It's not necessarily about being worried. How about laughter lines? Not a pitch that wouldn't have gone down well in a client planning meeting, though given the financial crisis we've been through, some lightening up would have been a useful corrective.

However dreary becoming 40-plus might be, imagine how dire it was to be female and 50. Here, Mrs Georgina Weldon is truly verging on old maid-dom. However thanks to Pears soap, the ad claims her skin is like a 17-year-old.

How many 17-year-olds dressed like that, even in the late 19th century? Mrs Georgina Weldon was, in fact a "real life" case study. She was also a well-known litigant and fighter for female conjugal rights. A clever women also known as 'Portia of the Law Courts'.

But Georgina, that hat...

Now roll forward 120 years to this Dove soap (made by Unilever) ad; it caused a lot of chatter in the US, with the authorities even part-banning the ad. The woman here is not caked in make-up or soap. Although there's probably some touching up done, it's remarkably natural-looking.

Message: it's still okay and attractive to seek older people with no clothes. Too radical for some shocked Americans, though.

Yet some older women - even late middle age, even older - remain beautiful, vigorous and attractive, as in this Age Concern ad. But though you can see Age Concern's point, many old people look old because they are old. Not all older women would want to wear just a black satin bra on the front page of a newspaper.

Does it make us think about age or ageism in a different way? Or is it more she looks good considering she's 60-odd? Age Concern's grey boob.

Or how about this Lucozade ad aimed at older men? You might be pushing 80 but you can still pull if you drink sugar-loaded Lucozade. Pretty crude. This ad apparently was originally shot with an older woman flanked by two semi-naked males.

However the editor of FHM didn't think his mag would appreciate the grey-haired older woman - and asked her to be replaced by a man. Ageist and sexist!

This Spar ad is just awful, isn't it? The husband has lost his wine gums (gums). The wife can't find her ball of wool. But a quick trip - or hobble - to Spar and back and everything is okay. Note husband's gummy smile and wife's dowdy get-up.

The first is a neat little bit of clever reverse ageism from Elizabeth Arden. The woman in the picture is not just married (well, divorced) but dating a man younger than her son. She's independent, confident and apparently in control.

And confident enough to admit the current romantic arrangements.
You could criticise it for reviving the cliche of the fast older woman more interested in sex or shock value. A positive image? Sort of. And some way from the overweight bespectacled country bumpkin we started with.

Lastly, an older, grey-haired woman happy in her own skin complete with studded belt, (hand?) knitted top and punk-style tartan trousers. Let's hope Samsung sold a ton more washing machines through this ad. A confident, modern, energetic older woman. A rare find.


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