MastiGate! Is Kim Kardashian Really Fake Chewing in Her Fake-Meat Commercial?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

So there I was, minding my own business and poking around MediaPost, when I came across this Todd Wasserman piece about Kim Kardashian’s new gig as Chief Taste Consultant for Beyond Meat, which produces plant-based meatlike substances.

Kim And The Untasted Burger

Kim Kardashian is Beyond Meat’s new Chief Taste Consultant, but her ad for Beyond Meat is being mocked by some because she is supposedly “fake chewing.”

The ad, via Mythology, features Kardashian (in uncharacteristically blonde locks), saying that she believes in Beyond Meat so much that she stepped in to help with her greatest asset, which viewers at home might not know is her taste.

All is well until you notice what some have pointed out on social media, which is that Kardashian is never seen actually tasting the product.

Fake chewing, Doc? That’s hard to swallow.

– Just Trying to Keep Up

Dear JTTKU,

Let’s look at how MastiGate has played out.

First, here’s the spot.

The media mastication started last week with this TechCrunch tweet.

Two days later, Yahoo! Entertainment noted that Kardashian was being “mocked for how she eats a burger.”

Kim Kardashian is getting heat for seemingly pretending to eat food in a new ad campaign for Beyond Meat. The company’s new ‘chief taste consultant’ has fans criticizing her commercial, where she appears to not actually taste or take a bite of the plant-based food she’s promoting.

The next day Wasserman’s MediaPost piece detailed reaction in the Twitterverse.

On Twitter, Katy Wellhousen, vice president, social account director for Deutsch LA, criticized the ad. “kim kardashian fake-chewing a beyond meat burger that has no bite taken out of it is making me spiral,” tweeted Wellhousen, who works on the Taco Bell account for Deutsch.

Wellhousen wasn’t the only one. Seth Arp, a musician, tweeted, “@KimKardashian saying ‘mm’ to eating a beyond meat burger but there’s no bite taken out. Her reaction is as fake as that food they want to call ‘meat.’”

The Vegan Review’s Alice Soule promptly piled on.

[In] this advert, Kim Kardashian claims to believe so strongly in the Beyond Meat brand that she’s offering them her best asset – her taste.  But then the video cuts to her seemingly eating a mouthful of food while holding a burger that somehow seems to have no bite mark. She then comments on how amazingly delicious the Beyond Meat products are while fist-bumping the chefs and taking a few more selfies. Not once in the advert do you see Kim Kardashian eating a mouthful of the Beyond Meat products.

But then, as Shireen Khalil reported in The Daily Telegraph, Kardashian bit back.

Kim has since shared a behind-the-scenes clip to her Instagram Stories proving she ate the burger despite being accused of “fake” chewing in the 30-second ad.

“Guys, come on…,” she captioned the clip which showed her removing the top bun from a vegan burger.

“Getting rid of some of the carbs,” she explained to someone on the set.

The Doc is not on this earth long enough to document all the ins and outs of Kim’s Beyond Meat rumpus, but help yourself if you’re so inclined.

One footnote to Todd Wasserman’s MediaPost piece is this comment attached to it.

Artie White from Zoom Media Corp, May 31, 2022 at 9:10 a.m.

Hey Todd, pretty disingenuous to refer to Seth Arp as “a musician” when he’s actually a marketing director for the meat industry (https://www.linkedin.com/in/setharp.) So his comment comes with an agenda. Worth mentioning in your article, no? I know this is Mediapost but it’s still journalism.

Your conclusions go here.

Why Is Apple Vaporizing Dozens of People In Its Latest Ad?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and tooling around MediaPost, when I came across this Todd Wasserman piece about a new Apple ad that addresses data privacy.

Watch Data Buyers Go Up In Smoke

Apple has taken a public stance in favor of the privacy of its users, but rarely has it made that stance as understandable as in this new ad.

The ad, via TBWA\Chiat\Day Media Arts Lab, shows a young woman at a record store (remember those?) who hears music through a door (“Fantasy” by Esquivel) and runs toward it, only to see her picture on the door with the words “Ellie’s Data Auction.”

She enters an auction room with a life-sized hologram of herself as an auctioneer announces, “Lot Number One: Her emails.” Next up, her location data — again sold to a suspicious-looking data buyer.  “It’s not creepy,” the auctioneer says. “It’s commerce!”

Eventually Ellie gets her revenge thanks to an iPhone, but is that really what happens to our digital data, Doc? Seems totally creepy.

– Android Al

Dear Double A,

Gotta agree with you there. Here’s the Apple ad in full.

The ad suggests that an iPhone puts all your data in a –  shoutout to Al Gore – digital lockbox. But Sara Morrison at Vox says, not so fast.

The [privacy update], called App Tracking Transparency, doesn’t stop all the ways companies follow you around the internet and in your mobile apps because Apple can’t stop all tracking. Nor does it want to. Your data is still being collected, but what’s being collected and how may have changed. The end result, however, is roughly the same: You’re being targeted with ads . . .

From a user privacy standpoint, App Tracking Transparency seems like a good thing. It’s just not as good of a thing as you might have thought, or perhaps as Apple wanted you to think it was.

Memo to Ellie: Maybe you want to look into some other vaporizing tools. Just saying.

Why Is Bill Nye The Science Guy Greenwashing for Coca-Cola?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and scrolling through MediaPost’s Marketing Daily, when I came across this report by Todd Wasserman.

Bill Nye Stars In Questionable Coke Ad

With Earth Day about two weeks away, Coca-Cola has released this video starring Bill Nye, who says that “together we can close the loop” on waste.

The video, by Mackinnon & Saunders, discusses “Creating a world without waste,” and an animatronic version of Nye talks about how we can reuse plastic. “It’s an amazing material,” he says.

In the three-minute video, Nye also says this: “The good people at the Coca-Cola company are dedicating themselves to addressing our global plastic waste problem. They know they have a responsibility to help solve this issue and their goal: A world without waste.”

Is this the real thing, Doc?

– Bull Nigh

Dear Bull,

Good question. Let’s look at the video, shall we?

Cute, engaging – and pretty much total propaganda, as Molly Taft details in this piece at Gizmodo.

Bill Nye, the Sellout Guy

In a new video, TV’s favorite scientist parrots hackneyed lines about “the good people at Coca-Cola” and their near-useless recycling efforts.

Bad news for everyone who loved watching Bill Nye the Science Guy during middle school science class: your fave is problematic. This week, Coca-Cola, one of the world’s biggest plastic polluters, teamed up with TV’s favorite scientist for a campaign to create a “world without waste,” a joke of a corporate greenwashing campaign.

In a video innocuously titled “The Coca-Cola Company and Bill Nye Demystify Recycling,” an animated version of Nye—with a head made out of a plastic bottle and his signature bow tie fashioned from a Coke label—walks viewers through the ways “the good people at the Coca-Cola company are dedicating themselves to addressing our global plastic waste problem.”

Problem is, as Taft notes, “[Coca-Cola] produces about 3.3 million U.S. tons of plastic packaging per year, and has been named one of the most polluting brands in the world by multiple different audits.”

Even worse:

Coca-Cola has also said it has no plans to stop producing single-use plastic, because, it claims, customers simply don’t want anything else. If Coke had a history of fighting for beneficial recycling policies, one ad might not be a problem, but representatives from the company were caught on tape as recently as 2019 lobbying against bottle bills that would reward customers for recycling but tack an extra charge onto the company.

To recap: Molly Taft’s Gizmodo piece on Coca-Cola’s recycling record is the pause that depresses.

The Doc’s antidote: Try one of these Ethical Soft Drinks listed by Moral Fibres.

(Once again: Dr. Ads is not a licensed physician. But bottoms up!)

Shouldn’t Mark Zuckerberg Just Set His Super Bowl Ad Money on Fire?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

It’s well known that Meta (a.k.a. Facebook/a.k.a. Instagram) is getting its ads kicked by TikTok and even Snapchat nowadays. So what is Mark (Data) Suckerberg doing about it?

Running a Super Bowl ad.

As Todd Wasserman reports at MediaPost, Meta’s big game ad will follow a fourth-quarter earnings report that included the company’s first-ever quarterly decline in daily active users.

Meta’s Super Bowl teaser, via Anomaly, features a shot of a virtual hangout called Questy’s. Questy’s looks a little worn, as the ad shows the restaurant at night, when it’s empty and dark (except for a flickering neon sign).

The ad is a direct reference to the Oculus Quest 2 headset, which Meta released last fall. Questy’s is actually a virtual hangout in Oculus that is a portal to games and other activities.

The music in the ad is a callback to TV themes of the 1980s that advance a good-timey virtual reality experience and a sign that Meta wants to leave behind the Internet and social media and instead usher users into a virtual world.

Empty restaurant? TV theme music of the 1980s? That’s what Zuck brings in the wake of last week’s knee-buckling 26% plunge in Meta’s share price, which vaporized $237 billion in market value?

Is this just wish-casting, Doc? Or what?

– MetAverse

Dear MetAverse,

For starters, here’s the teaser ad in question.

A 60-second version of the ad is scheduled to run in the first quarter of the Super Bowl at a cost of roughly $13 million, which is, of course, lunch money to Zuckerberg.

Problem is, he’s getting his lunch eaten by TikTok, as the Wall Street Journal’s Salvador Rodriguez reported yesterday.

Meta Faces Uphill Battle Against TikTok

Amid a dismal earnings report, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. on Wednesday highlighted its short-video product Reels as a bright spot and perhaps its best bet to kick-start flagging growth.

The challenge is that in the increasingly important fight for video dominance, Meta faces a heavyweight rival that is only getting stronger.

While Meta executives said Reels is now the company’s fastest-growing content format, ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok is growing even faster. It was the most-downloaded app of 2021, and overtook Meta’s Instagram in popularity among coveted young users.

That makes a switch to Reels and away from TikTok a tough sell for a lot of advertisers and creators.

Especially when you consider these numbers in the WSJ piece: “In 2021, TikTok reached 63% of Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 weekly, up from 50% a year prior, according to a November survey by Forrester. Instagram, meanwhile, declined from 61% in 2020 to 57% in 2021. Other industry data shows similar trends.”

So, to conclude: How many Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 do you think will be riveted to a TV screen for next Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast?

Yeah, us too.

Not to be repetitive, but memo to Zuck: You should have just set that $13 million on fire.