Published on .

The prize: One thousand pounds of delicious Coffeemate non-dairy creamer and a Carnation ski hat.

The ad: This rump rouser for General Foods International Coffees, tagged, "The new sugar free, fat free way to unplug."

The verdict: Plenty of laxatives, some randy Frenchmen on fluffy couches and a couple of gerbil removers. In occlusion, take two cups and appall us in the morning, which is to say keep those e-mails comin'!

Come on, the tagline's position gives it away. This coffee is also a spunky laxative.

David Keepper

We got a ton of these low colonics, but you're the only one who used the phrase "spunky laxative." You must be a writer.

This ad is brilliant. how many of us take for granted the marvelous way that coffee "unplugs" our systems? The coffee drinkers in my office bond in a special way about an hour after the second cup when we meet in the restroom. And we know that bonding is what the International Coffees brand strategy is all about. Mmmm, you can almost smell it.

Lynnie Henderson

Two cups and you're all on the can? Does this have anything to do with "Fill it to the rim with Brim"?

I can't say I understand the ad, but it does explain why my coffee has been tasting like crap.

Jason Jordan

At least you don't have to drink it in Lynnie's restroom.

I know a guy who actually takes a marker and blacks out the size of his jeans on that little leather patch (he's a 44!). If he wore these jeans, would that be considered a billboard?

Angela Dominguez

Yes, and when the lardbutt walks it's a transit ad.

Do I have to ask her to take off her jeans in order to get the French Vanilla Cafe? Sounds enticing!

Daniel Modell

You ask a woman to take off her jeans, you'd better be a gynecologist or Marv Albert, unless you're in the bathroom bonding with Lynnie, Dan-O.

The claim "fat free" is misleading. My sources tell me that a French cosmetic surgeon discovered that leftovers from liposuction taste like vanilla. This got GF's attention, and the rest is marketing history.

Terry King

"Leftovers" from liposuction? Are the good parts sold for foie gras?

A brilliant marketing move, targeting the thousands of people who need something to wear with their "Newport. Alive With Pleasure!" nylon windbreakers.

Rob Rosenthal

Well, apparently you'll be breaking a lot more than wind if you drink this coffee, Rob.

. . . The only thing wrong with the ad is that they failed to depict "very hip."

Rick Lindemann

They do help explain a complicated concept by illustrating how "hip" the product is-they show the picture of the hip. This cleared up quite a bit of confusion around the office.

Dan Michaelson

Rick, please e-mail Dan.

A very hip french vanilla moment at the Gap: "I'm looking for those new French Vanilla jeans. I normally wear a Grande, but since I've been drinking only fat free joe, I might be able to squeeze my butt into a Tall."

James Wintraub

The snooty Gap reply: "Thighs like these were made for Taster's Choice."

It's a very targeted ad wherein general Foods wants to replace gerbils with cans of coffee . . .

Robert Graup

Thank you for reminding us of the infamous Richard Gere What the Hell? page of some issues back, but Gere is a Buddhist, hence he drinks only green tea.

GF is coming out with a boys-in-the-bandwagon consumer pitch. Like hankies back in the bathhouse days, sporting a "French Vanilla" patch above one's right hip pocket signals that the wearer is a gay deconstructualist who disapproves of unconventional sex. The "fat free way to unplug" refers to the coffee's competitive advantage over Crisco in extracting-oh, never mind.

Stacy Hall

In extracting gerbils? Leave Richard Gere alone, already, will you!?

In international coffee speak, "unplug" is a verb that means, "To sit on a fluffy couch with your girlfriends and scream about someone named Jean-Luc."

Jane Roper

Who's this Jean-Luc, and why do you have to be on a fluffy couch to scream about him?

It's a well-accepted scientific fact that all red-blooded boys look at a steep hip-to-waist ratio and think, Schwing! Ripe for reproduction. But I think Jean-Claude is laughing his ass off in that little cafe in Paris, not jacking off.

Valerie Singer

You're right, Val, it's Jean-Luc who's jacking off, probably on a fluffy couch.

Do you honestly think that a woman who buys her coffee in a can of Quik cares about the fat? She would actually be sitting home watching about eight hours of soaps a day. A pitcher of this would make her hallucinate about being seduced by a French waiter named Jean-Luc, who would feed her many croissants.

Chuck Matzker

So Jean-Luc is a waiter. Thanks for clearing that up. But "feed her the croissant"-is that the kind of thing Beavis and Butt-head say on French MTV?

Will they accessorize the jeans line with jewelry made from old coffee tins? Will they create their own fragrance, possibly called Coffee Obsession? Will they bring back Brooke Shields for the new campaign? Stay on the edge, General Foods!

Vincent Travisano

Good idea about Brooke. Suddenly Susan could be about how she's always running off to bond with Lynnie.

It's ru paul's new line of diet jeans, modeled also by Oprah in Baked Lay's jeans; Wendy the Snapple Lady in sugar-free Snapple jeans; and Vanessa Redgrave in Weight Watchers jeans!

Sandy Johnson

You must mean Lynn Redgrave. Vanessa gave all her clothes to the Palestinians.

Remember in the '80s when kids who couldn't afford several Izod shirts or Calvin Klein jeans would take the patch/label off the only pair they owned and sew it onto other no-name clothing? That's the idea here.

Arlene Distel

No, we don't remember that at all, Arlene. Wasn't everyone rich in the '80s? Didn't everyone own a fluffy couch?

This coffee makes you take a dump. And it smells like French vanilla for those times you gotta go at work or at a friend's house. As an added bonus, you'll be able to fit into those tight jeans since you're not so full of poop anymore.

Claudia Ossa

Ossa, you're winning the big buckos! We thought we'd purged all the lax trax, but anyone who can write "take a dump" and "full of poop" in the same response is squeezing our Charmin bigtime. We gave your Coffeemate to a homeless man on the corner of Bleecker and Thompson, and he promptly got some tin foil and sold it by the gram in Washington Square Park. Last we heard he'd taken a studio apartment in Trump Tower.

This Month's Contest

Win the jockstrap Fabian wore in Beach Blanket Bingo!

It's a sweet summer blast from the past! Yes, we went back to the July '89 issue of Playboy to dig up this steamin' hot Old Spice ad, perfect for the sun and sand! Headline: "Now your underarms can be where your head is at." Seems they were introducing Island Breeze and Classic Sport scents. The tag: "World class protection." Beyond that, we're whiffed. Maybe it's an '80s thing. Wasn't that the decade where everyone was rich? Send your usual rank notions to

In this article:
Most Popular