A Popular History of Formula Ads

Today on Slate, I take on the Mommy Wars as seen on TV (or, in my case, Hulu). I am not anti-formula by any stretch, and if you read the article you will see this. I am, on the other hand, cynical about advertising in general, and especially about medical products that don’t need advertising. It’s not me who’s cynical. It’s the formula ad I am analyzing. Also, this article contains hands down the best kicker (last line) I have ever written. I am notoriously bad at kickers, so it’s a low bar, but hey.

Here’s a taste:

Take the latest commercial for Similac, “The Mother ’Hood,” which has gotten more than 8 million YouTube views since the campaign’s launch in January. It’s a tear-jerking viral video that just happens to be an advertisement—which, of course, is the best kind of advertisement. It’s purportedly about how the Mommy Wars are distracting us from keeping our tiny caterwauling charges alive until they can feed themselves.

In the ad, sling-wielding yoginis, working moms, lactivists, lesbians, and even a few dads converge in a single park—and they’re about to throw down. Until, in their zeal, everyone loses sight of the very thing they want to protect—the babies!—and an unmanned stroller goes careening down a hill. Spoiler alert: The child lives and they all overcome their differences. (Similac™!)

Also: STROLLER BRAKE, MOTHERFUCKERS. Thanks for reading! Even though I’m so fat!

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