Suicidal Creme Eggs

January 8, 2008 at 8:43 pm 19 comments

So, currently pissing me off for little good reason are the new Cadbury’s Creme Eggs adverts. Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, for those not familiar with this fondant-filled candy treat, are fondant-filled candy treats. They’re a hard chocolate shell, shaped like an egg and filled with a yellow and white coloured, sickly-sweet substance intended to resemble egg white and yolk.

So anyway, the recent ad campaign has involved these sugar-laden, Easter-themed confections committing suicide in various ways. For example, in one commercial, the egg melts itself using a hair-dryer, while in another, the egg throws itself through an egg-slicer. Most seem to feature the egg contriving to crush itself – using a hammer, a line of books set up like dominoes, or in a particularly inventive twist, dropping a weight from a pedal-bin so that the metal lid crushes it against the wall. All light hearted fun, no?

In the Cadbury’s rhetoric, the eggs are not, of course, killing themselves: “Creme Eggs come into the world with a single purpose: to get their goo out.” However, Cadbury’s brand manager James Graham does call them executions, so maybe there is just a bit of death involved.

The central conceit of the website, however, involves a notional “Goo-ology Research Centre”, with a distinctly psychiatric theme:

Image from Cadbury’s Creme Egg Website 1

The navigation furthers this idea, featuring sections like “Personality Disorders” and “Suppressed Memories”.

Cadbury’s Creme Egg website navigation

So the whole thing is essentially “Crazy Creme Eggs kill themselves; isn’t that fun?” Now it annoys me that I’m offended by this, because I don’t think that being offended should buy people any special status. I think free speech is pretty nifty and that the right to offend is central to the right to say what you want. And I’m sure that neither Cadbury’s, nor the ad agency Publicis, have any intention to offend. And I probably laughed or at least smiled slightly the first time I saw one of these ads. And this is a dumb thing to get offended about – it’s just that watching TV and seeing these little eggs killing themselves while they mutter about “goo” is very slightly disturbing. And watching it repeatedly just kind of builds up to a peak of annoyance.

But it’s just an advert, I guess.

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19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. exactscience  |  January 8, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    You might want to avoid the books of bunny suicides.

  • 2. anonymous mom  |  January 8, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    ha, i enjoyed the hell out of that book of bunny suicides. shock value amuses me.

    but anyways, i can see why you’d be offended. the commercials wouldn’t’ necessarily tick me off, but those page captures you posted do.

  • 3. experimental chimp  |  January 8, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    exactscience: Those don’t bother me. It’s not the fact that people might joke about suicide that’s annoying – I do that myself. Hell, Bill Hicks does a routine in which he tries to persuade people in advertising to kill themselves and it’s hilarious.

    But then, I choose if I want to see cartoons of suicidal rabbits, or if I want to listen to an often controversial stand-up. I don’t get to choose what appears in the ad-breaks and this seems to include creme egg suicide after creme egg suicide (presumably all the way to Easter)…

  • 4. exactscience  |  January 8, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Maybe Bill Hicks was right… The “suicide is funny” dollar thats a good dollar….

    I am a big fan of Bill Hicks, I love the smoking sketch – about non-smokers being annoying folk.

  • 5. Gabriel...  |  January 8, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Well fuck, that was just Funny… commercials which anthropomorphize food which are then happy to be eaten are a pet peeve of a few people I know but this one was funny… although I didn’t get the point, if there was one (am I supposed to scrape it off the wall to eat it?). Definitely the darkest commercial about snacks I’ve ever seen.

    Didn’t you have a problem with the size of the eggs last year?

  • 6. katm  |  January 9, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Personally I think it’s tasteless. But I’m not offended by it in the strictest sense of the word.

  • 7. experimental chimp  |  January 10, 2008 at 10:42 am

    gabriel: Anthropomorphised food is terribly wrong. I don’t think I had any problem with the size of the eggs at any point, though. Apparently, they’ve stayed the same size in the UK, but have shrunk in North American markets, so it was probably some fellow Canadian whining about that.

  • 8. Ruth  |  January 10, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    I haven’t seen the Creme Egg advert, they obviously haven’t hit London yet. I guess I find them a little out of keeping with the whole Creme Egg thing and a bit un-funny but not offensive. Although I was a little shocked by the image of the Creme Egg’s ‘brain’ and presonality disorder etc. being in there.
    I’ll have to keep my eyes open for them now.
    Ruth

  • 9. Gabriel...  |  January 10, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I know it was someone anal enough to first notice the size difference, then measure and then post about it so I automatically assumed… well, you know. It had to be a discussion with a Euro-type because it got into the quality of Euro v. NA chocolate. Maybe it was Ferret Entries or his more significant Other. Either way, the diagrams are a little insulting I guess but I stand by my Thumbs Up analysis of the video.

  • 10. Alison  |  January 12, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Thankfully I ate seen them yet…. if I had I would be sat here eating the ruddy things!

  • 11. Odile  |  February 6, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I really don’t like these…i think it’s creepy and rather alarming especially the sounds they make. they play them ALL the fucking time.

  • 12. JingYi Yuan  |  February 20, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    here is a interesting idea on the advert, have a look! you deserve it!!

    http://evidentlyeverywhere.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/freaky-eyebrows-and-chocolate/

  • 13. Adrian  |  March 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    sigh, 2010 in Oz and Easter is next weekend……and we are being inundated with these ads.

  • 14. Adrian  |  March 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=109612745731058

  • 15. Dan F  |  April 3, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Those ads have been driving me slowly bonkers over the last couple of years. They finally got to me today so I thought I’d find out the official Cadbury line on why the eggs are topping themselves. You’re the first google hit for Suicidal Creme Eggs 🙂 And, your post was informative too, so ta! I agree with the last paragraph – it’s a silly thing to get annoyed over, but boy it gets to you eventually.

  • 16. Brian Sponge  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Can I just update this thread to say that the new Olympic tinged campaign is an utter bag of bollocks? American-owned company imploring us to support the British team? Perfect. Needless 3-D-rendered motion graphics advertising little besides the company’s wealth in a time of British austerity and unemployment? Super.

  • 17. politicalparadigm  |  March 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I am not sure if it is even a silly thing to get annoyed about. What is wrong with us that we think it is ok to make light of suicide? “Ohhh cute mentally ill little things killing themselves, isn’t that HILARIOUS!” Mentall illness and suicide are serious issues and sufferers need help and support, not ridicule!

  • 18. Sheri  |  March 13, 2013 at 3:02 am

    I find the Cadbury eggs suicides disturbing and I dont think it’s appropriate or humorous

  • 19. Lisa  |  March 13, 2013 at 4:38 am

    I notice more so that the eggs are seeming to “get off” from the final act of self mutilation…either way it’s just creepy. (delicious yet creepy)

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?

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