Jell-O: Treat Yourself to Collagen!

Jell-o Ad

The headline in this ad for Jell-O is written in a childlike scrawl, inside a big red blobby thing. I can’t tell if the red blobby thing is meant to look like Jell-O or a pool of blood. Together, the type and the red blobby thing are supposed to suggest fun. The problem is that it doesn’t say fun to me. It says blah.

Treat Yourself to Nothing refers to the fact that the dessert has zero Weight Watcher’s points. But it looks to me that they’re unintentionally implying that their product is nothing. Who wants to spend money on nothing? If I really wanted to treat myself to nothing, I’d stay home, save my money and not buy Jell-O.

Besides, everyone knows Jell-O isn’t nothing. It’s something. It’s gelatin, water, sugar, flavoring and food coloring. Gelatin is made from collagen — you know, the same stuff* that celebrities inject into their lips to give them that beautiful trout-pout.

Lips Like Jell-O, sugar kisses.

Marc, you ask, where does collagen come from? The answer comes from our friends at TLC:

“The gelatin you eat in Jell-O comes from the collagen in cow or pig bones, hooves, and connective tissues. To make gelatin, manufacturers grind up these various parts and pre-treat them with either a strong acid or a strong base to break down cellular structures and release proteins like collagen. After pre-treatment, the resulting mixture is boiled.”

So Fun, says the ad copy. And nothing says fun like eating ground-up cow and pig bones, hooves and tissue!

* The collagen used in cosmetic surgery isn’t exactly the same as the collagen used to make gelatin. According to Wikipedia: “Most medical collagen is derived from young beef cattle…Recently an alternative to animal-derived collagen has become available. Although expensive, this human collagen, derived from donor cadavers, placentas and aborted fetuses, may minimize the possibility of immune reactions.”

By Marc Librescu


One response to “Jell-O: Treat Yourself to Collagen!

  1. “But it looks to me that they’re unintentionally implying that their product is nothing.”

    Not exactly a ‘treat’, either. Then again, I’d be hard-pressed to market something that inspired apathy so universally. I’ve never met anyone with strong feelings about Jell-o one way or the other. I guess their advertising firm had their work cut out for them.