Stop cooking with cheese!
December 17, 2006 7:23 AM   Subscribe

Here in Canada, the dairy farmers' association had been promoting the buying of cheese and cooking with cheese, running a series of reverse-psychology TV commercials. The most memorable part from the commercials, the crotchety granny screaming "Can't get your kids to leave home? Stop cooking with cheese!", had already gone viral, as evidenced by these two fan-videos on youtube. But, alas, it looks like the Screaming Cheese Lady's days are numbered. Canada's dairy farmers have halted their "Stop cooking with cheese" advertising campaign after a wave of complaints about their latest TV ad.
posted by Quiplash (78 comments total)

 
Oops... double "their". My bad. Please be kind, only my second FPP.

And don't call me "cheap".
posted by Quiplash at 7:25 AM on December 17, 2006


direct link to "their latest TV ad."

For your clickin' convenience.

posted by _aa_ at 7:42 AM on December 17, 2006


Did they let the Air Farce guest-produce that last one?

[non-Canadians: the Air Farce is a long running, ostensibly comedic troupe that has an eye wateringly bad show Friday nights on the CBC. This surely constitutes one of the prime arguments against a) publicly funded media and b) Canadian content laws]
posted by fleetmouse at 8:04 AM on December 17, 2006


At least they're better than California's happy cow commercials, which like a foolish shot across the bow are aired in Wisconsin. Yes, I'm going to give up my local cheese because the cows in California have a better life.
posted by drezdn at 8:09 AM on December 17, 2006


The folks at Real California Cheese run a series of ads promoting California cheese and some of them are pretty good.
posted by buggzzee23 at 8:10 AM on December 17, 2006


C'mon drezdn, how could you not like the blizzard and earthqyake commercials?
posted by buggzzee23 at 8:11 AM on December 17, 2006


The last ad was just... bizarre. Not offensive, just incomprehensible.
posted by grouse at 8:16 AM on December 17, 2006


Can I blame the Canadian winter on the publicly funded media and Canadian content laws?

Who cut the cheese (commericals)?
posted by srboisvert at 8:17 AM on December 17, 2006


When are they going to stop those dreadful hip hop milk commercials.
posted by dobbs at 8:18 AM on December 17, 2006


Here's direct links to a couple of the screaming cheese lady TV commercials which had aired earlier in the year, before the current disastrous one:


Screaming Cheese Lady ad #1: The Bedroom

Screaming Cheese Lady ad #2: Ironing (SCL's a little more off her rocker in this one)
posted by Quiplash at 8:20 AM on December 17, 2006


after a wave of complaints about their their latest TV ad
Heavens to Betsy, I do declare Canada has caught the vapors! Someone bring the lady a mint julep!
posted by Flunkie at 8:28 AM on December 17, 2006


The last ad was just... bizarre. Not offensive, just incomprehensible.
I thought it was hilarious. Needed the others to set it up, though. I don't see who would be offended, except maybe a stinking bishop.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:32 AM on December 17, 2006


No one who has ever driven the length of I-5 can believe the commercials about the "happy cows." The gigantic feed lot along the interstate is one of the few things that has ever made me consider giving up meat altogether.
posted by InnocentBystander at 8:32 AM on December 17, 2006


what's the problem? the last one is wonderfully twisted.
posted by sonofslim at 8:39 AM on December 17, 2006


No, you're right, it was my mistake to watch the most interesting one first. Next time I will WTFV.
posted by grouse at 8:42 AM on December 17, 2006


The gigantic feed lot along the interstate is one of the few things that has ever made me consider giving up meat.
posted by hal9k at 8:43 AM on December 17, 2006


The gigantic feed lot along the interstate is one of the few things that has ever made me consider giving up meat.
posted by grouse at 8:49 AM on December 17, 2006


What's the problem? Some people feel it's "anti-family."
I don't get it. I mean, it's not like the daughter was dating a girl. That would be anti-family.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:50 AM on December 17, 2006


The gigantic feed lot along the interstate made me give up meat (although I have since gone back.)
posted by arcticwoman at 8:52 AM on December 17, 2006


I'm surprised to hear that anyone doesn't like the "don't cook with cheese" ads. I love them all! this one is my personal favourite.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:58 AM on December 17, 2006


The gigantic feed lot along the internets is one of the few things that has ever made me consider giving up MetaFilter.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:59 AM on December 17, 2006


No one who has ever driven the length of I-5 can believe the commercials about the "happy cows."

Those are beef cattle in that feedlot, not dairy cows.
posted by buggzzee23 at 9:03 AM on December 17, 2006


MetaFilter made me give up feeding a lot of cheese to the interstate.
posted by waldo at 9:04 AM on December 17, 2006


I have a love/hate relationship with the "Rats" commercial (direct link).

I wish the fad for desaturated colours in commercials was over. The freakin' dairy farmers have been doing this for ages, right back to that stupid commercial where the little boy can't remember what sort of cheese he's supposed to buy at the store.
posted by maudlin at 9:06 AM on December 17, 2006


MetaFilter lot cheese interstate meat.
posted by ColdChef at 9:07 AM on December 17, 2006


I gotta say, the 'natural attraction' butter adverts in the first link are superb.
posted by kickingtheground at 9:10 AM on December 17, 2006


Hildegarde: I agree, the "Rat" ad you pointed out was funny. But it left me thinking about rats, not cheese. Given that it's an ad for cheese, that's a problem.
posted by Quiplash at 9:12 AM on December 17, 2006


Mmmmmmmmmm. Cheeeeeeese.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:30 AM on December 17, 2006


Let's not forget the man behind the SCL.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:37 AM on December 17, 2006


I think these ads are just terrible. They just do not work in any way, (yes they are about as 'funny' as an Air Farce sketch) and that old woman voice is just horribly annoying. I would not want to do anything it told me, or not do what it told me not to do. It's like Norman Bates' mother, but scarier.
What the hell were les gars at Cossette smoking? This could work for an 'edgy' new soft drink, but this is not the way to sell cheese.
posted by Flashman at 10:04 AM on December 17, 2006


Come on, it's cheese. Does it really need selling? Everyone loves cheese!! (And I still love the rats one.)
posted by Hildegarde at 10:07 AM on December 17, 2006


For Canadian TV commercials, the screaming woman has nothing on Paul Bunyan and Godzilla smashing a town and doing the hokey pokey while trying to keep their insides in. At least until the third or fourth replay in twenty minutes, when you pay money for the operatic jingle to stop.
posted by ardgedee at 10:12 AM on December 17, 2006


would pay money. Or hit the mute button.
posted by ardgedee at 10:13 AM on December 17, 2006


I think these are great commercials, and I should have known they came out of Cossette. While they don't always make good commercials--I hate those fucking Bell beavers with a passion that knows no bounds--they do make memorable ones. Which is the point, I suppose.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:14 AM on December 17, 2006


ardgedee writes "For Canadian TV commercials, the screaming woman has nothing on Paul Bunyan and Godzilla smashing a town and doing the hokey pokey while trying to keep their insides in. At least until the third or fourth replay in twenty minutes, when you pay money for the operatic jingle to stop."

What are you talking about? That commercial was awesome. I think they've realized how goddamn stupid the little dance and jingle are, so now they're going all-out with making it totally ridiculous.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:16 AM on December 17, 2006


They're cancelling the campaign over this?

I mean, Canada was apparently okay with the screaming cheese lady hiding in the backyard like a stalker and popping into view of the patio doors, yelling at the top of her lungs. (Though I guess they did make her stop yelling in the most recent series of ads.)

Also, two YouTube videos does not make for an epidemic.
posted by chrominance at 10:17 AM on December 17, 2006


Also, on post:

I think they've realized how goddamn stupid the little dance and jingle are

Really? Just now? You don't think it entered their heads when they were telling the guy in the suit to wave his hands around his ass like he was trying to dissipate a massive fart?
posted by chrominance at 10:22 AM on December 17, 2006


[fixed double "their" hi quiplash!]
posted by jessamyn at 10:24 AM on December 17, 2006


Thanks jessamyn :-)
posted by Quiplash at 10:38 AM on December 17, 2006


that giant feedlot along i-5 is the harris ranch. stop in for din-din sometime. they serve decent steaks, salads, and...
deep-fried bull testes!
posted by bruce at 10:40 AM on December 17, 2006


chrominance writes "Really? Just now? You don't think it entered their heads when they were telling the guy in the suit to wave his hands around his ass like he was trying to dissipate a massive fart?"

I'm not so sure. From what I've heard about how things happen around the table with ad campaigns, someone probably thought that hand-waving (and the dance, and the song) were marketing genius. Then reality hit.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:42 AM on December 17, 2006


Hey, I liked the beavers. They played into every stereotype we Americans have of Canadians.
posted by ardgedee at 10:42 AM on December 17, 2006


You Canadians are so droll.
posted by trip and a half at 10:44 AM on December 17, 2006


Except when we're drĂ´le.

My husband has started calling our hefty brown Burmese "Gordon" in an affectionate tribute to the Bell beavers. He says they've become national icons. I'm scared.
posted by maudlin at 10:47 AM on December 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


....that old woman voice is just horribly annoying. I would not want to do anything it told me, or not do what it told me not to do.

I'm not studied in it, but I'm pretty sure that annoyance is as good as entertainment when it comes to advertising. It doesn't matter to the advertisers as much whether you like it or not, just that it's in your head (whether you like it or not...hehe).
posted by troybob at 10:48 AM on December 17, 2006


Ugh. Good riddance. That old lady was pretty freaky.

What's the deal with these milk/cheese/eggs/butter ads anyway? Don't people buy these things regularly?

Oh, and Air Farce is truly a horrible show. I haven't watched it once in its entire existence.
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 10:58 AM on December 17, 2006


John Harris from Harris Ranch is friends with my dad. Nice guy. I agree, though: that lot is disgusting.
posted by rbs at 11:03 AM on December 17, 2006


The Air Farce was amazing when they were still on the radio. The move to TV was their downfall.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:14 AM on December 17, 2006


That gigantic feed lot along the interstate is one of the few things that ever made me consider giving up driving.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:20 AM on December 17, 2006


Nancy Vonk, creative director at Ogilvy and Mather in Toronto, said she winced when she saw the ad for the first time.

"It was really mean-spirited," she said. "I'm a big fan of dark comedy but that just crossed the line. . . . I felt so bad for the girl in the spot."


"Big fan"? Yeah, I call bullshit on that. God forbid she ever watches a Kubrick or Coen Brothers' film.
posted by Land Stander at 11:23 AM on December 17, 2006


I'm not a big fan of those damn beavers. Though the bus shelter ads they did with one of them looking at the other with the text "Can I touch it?" did make for some amusing commutes.
posted by Hildegarde at 11:25 AM on December 17, 2006


"What's the deal with these milk/cheese/eggs/butter ads anyway? Don't people buy these things regularly?"

Yes, but it's like Homer Simpson said while on the job as an ice cream truck driver, "I gotta get back to selling this stuff to the kids before they wise up and realize the link between good health and happiness!"
posted by hojoki at 11:32 AM on December 17, 2006


Those beavers are god-damned awful.
But this is the strangest commercial I have ever seen. I was watching TV at a friends house, and it came on, and the entire room just fell totally silent.
posted by 235w103 at 11:32 AM on December 17, 2006


See, that might be the difference between U.S. and Canadian TV commercials. Down here, we all listen to hip-hop, heavy metal, and high-NRG dance-pop on our cell phones. You guys all listen to accordions and fiddles. It's so quaint!
posted by ardgedee at 11:39 AM on December 17, 2006


I'm not a big fan of those damn beavers. Though the bus shelter ads they did with one of them looking at the other with the text "Can I touch it?" did make for some amusing commutes.

Yeah, but not as much as those gum ads on the subways, where one member of the couple looks confused or pissed about receiving a shocking-blue pearl necklace. (And, of course, the boy in the bubble tv ad where he has that unfortunate premature problem.) Straight couples, gay couples -- pure debauchery on the morning commute. Loved it, but I'll be damned if I can recall the brand name of the gum.
posted by maudlin at 11:42 AM on December 17, 2006


What's the deal with these milk/cheese/eggs/butter ads anyway?

Have you seen the alien ads from the California Milk Council? I enjoyed the Canadian ads and was surprised they were considered offensive enough to be pulled.
posted by buggzzee23 at 11:50 AM on December 17, 2006


Anyone who's got kids knows there is no chance of cheese going out of the diet. My son loves cheese sticks, quesadillas, grilled cheese and will eat most anything if I sprinkle some parmesan on top.
posted by fenriq at 11:54 AM on December 17, 2006


OK, that alien series of ads was great.
posted by maudlin at 11:56 AM on December 17, 2006


I'm not studied in it, but I'm pretty sure that annoyance is as good as entertainment when it comes to advertising. It doesn't matter to the advertisers as much whether you like it or not, just that it's in your head

When directory enquiries was opened up to private competition here in the UK a few years back, there was an incredible rash of really, really annoying ads for all the various numbers -- 118 118, 118 888, and so on. They were basically competing for who could be the most ridiculously annoying, so that you'd remember their number and use it.

It wasn't a happy time to be alive.
posted by reklaw at 11:59 AM on December 17, 2006



Oh, I liked that last link. I'm one of the biggest snobs on me-fi but sometimes I think I'm too easily amused.
posted by bukharin at 12:29 PM on December 17, 2006


Anybody got a link to one of the beaver ads?
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 12:33 PM on December 17, 2006


One beaver ad here.

You can find others by entering the Cossette site and clicking the Work link on the left. Filter the list of ads by choosing Bell as the client.
posted by maudlin at 12:45 PM on December 17, 2006


The ad in question is definitely dark... but I like it. It's smarter than average, and kinda twisted.

My favourite is definitely the "Rats" one. The rat lady is so fantastic... I'm curious about who she is. Her facial expressions are priceless.

The hip-hop milk commercials need to die. Really.
posted by loiseau at 1:45 PM on December 17, 2006


The hip-hop milk commercials need to die. Really.

Yeah I had to sit through a special extended mix of that commercial at the Paramount Toronto movie theatre months ago and I haven't been back since.
posted by bobo123 at 2:25 PM on December 17, 2006


Oh God. Those hip-hop commercials just reek of "WE ARE GROOVY AND HIP LIKE THE KIDS OF TODAY AMIRITE" around the boardroom table.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:32 PM on December 17, 2006


I live in Canada. I've never seen them. Not once.

Oh and on with the "ZOMG if it's Canadian it's automatically bad, don't even have to watch it" love.
posted by watsondog at 2:45 PM on December 17, 2006


Those hip-hop commercials just reek of "WE ARE GROOVY AND HIP LIKE THE KIDS OF TODAY AMIRITE" around the boardroom table.

...do you think so? Those ads totally look ironic to me. And thus I find them quite amusing.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:12 PM on December 17, 2006


The campaign also includes an Internet component with banners allowing surfers to access the new DFC website at plaisirslaitiers.ca/dairygoodness.ca.

I prefer the DFC website at dfc.furr.org, thank you.
posted by stam_broker at 3:40 PM on December 17, 2006


I think Screaming Cheese Lady is my new hero.

BEHOLD THE POWER OF CHEESE!

Sorry, I was mixing my metaphors dairy advertisments.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:54 PM on December 17, 2006


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz-WuLQz_ns

Turn up your sound. This is the all time best TV commercial EVER!! YouTube, of course, and probably a double.

I do like both the rats and beavers, must be a rodent thing.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 4:07 PM on December 17, 2006


Oh and on with the "ZOMG if it's Canadian it's automatically bad, don't even have to watch it" love.
I actually am a bit biased for Canadian productions, but when it's bad, it's bad, and those milk commercials are BAD.
posted by loiseau at 4:33 PM on December 17, 2006



Those hip-hop commercials just reek of "WE ARE GROOVY AND HIP LIKE THE KIDS OF TODAY AMIRITE" around the boardroom table.

...do you think so? Those ads totally look ironic to me. And thus I find them quite amusing.


I always figured that, too. My first reaction to those hip-hop milk ads was "Wow. Did they ever nail the hip-hip video aesthetic."

However, that doesn't mean I want to sit through an extended addition at a movie theater, having already paid money at the door for the privilege.
posted by generichuman at 4:43 PM on December 17, 2006


* Blarg. Extended edition.

I blame jet lag.
posted by generichuman at 4:44 PM on December 17, 2006


Oh, they nailed the style, for sure. I just didn't see anything ironic about it, just the usual trying-to-be-cool vibe that comes with most productions--commercial and entertainment--aimed at youth as opposed to produced by youth.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:38 PM on December 17, 2006


I'm not so sure. From what I've heard about how things happen around the table with ad campaigns, someone probably thought that hand-waving (and the dance, and the song) were marketing genius. Then reality hit.

Well, it was marketing genius precisely because it was stupid. Give the ad execs some credit.
posted by chrominance at 3:47 AM on December 18, 2006


I just didn't see anything ironic about it

It didn't strike you as ironic where the guy is sitting on his hot tractor the way guys in hip hop videos sit in their hot cars?

I can't even read it as anything but irony, frankly.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:18 AM on December 18, 2006


I don't see why people would complain about the ad... it sets up expectations, and then delivers a punchline which kind of turns the dynamic around. I thought it was pretty amusing.
posted by clevershark at 6:32 AM on December 18, 2006


The "Rats" commercial is my favourite, too, with the "I hate you" ad a close second. I can't believe they're cancelling the series. *sniff* I guess I'd get over it if they'd import the alien milk series. All hail Dairy!
posted by deborah at 1:36 PM on December 18, 2006


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