How do you sell a pork chop to a woman?

Compare it to nail polish, of course.

By Catherine Price
May 27, 2008 10:56PM (UTC)
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There's something about advertising that I just love. I think it's the challenge of figuring out how to take a product that is not that inherently interesting (toilet paper, plastic sandwich bags), and sell it to a specific group of people. How do you convince single mothers that Brawny paper towels are a better choice than Bounty? Why would men over 60 want Hot Pockets over Hungry Man? And I love the way that a good ad can make me believe in the impossible. Maybe Coca-Cola really can bring world peace. Perhaps, if I just drink enough Gatorade, I will turn into Michael Jordan. This is America -- why the hell not?

So imagine my delight when Copyranter sent us this ad, aimed at selling more pork to women. Its title? "Pork & Nail Polish."


Yes, that's right. In case the connection between those two subjects is not immediately obvious to you, the words are positioned right next to four pieces of pork loin, cut at an angle and arranged in such a way that they resemble fingernails, albeit fleshy, pink ones that are garnished with hot pepper and a sprig of peppermint. Still confused?

"I must confess, I always keep a bottle of clear nail polish in my bag," the copy starts. "It's my estrogen equivalent of duct tape. I can fix just about anything with it -- a run in my stockings, a chip in the windshield, that loose knob on my dresser. I even dip those small ribbon knots on my lingerie in nail polish to keep them from coming untied."

OK -- aside from the questionable choice of the phrase "estrogen equivalent of duct tape" in ad copy (and the assertion that clear nail polish is a good carpentry solution), I see what they're going for. Nail polish: It's not just for manicures anymore. Perhaps this is an ad for Sally Hansen?


Nope. It continues with what has become my new favorite non sequitur in American advertising: "Likewise, I always keep a pork tenderloin in my fridge or a pork roast in my freezer."


"I can fix just about anything with it lickety-split, too."

At first I thought the ad was suggesting that women dip their lingerie in bacon grease (works well with certain men) -- but no, silly me, they're talking about "fixing" dinner! "Asian Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Hawaiian Cobb Salad, Smoky Pork Tenderloin Tacos." And then, the tag line: "The Other White Meat and clear nail polish. Two handy-dandy things I just can't live without."


I can't say that thinking of the smell of nail polish really makes me want to eat a pork chop, but then again, I've never dipped my underpants in L'Oréal. Call me simplistic, but if this were my ad campaign, I'd propose a different slogan: "Bacon. Because it's really fucking good."

Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

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