We stumble across many failures in our meanderings. This was one such failure. Perhaps it was some first-draft effort of the company that eventually did the "dead child insurance" Super Bowl commercial. Or perhaps it is yet another run in of our staff with Werner Herzog.
All we can determine is that this was an attempt to sell produce with Existential Philosophy. Many marketeers are high-minded, pretending that their work is not intellectual murder. Often they turn to philosophy in some maddened grasp at something retaining a glint of the purity denied forever to them.
The copy for this quarter-page newspaper ad, set to run in fifty major markets simultaneously: We all must die. In the meantime, enjoy a tangerine. Struggle with meaning, not peeling.
Huge billboards featuring this photograph were going to appear along interstates in rural areas across the midwest and southeast. A smaller roll-out, in Arizona, was also planned. The accompanying text was in large block print. It said, simply: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Alas, she was the only one who could cure your fatal disease.
The grapefruit ad convinced our reporter that this was the work of the Allstate agency. This still is all that survives, but the video ad featured a pair of bustling grapefruit, once of which fell in half at the end. The voiceover was concise. "Eat grapefruit for your health. Live long enough to see your loved ones die."
This ad was to feature in-store samplings of strawberries, in which a box was to be featured in the produce department with a carefully chosen assortment of berries. A placard behind the box said, in large text across a blank background:
"The immeasurable magnitude of suffering is caused by the cruelty of others and an unjust cosmos. Only your actions can alleviate this pain. Therefore, you should try a strawberry."
Full page newspaper ad. TIME magazine. NEWSWEEK. Kale: Eat it in the hopes that you will stave off aging and you will wither away with the taste of dirty spinach on your tongue.
It is a shame, but no surprise, that these ads did not come to light.