Campbell’s Wisest Kid Mascot Isn’t the Soup Company’s Wisest Idea Ever

Trim the beard, son

Oh, a wise guy, eh?

Just in time for Advertising Week, BBDO and Campbell Soup introduce a new brand mascot, "The Wisest Kid in the Whole World"—basically a little boy with a really long beard who sits atop a pile of rocks, guru-style, and dispenses soup-related advice for parents. Most of what he says—"When the mouth slurps the belly smiles," "More ways to dunk than can be thunk" and "Mealtime is no paradox"—reminds me of the stuff I read on lists of crappy brand tweets.

In one especially awful commercial, Mom wants to be more fun, so she dances in an especially irritating and unfunny way. In another spot, not nearly as awful but still kind of pointless, the Wisest Kid unfurls an impossibly long "Scroll of Infinite Deliciousness" down a suburban neighborhood and into a family's kitchen. The young actor, who resembles Macaulay Culkin at his Home Alone peak, is quite good, but every other element in this campaign is about as sharp as a wet noodle.

"The campaign was inspired by the wise things that kids say, when you really listen to them," says Ed Carolan, president for U.S. retail at Campbell. "Who knows what makes kids happy but other kids? So we might as well ask the Wisest Kid in the Whole World."

Puh-lease, Mr. Soup Man, stop spoon-feeding us nonsense. What we're dealing with here is soulless, derivative, über-corporate advertising that plays like a mishmash of ingredients someone forgot to heat up.

M'm! M'm! Bad! (Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!)