Borden - Yikes, dollface!

When we last saw the Borden anthropomorphic cow family, they were only a painting - a terrifying vision of gene-splicing gone hideously wrong. In this ad, they're freaky little dolls, hoping to tempt you into eating some food made from juices squozen from their very bodies. Brace yourself.
Because I'm a genius, I didn't put a date on the previous Borden post, so I don't know what year it was published, but I seem to remember it being from 1951 or so. This one is from 1957, and I want to believe that Borden switched to dimensional characters because of overwhelming negative feedback on their painted characters, who all looked like they had masses of loose skin due to their recent gastric bypass surgery. That would make sense, since the Cow family apparently take great delight in eating rich foods made from their own bodily fluids.

These are clearly dolls. Borden seems to have abandoned the effort to paint lovable humanoid cows. Well done. These new dimensional versions seem to have had some retouching on their faces, just to "plus them up" as they say in the ad biz. They look like zombies. The retouching is most evident on Mom Cow. Click the full picture above to see her at high resolution. Dad cow, pictured at left, is simply the most terrifying of the three. He looks like he's craving delicious brains, made only with Borden's wholesome dairy products, of course.

I've always been unsettled and confused by the practice of making up a mascot for your food corporation whose products are made from the mascot. For example, Charlie the Tuna craves nothing so much as to be killed, ground into a pulp, packed in a can, and eaten by humans. When I look at Mother Cow holding the cake, it's hard not to imagine her back in the kitchen making the cake, squatting over the bowl, squeezing her dugs directly into the batter for the freshest cake possible. Bleah. Thankfully, this doesn't interfere with my love of milk. I just try not to think about what it took to bring it to my table. Even if I do imagine the goings on at a dairy farm, it's only "a little weird". By contrast, I find the idea of a sentient, part-human cow-woman milking herself for the Borden company absolutely disgusting. What I've learned is this: advertising simply ceases to work once you start thinking anything through.

Know what, though? That cake looks really really good. I wish it didn't.


craig F. said...

Totally agree on Charlie the Tuna. You'd think he'd be happy that he never got picked.

On the flipside, I always look for restaurants with signs that display a caricature of the establishment's signature dish being chased by a chef wielding some form of cutlery.

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