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The thought of walking in on one’s parents having sex elicits the same type of heebie-jeebie movements and twisted facial expressions in all children. If for some awful reason you’ve just accidentally visualized it (for my complicity in this, I apologize), I’m sure you are now considering cleansing yourself inside and out with a tub of bleach. 

Ragu, which bills itself as “America’s favorite pasta sauce” (according to Neilsen, which is a company I did not realize handled things other than compiling arbitrary TV ratings), has a new ad campaign with the tagline and premise “A Long Day of Childhood Calls for America’s Favorite Pasta Sauce.” In this ad, our hero brashly opens his parents’ door before dinner to ask his mom a question and receives a big shock. Let me tell you – Mom and Dad aren’t fighting in there.

Product: D –
IT’S PRONOUNCED RAG-EWW!
How do I state this kindly? Ragu is an abomination. If I woke up Walking Dead-style with the world overtaken by zombies and I found a supermarket to raid in order to provide me sustenance through a zombie winter holocaust, I would leave the Ragu on the shelf. That’s because even in the darkest of times, when humanity is at its bleakest moment, I wouldn’t pollute my body with such garbage. Ragu isn’t even the 2-buck Chuck of pasta sauces. It’s the bag of Franzia left out in the sun for 2 days after a football tailgate of pasta sauces. 

Message: C
THE PTSD THERAPY FOR TOMMY IS EXPENSIVE. SO WE BUY RAGU.

Hey kid, you’re totally scarred because you’ve just seen your parents knockin’ boots. You know what you deserve? A plate of plain spaghetti covered in plain ol’ tomato sauce. That’s right, son. You: ruined for a lifetime. Parents: spending about 5 seconds caring and providing you with a meal a prison inmate would scoff at. You: years of therapy. Parents: going back upstairs to “continue to do the laundry.” The message isn’t that parents just don’t understand. The message here is that your parents just straight-up don’t care.

Creativity: B
The jingle is catchy, I’ll give them that. But the tagline doesn’t fit. After a long day of childhood you know what I wanted? A bowl of Froot Loops mixed with Lucky Charms with a side of sausage pizza and an ice cream float to wash it all down. If all a kid has to look forward to after a day of wedgies, bad grades, titty twisters and seeing his parents have sex is a plain bowl of pasta, we’re gonna have a bunch of really messed-up kids out there. And there’s only so many brooding artists and musicians for every generation. So step your game up, Ragu. You’re destroying the youth of America, one bowl of crappy pasta at a time.

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