Wednesday, June 24, 2009

miracle whip

I'm just fascinated by the new Miracle Whip commercial. (Check out the first web link - Kraft has their own social networking software.) I can't find the video on YouTube, but it is in fact available on Facebook -- the Kraft people are clearly hoping to educate "hip" young consumers (white consumers, by the way) to the power of "the Miracle" -- the commerical theme is "do your own thing, don't be boring" -- as though the versatility of Miracle Whip could somehow convince the up-and-coming kids of today to stay at home and prepare their own food.

(Note: the movie "Undercover Brother" contains a very funny bit about one black man's take on the evils of mayonnaise, as wielded by seductive White She Devil Denise Richards.)

Kraft bought Miracle Whip in the 1930s from a small town chef, and marketed the product to Depression-era consumers as a cheap alternative to mayonnaise, calling it "salad dressing." It's nothing like what we commonly think of as a salad dressing today, but you can still use it to make a mean tuna salad, if that's your thing. The commercial airing now contains ZERO references to the actual material substance that is Miracle Whip -- it could just as easily be a Sprite commercial, and I don't doubt the producers used the now-trite formula for Gen Y success as a model. But lets look a little deeper.

"Miracle Whip?" Huh? What's the miracle? Turns out the phrase originally and informally referred to the machine that makes the stuff, rather than the product itself. They produced the salad dressing in the "miracle whipper" -- a machine that continuously churned out perfectly blended salad dressing, or "Miracle Whip" as it came to be called. This makes sense --mechanized inventions were still referred to with an air of awe and mysticism until well into the sixties. The real miracle of course is that the stuff has essentially supplanted mayonnaise in most Anglo-American pantries.

And if you're HIP you will jump on your skateboard RIGHT NOW and score some TODAY!

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