Sunday, April 12, 2009

Michelina's : An Immigrant Success Story

Ever since I received a PVR I rarely see commercials. So it was a shocker when a friend showed me this series of Michelina's ads that have run for about a year. In the two ads that have played, Michelina is shown bullying much younger people into eating her food with the tagline "Letta momma feeda you."

The star of the ads is Michelina Pasterelli. The supposed founder of the company "Michelina" even has a facebook page that hasn't been updated in a year. Did the the ad agency get bored or just run out of the companies money. In an article written before the launch a company spokesman said this campaign was aimed at a target with a "carpe diem mindset that eats to live rather then living to eat". Well if Michelina's is what you live to eat you better seize the day because there are going to be much fewer of them. Michelina's may be a tasty treat for a frozen food but for the three you need for a meal is a horrible nutrional choice.

When the brand was first launched I was an eager customer. I'd pick up a Rigatoni Pomodoro and a pizza and was very impressed. Soon though I realized that my belt didn't fit and my shirts had shrunk. Then I turned the box over and read the nutritional information. It wasn't shrinking shirts but a bulging waistline. In horror I discovered that the tiny and tasty pizza slice is the mirror image of the Big Mac for fat and calories. 

Michelina's was created by Jeno Paulaucci to honour his mother named Michelina. Like any good son he borrowed her recipes. He vowed to honour her memory by "make a momma into a stereotype and putta her a face on a shoddy product dat make a people fat." Momma was ahead of her time and was not only an expert on Italian cooking. She also apparently had recipes for Taco Bites, Swedish Meatballs and General Tao Chicken.

Here's a recipe for healthy pasta you lazy bastards. Open Package, Boil Water, Throw In, Wait. Season with Prego. 

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