Food advertising is something that always fascinates me, because it’s such a tricky tightrope walk between keeping it healthy, making it appealing, and sticking to the legal stuff. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it goes a bit… weird.
Take the current Nutella advert, for example. The chaps at Nutella HQ have clearly decided that they can’t advertise their product as what it is – a delicious, luxurious way to turn your breakfast toast into a dessert. But equally, they can’t quite get away with a straightforward claim that it’s healthy. So, wobbling on the advertising tightrope, they’ve gone for this:
“More and more families are discovering Nutella.” Okay, so it’s a family thing – that’s good, right? If mums are buying it for their kids, that means it’s sort of good and healthy, doesn’t it? Like fruit, or something?
“Each 15g portion contains two whole hazelnuts, some skimmed milk and cocoa.” Two whole hazelnuts? It’s practically one of your five-a-day! And skimmed milk is healthy right? Except, if you fancied getting one of your five-a-day in at breakfast time, you could go for an apple.
“And Nutella releases its energy slowly.” Hooray! Except… so does porridge. Or an apple!
Clearly, the whole ‘Nutella is healthy’ argument has a few holes. If it’s a healthy breakfast you’re after, you’re going to be after something else.
But where the Nutella scientists have really excelled is in creating a cunning and (almost) completely legitimate way to eat chocolate for breakfast. If you were popping a few squares of Galaxy in a bowl with milk, and calling it cereal, you’d be rightly denounced as a loon. But spread it on toast and everything’s suddenly fine again.
I love a bit of Nutella. And I love it because it’s delicious and indulgent, not because each 15g portion contains 2.2% of my recommended daily calcium allowance. So here’s my suggestion for the new Nutella ad: “Nutella: it’s chocolate on toast. Because sometimes, you just want dessert for breakfast.” Anyone else got a suggestion?