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Sara Lee's Realist Ads Jaw-Dropping, Awe-Inspiring

By Anthony Todd in Food on Oct 17, 2011 3:00PM

2011_10_17SaraLEe.jpg Sara Lee, the venerable Downers Grove-based food company, has launched a new ad campaign - you may have seen it on Buzzfeed, which called it "The Worst Thing Ever." Given last week's Dr. Pepper snafu, that may be pushing it - at least the Sara Lee ads are just silly and boring, rather than offensive, sexist or customer-killing.

Sara Lee seems to be trying to embrace the You-tube-ization of the times by creating "realistic" clips, shot with handheld cameras and unedited. Unfortunately, there's a reason that ads use beautiful photography, fast cuts and loud music - otherwise, they're dull as dirt.

One spot, which features a small child on the sidelines of a soccer game clutching a sandwich, meanders along for almost 45 seconds before we have any idea what the relationship is to Sara Lee products. Another plays on the good, old-fashioned sitcom trope of the angry, bumbling dad, as a father tries to get his daughter's lunch out of their house and falls over a toy. They even avoid ad-driven names - the second video is called (in true Youtube fashion, if Youtube was dominated by 50-year-olds who said "Holy Smokes") "Holy Smokes - Watch This Dad Fall."

Do these ads make you want to buy meats? At least they were probably cheap to shoot.