And Then I Wrote About Commercials

In case you hadn't picked up on it, I have the television on in the background a lot these days. Mostly I'm playing peek-a-boo or going wee wee wee wee all the way home with my child's toes, but day-long sittings of that can make one totally insane. So IN THEORY, the television is helping me stay sane.

In reality, the tv is making me nuttier than ever because for whatever reasons, I keep watching the same channels and horrible Christmas movies and Golden Girls re-runs and DVR'd episodes of Supernanny and Clean House and then Hoarders OH MY GOD HAVE YOU SEEN THAT SHOW? Which means I've been subjected to the same sets of commercials.

SIDEBAR: In case you're wondering, I will not be blogging about the conclusion of Top Chef because AGAIN the biggest dickhead of the bunch won, and I am sorely, bitterly disappointed. I love the show, love it, but I disagree with their awarding the person who cooks the best final meal, rather than take the entire season into consideration. I hated Hosea, too. And Ilan. (Harold and Stephanie were allowed to win, and Hung was clearly the better cook though also a dick.)

Anyway, in my same-commercial-watching life, I noticed something and was like, "Thank God I have a blog because who else in the world could I tell this to?" "I mean, other than my husband, who is fabulous for feigning interest."

Remember that old Folgers' commercial called (apparently) "Peter Comes Home"? Where the son's been away (college?) and has hitched a ride home to be with his family on Christmas, and it's a surprise. So he arrives at dawn and makes Folgers and the parents wake up from the smell of the coffee and know he's home? I think a little sister is involved, but my memory's a little fuzzy on the details.

Anyway. Have you seen the remake/update? In this one, the son comes home at dawn and the little sister opens the door, because clearly she was waiting all night for him to arrive. (Apparently the parents gave up waiting and went to sleep.) She says something about how happy she is that he's made it home, and he says something about how it's a long way from West Africa.

Then they make Folgers' coffee, and while it's brewing the son takes a deep inhale of the aroma and says, "Ahhh, REAL coffee."

Invisible Internet Friends, I know there are bigger problems in the world than this, but I sat blinking at my television.

Did the folks at Folgers' ad agency just not know? I mean, that's not possible, right? So we must conclude that in Folgers Land, a globe-trotting young man not only prefers the taste of instant, crystallized coffee to less processed coffee, BUT believes that the instant, crystallized coffee is somehow more authentic than the coffee they serve in the place where coffee comes from?

I liken this to a man who's spent a summer farming potatoes in Idaho, only to return to his hometown where he promptly orders fries at McDonald's and says, "Ahhhh, REAL potatoes."

I was incensed. And I told Ish about it. And then the next time the commercial came on and Ish was with me, I was all, "LOOK! LOOK!" and then -- shall we assume his name is still Peter? Maybe Folgers-Peter? -- just said, "Ahh, coffee."


This makes me feel like I am not the only totally insane mom-to-an-infant sitting at home paying attention to things like where Folgers-Peter's goddamned priorities are.

I don't know who, exactly, took issue with the notion that "real" coffee comes in a canister and coffee from West Africa sucks, but I'm glad that someone did. I sleep better now. (Also, I'm still drinking decaf.)

If you want to see what I'm talking about, the clip is on YouTube:

(But be warned. Half the commenters think Folgers took the word "real" out to be "PC" which doesn't make any sense; the other half think the brother and sister are in an incestuous relationship; and then a few just make horribly racist remarks. YouTube comments scare the crap out of me.)

Posts about things NOT on my television are due next. I swear. Also, I'm anxiously awaiting footage of my a cappella concert because we were quite good (all things considered) and I want to post our 12 Days of Christmas!


  1. hahaha I notice crap like that all the time! And I always ruin things. Especially movies. I was watching Indiana Jones last night and was pretty much shouting at the tv the entire time for all the unrealistic or contradictory things that were going on in that movie.

  2. you're so funny! Be glad that you were validated by the remake and the you tube posting. What if it was changed and no one notice but you...ha, ha. I can't wait to see/hear some REAL music. Bring on the a cappella video :)

  3. Oops, I should have read my post before hitting the send button. Sometimes I have grammar issues when typing :)

  4. Oooo !! I want you to post it, too !! Can't wait !

  5. OMG I totally missed the whole instant coffee part! Gah! So his sister whipped him up a cuppa instant coffee?? After you said that about where coffee is grown I looked it up and sure 'nuff it is in a band across the globe, but I could only see one side of it.

    Commercials drive me bats, which doesn't take much these days, but there was one and I have NO idea what it was about, but I loved one part of it. This little guy who sounds like a Chef Boyardee rip off says "And then we could make a pizza pie!" I heard it the other day and nearly tivoed it, but thought I might be getting a little too weird for normal people if I took that much interest in commercials.

  6. Oh yea..and what was he doing in Western Africa? Peace corp? He would probably be happy with clean water.

    Just watched it again and that is not instant coffee. That is the fine grind used in that type of coffee maker.

  7. I am going through the SAME exact thing today. A friend posted something on Facebook about the '80s Folger's "Peter" ad, so I wanted to post this ridiculous new one, where the guy comes home from the "coffee lands" and is thankful for the smell of "real" coffee, i.e., processed, American crap.

    Alas, when I found it on Youtube, Folger's had taken out the word "real." What a bummer! That made for one of the most interesting and blatantly contradictory ads of the year.

    Now it's just interesting for the hints of incest between the brother and sister....

  8. The original Peter ad is one of my favorite things about holiday tv. I usually only see it once a year and it makes me cry every time.

    This new one? Not so much. And, your assessment was hilarious! One thing I noticed: do you think they sell those pre-made sticky bows in West Africa? The paper her gift was wrapped with was definitely African, but I'm not so sure about the bow.

  9. While we're talking about TV ads, there's one that I am so repelled by that I feel the need to hide when it comes on. It's an ad for some phone company, and the point is that you can talk as long as you want because the minutes are free or something like that. To illustrate their point, they show a woman in the locker room at her gym who is forced to listen to a disembodied mouth give a long, detailed, very graphic description of what sounds like a festering genital
    sore. How could anyone have thought this was a good idea?

  10. Oh, and also-- your "12 Days of Christmas" was truly awesome.

  11. Just stumbled across your blog. You are hilarious. Thanx for the laugh. I'm glad I wasn't the only one that thought the brother/sister thing was wierd tho. First time I saw the ad it was from the point when she put the bow on his shoulder... and I was like... WTH. It is tres creepy.

  12. I am so glad I am not the only one who had a problem with the "Ah, REAL coffee" line. I mean, what the heck, Folgers? I only saw it once, but that was enough for me to turn to my husband and say, "What did they do to the old commercial, and did he just say that THAT was real coffee? Bahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" I've yet to see the new one, since we don't watch too much TV these days, but I'll have to look for the new version online, I guess.

  13. I was also really upset when I heard them say "REAL coffee"! Glad to know that they changed the commercial, I haven't seen that one yet. I have to admit I got an incestuous vibe from the commercial, too and tried to talk myself out of it.

  14. Actually... I spent six weeks in South Africa and absolutely nowhere did they serve anything other than instant coffee. Not in homes, not in restaurants. Perhaps in actual cafes in Cape Town, but yeah. I was totally shocked because HELLO, Africa has some of the best coffee in the world. In fact, while visiting the home of the parents of a friend, they asked me what I missed about America and I said "brewed coffee." They got very excited and whipped out a bag of whole beans they bought at Starbucks during their last visit stateside. I nearly cried from joy.

  15. Dude, that commercial...the first time I watched it, I had to rewind it to see it from the beginning. Because I am insane. Anyway, IT MADE ME CRY. I was hormonal, okay? Also, the brother and sister ARE kind of flirting with each other. Weird.

  16. !!!! I totally saw that same commercial and was just as offended, for the same reason! I am glad I am not the only one.

  17. I know there are bigger problems in the world than this, but I sat blinking at my television.

    I was eating a banana was reading this and I got to the sentence before this one and stopped chewing out of disbelief. There are100 things I don't get about v2 of the Peter commercial but my first thought was that he didn't WALK home from Africa. Why the hell didn't his family just pick him up at the damn airport?

  18. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! I noticed the same thing, had the exact same reaction, forced my SO to listen to me rant about it and then watch it with me ... and the offending word was GONE. I can't tell you how WONDERFUL it makes me feel to read that you and I had the exact same reaction.

    And for the record, I did use to cry at the old Peter commercial, too, but this one - nope, no way, it's just bad.

    Of course now I have to go watch it on YouTube to see the flirting bit ... I hadn't picked up on that, being as incensed about the REAL business as I was and all.

    Thank you for making my day.

  19. Oh, Oh, OH! I was so riled up about the coffee I completely forgot to say I also agree 150% with you on the Top Chef winners. NO WAY Michael should have won. Jennifer or Kevin, for sure. They just wanted the brother thing. It sucks.

  20. Funny. I was incensed when I saw this ad and immediately emailed Folgers. Did their ad agency just not realize that Africa has some of the best coffee in the world? I received a canned reply and then noted their commercial had been they cut the "real" out. I am going to sleep better as well.

  21. I'm just relieved to hear that I'm not the only one who watched lots of Golden Girls when they first had a baby. When Ava was born I watched GG every single morning for an hour. Ava LOVED the theme song to it so much that even if we didn't have time to watch the show, I would turn on lifetime at 9am so that she got to hear it every day. I am so sad & pathetic, huh? I am happy to report that Alexa at 10 months has not yet even heard the GG theme song.

  22. I assumed it was a commercial for Hallmark at first because actually, the wrapping paper on the sister's gift is by Product(Red), which is sold in Hallmark stores. But then it was for Folger's, which threw me. Nothing leading up to that prepared me for it being a coffee commercial -- that's my own commercial pet peeve. In retrospect I guess I got too hung up on the wrapping paper, and the coffee references were obvious. But to add to my confusion, I'm pretty sure I first saw it on the Hallmark channel. I did notice that they took the "real" out the second time I saw it. Hilarious.

    I'm sad that I spent that much brain power analysing this ad.

  23. ha, I read this on here last week and watched the youtube video and all, and then last night I saw the commercial on hgtv and it had the word real!! The brother/sister thing is weird, and I think even worse cause she calls herself sister at the beginning. Couldn't they have just made her younger and a more obvious little sister??

  24. Kristy - I am so glad I'm not the only person who noticed that/thought that commercial was ridiculous. We just got back from our honeymoon in east Africa and the one thing we could not get over was just how delicious the coffee and tea were. Just goes to show you how most of the world thinks. I suspect most Folger's buyers are a bit unaware of how "real" coffee tastes. That might explain why they drink Folger's. (Yes, i know, some people are on a budget and I respect that too - that's why I said most.)

  25. The best part of waking up? I don't think so.
    It was annoying that Michael won- but he is a good chef- but really, Kevin was incredible. I thought Bryan was great, too. Unfortunately, whats-her-name didn't keep up the good work throughout and really deserved to go home.

  26. GAH!!

    You really should have titled this TOP CHEF SPOILER ALERT for RiseyPs who are still on Season 3 via 1-DVD-out-at-a-time (aka cheapskate) Netflix!!

    I am crushed.

    And I heart(ed) Ilan.


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