- (Photo: YouTube/KraftDressing)
One Million Moms is currently criticizing Kraft Foods for its new "Let's Get Zesty" salad dressing advertising campaign, which the group argues uses sex to sell by promoting a nearly-naked "Zesty Guy" as their official spokesperson for the product.
On its official website, the conservative family interest group One Million Moms, which is a nonprofit founded by the American Family Association, condemns Kraft for "using s*x to sell salad dressing."
"Kraft has gone too far and will push away loyal, conservative customers with this new ad campaign," the group states in a post entitled "Shame on Kraft."
"Christians will not be able to buy Kraft dressings or any of their products until they clean up their advertising. The consumers they are attempting to attract – women and mothers – are the very ones they are driving away," the group continues, adding that it had to censor some of the words in its statement with an asterisk in order to get past certain email firewalls.
"Who will want Kraft products in their fridge or pantry if this vulgarity is what they represent? One Million Moms cannot get over the gall of this company. It is unnecessary for Kraft to use s*x to sell salad dressing!"
The group is referencing a recent two-page advertisement found in People magazine, which features actor Anderson Davis, deemed "The Zesty Guy," laying down naked on a red and white checkered picnic blanket with only the corner of the blanket covering his genital area.
"The Zesty Guy" is surrounded by classic picnic foods, including Kraft's Zesty Italian dressing, and in the upper corner of advertisement reads the slogan "Silverware Optional – Let's Get Zesty," accompanied by the website "getmezesty.com."
The "getmezesty.com" website offers users the option of sending their friends personalized "zestygrams," similar to an online birthday card or congratulatory card, via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or email.
Along with these marketing techniques, the food and beverage company has produced several quirky commercials featuring its new spokesman.
Commercials include "The Zesty Guy" cooking with the salad dressing before his shirt is removed from the heat of the stove, and the actor posing shirtless while holding a white puppy with a red bow around its neck.
The advertising campaign, which launched in early April, even has its own YouTube channel, titled "Let's Get Zesty," also featuring several brief commercials with The Zesty Guy promoting the salad dressing, often losing at least one article of clothing in each 30-second spot.
Kraft has defended its advertising campaign, describing it in a recent statement as a "playful" way to promote salad dressing.
"Our Kraft dressing's 'Let's Get Zesty' campaign is a playful and flirtatious way to reach our consumers. People have overwhelmingly said they're enjoying the campaign and having fun with it," the company said in a statement, as reported by USA Today.
NBC's the "Today" show is currently conducting a reader poll on the advertisement, asking voters if they believe the advertisement is "way too racy" or "clearly in good fun."
As of Tuesday, the votes were nearly split down the middle, with 45 percent of readers voting the ad was "too racy" and 55 percent voting the ad was "clearly in good fun."
Viewers have taken to Twitter to express their delight or concern over the sexualized ad campaign, with some calling it "creative" and "hilarious" and others describing it as "over the top" or "degrading."
"The Zesty Guy" himself has even partaken in promoting the ad campaign through his Twitter, calling the advertisements "too hot to handle."
One Million Moms is asking all those who oppose this new Kraft ad campaign to write a letter to the Chicago-based food and beverage conglomerate, urging them to discontinue the "Let's Get Zesty" string of commercials and ads.
The family interest group has previously protested other ad campaigns which they argue go against family morals, including JC Penney's use of Ellen DeGeneres as company spokeswoman, and the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on CBS in December 2012.
The objective of the nonprofit organization is to rally moms across America to address "the immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity the entertainment media is throwing at your children."