Christian conservatives get testy over Kraft’s ‘Zesty’ dressing ad
BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Religion Reporteremail@example.com June 19, 2013 7:42PM
Kraft salad dressing ad featuring a barely clothed man.
Updated: June 19, 2013 7:42PM
A Kraft Foods ad campaign, featuring a nearly fully exposed buff model sprawled on a picnic blanket has raised the ire of Christian conservatives.
“Shame on Kraft,” One Million Moms says on its website, calling for Kraft to discontinue the ad campaign immediately.
The group, an arm of the conservative American Family Association, labels Northfield–based Kraft’s two-page magazine ad for Kraft’s Zesty Italian salad dressing that ran in People Style Watch magazine’s July issue and the weekly People Magazine’s May 24 issue, “the most disgusting ad … that we have ever seen Kraft produce. It is easy to see what the ad is really selling. Is it necessary for Kraft to use s*x to sell salad dressing!”
The One Million Moms website notes the salad dressing isn’t front and center in the ad — that spot is taken by model Anderson Davis, known as the Zesty Guy. The blanket narrowly drapes across his private parts, pictured strategically in the fold in the middle of the People Style Watch magazine. Website getmezesty.com is listed at the bottom of the ad, which also states “Let’s Get Zesty.” At the top, the ad states “Silverware Optional.”
“Christians will not be able to buy Kraft dressing or any of their products until they clean up their advertising,” the One Million Moms site states. “The consumers they are attempting to attract — women and mothers — are the very ones they are driving away. Who will want Kraft products in their fridge or pantry if this vulgarity is what they represent?”
Visitors to the One Million Moms site are asked to email Kraft. Representatives of the group did not respond to questions for comment.
Kraft defended the ad campaign.
“Our Kraft dressings ‘Let’s Get Zesty’ campaign is a playful and flirtatious way to reach our consumers,” Kraft spokeswoman Lynne Galia said in an email statement.
The marketing campaign also includes online videos. In one, Davis is cooking, adding Kraft Zesty Italian dressing to a skillet, prompting flames to shoot into the air. He asks, “How Zesty do you want it?” and the spot ends with him shirtless saying, “Let’s get zesty.”
The ads have been featured on TV and in other magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Entertainment Weekly. The campaign has more than 8,200 Twitter followers, according to Galia.
She declined to say how many protest emails the company has received, but there are no plans to stop the ad. It “will run throughout the summer,” Galia said.
“We are very happy with the overwhelmingly positive response that we have received about the campaign. [Viewers] are enjoying the campaign and having fun with it.”
Kraft isn’t the only local company that has been criticized by One Million Moms. Earlier this year, the group took on Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” commercial. The ad, which promoted free shipping, went viral after being posted on YouTube.