What Do Rice Krispie Treats Have To Do With Subway Accidents?

| July 8, 2000

What Do Rice Krispie Treats Have To Do With Subway Accidents? by Rob Walker, MONEYBOX of Slate Online
The Wall Street Journal recently noted a trend in what it called 'ouch ads' -- advertising featuring imagery that makes you wince. Jumping on the bandwagon, Rice Krispies Treats has introduced a couple of shocking new spots, including one that's set on a subway and involves the loss of a limb. What are these ads trying to say?, asks Slate's Rob Walke. 'Shock tactics are nothing new in advertising, of course. Someone from the agency that did the commuter ad explained to the Journal that the goal is to get the attention of teen-agers. If that's the case, then the ads seem to be trying to associate Rice Krispies Treats with a certain sensibility -- hip and knowing, but not above low humor. So the treat is being sold less as a treat than as a kind of signifier: If you 'get' these ads, then perhaps Rice Krispies Treats are an appropriate addition to your 'lifestyle.' Go there>>

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