Dieting! Isn’t it just the worst? So bad that sometimes, you just want to throw your hands in the air and say “f*** this diet, I’m going to eat whatever the hell I please”? Ok, maybe not, because dieting in the traditional sense is stupid and often doesn’t work. But Du Darfst, a German company that makes low-calorie (read: highly-processed) convenience foods, condiments, and prepared salads, is banking on female consumer’s hatred of dieting with their new tagline which is, simply, F*** The Diet. Though, to be honest, I’d rather say “f*** this nasty “diet” food.”
According to Advertising Age, the company has stated that the f-bomb (which they actually write out, unlike here in Politeness Town, USA, where we use cutesy asterisks) just isn’t as offensive over there as it is here, and that it’s simply colloquial. However, as Ad Age points out, it’s pretty clear that a lot of Germans disagree: the company’s Facebook wall is covered in angry comments, calling the slogan offensive and stupid.
But here’s what’s really stupid and offensive: the food that Du Darfst is selling as “health food.” America isn’t the only country with an obesity crisis; while Germans aren’t nearly as fat as Americans, half their population is still overweight or obese. And according to Du Darfst’s own market research, their own market research.
It’s pretty clear that Du Darfst is relying on the conversational tone of the tagline to draw young German women toward their jams, butters, cheeses, and sausages. But unfortunately, the friendliness and messaging of the campaigns (which feature excited-looking, youthful, pretty young adults being very excited to f*** their diets and finally lose weight) may lead consumers to believe that the food is, you know, healthy. Which it is not.
Because unfortunately, the “low calorie” crap that Du Darfst is pedaling might not help the women of Germany achieve their health or weight loss goals. Their frozen, prepared meals range between 300 and 400 calories, with as many as 24 grams of fat and about 35 ingredients apiece. For example:
Potatoes, water, 20% of sauerkraut (white cabbage, salt), 18% of grilled sausages (pork, iodized salt, spices (with mustard), spices, glucose syrup, dextrose, citric acid, acidity regulator sodium acetates, stabilizer diphosphates, antioxidant ascorbic acid, sheep casing), pineapple , onions, tomato paste, vegetable oil, modified starch, mustard, sugar, flavoring (contains celery, egg), apple juice concentrate, yeast extract (barley extract), iodized salt, thickener guar gum, spices (milk sugar), dye riboflavin, emulsifiers (mono- and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono-and diglycerides of edible fatty acids, mono-and diglycerides of edible fatty acids), stabilizers (ascorbic acid, Disphosphate), caramel coloring food, antioxidant (sodium metabisulfite, fatty acid esters of ascorbic acid), spice extracts.
To which I say: f*** that.
Image: Du Darfst’s Facebook wall, which features the gentler version of the slogan.