Believability Problems In Old Pace Picante Sauce Commercials

I wonder if anyone else thinks that the old Pace Picante Sauce commercials from back in the eighties have believability problems.

I’m sure you remember the old commercial. A bunch of cowboys are sitting around a fire. One of them runs out of Pace and asks the cook for more. The cook hands over a jar an off brand picante sauce. The men protest and the cook asks “What’s the difference?” The men explain that Pace is made in San Antonio by people who know what picante sauce should taste like. They go to read where the off brand salsa is made to contrast and end up exclaiming that it is made in New York City (apparently not where people know what picante sauce should taste like). Then a cowboy utters the catchphrase: “Get a rope.”

Now, I liked this commercial. It wasn’t great, but it was funny. However, we need to think about the believability aspects here.

I mean, what is the likelihood that something like picante sauce is going to be made in New York City? Does Pace have any idea how much real estate costs in New York? Are there even any kind of factories or plants in New York itself anymore? Somehow I don’t think so. I bet most have relocated to Jersey or somewhere else less expensive.

After all, think about what the overhead of a New York City picante sauce manufacturing plant would do to the bottom line of a salsa company. It would be some of the most expensive salsa sold in the US, regardless of the ingredient costs, advertising, or anything else. Seeing as there would be no real picante sauce related advantage to locating a plant there, it just wouldn’t make any sense.

As such, I think there is a believability problem with the Pace commercial. I know New York strikes a good mental picture as non-cowboy-ish and all, but I just can’t see much actually being made there. I know that some of our really good writers writing today have day jobs writing ad and/or marketing copy, so shouldn’t we be able to have believability in our commercials just as in our fiction? I certainly think so.


About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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2 Responses to Believability Problems In Old Pace Picante Sauce Commercials

  1. Hector P says:

    Being a New Yorker who grew up partly in the Bronx, and still lives next to it, real estate is cheap in the South Bronx; there are industrial park wastelands in abundance. And Messicans who know how to take the subway are plentiful. I got no problem believing. Except maybe the part where they say that people in San Antonio know what picante sauce should taste like. 😛

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