When Campbell’s came
up with the idea of football
players’ moms pushing “Chunky Soup” I don’t think they completely
thought it through. If they had they would have asked these questions:
1) If we use actresses instead of the real moms, are the consumers
going to care? And 2) What if the star pro football players we select
all happen to get injured?
I can see the Campbell’s Soup guys gathered around,
tossing footballs and ideas back and forth and Arnold the Nerd puts his
two cents in “They are playing football, here. Can’t you get hurt doing
that? If our pitchmen are in the hospital, will they do us any good…?”
This is where Charlie, the former Jock, tosses the
football at Arnold, trying to knock the pocket protector from Arnold’s
shirt and says “Nahhh, it’s just football. We’ll be fine.”
So then Denver Bronco Terrell Davis breaks his leg,
recovers, breaks his other leg so the only time you see him playing
football on television is when he running with the ball and his mother
is running interference, blocking would be tacklers out of the way, all
the while carrying a soup bowl and screaming “Terrell, you forgot your
Chunky Soup” during an ad.
Once Davis started doing those ads, his injuries
mounted and his career ended. My neighbor Lyle tells me it’s a jinx -
an out and out eerie jinx. Follow that with Kurt Warner breaking his
hand, Jerome Bettis getting injured, Donovan McNabb breaking his ankle
and consider that all these players were Chunky Soup spokesmen, you
start wondering whether Lyle might be right. Nahh, not Lyle. Two more
Chunky Soup player/spokesmen for this year –Brian Urlacher and Michael
Strahan - had injuries. Urlacher injured his shoulder and Strahan
injured his neck although neither missed many games. It makes you
think there’s an evil “Chunky” doll dishing out a dose of payback. By
Chunky doll, you know I mean similar to the evil “Chucky” from the
movies “Child’s Play” except much heavier from eating all that
Lyle tells me the curse stems from the revenge of
Campbell’s trying to pawn off actresses as the real Moms. This year
Campbell’s saw the error of their ways and used the genuine mothers.
Campbell’s spokesman John Faulkner said “This refreshed the spots and
gave them new life.” But was it too late? Were the advertising
gods angered so much by falsifying a mom, never mind that she can body
block a 260 # defensive player one handed, that they sought retribution
from the careers of the devious players in on the scam? Did Kurt Warner
deserve to break his passing hand for trying to put one over on us?
Can a little lie like faking your mom come back and
bite you? Especially if you’re trying to convey this is like a home
cooked meal? Supposedly this is what many males in the intended
demographic desire - Mom cooking a big, hearty meal especially if it
helps them grow to be buff football players. This is all very sad.
First we tell them there’s no Santa Claus, and then that the Playmates
are air-brushed, and now that no real mom is going to make you Chunky
Yes, Virginia, there is a Chunky Doll.