Edeka, Ben & Jerry’s: flawed analogies for cheap virtue signalling

Last year, German supermarket chain Edeka delighted left-wing audiences looking to get political self-confirmation from cheaply virtue signalling brands. The video must have started making the rounds again, because I just saw it for the first time. What they did was take all products manufactured outside of Germany out of the shelves for a day to show how empty the store would be without (hashtag!) “diversity”. Take that, all you racists and nazis!

Sadly for Edeka’s Department of Propaganda, as so often is the case with left-wing activism: while they are good at theatrics and coming up with creative ways to make their point – their point completely misses the mark. They put a lot of work into a very elaborate straw man. If the video proves anything, it is that it’s easy to get people excited about poorly constructed arguments if they are eager enough to believe nonsense.

The suggestion that Trump (or anyone of any relevance on the right) wants to keep out all foreigners is as ludicrous as the suggestion that “diversity” (basically a eufemism for mass immigration) only has benefits. This is a cheap appeal to emotion that has no basis in reality.

> ‘Look at the dozens of terror attacks, hundreds of murders, thousands of sex attacks’.
> ‘Yeah, but at least we have kebabs now.’

Maybe their next stunt could have randomly exploding ‘exotic’ products, or a rape gang in the cous cous aisle. You know, just to be fair.

 

Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s did something similar in 2016 in their ‘One sweet world / We taste sweeter together‘ ad. Angry lemons (representing the “sour” right) are seen bullying sweet fruits (representing immigrants) in the park – ignoring the real world in which not a day goes by that we read about the “sweet fruits” attacking, harrassing, raping and killing. I guess that was too tricky to work into the ad (but perhaps that is why ads are not the best place for political commentary and societal analyses).

But then a lemon reaches out to a cherry and everything changes. “All flavours welcome”, it says on celebratory signs, while “all flavours” cheer, although “all flavours” are surprisingly mainstream: marshmallow, lemon, raspberry and cookie crumbles. Sorry, Ben, Jerry and their applauding self-affirming audience: your favorite kind of ice cream is not an analogy for the world, and the world does not consist only of cherry, marshmallow, lemon, raspberry and cookie crumbles. It’d be great if all the cultures in the world just happened to go together and complement one another perfectly. But if all flavours truly are welcome, how about you introduce Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate & Cod Fish? Bubblegum and Salami? With a ketchup swirl perhaps. Let us know how the sales figures turn out.

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