Baseline: Choclairs spot really perks those buds

Hey, that looks good enough to eat!Thanks, lady.That's why we spent thirty thousand a day on a Lester-Bookbinder-Clone director, a Hungarian lighting cameraman, an ace food stylist and heaven-knows-how-many-cases-of-jetted-in-Chilean-out-of-season-produce to shoot the sucker.You'd think any food marketer would demand representations of...

Hey, that looks good enough to eat!

Thanks, lady.

That’s why we spent thirty thousand a day on a Lester-Bookbinder-Clone director, a Hungarian lighting cameraman, an ace food stylist and heaven-knows-how-many-cases-of-jetted-in-Chilean-out-of-season-produce to shoot the sucker.

You’d think any food marketer would demand representations of the product that instantaneously activate eighty-seven per cent of the nation’s saliva glands and Drive Men Mad.

Otherwise, why pay for a spot on Seinfeld? Go radio. Go classified.

Yet, how many images can you think of that really perk those buds?

One that explodes into the lead of the current crop is the Neilson Choclairs execution.

It alternates sensational photography of whipped chocolate frosting smothering crisp waffles and layering up to the height of a small apartment building, which is then washed in cascades of creamy chocolate sauce, with quick cuts to a black screen.

Out of the black, little hand-scrawled squiggles of words appear, twitching and squirming: Whip it! Whip it! Oh, nice! Oh! baby! I can’t! please! Ah! Ah! Ah!

These graphic ejaculations are supported by a little cranked-up, reverb-boosted voiceover that sounds like Alvin the Chipmunk having an orgasm inside an oil drum.

Which craving?

The punchline is For that three o’clock craving that can’t be ignored! It’s hard to tell exactly which craving, or even which three o’clock they’re talking about, but it’s hot! It’s hot!

The tried-and-true food spot formula is to sandwich scrumptious food photography between little slice-of-life homily bookends.

In this tradition, Shake ‘n Bake is launching a product called Perfect Potatoes. They appear to have used outtakes from the original Shake ‘n Bake launch spot, and the result is a truly weird monster mash!

In early Sixties black and white, with happy Ozzie and Harriet music under, a pushy little girl with a frying pan asks Mom if she’s gonna fix frahed chicken.

Mom, who appears to have a Mae West Life Preserver inflated under her blouse, says, no, she’s now into Shake ‘n Bake.

Cut to yummy full-color footage of potato cubes dancing a slo-mo aerial ballet with flakes of herbs and garlic salt, and lying brown and crispy on the plate, and a voiceover message about just how much Canadians have come to love this stuff in thirty years!

End shot

The end shot is modern family-at-dinner, mouths working furiously and eyes wet with affection and gratitude, when suddenly the camera pans down to the little black-and-white girl from thirty years ago who’s actually sitting at the table with them yelling An’ ah helped! in her Dolly Parton hillbilly southern accent!

You couldn’t be more startled if e.t. was sitting there. Shakes y’all up good!

Subway is pushing an A1 Sauce Steak-and-Cheese sandwich on the tube, with the curious premise that we all thought Subway was one of those fancy New York Steak Houses where you had to wear a jacket and freaky stuff like that. but no!!! we’re young and poor like you!!!

Watch the food shot, and see the cameraman struggling to avoid shooting an actual closeup of the leathery, grey/brown ‘steak’ in the product…cover it up with the damn sauce as we do the pan, charlie, or we’re in deep shit!!! You sense the burst of sheer relief when they cut to the slicing-the-tomatoes-and-onions shot.

Also, up on the high wire without a net is the Kraft Cheez Whiz crew, trying to make this thin, pale-yellow drizzle look scrumptious as it settles onto dead-white mashed potatoes with suspiciously erect peaks, and swampy, glutinous salsa.

Okay, Subway Steak and Cheez Whiz are tough, but that’s why you pull down The Big Bucks, right?

Whatever you say about Pizza Hut, they’ve a track record of filming Pizza that looks terrific, although the recent ooey-gooey-good shot is in danger of becoming ooey-gooey-gross. There is such a thing as too damn much cheese after all!

Barry Base is president and creative director of Barry Base & Associates in Toronto.