Tillamook Is Not “Processed Cheese Product”

Tillamook Is Not “Processed Cheese Product”


Tillamook wants to contrast its products with the products of Kraft and other purveyors “processed cheese product.” Tillamook sees itself as a producer of dairy products that are simple, natural, traditional, and no-nonsense.

The ad doesn’t claim in words that Tillamook products are simple, natural, traditional, and no-nonsense. However, the ad makes that exact claim more effectively with its style and personality. Tillamook knows that what you say is less important than how you say it. Viewers believe that a brand will say whatever the brand thinks people want to hear. Viewers put much more faith in the actions of the brand and the brand’s advertising is one form of the brand’s action.

Though slickly produced, the ad is still simple. The camera locks down on an enormous stack of cheddar slices. A hatchet cleaves through the stack causing small pieces of cheese to fly about and half the stack of slices to fall away. One word, “CHEDDAR,” appears superimposed over the half stack of cheese slices and the hatchet. After a couple of beats, in smaller type, “NOT PROCESSED CHEESE PRODUCT” is added.

No announcer, just a rhythmic soundtrack.

What could be more traditional and no-nonsense than a blow from a hatchet? Even though the whole ad is artfully done, the ad communicates “basic.”

In another ad in this series, a chain saw cuts a Tillamook container of ice cream in half. The chainsaw is not nearly as effective as the hatchet. The hatchet used is clean and simple. A chainsaw calls to mind a cutting that is mechanical, noisy, and oily—far from appetizing.

Viewers will believe that the style and personality of Tillamook are the style and personality of the ad. Tillamook, therefore, must be simple, natural, traditional, and no-nonsense.

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