No Ragu or Skittles for me — Two horrendous new commercials

No, I’m not talking about combining pieces of candy with spaghetti sauce.

Both Skittles and Ragu have recently unleashed commercials that are downright disgusting.

Noel Shepperd of NewsBusters notes that a Ragu commercial features a young boy’s terrified face as he sees his parents having sex. And this commercial didn’t air on Comedy Central during the Jon Stewart’s show. It was on NBC on Sunday night during the Olympics.

And the Skittles commercial? They’re advertising their news Skittles riddles, where the actual flavor of the candy doesn’t match the color on the outside.

Marketing gurus could have gone a thousand directions with this one.

What did they chose? A girl catches her friend (another girl) who’s definitely not making out with her boyfriend Bobby.

No, in fact, she’s making out with a walrus. (If you must, you can watch that commercial here.)

Now, my biggest beef with stand-up comedy these days is the widely-held myth that you must continue to shock and further push the envelope in order to make people laugh. That’s why Sarah Silverman tries to push jokes about abortion (and likes to chide people for their unwillingness to be light-hearted about it.)

But the most successful comics of all time are those like Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, Jeff Foxworthy, and Tim Hawkins who could leave their audiences roaring without repeated vulgarities.

Likewise, there are many excellent ways to sell spaghetti sauce without having to resort to such a gross moment like that commercial. “Feel icky thinking about your parents having sex? Well, don’t forget to buy Ragu!” — What??

And Skittles? Who would want to taste the Rainbow (interesting logo choice), if it involves kissing animals? Can’t imagine more corporations are going to jump on the bestiality bandwagon…

Who made these commercials? Wormwood & Screwtape?



  • Mike

    Oh wahhhh. Who cares? Is everything so bad in this world that you people have to crumble into a pathetic heap and yell “THATSS SO VULGAR AND OFFENSIVE” and start some stupid online crusade? Theres nothing in life that says you have the right to never be offended. In fact, if you learn to accept things in life and not get so upset you’ll be a much happier person.

  • AMH

    While the kid seeing his parents having sex is unpleasant, the bigger issue with the ad is that they’re selling spaghetti sauce like beer. Think I’m crazy? Go back, watch the ad, and see if the the final image of the hand catching the jar and the tag line remind you of a beer commercial. This ad is a questionable parody idea that’s poorly executed.

  • Julian

    What I saw in the Ragu commercial (actually, I didn’t see anything, it was implied) was a happily married couple engaging in marital bliss the way our Lord Jesus intended. It was a depiction of the only way our Savior has told us that men and women should love each other- within the sanctity of marriage, behind closed doors. It was not Glee, where teenagers are getting pregnant, it was not a Kardashian porn video, it was not 50 shades of disgusting sex acts, it was not even an episode of The Bacholorette which makes a mockery of marriage. It was then followed by their son walking in. Something that has happened to almost everyone I know.

    • Zach

      Thank you, Julian. I totally agree. In fact, it strikes me as pretty hyperbolic to describe the Ragu commercial as “disgusting,” “horrendous,” and resembling the work of demons — as this blog post does.

      At worst, it is tacky. At best, it’s a pretty accurate (and funny) depiction of something that happens in alot of crowded (Catholic?) households where mom and dad are still in love, don’t always always remember to lock doors, and have expended some effort to preserve their children’s innocence.

      • faith & reason

        Julian and Zach, you really don’t see the inappropriateness of a child seeing parents do something a child is much much better off never seeing their parents do on TV in a commercial during the Olympics???? Don’t think the children watching that commercial thought it was funny…..probably confusing and embarrassing. Didn’t see it myself thankfully, my children are grown, glad wasn’t watching something like that with them when they were young, especially during such a world wide event celebrating the greatness the human body can achieve. Just indicates how indifferent our world is concerning the delicate growing process of children.

    • Big G

      “happened to almost everyone I know”? What kind of mindless people do you know who wouldn’t notice the door opening and their kid barging in while they are having sex? Obviously they were not “behind closed doors” anymore and if that child is not instructed properly, the image in his mind of his parents having sex(no matter how much in love they are) will alter his view of sex. Every kid I knew growing up never wanted to think of his parents’ sex lives, the thought was too “gross”.We were too immature to realize the beauty of sex inside marriage. I’m sure this has happened, but hopefully the parents took time to explain to little Johnny and calm his fears. I guess the bigger picture is, why a spaghetti sauce would find the need to use this kind of “clever” imagery to sell their product in the first place?

  • frjimt

    Fake food…. fake candy….. fake commercials…. keep moving m’am, nothing to see here, keep moving…

  • Carolyn

    I always remind my children—young boys who like to make potty jokes—that while crass may be funny to some, it is wit that will truly get the last laugh. I despise most female comedians because they use poor language and vulgar imagery to make a joke. I don’t find it funny at all, rather, it shows me just how witless and tawdry they really are!

  • Mark

    I agree that the Skittles commercial is weird, but I personally thought that the Ragu commercial was funny. Sure, I see how it can be inappropriate for little kids, but I doubt any kid would ever understand it.



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