It’s National Coffee Day, so make sure to be caffeinated before watching this three-minute infomercial, because it’s a doozie.
Yes, that’s Melissa Joan Hart, channeling a little of her eponymous character from "Clarissa Explains It All" to pitch a three-pack bundle of Kraft Heinz coffees—Maxwell House, Gevalia and Ethical Bean.
Yes, that’s also Nick Bakay, the voice of Salem the talking black cat from Hart's later show "Sabrina The Teenage Witch," doing the voiceover.
Yes, they’re breaking the fourth wall and getting self-referential. (Can you blame them? They're reunited 25 years to the day since "Sabrina" first aired.) But it’s actually a real infomercial and the coffee is for sale on AsBeanOnTV.com.
What’s that? This is a spot from Ryan Reynolds’ shop Maximum Effort? Now it all begins to make sense.
The agency is known for unconventional, almost experiential work that toes the line between ad and meme. (Such as yesterday's "experiment" for Maximum Effort owner, ad tech firm MNTN, that showed that Reynolds' voice was more attractive to ad watchers than his face, apparently).
Rather than trimming the full spot into shorter cuts for TV, Kraft Heinz is buying out entire commercial pods with national media buys during “Bachelor In Paradise,” “Good Morning America” and “Shark Tank,” the first time a coffee brand has done so. According to the agency, it's also the first time in years that Kraft Heinz coffee brands have been featured on prime-time television.
Naturally, the TV spot drew commentary on social media, and the brands were ready to respond.