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Dear Big Lots: Real Moms Don’t Do Synchronized Dances About Buying Twinkies

big lotsDear Big Lots,

I saw your latest ad, you know the one, the video that shows a group of  moms dancing robotically with boxes of Twinkies and Ho Hos. I think you were trying to show us just how excited you think we will be when we find out that your store is the “thrift source” for Hostess products. Sadly, I think your view of mothers is completely off.

I took a very unscientific survey on my Facebook page to ask my parent friends if they have or would feed their children Twinkies. The results? 80% said no, they have not (and would not) give their kids the cream filled treats. One mother of two said she would, but hadn’t yet. The only one who did fess up to the act of feeding his offspring a Twinkie (in deep fried form no less) seems to have done so just for the novelty of it, he said, “We were both sort of grossed out by it. Not as delicious as I was expecting.”

This whole idea that a group of mothers would rush to their local Big Lots, do a synchronized dance in celebration of your store becoming the “Official Hostess Thrift Outlet,” is, well, questionable (and slightly disturbing). In your brand new ad, you feature a collection of average everyday moms in an array of brightly hued athletic tops and yoga pants doing a well-rehearsed routine while stocking up on Twinkies, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs the entire Hostess collection. They appeared to be under a spell or a trance, like some sort of junk food loving consortium of Stepford Wives. Doing this kind of zoned-out quest based dance would make sense if they were buying, say, the new DVD release of Downton Abbey or if there was a sale on some really good Pinot Grigio. But dancing for Twinkies? That’s taking the suspension of disbelief a bit too far, dontcha say?

One reason why moms wouldn’t be doing a great big dance routine while stocking up on Hostess products is that most moms, especially those who wear yoga pants (and yes, I’m totally judging a book by it’s cover here), would not give their kids something so highly caloric and devoid of nutrients or natural ingredients.

And speaking of ingredients, did you know that there are 37 things in Twinkies? As Kate Thorp of Divine Caroline notes, “Five ingredients come from rocks,” adding that, “ingredients come from phosphate mines in Idaho, gypsum mines in Oklahoma, and oil fields in China.” And author Steve Ettlinger in his book “Twinkie Deconstructed” notes that several of Twinkie’s ingredients like “cellulose gum, Polysorbate 60, and calcium sulfate” are items that are ALSO used in the creation of “sheet rock, shampoo, and rocket fuel.” Yeah, that stuff ain’t going in MY kid, no matter how big of a discount you guys are offering.

I get that having moms get all “hip” with a synchronized dance number is “fun” and “current,” but the idea that the average mom would rush out to buy discounted Hostess products is a notion that is neither “fun” nor “current.” It’s actually sad. Maybe that’s why not a single of the “moms” in your ad is smiling? So Big Lots, next time you show moms getting their “dance on” for a product, make sure it’s something we’d actually buy.

You can see the ad right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HwhZdtLtlo#t=45

Photo Source: YouTube

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