Tuesday, October 13, 2009

When ads lie: frozen pizza

I have never eaten a good frozen pizza.

'Passable', sure; 'digestible', most often; 'not worth it' a good third of the time. But never 'good'. And all frozen pizzas are plagued by the same shortcomings: the cheese either isn't mozzarella or it's the cheapest possible kind, the frozen vegetables are identically tasteless, the crust can always be mistaken for cardboard, and it never heats evenly - sometimes the middle is still cold even as the crust is burnt.

So given that frozen pizza is generally quite bad, I guess it makes sense that frozen pizza brands often liken the quality of their food to that of a pizza delivery place. A couple of examples:

The problem is, to my mind, that they are always wrong - frozen pizza is never as good as the worst delivery or take-out place. And it's not just that they're stretching the truth. I'm sure that every pizza slice, for instance, is the "world's best" in someone's mind - someone surely must appreciate the cardboard crust, or at least think that the price-point and convenience outweigh the deficiencies in taste. But even those people could never confuse a frozen pizza with one that was never frozen, much less one made by a place that specializes in fresh-made pizza.

What's worse, the brazenness of their lie always reminds me that frozen pizza is just plain bad and will always be bad. Why not make more modest claims? Advocate for their brand on the grounds that it's cheaper than delivery? More convenient than take-out? McDonald's might as well claim that the patty in a Big Mac is better than veal cutlet.

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