Gravy Is Great. So Why Does Every Ad Make It Look Gross?

An enigma wrapped in a conundrum slathered with liquid meat

In 1947, Campbell Soup Co. finally introduced a savory splatter of meatness to post-war America at the speed of modern life: canned gravy. Such a revolutionary advancement in science obviously required advertising to show it off, and Madison Avenue delivered it. But the reality is, while gravy may taste like liquid heaven, it looks like septic sludge when you try to photograph or record it. So, before you board your gravy boat to Thanksgiving paradise, check out our gallery of regrettable gravy ads.


  1. Franco-American Beef Gravy (1966)

    Canned gravy has never looked all that appetizing, but that's doubly true in black and white. In this vintage TV ad, everything looks disturbing, from the "crackling brown meat roast" to the viscous black ooze pouring like melted flesh into the gravy boat. But what's that? There's new Giblet Gravy? Sounds divine!
  2. Colman's Gravy (2011)

    This recent British spot is pretty well loved, but something about a glistening, gelatinous, dancing cow just doesn't sit right with me.
  3. Franco-American Beef Gravy (1956)

    It all looks so lovely, I don't know which one I'll have first! My gut says the Blue Ribbon Beef Stew, which makes sense, because "men, especially, welcome it with cheers."
  4. Franco-American Turkey Gravy (1990)

    As a teenager, I found this ad compelling and somewhat unnerving, thanks mostly to the lady's overly comforting humming. That was before I found out that whole poultry really does come in cans.
  5. SNL: Crystal Gravy (1993)

    Saturday Night Live's nearly shot-for-shot parody of the Crystal Pepsi launch ad is still hilariously vile, even if you don't remember the product that inspired it. "Finally, you can see your meat." On that note, enjoy your Thanksgiving feast!