Does Fresh Flying Food Make You Hungry?

You’ve seen the ads on TV: Colorful tomatoes and other vegetables flying through the air while the sound track repeatedly says “Fresh!” – as if you’re part of some experiment in Pavlovian conditioning. Sometimes the vegetables run into a knife in mid-air, though “fresh” isn’t necessarily the first word that comes to mind when I see that.

Take One

Wet, sunlit, fresh, vine-ripe tomatoes flying through the air toward an imagined knife.
Wet, sunlit, fresh tomatoes flying through the air.

I did an experiment with some vegetables to see if fresh, wet vegetables in motion made me hungry. What do you think? These tomatoes look great to me, but seeing them in motion don’t necessarily make me any more hungry. Maybe because I took my pictures outside (instead of indoors in front of a black background) they aren’t as appealing. Maybe black or white backgrounds like the studios use are supposed to help make us even more hungry?

Take Two

This time the vegetables are just sitting together in a bowl. No fancy lighting or background; just the sun for lighting and a stainless steel bowl to hold them (firmly on the ground).

Brightly-lit hot peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, and other fresh vegetables in a stainless steel bowl.
Peppers, tomatoes, and other fresh vegetables

I think I like this one better, but who am I to say? I’m only the person who enjoys eating this kind of food, not the producers of the commercials. Flying food will probably win more marketing awards, but will it sell more food?

This reminds me very much of a decades-old selling principle: “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” In this case that means: Don’t talk about the meats or vegetables; talk about how fresh they are and show how amazing they look.

Do you like this kind of advertising? More importantly for the people who sell the food and pay for the advertising: Do ads like this make you more likely to spend money at their store or restaurant?

Or are you more like me: I snicker when I see advertising that does something absurd in order to get you to buy something – like throw wet food through the air at a waiting knife. I might still buy their product, but it’s more despite the ads than because of them.

What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Does Fresh Flying Food Make You Hungry?”

  1. For whatever reason, flying food (look at all the commercials with salad being “tossed” into a bowl, dropped into liquid drinks, etc) catches my attention. In media, that is the goal – make my brain stop and realize that there is fruit there (or vegetables) – then remember it. STatic fruit, no impact. Liken it to a blond standing by the road in a jogging outfit – add wind, we understand the message – motion.

    1. I think you nailed it Scott: Just like the balloons flying from antennas at a car lot, the idea is to get our attention with color and motion. I have to assume it works, or folks would stop doing it – right?

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