It’s 95 degrees in Minnesota these days. The dog days of summer have arrived. With temperatures expected to approach 100 today and the electricity out we could all be a bit warm. At least we can all frydate. That should help get us by.
As we were driving home from a visit to my partner’s parents I saw the sign for McDonald’s. A picture of some French fries and the words, “How do you stay frydrated?” Frydrated? Really? It’s one hundred degrees I don’t want French fries. I want ice. (I ate plenty at the in laws this weekend and the scale this morning reminded me of that fact. Darn environmental eating again). You have to hand it to McDonald’s however, they always come up with marketing that hooks you. Whether it be Happy Meals to reel kids in or frydrating to get me thinking, McDonald’s does a good job of getting our attention. And there’s the rub, eh? I wonder if broccoli could come up with some snazzy campaigns?
Upon arriving home, I checked out the website for frydrating. Yes, there is one. frydrate.com. The first question I was asked was “How do you stay frydrated?” I’d go into more detail about the website, however, with the electricity out, and my computer melting I cannot peruse as I’d like. Just realized my wireless is out and am essentially writing this for my own benefit. At least momentarily.
The ubiquitous marketing of food and the attention grabbing nature of lifestyle changes is nothing new. This strategy is as old as advertising itself. However, I seem to be bothered more and more by it. As I walked into my fitness this morning, after getting past all the pictures of ridiculously fit women in sports bras telling me I can do it all at my fitness center, a new sign for the upcoming weightloss challenge caught my eye. “Love Me Slender” it states, with a tape measure around the words. I get what they’re saying and don’t want to sound older than my 40 years, but what they are inferring is difficult to swallow. Talk about going after people’s emotions. I have weight battles but am not considered obese and that sign made me feel off for a moment. What if I were obese, got up the gumption to go exercise at the fitness center, made it past the really fit women in the ads, and then got hit with “Love Me Slender”? Ouch. I don’t like that one bit. Maybe I will make a call to some of the executives of said company that I know. I hate to sound cyclical, but most fitness centers aren’t truly in the business of making us healthier, they are in the business of making money. And this can lead to very silly contradictions. “You can do it all your way. Here, buy our supplements. Need Botox? We have that too.” I wonder if the ad execs realize the competing issues here. Sure they do. It sells.
My apologies for the rant, but frydrating at McDonald’s and Botox at the fitness center are a bit bothersome. We need to get more people moving, get more people to exercise, eat better, and think about their health. What we don’t need is people frydrating in the heat.
Speaking of frying, here I go.