I’ve added a new category to the blog, “Aggression,” to cover what looks to be a mini-trend: overt hostility in snack-food advertising. Last year, you may recall, I reported on the Cheetos “Headbutt Your Mouth’s Face” campaign and on Ruffles’ Double-Fisted Bacon Cheeseburger chips. And now, thanks to the intrepid eaters over at Impulsive Buy (“Putting the ‘ew’ in product reviews”), I’ve learned the brand promise of Blue Ox Jerky: “Our jerky punches gas station jerky IN THE FACE.”
Photo enhanced from the original at Impulsive Buy.
Impulsive Buy contributor Adam reports that his sample pack included a bumper sticker:
“I guess they’re not exactly courting the female demographic, huh?” Adam observes.
The Blue Ox Jerky website carries over the theme:
“Fanciful woodland pixies” isn’t exactly “fairies,” but the implication is, nonetheless, clear. (Elsewhere, the home page declares that “Real Men Also Use Coupons—Get One on Our Facebook Page.”)
Speaking of fanciful, the website includes a legend—or a shaggy ox story—that rambles on about Paul Bunyan’s brother Saul and his adventures with the Swedish spice traders the Jürke brothers. As you may recall from your American folk history, the giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan had a blue ox named Babe. In the Blue Ox Jerky version, poor Babe gets trapped in a barn fire that brother Saul extinguishes with teriyaki sauce. Babe dies; jerky rises from the ashes.
BOJ products are divided into “Meats” and “Unmeats” (“Because we don’t believe in the word ‘vegetarian’”). A sticker announces that Smoked Tofu Jerky has been discontinued “for being pointless and disgusting.” But I love smoked tofu, you (and I) protest! Tough Bunyans: clicking on “Tofu Discontinued” takes you to a What Would Saul Do? quiz. Answer correctly and you earn your Man Card; slip up and your “Application for Manhood” is denied with a sneer: “Wrong choice, Sally. Try again, and maybe ask your boyfriend this time.”
How does Blue Ox Jerky taste? I defer to Adam at Impulsive Buy. He liked a couple of the flavors:
But judging by some of the beef jerky I’ve had from gas stations, the Blue Ox wouldn’t be able to last more than a few rounds in the ring. Still, it’s better than what you’ll find at the Dollar Store. Maybe they should change their slogan to “Punches Dollar Store Jerky in the Face.”
Or how about this: “We Put the Jerk in Jerky.”