Doubling it up in TV commercials

I have noticed a recent trend in TV commercials. It seems that companies are joining forces to have their products in one same commercial.

For example, yesterday, I saw a Jeep in a new video game.  I saw a diamond ring company together with the Geico car insurance lizard.  There is a primary product and a secondary.

Someone sent me a link to this.   This isn’t a mockery of a Catholic practice specifically, but it shows gross disrespect for all Christians.

Pepsi and Doritos make light of someone very important for the Sunday practice of many churchgoing Christians.

The Youtube title suggests that this is intended for the 2011 Superbowl coverage.

Of course there are two issues here…

1) the trend of joining forces for commercials

2) the use of religious symbol to sell products

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Blech. I was already not buying Pepsi products, now I can stop buying Doritos too. And the companies will hear from me.

  2. ThomasL says:

    I believe Doritos is just a division of Pepsi Co, so it makes sense that they would share an ad. I would assume they’re selling to the same market.

  3. prairie says:

    It’s astounding that this was deemed to be a good idea.

  4. Latriagiver says:

    The priest does have a wedding ring on… While this does not totally exclude all Catholic priests, I think it would be safe to say it is non-catholic. No doubt a blasphemous commercial regardless.

  5. ivan_the_mad says:

    I wrote a brief and polite email taking issue with this, and informing them that I will not buy their products until they publicly acknowledge and apologize for this.

  6. Andy F. says:

    Apparently Pepsi Max and Doritos have a contest going on for people to make their own ads. However, this one should have been rejected. Furthermore, Catholics should be just as offended by the ad even if it appears Protestant. Pepsi and Doritos is a mockery of the Body and Blood of Christ and what the Protestants call the Lord’s Supper. Either way, the Scripture is being mocked.

  7. Dr. Eric says:

    It’s obviously a Protestant church, the one guy called the other guy “pastor” and the “communion lines” had little shot glasses, not one big cup. Also, it is ironic that this has been filmed, as I have read (I never saw it with my own eyes) that some priests in the sixties and seventies tried to consecrate pizza and beer and chips and soda.

    All in all, this doesn’t shock me. The media is blatantly Anti-Catholic and Anti-Christian so mockery of church rituals is the name of the game if the a people think it’s clever. Does anyone really think that these ads help sell the products?

    When I was a student I worked as a massage therapist. I was called to give a massage to a couple of TV producers/writers in one of the rooms at a large hotel in St. Louis. The one lady said, during the massage (she only wanted her feet taken care of, which I found odd) that she was writing a movie and one of the characters had a Pope doll that when you pushed a button the doll would utter curse words. I told her that as a Catholic I would find that very offensive. She said that other Catholics she asked thought it was funny. I replied that I didn’t know whether or not the people she asked were faithful Catholics but as someone who takes his Faith seriously, such a scene would offend me.

    The media has been and will continue to be Anti-Catholic and Anti-Christian.

  8. Fr Matthew says:

    Shockingly bad taste (the commercial, not the food; I like Doritos). Treating Christianity with such philistine flippancy reflects a remarkable superficiality and lack of sensitivity – as well as lack of common sense, as this will (or at least ought to) incense any serious believer who sees it. Hardly a good tactic for an advertising campaign. Although, of course, it will appeal to some of the viewing audience, who have been progressively desensitized to this kind of material that trivializes things that are sacred.

  9. HyacinthClare says:

    PepsiCo contacted. I will not buy another Pepsi or Frito-Lay product until they assure us that what is holiest to millions of real Catholics will not be mocked by them. And maybe not even after they “assure” us. What a shameful piece of work.

  10. irishgirl says:

    I haven’t had TV in my house since everything went digital.
    But I would definitely be offended by an ad like this.
    Why are Christians in general and Catholics in particular always made a punching bag by the media?
    Dr. Eric-what a horrid idea that woman had for a movie! I’m glad that you ‘told her off’! Way to go!

  11. danphunter1 says:

    Whats “TV”?

  12. Dr. Eric says:


    They asked if I wanted a part in the movie!

    It was going to be like “American Pie” I’m glad it never got made.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    Pepsi and the entire company was one and still is one of the original and biggest supporters of Planned Parenthood. Why anyone who is pro-life would buy the products from Pepsico is beyond me. The ad, regardless of denomination, is blasphemous, as it makes fun of Christ at the Last Supper, even if the Protestants think it is just a memory.

  14. Jack Hughes says:

    I will definately not buy pepsi or doritos for a LONG time !!

  15. dap says:

    Has this actually been aired anywhere on TV?

  16. wanda says:

    I guess these companies are going for shock value, or something, to draw attention to themselves and their products.

    There is another recent commercial, I’m not sure what the product is, but it has to do with people rushing off from their job or whatever, to get together to watch football at a local establishment. One of those depicted is a Catholic Priest checking the time and realizing he is running late. It shows a Catholic Priest, in his Mass attire at the altar, hurredly blowing out the candles on the altar and dashing out the door in his black cassock with cape. He hops in his classic car and off he goes to join the gang at whatever the place was. I have a feeling it had to do with football and a few brewskies. Don’t know the brand.

    But, this one was Catholic in appearance, for sure. I don’t care for the imagery these companies are using to hawk their wares. Nope.

  17. Now my tv watching has been cut dramatically since I’ve entered religious life…this is disrespectful at minimal and blasphemous at max. Boycotting companies is a difficult thing, most companies patronize abortion in some type of way unfortunately. I do my best to support small businesses when possible.

  18. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Comcast is in on it as well. In November they ran a commercial with the Dies Irae from Mozart’s famous Requiem providing a soundtrack for a theft with an assault or possible murder. Last week they started running an ad using the first six words of the same Requiem’s Sanctus.

  19. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Wanda – that ad is for NFL network. The good father apparently couldn’t miss kickoff of the Thursday night game.

  20. Golatin5048 says:

    That, sadly, is actually a REAL Catholic priest in that commercial. He is the Chaplin for the New Orleans Saints.

    Very disrespectful commercial. I really LOVE Pepsi and doritos . I am not buying them for a while now.

  21. joanofarcfan says:

    I await Donohue’s reaction.

  22. dtrumbull says:

    Come on folks, lighten up. It’s just a humorous commercial, not some diabolical attack on the Sacrament. Given that the Christian faith is so seldom seen practiced in television shows (you don’t see many TV characters going to church) it is a little refreshing to see that a commercial, the humor of which assumes that the audience has at least some knowledge of Communion (whether Catholic or Protestant), could get made and be shown. It’s an advertsing idea that could easily have been rejected on the grounds that it is insensitive or incomprehensible to non-Christians.

  23. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    I called the main Pepsico (parent company of both Doritos and Pepsi) and talked to a nice older lady that actually agreed that the commercial was in bad taste and started to tell me it was not Pepsico, but I politely interrupted her saying, “I’m sorry but YOUR COMPANY is benefiting from this advertising…”

    I have contacted our investment professional and he is researching on whether any of our three mutual funds accounts have holdings in Pepsico, I have told him, that we wanted to make sure we have no stock in Pepsico.

    I won’t dump in the trash or down the drain, any Pepsico products we have in the house, but as sure as heck, I am not buying more.

  24. Golatin5048 says:

    Anyone know where we can contact Pepsi at?

  25. brianwalden says:

    I find the NFL commercial as an overall positive representation of the Church. The church is clearly empty as he rushes through putting everything away. I don’t think there was any attempt to depict him rushing off in the middle of Mass; rather they showed him quickly finishing putting everything away and blowing out the candles after some type of weeknight service (the ad is for Thursday night football). This fits with the rest of the people depicted in the ad, who were all shown closing up or punching out or whatnot at the end of the day.

    The priest is depicted wearing a cassock and cape – which would be a very traditional priest. Additionally, in the commercial he was chosen as the representative of Saints fans (the ads in this series all depict people who are representative of the local teams rushing off to watch the game). If anything, if anything the ad depicts the Church in a positive way as an important pillar of the New Orleans community. The priest himself is depicted as both traditional and connected to parishioners who welcome him to watch the game. Yes, I would have liked him to be depicted a little more reverently at the start of the ad, but this commercial is nothing like the Pepsi/Doritos one which explicitly mocks communion no-matter which Church or Christian community one belongs to.

  26. rroan says:

    Ack why do they always show generic Christian ministers in Roman collars? As someone pointed out previously this is clearly a Protestant Church with the little tumblers for the liquid “communion”.

    Does any Protestant denomination save Anglicans ever wear Roman collars? If so they should cease and desist – I’m serious! It’s very confusing.

  27. “Does any Protestant denomination save Anglicans ever wear Roman collars?”

    Lutherans, generally. Makes sense, as Anglicans and Lutherans are very close to the (one most true) Church on the tree, as it were. There’s also a couple collar styles that are “Anglican” in particular — like when you see white all the way around. An Anglican deacon I know told me it’s kinda a matter of personal choice; he chooses to wear a Roman-style collar because he closer to Rome than Canterbury. For what it’s worth.

  28. Pepsi has contact info and email forms on its websites, for both Pepsi products and Frito-Lay. I complained.

  29. JohnMa says:

    Here is a story about the commercial wanda mentioned:

    What sickens me is the part about what this priest did DURING Mass on Super Bowl Sunday.

  30. DisturbedMary says:

    How about a Pepsi commercial with a muslim on a prayer mat in front of a Pepsi machine.

  31. Golatin5048 says:

    I have seen what he does at mass. Dancing, clapping, putting a Saints jersey over his chasuble etc. He is a nice priest don’t get me wrong, but he is NOT traditional.

    Thanks Suburbanbanshee, I have sent my complaint.

  32. wanda says:

    Gregg, Golatin and JohnMa, thank you for cluing me in on the commercial. It is not horrible, but I find it kind of makes light of the Priesthood and the Catholic Church. (Super Bowl Mass? Say it’s not so, please.)

  33. Rich says:

    There’s some irony here though: the spirit of Vatican II has already enlightened and inspired so many expert liturgists to do the same thing with pizza and beer and the like in order to make the liturgy more relevant. It took Pepsico, however, to make light of the subject and – if indeed they meant for this to entail some humor – how silly such ideas are. Liturgists who were inspired with such ideas would have scoffed at the notion that they were desacralizing the liturgy, yet the humor in the commercial entails the point that that is indeed what is taking place. The average brain-dead couch potato who snickers at the juxtaposition of Pepsi and Doritos with the liturgy is more tuned in to reality than the expert liturgists ever were.

  34. K. Marie says:

    Inserting face into palm in three…two…one…FACEPALM.

  35. Marlon says:

    I saw the ad for Thursday Night Football, and I didn’t see it as a good representation of a priest. He was rushing away from the Church–without any show of reverence–for a football game. That he is dressed traditionally just shows that when anyone in the culture wants to identify someone as a Catholic, they use traditional garb. Catholics should be more attentive to that fact.

    I saw an ad for Audi that ended with a tag line that went something like this–“It’s the season of Audi Event. ” Did anyone else see that?

  36. Supertradmum says:

    Father Z,

    It would be interesting for you to have a poll as to how many of us regulars actually watch television. I get my news from Internet sources, including online newspapers. How many of us are sans t.v.?

  37. rakesvines says:

    Pepsi & Doritos are in the same conglomerate – so they kind of leverage certain economies of scope. This awful commercial seems to be riding on the prevailing anti-Catholicism that’s been formenting since Obama took office. And if that is indeed true then it is a disturbing commentary to our days.

    I have an astounding video about an accurate prediction, prophecy, on how this persecution will happen or is coming about in my FB acct. I’ll post it at my blog when I get home. (If you have a FB acct, feel free to friend me and get all these. I go by Ricky Vines. )

  38. dcs says:

    I have to confess that I don’t find the ad disrespectful.

  39. irishgirl says:

    Dr. Eric-they wanted you to be in the movie? No way!
    Good thing it never happened!
    I’m glad it ‘went over like a lead balloon’, as my German-born mother used to say!

  40. Thursday says:

    First the anti-catholic Hyundai “Soccer Mass” world cup ad, now this? Seriously… there seems to be no end to irreverence that pumps out of these ad agencies.

  41. Re: Super Bowl Sunday in New Orleans

    If the big cheering session happened right after Mass, as a procession out of church, there’s plenty of precedent for that. (Although maintaining solemnity inside church and then cheering when everybody gets outside would be better.) If not, that’s not so good.

  42. rakesvines says:

    As promised, here is the video about the Christian persecution under the Obama administration that is happening now.

  43. green fiddler says:

    May the Heart of Jesus
    in the Most Blessed Sacrament
    be praised, adored, and loved
    with grateful affection
    at every moment
    in all the tabernacles of the world
    even to the end of time.

  44. wmeyer says:

    The commercial was not produced by Pepsico or any of its agencies. Per their reply to my complaint:
    “We want to reassure you that the commercial you cited is not one designed and produced by PepsiCo, but a consumer submission in our web-based Crash the Super Bowl promotion. In this program, participants can upload their own 30-second spots for Doritos tortilla chips or Pepsi MAX to be considered for broadcast during Super Bowl XLV. The finalists will not be announced until January 2011.

    We apologize if you were upset or offended by this consumer submission, and we will share your feedback with our marketing teams so they can be aware of your concerns.”

  45. Golatin5048 says:

    I got the same answer:

    Thank you for contacting us at PepsiCo to share your sincere thoughts.

    We want to reassure you that the commercial you cited is not one designed and produced by PepsiCo, but a consumer submission in our web-based Crash the Super Bowl promotion. In this program, participants can upload their own 30-second spots for Doritos tortilla chips or Pepsi MAX to be considered for broadcast during Super Bowl XLV. The finalists will not be announced until January 2011.

    We apologize if you were upset or offended by this consumer submission, and we will share your feedback with our marketing teams so they can be aware of your concerns.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write.


    Margaret Corsi
    Consumer Relations Representative

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