BB Video: (This is an ad) Soviet Unterzoegersdorf, pt. 1 of 6 / Cheetos Boredom Busters.

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First things first: The Boing Boing Video episode above is a paid ad for Cheetos. It contains subliminal messages. For real. It is also a security bulletin produced 50 years ago in the future by the citizens of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf, regarding the detection of a package containing mysterious, orange, cheesy particles presumed to be American in origin.

Normally we'd just run this as an ad alongside our editorial content, but I love it and there's a complicated story behind it, so we're running it on its own. Now, allow me to explain further. Warning, I am about to get all meta on your ass.

Thinking of Soviet Unterzegenzdorf

Boing Boing Video relies on sponsorships to do all of the weird, unfettered, free-speechy internetelevision you (hopefully) love us for. Cheetos approached us recently about sponsoring BB-V, in the form of six one-minute video ads we would create for them, which would run alongside regular BB-V episodes. They were remarkably hands-off and cool about the creative -- the only editorial guidance we received was pretty much: don't be mean (don't do anything involving Cheetos that would make someone cry, particularly kittens), and avoid anything having to do with sex, violence and drugs. While they did not specify this, I also figured Nazis, pedophiles, 4chan (see previous), or Hugo Chavez (eye-roll) would be bad news.

Together with the Boing Boing Video crew (Wes, Derek, Jolon) and the BB bloggers (Pesco, Cory, Joel, Mark, et al), we thought up a bunch of stuff we might do in the ads. We came up with lots of cool ideas, and shared them with Federated Media, who sell our sponsorships. But when all of those notions were laid out and storyboarded for video, none of them were sufficiently awesome, subversive, Boingy, or weird. So, I did what I usually do when I'm in that dilemma. I pick up my internet and I call Johannes Grenzfurthner of monochrom.

Fast forward to the end of a long, coffee-fueled phone call, me in LA, him in Vienna. monochrom agreed to produce the 6 ad spots for Boing Boing Video, but with one requirement -- they do so in the Alternate Reality of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf, which is currently the subject of a game they are developing. Also, they will probably work Cheetos into the game, not because they or we are getting any money for that part, but because it's ridiculous and meta and whatever -- it's very Johannes.

Now Johannes didn't tell us exactly what they were going to shoot for the Cheetos ads. But he said that in order to shoot them, they urgently needed us to overnight them as many bags of Cheetos as possible, to Vienna, and do something clever on the customs form so that we would avoid problems with the tight-assed German or Austrian customs agents. I did all of that on Friday. I ran around LA buying Cheetos of every flavor and form factor (see snapshot above). I crammed them into plastic-lined FedEx boxes, drove to a big FedEx shipping center, and paid $140 to get $10 worth of Cheetos to Vienna by Monday morning.

I fudged a little bit on the customs form, to avoid the possibility of a food-related quarantine. I said they were "internet video props." Turns out German customs agents didn't like that much, and the boxes ended up being held in customs, because Frankfurt authorities thought they were drugs. There were many more phone calls to and from FedEx international agents, German customs, Austrian customs, and Monochrom. I am not lying. They thought Boing Boing Video was smuggling drugs to Austria.

As I type, the monochrom-bound Cheetos are still being held somewhere. I think we're going to have to pay a bunch of money to have them released. Johannes and his crew produced this first piece without them. When we saw the video, it was so insane, and the ordeal behind it so unreal, I don't know, I just felt like posting it solo was the right thing. Flame me in the comments if you disagree. But whatever you do, please watch it. Thanks to our sponsor for being rad. This is the part of the blog post where I say, "Cheetos Boredom Busters," and disclose to you that I am eating Cheetos at this very moment. And this is the part where I say, do svidanya, tovarishch.

Boing Boing Video


  1. Can’t go wrong with monocrom. Maybe Soviet Unterzoegersdorf can use Cheetos to fuel their space program.

  2. When I saw Johannes’ twitter about cheetos, I knew things were about to get interesting. I think all advertisments on Boing Boing should be screened by the Secretariat of Puppets and Telecommunication of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf for ideological purity. There should be a stamp or something. SU Puppet Certified!

  3. Cheetos:
    Addictive substance akin to cocaine…might actually be cocaine :P

    Yeah, Cheetos are good but they do kinda dry your mouth out. And man…that orange stuff collects on your fingers so much, by the time you’re done with just one of those little vending machine bags, you got enough dust on your fingers you could re-form it into a primitive shank.

  4. I’m just sort of weirded out by an impression I got from this post, and that’s to do with normalizing the idea of subliminal advertising. As though coming out and saying ‘yeah we’re doing that’ somehow makes it clever and cool rather than creepy and unethical.
    It doesn’t.
    I realize that people in the entertainment/media biz might look at advertising in general in artistic contexts, but, ultimately, it’s still about selling (mostly) crap to strangers. It’s about manipulation. We all know this.
    So, I think engaging in that biz requires a reasoned ethical position; subliminals cross that line, absolutely.

    Here’s my Liminal:

    1. @Uland: I was joking about the subliminal advertising. It’s pretty easy to detect. It’s a fast frame-flash of a bowl of cheesy snack poofs. Also, hail satan.

  5. “… Turns out German customs agents didn’t like that much, and the boxes ended up being held in customs, because Frankfurt authorities thought they were drugs.”

    German Customs Agent inspecting the contents of the boxes: “Dammit, we missed the drugs! These are just the munchies.”

  6. I love those “hip” Cheetos tv spots where the cheeto’s tiger encourages snack eaters to BREAK THE RULES, man!

    it makes me want to eat an “ANGRY WHOPPER”…’cause regular ones are for for SQUARES, daddy-o.

  7. I like Soviet-Unterzögersdorf (YES! UMLAUTE!) and I like Cheetos… Although it’s hard to get them here in Berlin.
    Can’t wait to see how the docu-soap about the mysterious box unfolds!

    @”manipulation”. Well. If it would be subliminal, you wouldn’t be able to see it.

  8. McGringo, you have emotional engagement with non-funny mass-media commercials? Okay. Whatever.

    I like Log.

    Xeni, I think next time you should get a boring fifty-cent tchotchke at a thrift shop. Take two big transparent plastic bags, fill them with Cheetos, and put an odd-size printed slip into each bag saying THIS PACKING MATERIAL IS GUARANTEED BIODEGRADABLE. Tie off the bags. If you can, fuse the neck and cut off the excess material to make it look more industrial. Put one bag into a mailing carton, nestle the tchotchke down in the midst of it, top it with the other bag (ideally with its printed slip visible), seal the carton, and declare the tchotchke on the shipping and customs forms.

  9. Orange substance sticks to EVERYTHING: fingers, teeth, gums! Could be marker, be plot by capitalist dogs to track our movements!

  10. Where the hell’s the Quicktime?! I need to study it, frame by frame, to detect the hidden messages. It’s important. Really.

  11. BB is just a bunch of sellouts, etc., blah blah blah.

    Why? Because they occasionally need a little money for inconvenient things like food and shelter. Just like you. Maybe if you sent them enough money, they wouldn’t have to do ads.

    I, for one, am glad they’re at least (1) having fun with it, and (2) being honest about what they’re doing.

  12. Torrento, Uland — Right, got it. Your souls are so pure that you can’t abide the vestigial ad content in a video cooked up by Xeni Jardin and Monochrom.

    (SFX: Boing Boing’s readers, in unison: Ooooooh, pure!)

    You have now been duly recognized as having said it, and are as cool as saying it will ever make you.

    (SFX: Applause.)

    Now, can we move on?

  13. I, for one, welcome our new Cheetos obsessed BoingBoing’n overlords.

    I’d like to remind them that as a trusted BoingBoing blog commenter, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground cheese caves.

  14. Frau Blucher, an ad for sustainable/seasonal/local food would be great! Get in touch with Federated Media to set that up.

  15. Boingboing readers will differ on this question. Airship’s criteria are that advertising is okay, so long as the blog is (1) having fun, and (2) being honest. I would say instead advertising is okay, so long as (a) the blog content is not influenced by or intermingled with the sponsorship, and (b) the product is okay. A friendly reader’s view: this post was worth experimenting with, as you try to find a good business model, but I’d think it over before doing again.

  16. BB’s adverts now feature Chester Cheetah.

    I have such mixed feelings about him. In the context of the commercials, he is an intriguing Id-like creature, giving flight attendants massages and urging people to taking petty revenge on obnoxious fools.

    In real life, I think I would be tempted to kill him. Acerbic prick.

  17. Did I mention that Torrento and Uland have used up all the coolness available to that topic? Further remarks on that subject will only see light of day if they’re couched in formal verse, or are otherwise amazingly clever, or they make the moderator laugh out loud.

  18. “Flame me in the comments if you disagree.”

    I’m tryin’ to, Xeni, but they keep gettin’ pulled down!

    All I’m trying to offer is my view that you guys can do better than this, with the good will and support of your readers. Running ads is one thing, but making them is entirely another. Believe me – I worked in advertising for four years. It’s not good for you.

  19. hiya,

    *No probs with BBV adverting Cheetos
    *No probs with normalizing subliminal advertising by noting its presence in metadata
    *No probs with Cheetos being fattening/bad for you/not sustainable/not whatever

    I guess my prob (for which I felt it necessary to create an account and comment — first time caller, long time fan) is that it’s not up to snuff. As an ad, as a boingboing item, as a collaboration — it just wasn’t very interesting or fun. I didn’t laugh. I didn’t think about the soviet union, or cheetos, or 12 monkeys or anything. Just kinda blah, you know what I mean?

    Nor am I saying that I have been granted the _Right_ to find all boing boing items special or interesting or neat. Truth be told, I don’t often follow the links to the knitting stuff. But this one came with some hype, so I felt obligated to depuffify.

    Long live boing boing and all happy mutants.

    mr. e

  20. Stefan, feel free. I’d cheerfully watch most food-related ad characters get taken out with a chainsaw, except for Quisp, Quake, Cap’n Crunch, and Sugar Bear — and that tolerance may be due to not having seen them in ages.

    Bfarn, Xeni sees all your messages, whether or not they’re visible out front. This latest one picks up a few points for being short, cute, and earnest.

    Meanwhile, you would not believe how many self-righteous anonymous comments we’re getting from people who (a.) think subliminal advertising has more than a marginal effect, and then only on people who were already inclined to want something of that sort; and (b.) think those briefly-seen pictures of Cheetos in the video qualify as “subliminal.”

  21. CHEETOS!

    Look, Frito-Lay is just trying to get some advertising in. Let’s all think about the crunchy goodness of cheetos, and that delicious orange coating. Mmmm.

    Forget all about the Yellow 6 they use, which is has been linked to hyperactivity in children, can cause allergic reactions for people with aspirin intolerance, is banned in Norway and Finland and is derived from a possible carcinogen. Frito-Lay wouldn’t put it in if it could hurt anyone, they’re such good guys… “remarkably creative”, if you will!

    Oh hey kids, look! It’s Chester Cheetah, here to feed you some delicious snacks that are produced with only the finest fresh produce, in a welcoming, warm and sanitary factory where the workers all get really great pay (and love their jobs)! And the executives? Why, their salaries are completely balanced with the amount of work they do (including all the manual labor they routinely help out with) and they all feel really great about the product, especially the packaging which might eventually degrade long after you all die.

    Sorry, I get bitter sometimes.

  22. Mr. E.: You registered and posted for the very first time in order to say you’re bored?

  23. Hi Ms. Hayden,

    Awesome question, cleverly put. No, I wrote to encourage you to do better. I said the ad was boring, not that I was bored.

    That I have some skin in the game to improve my beloved boingboing goes without saying, and if seeing a boring ad on a site I love and being encouraged to write for the first time says as much about me as it does about you, so be it.

    Mr. E

  24. How about epigrams?

    The joys of content undiluted
    are by Chester now polluted.

    Though, I’m actually a fan of this model. Assuming, for a moment, that advertising is a given, I think that the patronage model works well

    Cheetos says, “We want to have something cool made by people we think are talented for our personal benefit.” Boing Boing says, “Well, as long as we get to keep the parts of our artistic identity that we care about unsullied, we’ll make you something cool (or get someone who we think is cool to do it)”. So there’s some back-and-forth about what is required so both parties feel fulfilled, and Art Gets Made.

    I am not sure what the difference is between this and the Medici model, which fostered the Renaissance. Just because the Sistine Chapel was a commissioned advert for the Catholic Church, I don’t think it’s any less impressive a work of art.

  25. Now we’re gettin’ somewhere. For the next ad, I’m seeing Lilly Von Shtupp and the Cheetos Jaguar gettin busy on that couch in Lilly’s dressing room, when all of a sudden Harvey Korman walks in with a bag of Cheetos. Screaming in despair and throwing the cheetos in the air, he is joined by Slim Pickens who promptly begins hooning the floor-cheetos in flagrant violation of the five second rule.

  26. the difference between the Sistine Chapel and this Cheetohs commercial is the Cheetohs commerical doesn’t deny the Holocaust, want to kill gay people, enslave women and molest altar boys.

  27. Having your cool, creative friend try to sell you Amway would be no less annoying than if his gel-haired brother did it.

    Probably more so.

  28. #35: For the next ad, I’m seeing Lilly Von Shtupp and the Cheetos Jaguar gettin busy . . .

    Cheetah, not jaguar you damn fool!

    [/mock outrage]

  29. I wonder if Cheetoz people could have guessed we’d spend so much time analyzing their ad. Don’t you think that’s part of the idea?

  30. I like those Pirate Booty organic white cheddar cheesy poofs, myself. I always feel like I’m eating cancer when I consume day-glo gmo food-analogues. Delicious cancer, but still.


    Some earlier thread somewhere contained some regular commentators commentating on wanting some way of monetarily showing their love of the bOING by donating credits to cause… and the lack of a method for to do that…

    then this here thread here has someone (not some1, though, good riddance I say!) throwing out the idea of bb ads for sustainable healthy food, and Teresa in a little bit of snark encouraging the reader to approach Federated Media and “set that up”…

    But! Idea!

    Why don’t interested parties get together, start a little fund to which those of us mutants with liquidity can contribute to buy cool progressive radical type ads at Federated Media for bb to run and Xeni to breathlessly promote?

    Yeah! Why don’t we!

    Wouldn’t that be cool?

    Just putting it out there.

    So… feel free to run with that, someone.

    1. @ridl, listen, bub, we could create an AWFUL lot of comedy gold with a few crates of kombucha or some soy-n-‘weed snack jerky strips. I’m more of the brown rice and organic locally grown non GMO produce type, myself, but there was something inherently funny about Cheetos that made me feel like this was good, stupid fun. And seriously, they gave us zero content restrictions other than the ones I stated. Do you know that we didn’t submit the idea, or a script, or stills, or the finished episode, any of it, to either FM or the sponsor before running it? Who gets that kind of freedom? I don’t think we’d do this with just anyone, and we may or may not do it again. But the experiment has been pretty fun so far. And it worked, IMO, because of the good will of the kind citizens of Soviet Unterzoegersunderweardorfenstein. I can’t type that word.

  31. #11 — “Eat them with chopsticks.”

    That’s damn good advice. Thank you, sir.

    BTW, am I the only one who thought the blowup photo in the ad looked like a giant orange turd?

    Also, wouldn’t it have been cooler to see it in actual Russian, instead of questionable Russian accent? Maybe with Engrish captions.

    Chopsticks. Man, why have I never thought of that?

  32. Teresa 29: I’d cheerfully watch most food-related ad characters get taken out with a chainsaw, except for Quisp, Quake, Cap’n Crunch, and Sugar Bear

    I always identified with Quisp (and now I lookz like one!) and hated Quake for being a big, stupid bully. So I wouldn’t mind seeing Quake chainsawed either.

  33. #29, #51: Note that most cereal & other fast food mascots are animals of no great intellectual stature, and as such could probably be humanely captured with a Hav-a-Heart trap and released into the wild. Preferably the wild of an island far from any shipping lanes.

    Chester, though . . . problematical. As a Trickster figure of diabolical intelligence, he would be difficult to take out without a massive casualty rate among his pursuers. Deployment of cheetah pheromones and a willing . . . but perhaps we should not go into such plans here. Chester may surf.

  34. Workergnome:

    The joys of content undiluted
    are by Chester now polluted.

    Yes! More like that.

    Mr. Eppy, I think Lilli Von Schtupp would be have to be indignant about all zis snickensnackencrunchenmunchen (several more crispy adjectives) (emphatic noun) scattered all over her dwessing woom. And that’s as far as I’m willing to go with music-hall mitteleuropean accents when Johannes Grenzfurthner is probably reading the thread. (Hi, Johannes!)

    Droogy: saying it’s just like Amway is so uninspiring that … that … um, I’ll have to get back to this later, ‘kay?

    Takuan, I’m positive the Sistine Chapel doesn’t deny the Holocaust. Besides, that sedevacantist bishop Benedict reinstated has been given a direct order to recant his Holocaust denial “absolutely, unequivocally and publicly,” as well as “giving full recognition of the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI,” which is being required of all four of them. That’s the fun part about Benedict being the Pope and them being bishops who want back in. There may be formal grovelling involved.

  35. Stefan, there’s no help for it. You’ll have to send in the raccoons.

  36. Xeni –

    Didn’t mean to come off that critical! You actually seem a little defensive. I understand, especially because you’ve had to deal with the deluge of unpublished naysayers whose whining I have thankfully been spared. Perhaps my (to me) mild snark touched an already exposed nerve.

    So let me say I didn’t come to the post to complain, I mainly wanted to talk about my brilliant audience-sponsor-bb-through-ads-ourselves idea and liked the thought of giving Pirate Booty some exposure in a Cheetos-sponsored space as a bonus.

    I have no problem with your advertising policy. This is your site. Do what you want to do. You do it very well. The fact that a soulless multinational is willing to give you such free reign is testament to that (and to some fresh young vice-president of marketing, I’m sure, who’s gonna go fa-aaarrr!). I appreciate the clear identification of this post as an advertisement, but I liked the story you told about making it much better then the ad itself. Also, I hope you think carefully about bfarn’s caution @ 26. That’s some murky water you’re walking into, full of leeches, piranhas, toxic sludge, and other executives.

    I’m curious, though. You say you wouldn’t do this for just anybody. What makes Frito-Lay different? Just the freedom they allowed you mixed with the “inherent funniness” of Cheetos, or do they have particular business practices you admire, or is it simply their particular genius with processed corn msg delivery devices?

    Finally, thank you for your work in making one of the best site on the Web, and letting us read it and deface it with our scrawlings for free. I just want to make sure you know how much I appreciate it in case this comment has left a weird, orange-tinged aftertaste in your mouth.

  37. Xeni: Thanks, I wasn’t sure since it was directly sponsored and largely monochrom’s work. I think it’ll make good ironic fodder material for a project or two – Soviet Unterzoegersdorf would appreciate Chester’s owner’s authoritarian view of labor.

    Worth a note: Cheetos is owned by Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of Pepsi Co.

    Pepsi Co. has been accused of union-busting and sexual harassment at Frito-Lay plants in Poland, firing eight women in 2004 after two complained of sexual harassment while working the night shift, then firing a union officer who tried to defend them from the company’s actions. It continued to allegedly pursue anti-union acts against Frito-Lay workers in violation of the European Convention in 2006 and 2007.

    Pepsi Co. has also been accused of violating trade laws through anti-union pressure at Frito-Lay plants around the world, including presenting anti-union, captive-speech propaganda during company time – even in company delivery trucks – to unionized employees. OSHA reported numerous safety violations at Frito-Lay plants in the U.S. after one worker in Texas died from falling into a vat of oil.

  38. I’m sorry Boing Boing, but the long winded explanation for Cheetos turns me off from watching the video or even grabbing Cheetos.

    Is there some way of walling off the ad explanations into another category?

  39. I am absolutely loving the passionate discussion about Cheetos and Frito-Lay – great work, team.

    For what it is worth, I appreciate the disclosure surrounding the ad’s creation and think most BB’ers are wise enough to weigh the benefits of revenue generation against against the threat of Chester and his delicious orange minions. If the target audience of this site was predominately youngsters…well, that would be a different story.

    Also, the content of the ad was great! I definitely disagree with the idea that the ad was over hyped or lackluster.

    Question: will the Cheetos people be mining the comments for tidbits to report at some official ad evaluation meeting? ‘Cause I think we could fabricate some stellar quotes for them…

  40. I think the part that we are all forgetting here is that Johannes doesn’t have his cheetos yet. Maybe we should start a Vienna airlift?

  41. Jack @60: I’m so sorry, but no, we don’t have a way to do that. Will you be all right? I know that sensitivities like yours can make it difficult to surf the net. Perhaps we could set up some kind of a signal?

    Takuan, the secular arm doesn’t do that any more. Frankly, I’m not sure what would become of him. I doubt he’s got a 401(k) that follows him around when he changes jobs.

    Roboton, that’s very nice. I like the image.

    Further remarks on that subject will only see light of day if they’re couched in formal verse

    A Cheeto Sestina

    So! It comes to pass that BoingBoing sells Cheetos
    And in a flash, the noble boingers sell out
    It is a tale as old and hoary as the internt
    What was once good, now becomes evil
    The soul, once pure, sold to a corporation
    Promoting salty snacks, enabling obesity

    And what greater struggle than obesity?
    An affliction manifest by gobbling cheetos
    Ones like reduced to serving a corporation
    What is there left then, to even sell-out?
    In this new and fatty age, what is evil
    Thankfully we can learn, on the internet

    Look then, to the noble, pure internet
    Where we can waddle in our obesity
    And learn what is good, and what evil
    Where we can rail against Cheetos
    And those who would sell-out
    To the most base and vile corporation

    But is there a soul in that corporation?
    That cannot be seen from the internet.
    Perhaps it can be found by the sell-out
    Making art to amuse us in our obesity
    Finding humor, even in the Cheetos
    Finding good where there seems only evil?

    But the commenters cry Foul! Evil!
    There is no soul in a corporation
    No joy from the peddlers of Cheetos
    We are pure and noble on the internet
    Suffering from loneliness and obesity
    But we are not you, we will not sell out!

    And for what did you sell out?
    For what did you join the legions of evil?
    Promoting salt and fat and obesity
    And worshipping the false god, corporation!
    We beg you, be pristine, like the internet
    Suffer not the temptation of the Cheetos

    Boingboing sells Cheetoes, promptly sells out
    And out cries the internet as one “Evil!”
    I hope the corporation insurance covers obesity!

    Please note, I am hardly bothered by cheetos, it was a funny video. I just felt like writing a sestina :)

  43. I’d rather eat snacks made from GMO corn,
    than read tripe by youngsters as they argue ’bout porn.

  44. Bill Hicks said that Jay Leno was a whore for recording ads for Doritos, although he left an exception, saying he would have looked the other way if a “young actor” had done a Doritos ad.

    Bill Hicks was a great comic, but kind of a douche. I’d do a Doritos ad in a second, if they paid me, and I don’t even like Doritos. Cheetos, however, are addictive.

  45. You guys should add a “signal” and a “noise” tag, and only use one of them on each post. If the post has advertising content use “noise”. And then let people filter it out. Create a firewall. Because the problem with PR is that it insideously corrupts content. And really, every single person in the world is sick to death of it, even if they can’t quite identify why. Not to mention the Internet being a total cesspool of more overt adwords placements, banners, etc.

    It’s my understanding that BoingBoing evolved from a zine. And it’s clear you guys are big proponents of free culture, individual rights, copyleft, and the like…
    Oh, and then there’s a big ad for Cheetos – possibly the most corporate, non-food product ever. It may as well have bits of glass in it for all they probably care.
    Oh, and also it’s preceded by posts by some guy advocating climate skepticism.

    Seriously dudes, intervention time.

  46. @EYERAW:

    It’s almost as if there are “people” running this blog. “People” who make choices that other “people” might not agree with and whose positions might not agree with yours and who might take money to continue bringing you bigger and better original content for this free web site.

    But, of course, they’re not “people”.

    We know it’s robots. Robots all the way down.


    So you’re saying every comment has to agree with the “People” who run the site. Thanks for the tip.

    1. Remember when we were little and there was a fad for tomato soup cake and mock apple pie made from Ritz crackers? Why not a cheesecake made from pureed tofu and Cheetos?

  48. Antinous, next you’ll be wanting to have my mother’s “traditional British Christmas pudding” made out of Grape-nuts dissolved into hot jello, plus the usual spices and candied fruit, then pour it into a mold and refrigerate until it sets up. It’s eldritch stuff.

    1. It’s eldritch stuff.

      We made real plum pudding despite the challenge of finding suet. It only came in huge containers, so the birds got the remainder, rolled in seeds and tossed out into the snow. At any rate, the pudding was quite tasty with a big glob of melting hard sauce on top.

  49. I’d like to see a Cheetos advert that tracks the life of a bag of Cheetos, from beginning to end.

    So, at high speed, we watch where the corn is planted, grown, and harvested. We see the labs that the chemicals are made in. We see how the “cheese” is made. We see all of these constituent ingredients being combined in a massive factory. Then we see how the foils and plastics and whathaveyou (including the origins of those chemicals – oil-based, presumably?) are manufactured to make the packaging. You could have a quick flash of the designers of the packaging.

    Then we see the boxes and boxes of Cheetos being lorried out across the US (flown/shipped as well?) to all the stores.

    Then we see someone buy a packet, and sit down in front of BoingBoing to munch on Cheetos and read about steampunk or something.

    The camera slows down a little to focus on the few seconds of pleasure derived from sucking on the corn snack.

    Then off we go again! The consumer eventually shits out the Cheetos, and we see a glimpse of the sewage treatment process. The packet goes in the bin, and we see it going off to the landfill.

    Then the camera just stays on the Cheetos packet in the landfill.

    Fade to black.

  50. Tomato soup cake doesn’t beckon. But I have this recipe for Guinness cake kicking around that I keep meaning to try. But maybe I shouldn’t use such lovely stuff in a cake. Maybe I should save that frosty beverage to wash down my Cheetos, or maybe bacon cookies.

    Eat pudding.

  51. Two things:

    a) There’s almost certainly a store somewhere in Vienna that stocks American snack treats. A secret trove of Cheetos and Hershey’s Syrup and Twinkies. Expats need this stuff to survive. Might be easier than Fedexing and waiting for customs to cooperate.

    b) I’ve worked on sites smaller than this where a Frito Lay brand paid extremely well to run an ad campaign (ironically enough, a brand that would have caused a lot less fuss here). Everyone has a price, and there’s no problem with that. Takes money to keep things ticking over.

  52. I’ve asked this of Frito-Lay directly already but since it’s come up here…

    How about Cheetos crunchy over here in the UK? We have to import them personally and it costs us a fortune in postage. Who’s with me?

  53. 1. old-russia-spoofing is sooooo passe.
    2. it’s not even that good a job of it.
    3. the lengthy explanation = Methinks she dost protest too much.
    4. Xeni mentioned both Satan and Christ in her comments – not concerned with offending anyone, she takes both sides.
    5. the way you folks get your ethical knickers in a twist and the way the rest of you get vitriolic about that is soooooooo passe.
    6. that you bloggers admit your own ad ideas were sub-standard, and that this was the final result, means you might want to locate an ad agency that understands both subversive and creative, or at least your ‘client’ cheetos might want to.
    7. commenting on BB is sooooooooo passe

  54. It’s just Cheetos for christ’s sake.

    Xeni, please ignore the holier-than-thou would-be purists.

    If the Frito-Lay people are kind enough to give BB the creative license to push their product in exchange for funds to make the site better, so be it.

  55. oh yeah,
    not sure if they still do it, but in .cz (up til 2002 at least) they would break for commercials (on tv) and the ads would start with a text message/jingle: ‘Reklama’, which means ‘here’s the ads’… they did this as it was thought it would help the folks not used to capitalism discern the shows from the ads. no kidding.
    that Xeni starts this post with “(this is an ad)” is very telling of BB’s insecurity in charting these waters. don’t try to be all things.
    “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”


    Just a bit grossed out by the ice cream with Cheeto chunks you were handing out yesterday. No biggie, I’m sure I’ll acquire a taste for it eventually :) I do love me some BoingBoing, after all.

  57. The important thing here is that we take away the general impression that the Cheetos brand is associated with being hip, self-deprecating, edgy, and definitely not trying to tell you what to do.

    Cheetos “gets” you crazy subculture people, and it knows you’re far too savvy and jaded to have your consumption habits changed by something as coarse as an advertisement.

  58. Note that while Cheetos are virtually unknown in Germany, you can get them in the UK and Spain and in German specialist Food stores.

    Sandy’s ( a Kiel Mom&Pop-style importer of British Food usually has them and does mail/phone order! Call them!

    Also note that Cheetos don’t survive air traffic well. I brought back half a suitcase filled with Cheetos from Spain and while in the air most of the bags opened due to overpressure (when the air in the plane get’s thin) – this has happened every time I brought home Cheetos by plane, so I usually put each bag in plastic bag before putting them into the suitcase.

    Now if someone knew a source of ChexMix Original in Germany…

  59. #92: “Eat Pudding”

    Is that from “Fishwistle?”

    I used to play that tape for friends in my car. By the time the bit about the hot peppers they’d be in convulsions.

  60. Teresa 85: It’s eldritch stuff.

    But is it squamous and rugose? That’s of critical importance!

    Pipenta 92: Tomato soup cake doesn’t beckon.

    No, tomato soup cake was GREAT. It was absolutely delicious. I say “was” because my mom (baker of many a tomato soup cake BITD) says they’ve changed the recipe in the tomato soup, and the cake isn’t good any more. Probably needs salt, I’m thinking.

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