Salad Dressing Just Got Steamy

Salad dressing just got steamy, sexy and sensual. Last week, Kraft introduced their new “Let’s Get Zesty” ad campaign for it’s Italian dressing. It features a hot guy cooking over an outdoor grill and it’s full of sexual innuendos, take a look:

This commercial, with several targeted spots on Bravo, has a similar look and feel to past Effie award winner – “Old Spice” which used sex to entice women to buy it’s body wash for the men in their life, but “Mr. Old Spice” didn’t have quite have as many sexual undertones in his commercial as “Mr. Zesty.” And, sex sells.


Kraft takes the integrated marketing campaign a step further with its “” landing page where you can personalize a “Zestygram” and share it with friends and family.

And if that wasn’t enough to engage consumers, you should check out Mr. Zesty’s Facebook page and Tweets to his fans– complete with brief (Vine) video messages to his followers.

Vine was released by Twitter in January to engage consumers in conversation, create brand awareness, introduce new products, etc., and of course, it comes with analytics. It allows you to measure what “Vines” are being shared or re-tweeted compared to other media such as YouTube and Instagram. So, Kraft can measure Mr. Zesty’s appeal and if his sexiness is selling the product.

By judging tweets from over a thousand fans so far, Kraft should be pleased with the positive responses from their steamy new ad campaign. For instance, T. Monet tweeted “My mom and I both purchased Zesty Italian dressing after watching TheZestyGuy’s commercial and Kristen K. said “Definitely need to buy some Kraft dressing after seeing @TheZestyGuy’s abs… ummm, ads…”

Zesty Twitter

It will be interesting to see how this campaign unfolds. If Kraft’s brand image and awareness will increase by successfully mimicking the “Old Spice” concept, or just see a temporary spike in sales. Either way, Mr. Zesty (aka Anderson Davis) is definitely entertaining eye candy and might just become the next “Fabio.” Afterall, he’s already getting marriage proposals from women online which even caught Good Morning America’s attention. So, what you think? In the world of advertising — Fad or Fab?




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11 Responses to Salad Dressing Just Got Steamy

  1. Allison Cordova says:

    Hi there,

    I can’t decide if I think this Kraft campaign is Fad or Fab. Sex sells ..we know that. But something about this campaign makes me feel like it’s trying too hard. I think this idea of the sexy guy, with his shirt off ..may have been done too many times. Or maybe it’s the fact that this campaign is too similar to the ‘Old Spice’ one. If they had come up with a completely new idea, I may appreciate the ad more. It almost seems like the stole the idea and just recycled with a new male model! He’s nice to look at ..don’t get me wrong ..but chances are I’m still not going to buy Kraft dressing.

  2. dayney says:

    Hi Allison,

    Thanks for the post. You’re right — Almost every sentence that Mr. Zesty says has a sexual undertone and I wondered too if it would be a “turn off” rather than a “turn on” to consumers. He’s hot and definitely turns up the heat, but I guess we’ll have to see if this recycled idea will be successful for Kraft long term.

  3. melindamenchaca says:

    I am very disappointed in this advertising. Women are always complaining about advertisements being sexist so why should this ad be ok? I find it a little offensive. I mean, sell me some dressing not a guy who is really trying hard to be sexy. I think there is definitely a double standard with advertisements. Selling men is ok but selling women is wrong. I like Kraft dressing. Especially the kind featured in the commercial but Kraft just lost a customer with this ad.

  4. Justin McAneny says:

    I guess I just want to know what this will do for the secondary dressing product markets like lettuce or chicken? And that since you mention its run on Bravo, I just wonder who the real target audience is? That’s not the stereotypical image of a guy standing in in-front of a grill, at least as far as I’m familiar.

  5. kcn13 says:

    I am a bit disturbed by this ad. In all honesty, it made laugh rather than get squirmy because of his perceived “hot” factor. I have to agree with Allison the campaign feels a bit too contrived. I will own up to the fact that he looks very handsome…I had the urge to just say, “SHHH, don’t talk!” Some things are better left for viewing rather than hearing!

    All that being said, I can’t say that this campaign gave me a positive or improved impression of Kraft, but I also don’t think I am in the target demographic for the campaign (whatever that might be!).

    Fun post!

  6. ncpalaci says:


    I think it’s fab. It’s a nice change to see a hot man selling a product vs. a hot woman. First of all, salad dressing is pretty boring. Salads are boring. I think they made it more interesting and definitely a way to catch a woman’s attention. I’m tired of seeing pretty girls in bikinis bite into big ol’ cheeseburgers. Give me a guy laying on a counter pouring salad dressing on my field greens. Yes, it’s wrong that sex sells ads and I know many people don’t like that fact, but it is what it is and I’m okay with it. My eyes have seen worse. Great post, Dayna! -Nicole Palacios

  7. calandry says:

    I’m going to go out a limb and say the new Kraft “Zesty” ad campaign is both fab and fad. I just saw the commercial yesterday. I. Loved. It. I thought it was hilarious and poked fun at the way sex is used to sell everything (even salad dressing). I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when the flames took his shirt. It definitely caught my attention! So, in this sense, I think the campaign is fab. It grabs your attention. It’s unexpected. It gets you talking. Pretty good for salad dressing, right?

    On the other hand, I think it’s a fad for similar reasons. We live in a hyper-sexual society. Sex sells everything. Need to sell a car? Throw in a woman with long legs and a tight dress. Want consumers to notice your hamburger? Throw Paris Hilton in bathing suit and make her wash a car holding said burger. If you look at it in that sense, it wouldn’t take long for a company like Kraft (which evokes thoughts of family for me) to give in to what sells and use an amazingly hot guy to sell plain, old Italian salad dressing.

  8. Andrew Santelli says:

    I think what makes it fab is that it knows it’s a fad. It takes advantage of the trend started by Old Spice and rides along, tongue planted firmly in cheek. In fact, I think the pitch meeting is pretty easy to visualize:

    Ad exec: “So, you guys know the Old Spice guy? Ladies love him, guys think he’s funny?”
    Kraft exec: “Sure, of course.”
    Ad: “Think an Old Spice guy, but for Kraft salad dressing and just a couple notches ‘zestier.’ We’d even call him Mr. Zesty.” (uncovers picture of Mr. Zesty pouring dressing on salad)
    Kraft: “Sold.”

  9. lemlemac says:

    Well I think he is Fab. This commercial almost could be a spoof on commercials that uses sex to sell. The commercial definitely has a sexual undertone. Its funny that Kraft a “family” brand would go this route with their campaign. Younger kids more than likely won’t understand the sexual references but teens probably will. It seems now days that commercials need ratings too. I wonder who is their target audience?
    (obviously women)
    Great post..


  10. guia says:

    Hi there,

    What a great post. I hadn’t seen any of these ads, but they certainly do have a ‘wow’ factor.

    Admittedly, the leading man is good looking. But it doesn’t make me want to buy the product. The Old Spice commercials use humor more than a good looking leading man to get people to talk about their brand. Personally, I can’t say I really appreciate the sexual undertones in the commercials.

    To me, salad dressing and sex appeal don’t mix. But I do want to commend Kraft for trying a different approach. From a branding perspective, I think this really begs the question of whether it’s worth sacrificing a specific look/feel for something edgier. It will be interesting to see if it works.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. yeirang.lee says:

    I was surprised that I didn’t feel offensive with commercial at all though I am very against to sex-sell commercials. Double standard? Interesting.
    When I first saw this commercial, I didn’t really thought the guy is trying to be or sound like sexy but more witty or comical. I just laughed when I saw this commercial. Maybe that’s why I didn’t really feel offensive about this campaign.

    I am not sure how this will directly impact the sales, but I guess Kraft’s reached their goal.