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Pistachio Campaign Not All Its Cracked Up To Be

This morning, I was served the above ad in my Facebook feed for Wonderful Pistachios. Their “Get Crackin’” campaign has had some real winners over the past few years. (Who can forget their 2013 Super Bowl spot featuring Gagnam Style’s Psy?) But the latest creative execution from the nut brand left a very bad taste in my mouth.

Why oh why would anyone think it is a good idea to put together a brand tagline of “Get Crackin’” with a football-themed promotion??? We’ve all been hearing about the enormous incidence of concussion within the sport, even at the youngest levels. Plus, just a few weeks ago, a horrifying stat was released to the public: 87 out of 91 deceased NFL players tested positive for brain disease.


So what would make a brand move forward with something in today’s world that basically says, “Hey, let’s crack some skulls because we crack open pistachio shells when we eat them?” I clicked through the ad (sorry for the $.89 that probably cost you, Wonderful Pistachios) and, yep, there it was: my screen was filled with an image that had a player wearing a branded jersey with the headline “CRACK the END ZONE” going across his body.


I got the chills, and I don’t mean the good ones. This was an idea that was supposed to be generated during a brainstorm session where all ideas are good ones, yes… Then, however, during the rational evaluation stage, this idea should never have left that room. How it got past every team member involved (including their legal resources, who I assume must have approved a consumer promotion for the brand), is beyond me. This lack of concern for what is indisputably a huge issue with one of America’s favorite sports is a real turn off: it seems the brand cares more for the opportunity to be clever than for being socially responsible.

Want to make some noise, Wonderful Pistachios? Pull your not-so-wonderful campaign right now – in a very public and honestly apologetic manner – and instead give the prize money to research that will help cure brain disease. Then turn your creative talents back to less harmful executions that won’t turn our stomachs. At least, not as much…

~ Denise Blasevick, @AdvertGirl & CEO, The S3 Agency


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