Monday, September 15, 2014

Frosted Mini-Wheats will help keep you keep your Corporate Overlords happy

This ad is from 2009, but I only caught it this morning in the waiting room of a doctor's office. It was on the Today Show, and though at first blush it seems innocuous enough, I couldn't help but feel that this ad had some serious issues regarding class and economics. Bear with me as I take you through a thirty second ad in five minutes.

We open in a busy coffee shop, early in the morning,  with a long line of "business class" customers.

Our hard working Barrista...

...has a creepy talking mini-wheat on her shoulder. But we'll ignore that.

Our Barrista's boss, calling orders from the register, has a disdainful quality about him.

She's a hard-working, competent employee, eager to prove her worth.

She knows what she's doing, obviously. This job takes skill.

Uh-oh, here's the guy-in-a-tie, with a really complicated order. You can tell by the look on his face that he's used to getting his order all screwed up, and he has no problem complaining when things go wrong. If you have ever worked in fast food, you know this guy. He's an asshole.

But a quick montage...

...displays super efficient coffee making skills...

...and shows off a confidence rare so early in the morning.

The order is executed perfectly!

Our Barrista is rightly proud of herself.

The guy-in-a-tie is impressed, and rewards our Barrista with a measly one-dollar tip. We are left with the impression that this is a rare event, but the guy-in-a-tie is so impressed with our Barrista's display of skill and efficiency, he has no choice but to give up money, the only thing valued in our culture.

Trickle down economics at work! "Here's a one-dollar tip for the $25 worth of coffee you just sold me."

"Thank you, Frosted Mini-Wheats, for giving me the strength I need to better serve my Corporate Overlords." How our Barrista can afford to live in such a nice apartment on a barrista salary, never mind have breakfast with the sun shining when her job requires her to be at work one hour before sunrise is never explained.
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What is the message in this ad, besides the obvious "Eat Frosted Mini-Wheats"? 

There is nothing more important than making sure that the one-percenters get the kind of stellar service their station in life has entitled them too. If we work very hard, we can aspire to one day force a begrudging and too small tip from a rich asshole, earning that asshole's quickly forgotten respect.

This is the new American Dream.



One more thing: The barrista should be making at least $15 an hour.

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