‘Girls are chickens?’

// 26 August 2008

Vegetarians, feminists, and feminist vegetarians may wish to look away.


Is this a real Heinz ad? Only a few months after pulling their ad for mayonnaise showing two men kissing, they decided to just let go and aim full tilt at the ‘women are meat’ section of the sauce market?!

Or maybe it’s a fake – it popped up on reddit without much context, labelled “Girls are chickens?”. (Warning, comments may cause fury.)

Comments From You

Renee // Posted 26 August 2008 at 4:48 pm

I certainly look at stuff that came from reddit or digg with a bit of suspicion. I certainly hope that this is fake.

Lew // Posted 26 August 2008 at 5:04 pm

I’m not vegetarian, but I almost threw.

Whether it’s a joke or not, it’s horrid.

Anne Onne // Posted 26 August 2008 at 9:13 pm

That better be a joke… However, with the shedloads of awful, dehumanising advertising that definitely weren’t pranks, you never can tell…

earlgreyrooibos // Posted 26 August 2008 at 9:18 pm

Fake or not, it’s depressing. Even if an ad exec didn’t come up with it, somebody out there did. And the fact that people still think that way is depressing.

Sarah Louisa Phythian-Adams // Posted 28 August 2008 at 11:48 am

The problem with these kind of things is that they are not ‘official’ advertising, but the truth is that marketing is now more strange than it has ever been.

Marketing budgets are now commonly split into what is called ‘above the line’ and ‘below the line’ (BTL) marketing. Above the line are the old fashioned forms of marketing, mainstream TV and poster board adds, but ‘below the line’ is a lot more – how shall we say – ‘creative’ and focus on gambling many small pots of money on creating a ‘buzz’.

In some instances these are harmless – for example: before the ‘walk the line’ movie came out (a biography of Johnny Cash’s life), street buskers were paid to play Johnny Cash numbers on the underground. But BTL marketing can also include generation of virals (funny ads that people will pass onto their friends) and with things like movies (secretly sponsored) fan sites and ‘fan-media’. In the world of product advertising though, there’s nothing better than something ‘a bit naughty’ that will be forwarded from bloke-to-bloke (also known as bloke-to-bloke virals) that the company can then say was a ‘spoof’ and nothing to do with them.

There are many small creative media firms that undertake this kind of work. And it comes down to what you choose to believe. You have to ask yourself whether you think someone would spend so much time making such a slick spoof advert for fun, when the organisation it benefits most has plenty of BTL advertising budget!

Iola // Posted 29 August 2008 at 10:36 pm

I was so grossed out by the image that I emailed Heinz with a link to this blog entry asking if it was a real advert – They replied subject “Communication from H. J. Heinz 001257518B.” content “Thank you for your communication regarding the “Girls are Chicken” advertisement. I can assure you this is not a genuine Heinz advertisement and we have no associated with this web site.”

Which suggests that they thought I was linking to somewhere else,but at least it wasn’t them. I did suggest they want to post a comment here to that effect but I guess they have issues with commenting on a feminist website (which raises a whole load of other concerns about the brand for me)

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