McCain Foods

TV viewers may wonder if there’s one unspoiled, Edenic farm where all packaged-food companies have their commercials filmed. The farm in this spot, airing in Canada for McCain Foods (via Taxi in Toronto), certainly looks inviting, and it makes for some lovely visuals. Making the most of this backdrop, the voiceover says McCain is “on a journey to make sure that everything we produce is made from real ingredients, like specially selected potatoes, green peppers, vine-ripened tomatoes, whole wheat … nothing artificial or simulated.” It builds up to a declaration that “we think the only ingredient in our food should be, well, food.” Good line. My quibble is that the scene seems almost too idyllic to be a good match for a big corporation like McCain. If you have your heart set on food that comes from a family farm where it’s picked by hand and lovingly carried around in wicker baskets, you’ll go to a farmer’s market instead of going to a supermarket and buying packaged foods — even very good, very pure packaged foods. And, as long as I’m quibbling, I’ll add a quibble about the tagline, “It’s all good.” Isn’t that a phrase most often used when something has gone awry but you’re offering assurance that you don’t mind, that it’s no big deal? In common parlance, “It’s all good” often means, “It’s not as good as you and I wish it were, but I’m not going to make a fuss about it.” If that meaning clicks on in the back of viewers’ minds, it’ll muddy the message McCain intends to convey. –Mark Dolliver