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Bring back Joltin' Joe and his java -- and trash this ad

This ad isn't a sin of omission -- it's a sin of commission.

It's been about 30 years since Joe DiMaggio did his Mr. Coffee commercial. I have always thought it was rather sweet and touching, the way DiMaggio offered a ''fi' dolla rebate,'' and how, when you think of it, Joltin' Joe really and truly is the stuff you put in your cup.

Now there's a new Mr. Coffee commercial, for a frappe machine, starring a little kid whose winning ways remind me of Eddie Haskell, that suck-up kid in ''Leave It to Beaver.''

In this commercial, our little entrepreneur -- who in DiMaggio's day would have been selling lemonade -- whips up a frappe on a new Mr. Coffee gizmo. So far, so good.

It's when a customer, a beaming woman, asks for a refill and proffers her plastic cup to get it that this commercial and its subliminal message go off the rails and make me go nuts.

"Sure," the kid says, "but we don't take those cups." Then he tosses the cup in the trash -- the camera's in the bottom of the can to record the Big Drop -- and says, "That's how you frappe.''

Is that so, you whippersnapper? You frappe by wastefully discarding plastic? By not listening to the grown-up who wisely wants to re-use her plastic cup -- and even implying that she's being silly for wanting to re-use it?

Whatever you think of the frappe machine, the dismissive attitude toward recycling is irresponsible. Maybe it was fine back when Joltin' Joe was pitching Mr. Coffee's java machines, but it's way out of whack in the here and now.

Grow up, kid. And by ''kid,'' I don't mean the little boy in the ad. I mean whoever who wrote the ad copy, because the attitude in this advertisement is inexcusably dated, childish and selfish. Say it ain't so, Joe.

-- Patt Morrison


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SoCal RN

Go get 'em, Patt.
I haven't seen this ad, but it sounds like it could join the ranks of
the Ikea ad with the stupid screaming woman and the Baskin-Robbins one
with the unsportsmanlike soccer mom. I have written to both these
companies. Ikea gave the standard "we're sorry if we offended you,"
and continues to use the ad whenever they have a sale. Baskin-Robbins
is apparently more receptive as they modified the ad so it is less
offensive. They probably heard from a lot of AYSO coaches and parents.



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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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