Posts Tagged ‘ Chick-fil-A ’

Using Subliminal Messages On My Toddler Son

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

20 months.

I lied.

A few days ago I said I wouldn’t be eating at Chick-fil-A because I’m a vegetarian. But after the past week of seeing a sporadic flow of sarcastic eCards dissing “waffle fries cooked in hate and bigotry” there was a particular part of that phrase that just got stuck in my head:

Waffle fries.

So yesterday I totally went to Chick-fil-A and got some large waffle fries. When I was there I saw a poster advertising their new peach milkshake and now I can’t stop thinking about that.

Yeah, I know today is the official “Chick-fil-A Appreciate Day” (AKA “Support Free Speech Day”) endorsed by Mike Huckabee. I’m not going there today because of the political movement that is happening.

I am going there because I want a peach milkshake. I want the milkshake because of the sarcastic eCards about waffle fries that made me start thinking about waffle fries.

In other words, despite certain Facebook friends’ efforts to get me to think that Chick-fil-A supports hate groups, I have now not only found myself not caring what the CEO of their company said (or didn’t say) but even more ironic, buying Chick-fil-A when normally, I would have never thought to go there.

(When you’re a vegetarian, going to a fast food joint is basically pointless. Until you start thinking about waffle fries and peach milkshakes.)

I have been intrigued by the concept of subliminal messages ever since I saw that episode of Saved By The Bell where Zack Morris gets all the girls in his school, as well as A.C. Slater, to fall in love with him after playing a subliminal message-laced song over the school’s PA system.

As much time as my wife and I spend deliberately teaching our son to do certain things, I give little thought to the lessons we teach him by accident.

The boy loves to vacuum.

Sure, he’s using the extension nozzle and it’s not actually attached to the vacuum cleaner. But hey, it’s no different than how musicians in music videos play their electric guitars which are not plugged in to an amp.

He also enjoys helping Mommy make dinner. Yes, he thinks it’s fun to mix the ingredients together.

But I also do my part to intentionally plant subliminal messages in his head. Last night we were trying to introduce him to some organic, blueberry-flavored applesauce. I could tell he was weirded out by it being a different color than normal.

“More? More?” I said into his ear as my wife drove the spoon to this mouth.

Yes, I gave him the idea that he would want more of it before he even tried it. And it worked.

But now he’s learning to use subliminal messages in his favor, too. He has picked up on the fact that when I ask him if he wants to do something, like read a book, and he says yes, I immediately respond with “okay.”

Here recently, he will ask me for something, like to have a snack right before dinner.

“Snack? Tay.” He asks for a before-dinner snack, then immediately attempts to say “okay” which comes out as “tay.”

Yes, he is pre-approving the question for me. How thoughtful of him.

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How Gay-Friendly Ads Affect What You Buy Your Kids

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

20 months.

Rainbow is the new pink. Literally.

I’m not against raising money and awareness for cancer, but for the past couple of years now, I feel like I’m one of the only people willing to point out the irony of buying junk food with a pink ribbon on the package.

Yes, some of the money goes to find a cure for cancer. But also, eating junk food doesn’t help prevent cancer. Quite the opposite.

Even if it’s pop culture heresy, I’m willing to say it: Pink sells. It’s a convenient marketing strategy that most people aren’t willing to criticize.

Turns out, selling cancer awareness with the color pink has inspired a new trend that’s starting to pop up: Gay-friendly ads.

They’re perfect because they create a lot of buzz among the exact demographic they are going after:

Eighteen to 34 year-olds; most of whom are Generation Y, a group of young adults who likes to be known for being open-minded and accepting.

Sure, there are those who are personally offended by seeing JC Penney’s “Gay Dad Ad” or Kraft’s Oreo ”Rainbow Cookie” ad.

But the percentage of those who are upset enough to actually not buy the product is evidently irrelevant in comparison to all those who will either deliberately or subconsciously prefer a brand or product because of a gay-friendly ad.

Somewhere between 1% and 3% of Americans are gay; about 4 million people. But that’s enough to culturally divide the rest of us over it.

Here’s where it gets tricky. It’s gotten to the point now where it’s clearly politically incorrect to not support gay marriage.

What does gay marriage have to do with chicken? Ask the people banning Chick-fil-A.

The funny thing is, I can’t find where Chick-fil-A’s President Dan Cathy actually even used the phrase “gay marriage” in an interview. (Will someone please link proof of it in a comment for me?)

Yet Chick-fil-A is apparently being banned by the Muppets and the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, over this.

I find it extremely ironic that people are banning Chick-fil-A in the name of accepting others when they are not accepting of those who do not endorse gay marriage.

At the same time, I’m cool with gay-friendly ads. Nor do I oppose gay marriage; as recognized by the State.

But let’s be honest about what this really is.

These gay-friendly ads are a marketing strategy. That’s why more brands are using them. And they are evidently working.

What can we expect in the future? More gay-friendly ads.

Especially advertising products to parents who do the shopping for food and clothing for the household.

Will you buy your kid Oreos because you saw their rainbow ad? Kraft thinks you will. Same thing with JC Penney.

I predict that it’s only a matter of time before we see a gay-friendly diaper ad. I give it until the end of the year.

Instead of a faux denim diaper, why not a rainbow diaper?

Update since original publishing…

Here are two links that give more background on what Mr. Cathy actually said:

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One Million Moms Vs. The New Normal

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

The organization One Million Moms is calling for a boycott of the upcoming NBC drama-comedy, The New Normal, which features a woman who chooses to become a surrogate mother for a gay couple.

My question is, “Why can’t those one million moms be in control of what their kids watch in their own house?”

Coincidentally, Jim Henson, Co. and the mayor of Boston, as well as at least 4,000 people so far have signed a petition to boycott Chick-fil-A, after President Dan Cathy made a remark in an interview confirming his stance on the traditional model of marriage: one man and one woman.

(For many, that apparently translates as “our entire restaurant chain disapproves of gay marriage and homosexuals in general.”)

That’s right. Sorry, Elmo. No more Chick-fil-A for you.

These similar and yet opposite news stories remind me of a quote by Henry Steele Commager:

“The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.”

I’ve never been a fan of censorship or boycotting anything. I’d rather let the free market decide. Because it does.

Back in March, I correctly predicted that ABC’s “GCB” wouldn’t last, as it seemed to offend the very audience it needed to survive.

It lasted 6 episodes. No one had to ban the show because mainstream America decided on their own not to watch it; whether deliberately or subconsciously, we’ll never know.

I curiously think about the best case scenarios for the boycotts endorsed by both One Million Moms and those who oppose Chick-fil-A.

If The New Normal ended up being cancelled because enough people didn’t watch it, would it change the fact that homosexuals are still raising children in the real world, whether those gay couples are “legally married” or not?

And if Chick-fil-A suffers greatly as a business because its President opposes gay marriage, will he suddenly change his religious beliefs, even going as far as to open his restaurants on Sunday in honor of same-sex parents?

Imagine the great responsibility of only being able to consume the products and receive the services of the companies and organizations who share and reflect your exact belief system in every way.

So let the people watch The New Normal. If it’s a good show that happens to feature gay parents, like Modern Family, then it will last because people will naturally watch it on their own.

And let the people eat at Chick-fil-A. I personally won’t be participating, but that’s only because I’m a vegetarian.

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