Saturday, December 3, 2011

Throw another chocolate bar on the grill

This Hershey's commercial has been running during college football this season.  It shows people in slow motion passing around s'mores, digging into s'mores, tossing the ingredients for s'mores to grillmasters who are assembling s'mores.  These people are wearing football jerseys and are in a crowded, energetic parking lot.  They're tailgating.

When I saw this commercial for the first time, I was waiting for the ironic payoff.  I thought it was going to be like those commercials for ranch dressing that show people in idyllic settings completely dominated by ranch dressing -- bowls of it, mugs of it, stockpots of it.  The joke is both that the item is out of place, and that people are being inordinately delighted by it.

But the Hershey's commercial is apparently playing it straight.  Tailgating and s'mores, it says, are an All-American pairing, one we all grew up with.  When you go tailgating, instead of meat grilling and beer being poured, all you see are graham cracker sandwiches with gooey marshmallow and chocolate filling.

Is this true?  Do people make s'mores at tailgates?  It's been a long time since I spent a lot of time in parking lots before ball games, I admit, but surely things haven't changed that much.  Or is this a bid to get s'mores out of the scouting and camping ghetto and into the mainstream with barbecue, Mom, and apple pie?

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