Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Most Depressing Advertisement I Ever Saw!

Am I completely nuts to be upset by this advertisement that appeared
in Better Homes and Gardens?

The Beige Family look pretty happy on their couch watching TV, eating packaged pizza and drinking carbonated sugar water with chemicals in it --followed by chocolate and packaged popcorn.

And all for only $30 !

It makes me want to weep.

Please submit suggestions to improve 
the poor BEIGE FAMILY'S life
$10 to the charity of choice of the most imaginative responee! 



  1. I'm still chuckling at this. How about...the beige family try white on for size and step out the door into a winter wonderland of snowmen building and sledding followed by a raucous good time in the kitchen chopping and stirring up their favorite homemade soup while sipping hot cider. I'll bet it would cost less than $30 and wouldn't require a trip to Walmart.

  2. The thought of shopping at Walmart is depressing ...

  3. frightening! instead of gmo, chemical laden disgusting processed food, how about they buy some fresh ingredients and make dinner as a family, then interact further by playing games or as teresa said head out and play in the snow.

    very sad.

    propaganda at it's best.

  4. They're feeding that baby pizza. Isn't that child abuse or neglect or something? The beige family..Bwahahaha!

  5. I agree with you Elizabeth, this depresses me too.

    Mostly because such a LARGE part of our population sees nothing wrong with it.

    For LESS than $30 you could prepare a lovely fresh food meal, a nice glass of wine...pop real popcorn and either watch a good movie or play a game...go for a bike ride.

    I am forever fighting this beige world one colorful wall at a time!


  6. I have to admit. I'd keep the M& M's. After I eat a salad, of course.
    Great to know Walmart & whatever other organization they created involved in parenting advice 'approves' of their food choices. Isn't that the same Walmart who are expanding their organic food dept.? I don't see a vegetable on the Beige family's plate.

  7. Crazy.
    I'd like to invite them over to The House in the Woods, for soup, or homemade pizza, or rather a fish meal with fish from the fish market here in Trondheim. Then we could play board games afterwards, or tell stories, or go cross country skiing :-)

  8. If we're home on a Saturday night, we make our own whole grain pizza, (actually mostly I make it) and no pudge brownies & we use netflix for our movies - but they are always really good movies. I know that costs a lot less than $30.
    Our couch is beige but we have some bright pillows on it & none of us ever wear beige.
    This advert reminds me of the fifties and I don't think anyone will ever want to go back to that period of time!

  9. Of course! How perfect ...The Wal-Mart Family! (However the models are too thin) ... I'm sure the next version will be in a new TV sitcom of that fat and happy (brain-dead) family as they graze the snack food aisles, making new friends and once in awhile having a heart attack and other funny stuff.

  10. 30$ is a whole lot of money for that chunk! If that is the reason why they are not even looking at that food?

    You are right, that must be one of the most depressing advertisements ever! Is that the famous Joe-Six-Pack family?

  11. WOW that is amazing; SCARY BISCUITS. Beige family should be required to make their food from ingredients that come without a label and my rabbits will come in and rip up their couch, it's healthier to sit on the floor anyway.

  12. I am going to try and say something nice first....
    They are all sitting together, eating and watching a movie TOGETHER much cheaper than a night out tickets, pizza, drinks, popcorn


    Pizza = Trader Joe's fresh whole wheat dough you make with topping you want.
    Soda = one is OK water is best, or juice
    M and M's for a special treat or add them to your own cookies.
    Popcorn = brown paper bag in microwave the best !
    lots cheaper and much healthier ! and the kids can help !

    I have a problem with Walmart even not counting their management, what they do to small business, how they treat the employees and where they get the slave labor items they sell in the stores. I never shop there for those reasons but I am allergic to Walmart.

    I walked in to a store once and broke out in a sweat, sneezing, and couldn't breathe eyes glazed over. What ever they spray on the clothes for fumigation (clothes are in front of store) hit me like a wave and I literally get sick in the store. I have a comprised immune system and I am very careful where I go to shop. They had an item we had to get for school, never never never again...

    cheers, parsnip

  13. The Walmart family- Poor things- what is that Gump saying- "stupid is as stupid does"?

  14. I have to laugh, but it's very sad, indeed. Great idea to submit suggestion to improve their life.

  15. Maybe the mom and the dad should make some soup, applesauce, chilled herbal tea, bowls of nuts and pumpkin seeds, and try not to poison their children. The pop corn is O.K. if they don't drown it in butter and salt. Then they should all wash the dishes by hand, go outside and walk around the block together.

  16. Well, I agree with everyone else! The "Beige" family looks to me like the "Future Diabetic/Heart Disease" family. Eat real food. Move your body. Turn off the TV and talk to each other.

    WalMart is about the race to the bottom, in so many ways.

  17. Elizabeth, I see that others have already rallied to rescue the family Beige. (Let's rescue Better Homes and Gardens, too, while we are at it.)

    Turn off the television. Prepare a meal together and enjoy it round a table. Talk to each other ... well, the baby could find another means of communication. Go outdoors. Read books. Start a garden, even indoors. Explore music and other arts.

    I could go on, but do want to suggest get a puppy! xo

  18. The good comments are all here! What is good (besides the chocolate) is the whole family together (Yes, Parsnip)and other than the TV light is no other electronic devices visable.
    Walmart is bad,bad,bad. (Yes, again Parsnip!)
    The natural food idea is great except if mom and dad both work. It is more difficult (in the burbs)to shop each day for dinner with all that the kids are doing as well as the PUs' commute time. Beige Family? Oy vey!
    Get a real life with some problems, like the real world.

  19. Wal-Mart Family Moments... Oh, this is depressing! Yet hilarious too. I want to laugh and cry at the same time. Mostly thought it is sad. Sad that empty-calorie food is so cheap, where the food that's good for the body cost much more. Sad that junk food is made synonymous with great moments in life/family life. Sad that many people will react to this advert and buy what's pictured thinking it will equal a great time. Wal-Mart is one of the biggest propaganda machines around. I no longer shop there on trips home to the US--it's just too sad. One good thing though, and I think others have mentioned too--is that at least it shows a family together and that is positive. But otherwise, that is the only positive here in this ad! A good time can be many things, and it doesn't have to cost much, nor be unhealthy--just use the imagination. :o) Great post, Elizabeth. Happy Weekend ((HUGS))

  20. Thanks everyone for your super comments!
    I really am cheered that lots of you think as I do.
    Yes, at least the family is together not locked in separate rooms on individual electronic devices!
    Yes, as Reya said, I shouldn't have been surprised since it came from Walmart. On the whole, Better Homes and Gardens features quite good recipes and gardening and family stuff. Presumably they ran the ad for the money...
    It's just the damn packages I object to!
    How simple it would be make the pizza at home, or at least veggie soup as lots of you suggested, and dump the soda for fruit juice or water. For fun and evil dessert they could dip strawberries in many better possibilities!
    Instead of renting a movie they could play cards or board-games. Children love those.
    I bet they could have a healthier fun family night for HALF the price. Will hold off deciding on the prize comment until tomorrow.
    Off to freeze taking the dog out......

  21. Make sure the movie they're watching is a talk given by Douglas Harding about the ego :)


  22. looks OK.......but where's the beer and chocolate pudding

  23. dearest elizabeth,
    i knew i liked you!
    your posting was spot on...
    frozen pizza, soda & m&ms...
    in front of a TV...
    yep! that sure is some quality family ~time...

    i understand completely
    why you were depressed by this ad...

    i am worried...
    but then i would be...
    i grew up living next door to my grand-parents...
    our back doors were
    a skip and
    a jump and
    a hop from each other
    and we cooked together and played canasta around the kitchen table...
    i lived with cousins down one block
    and more
    across to the next neighborhood...
    we played red~rover and
    swing~the~statute and
    until the sun went down
    and the street lights came on...

    i am worried...
    because last night i caught
    a Sprint commercial about a family '''connecting'''
    four of a family sat in a room and were emailing/texting on their cells
    {{ and not to each other }}
    and the mom was Happy they were all in one room
    doing the same thing together....

    i am worried...
    because when i walk in my neighborhood
    or on the beach after supper
    i see few children playing red~rover or
    swing the statute or
    hop~scotch-- even in the summer~time--
    until the sun goes down
    and the street lights come on...

    well now i know where they are.
    they are eating
    frozen pizza, soda & m&ms...
    in front of a TV
    '''connecting''' with their family
    while emailing/texting on their cells
    {{ and not to each other }}

    thanks for letting me know, elizabeth,
    about such current ways of the world...
    otherwise i might have missed out
    on what families do these days...


    PS--my family is mostly too old for swing~the~statute and
    but after supper even my mom shows the great~grands
    how to dance to Frank Sinatra /Rod Stewart
    and sometimes the rest of use just go bike riding
    until the sun goes down
    and the street lights come on...

  24. I have to tell you!!!
    When I first saw this ad I thought that I was reading a magazine from the 60's, or what I imagined an ad from the 60's would look like.
    It's the saddest thing ever.
    In some ways we have come so far, in others not so much!

  25. That is scary! Fresh homemade pizza definitely a better choice, if time is an issue then pizza dough made ahead of time and frozen for family nights. Replace coke with fruit smoothies and the movie with a deck of cards or charades. Pretty good microwave popcorn can be made with popcorn kernels, a brown paper bag and a tablespoon of oil. (I'd keep the M & M's for a little treat occasionally ; )

  26. Hello Elizabeth, missing you a lot! Wow...that's kinda sad. I am trying to cook everyday, even simpler food is okay as long as it's not sugar water and from the freezer/packed. Have a good week ahead, we are very busy for the Chinese New Year here. Love ya and big hugs :)

  27. this is the end of food and TV

  28. And coming in late to comment - my compuetr died and I am strugging with my husband's laptop, but thankful that it is an hand.

    I loved the 'beige' description - fantastic word choice. I have been to Walmart, last year and was hosrrified. It joined my lsit of 'supermarkets of depression'.

    What do we do? Take ages over a variety of courses, flavoured with chat and laughter, round the table. Then, we play games; sometimes there is a chess contest or making up words or situations and drawing, or maybe music ... and then more eating ... and then off home for those who have to go. Family time is always haphazard, spontaineous, fun ... and we do not wear beige.

    Those poor souls! Sad is the word for it ... and does Walmart see them as an ideal family???

    I do love Teresa's comment as well as your post!

  29. "The Beige Family". Too funny and too true.

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  31. I love that drab is used purposely to keep this as inoffensive as possible. The truth of it though is that my kids would think that this was a pretty fun evening (mostly because it's something we never do). In my world, a fabulous family evening would involve everyone with a book in front of a fire eating either tacos or stuffed baked potatoes (so each person can personalize as none of us like all the same things). Guess my ideal family life isn't much on conversation. LOL!


I look forward to hearing from you!