The Ragu Commercial That Has Everyone Talking and Cringing

Getty Images

Funny Business marketing move of the week!

Ragu is trying to sell spaghetti sauce.

Rather than selling it on taste, or convenience, or fresh ingredients—maybe these are not its strengths?—the company has landed on the idea of spaghetti sauce as comfort food.

Case in point, it makes you feel better after you walk in on your parents having sex.

In a Ragu commercial going viral online, a young lad barges into his parents' bedroom without knocking. We don’t see what he sees, but the cringe-inducing look on his face tells us all we need to know.

Rather than being punished for surprising his parents, which is how my mom and dad would have reacted, this boy’s parents make him spaghetti to help him calm down. "He needs Ragu, 'cause growin' up's tough," a singer tells us. "Give him Ragu, he's been through enough."

Funny. Ragu's Facebook pagerefers to the new ad as "one of the most mortifying moments of childhood revealed".

It's all part of Ragu's "Long Day of Childhood" campaign, which includes a commercial about a kid who got a "participation award"—"That means I lost," he says, before being handed a heaping plate of spaghetti. My favorite, though, may be the one where the mom keeps licking her thumb to wipe food off junior's face. "Just to recap, you spit on his face!" Been there, done that.

On the other hand... your mom’s spit being wiped on your face, seeing your parents have sex, do these things make you hungry? Food, especially heavy food like pasta, might be the last thing on a child's mind after being traumatized this way. Ragu becomes Rag-ewwwwww.

Still, I can hardly wait to see what they come up with next. Maybe Ragu should expand the campaign beyond “The Long Day of Childhood” to “The Long Day of Adulthood.” Facebook shares underwater ? Have some spaghetti. Upside down in your mortgage? Open a jar. The bank you run is accused of laundering billions for Iran? You're going to need an extra helping.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email