I’m Insulted!


I was minding own business watching tv last night (I don’t remember the show or the network, but it was likely a syndicated episode Seinfeld or Big Bang Theory) when this commercial for Velveeta cheese comes on. My brain usually tunes out the commercials, but my ears perked up when I hear some guy say “I host a book club…” and then a girl (his wife, presumably?) coos “soooo sexy!” The scene cuts to a man reading from a book. He is made up to look like like the author pictured on the over, complete with a fake mustache. I thought he vaguely resembled Thomas Hardy, but I couldn’t zoom in and clearly read the book title. “Vega had no tolerance for such dastardly deeds,” he intones in an affected British/Academician voice. His two suffering guests listen obediently on the couch but would clearly rather be somewhere else. What could possibly save them from such a miserable situation? Why, the wife arriving in a tight dress with a tray of Velveeta cheese queso with Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilis, of course!


The announcer pipes in that “some parties need a bowl of queso…”

Of course, a book club meeting cannot stand on its own as entertainment and therefore would be one of those parties.

So, there’s a lot wrong and inaccurate about this 15-second advertisement. First, I know of NO book clubs that contain just men. In fact, most of the book clubs I’ve been part of were mostly women. Second, I don’t know of any book clubs where the members read from the book in an affected, snobbish-toned voice. Third, although I’m still young (well, sort of) I’ve yet to hear a woman sigh and say “ooh… sexy” when I refer to my book club. They are often too busy running in the opposite direction to say anything. Fourth, we never have a stack of extra copies the books sitting on the coffee table (were they expecting others to arrive? If so, she’s going to need more Velveeta!) And fifth, we do not use our BOOKS as napkins as the guy on the right on the couch does. If you look closely, you can see he has even dripped some queso on the book already! Sacrilege!!

Plead join me in urging Kraft Foods to pull this offensive commercial from their lineup (OK, I’m only joking about this part) and let them know book clubs and readers are not to be made fun of or taken lightly!

If anyone wants to see it, one place I found the clip on-line is here: http://theadlist.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/velveeta-rotel-commercial/

(Note: as of 8/2013 this video is no longer available. I looked elsewhere but couldn’t find it. “Obviously,” my campaign to end BookClub discrimination was a success!)






  1. Nancy said,

    November 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Ouch, ouch, and ouch on all points presented… I felt the same way watching the ad, insulted. I am a member of a local book club wherein 80 percent of us are women, we have a good time talking a lot, and we definitely don’t use our books as table napkins. Books are like Bibles to us, you know. This ad sure needs to be reviewed. I hope viewers will not be discouraged from signing up in book clubs after viewing this ad.


    • Jay said,

      November 8, 2012 at 8:06 am

      I think the ad is fairly tongue in cheek, but it does illustrate that – in spite of the pervading political correctness these days – there a few groups that still seem to be fair game for insensitive mocking – “nerds”/introverts among them…


  2. Dale said,

    November 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Jay, there is a book group at my local library that is called “Real Men Read”, but it meets on Wednesday mornings at 10am. My guess is they are retired. I hadn’t seen this commercial.


    • Jay said,

      November 8, 2012 at 8:07 am

      After I posted this, I realized that the Vonnegut Library’s book club has a majority of men too. Like the one you mention, it meets in the middle of the day and has several members who are retired, though.


  3. Tomo said,

    November 7, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Your just upset by the fact there isn’t a Nook, Kindle, nor I-Pad shown in the commercial!!

    “The Cheese are Books!” as “Soylent Green is people!”


    • Jay said,

      November 8, 2012 at 8:09 am

      I posted this on tuesday – which is “Soylent Green Day” in the movie(!) I admit that was a coincidence, however. 🙂


  4. kathleen angelone said,

    November 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Book discussions are often the most interesting events I attend. Particularly better than those “parties” where people stand around and talk about nothingl.

    Also, want to remind everyone that Mike Mullin will be speaking at Bookmamas about his new book, “Ashen Winter,” on Thursday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. He gives a great author talk with Tae Kwan Do demonstration.


    • Jay said,

      November 8, 2012 at 8:11 am

      I agree, Kathleen.

      Thanks for the reminder about Mr. Mullin’s visit. I am planning on attending, as is a friend of mine.



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