I recently saw two new Hebrew National commercials. I noticed something strange about them and want to know if I’m just being a tad crazy.
Here’s my take: I no longer have cable. What that means is that I’m at the whims of Hulu and the three commercials they want to show me on a constant loop. The commercials change at some point, but by that time I’ve seen them maybe 30 or 40 times. Each. Recently I started seeing two commercials for Hebrew National hot dogs. I should state that I’m not one to automatically get offended or angry at things on the Internet, but something about these commercials really rubbed me the wrong way.
Both commercials follow the same blueprint: There are two couples; one couple is making hot dogs and the other couple already has hot dogs made. The couple making hot dogs asks about the hot dogs the other couple has. This couple, with a Hebrew National package clearly visible, says, “These hot dogs are better because they’re kosher!” “Kosher?” the other couple responds, as if saying, “We didn’t know you were Jewish!” The couple with the kosher hot dogs responds, “They are choosy about what they put in their meat.” My first, second and third reaction to this was: “THEY?! THEY?! YOU MEAN JEWS, RIGHT? BECAUSE WE ARE SUCH A SELECTIVE TRIBE! WE DON’T PUT ANYTHING UNTOWARD IN OUR MEAT!”
After I calmed down, I realized they were referring to Hebrew National—they are choosy, because they are a kosher company. But how did no one who works at Hebrew National or the agency that made these commercials realize they were accidentally producing a commercial in which four people, who don’t seem Jewish, talk about how selective “they” are? I was sitting there thinking, “Did Hebrew National just implicitly throw out an anti-Semitic slur? That can’t be! Can it?” Help me, Internet! I know I’m overreacting—I just need to know how much!