Before the COVID-19 pandemic controlled most of our lives, the term “super spreader” might have referred to someone who was really good at applying mayo to a sandwich. But now it means the type of event in which way too many people are exposed to COVID. And generally, we all know this, and yet! The east coast grocery chain Giant Food made a giant mess of a recent holiday ad, in which they encouraged everyone to plan a “super spread.”
Giant Food now has an XL mess on their hands after someone at head office approved this ad, featuring a buffet table filled with various fruits, cheese, and a festively large pre-cooked shrimp ring. Clearly, the message they wanted to convey was that you don’t have to slave away in the kitchen, meticulously cutting decorative orange segments and plating goat cheese without accidentally smearing it all over the board. But thanks to the encouragement to “plan a super spread,” Giant had people picturing an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with airborne coronavirus germs, droplets, and aerosols. And that’s a real feat, considering most people wouldn’t normally be able to focus on anything other than that huge hunk of brie.
Hey @GiantFood, I believe I could’ve come up with 100 different ways to say this. Let me know if there are any anticipated openings in your marketing dept and I’ll send you my CV. #readtheroom pic.twitter.com/2FKkpWujFN
— Glenn S. (@glenns_music) November 18, 2020
Giant has grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. This Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, which already has a whole lot of people worrying if turkey time will turn into a super spreader event. After they were called out, Giant apologized, via TMZ.
Giant Foods says: “While, in hindsight, the choice of words was a poor one, Giant had no intentions of insensitivity.”
As someone with 0.4 years of advertising experience, here’s the copy I would have pitched:
“Hosting? WHY. Do you want to get sick? Stay home with this tray of cheese and giant shrimp platter instead. And unlike your uncle, the shrimp won’t start a pre-dinner fight about the election results.”
Pic: Giant Food