Amelia Freidline, Fresh Take
Amelia Freidline, Fresh Take

I was at the gym the other day trying to run off my Thanksgiving dinner when, breathless, I raised my eyes to the TV screen in front of me.

Instead of a football game or another ad blaring bargain-basement Black Friday savings, my gaze was met by a plaid-shirted “actual Idaho potato farmer.”

I thought maybe it was another installment in McDonald’s series highlighting their produce and meat suppliers, or a Frito-Lay ad trying to put a face to their chips.

Lo and behold, it was an ad from the Idaho Potato Commission featuring the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck the group built to mark its 75th anniversary.

The spot mixes shots of the grower holding a “missing” poster with clips of the truck and its Tater Team on their cross-country road trip. The grower urges viewers to be on the lookout for the giant spud, saying the group hasn’t heard from the truck since it set off and it’s time for it to return home.

Fear not: the colossal potato is scheduled to return to Boise, Idaho, on Dec. 21 for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

I’m not much of a TV watcher or a football fan, so I wouldn’t normally have seen this ad aired, but I can only imagine the thousands of people who did see it as they tuned into the game or checked up on the hottest sales.

Great timing, Idaho.

Speaking of ads

I mentioned the spud spot to a coworker, who asked if I’d seen the new Halos ads. I had not, so I looked them up.

Los Angeles-based Paramount Farms has rolled out three TV spots to promote its Halos clementines. The ads employ the same sort of cheeky humor we’ve come to expect from Wonderful brands through their “Get Crackin’” campaign.

The Halos ads start out with adults peeling clementines and popping segments into their mouths, only to be startled as their kids show up unannounced with grumpy expressions and arms crossed.

“Oh hey, little buddy,” the dad in the “Jammies” commercial says guiltily.

“Is it OK if Daddy has one of your Halos?”

“I don’t know,” his son replies, looking indignant.

“Is it OK if you sleep in a bed shaped like a race car and wear super hero jammies?”

The little boy’s scowl deepens, and the action cuts to a scene of the dad falling out of his race car bed as he tries to turn out the light.

“Well?” the boy demands.

“No,” the shame-faced dad says, putting the fruit back in the 5-pound box as a voice-over cheerily adds “They’re angels, unless you mess with their Halos.”

As the clementine season progresses it’ll be interesting to see how the competition plays out between Halos and Pasadena, Calif.-based Sun Pacific Marketing’s Cuties — and whether Halos’ sassy marketing campaign can eat away at Cuties’ name recognition.

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