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“Just to recap, you put spit on his face” A Commercial by Ragu

raguDespite my best efforts to NOT become this, my husband and I are now one of those boring ‘old’ couples you’ve seen on a TV sitcom. We come home from a long day of work, make dinner for our kid, and then promptly get into bed, turn on the TV and pop open our respective computers. I am usually continuing something I didn’t get to finish at work and he is on a mission to “solve the Internet”.

Typically we do most of our real reading/work during commercials.  This is especially true if we are watching one of our favorite shows as opposed to just having the TV on for noise in the background.  The other night, one of Ragu’s “Long Day of Childhood” commercials came on (Check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93Z8tz2Kcqc). It was the catchy song that initially made us look up just in time to catch the “Just to recap, you put spit on his face” line.  We immediately laughed and had to ‘rewind’ the commercial to see it again from the beginning (and then we watched it 2 more times).  That night my only thought was – man that was a funny commercial.

On my way into work the next morning, I started really thinking about the commercial.  About how Ragu ‘gets’ their target audience.  It’s kids who like Ragu and it’s their parents who want to buy it for them.

Curious, I went online and read a few reviews on the commercial. People either love it or hate it.  One person said that Ragu should “spend the money on making the product better.”  I disagree. Ragu hit the mark.  They understand who their target audience is (parents with kids) and what they want (an economical meal that kids like). Ragu has used their dollars to create a fun and catchy campaign to target them.

Sadly this is not true for many products and services. They don’t spend the time and money to truly understand their users’ desires, behaviors and motivation. You can tell it in their boring, run of the mill approach to advertising and even product development.

I have never bought Ragu before, even though I have a 2-year old who does not have gourmet taste buds. This commercial reminded me of my childhood.  Just as getting a spit licked finger swiped across your face is a right of passage from childhood to adulthood, so is Ragu.

Guess what I bought instead of my usual brand last time I went to the grocery store?