Postmates tries to scare us into ordering Postmates

Illustration for article titled Postmates tries to scare us into ordering Postmates
Photo: Postmates (YouTube)

Like something from an “As Seen On TV” commercial, a new Postmates ad would like to convince you that cooking for yourself is fraught with peril. The message? Don’t even attempt it. Just order from Postmates instead.

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In the internet-only commercial—which Postmates brags “we couldn’t run on TV”—a man watches a Martha Stewart cooking segment in which she’s giving instructions for preparing a burger and fries. The man chops the potatoes and—oh no! He’s sliced through his entire finger!

The ad acknowledges its silliness (it’s reminiscent of the Dan Aykroyd-as-Julia-Child skit from SNL), but the message is clear: Cooking is hard. Delivery is easy. It’s the equivalent of the infomercials in which people struggle with simple tasks: opening a jar, finding things inside a cabinet, using toothpaste. I’ve certainly nicked myself or suffered small burns in my decades of cooking, but I don’t know anyone who has sliced off an appendage making burgers.

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The Postmates ad is intended to be over-the-top, but it leaves sort of a bad taste in my mouth. The message that cooking is dangerous and complicated discourages some people from ever trying. There are grown adults who have never cooked a single dish, and that’s a shame, in my opinion. I’m not suggesting it’s bad to order pizza or delivery or to heat up frozen dinners, but it’s a basic life skill to be able to cook at least some foods for oneself. (It’s also telling that Postmates has decided to feature a man in his mid-30s in this ad. I’ll just leave that fact there.) I’m even more surprised to see Martha Stewart, a champion of home cooking, in an ad discouraging people from doing just that. Really, cooking at home doesn’t have to be disastrous, no matter what this taco infomercial says.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

Talk about insulting the demographic. I thought the same thing - IF in fact, I try a delivery meal service it will not be one that implies I am too incompetent to go without them.

Mom tried several (cook your own) and I got the benefit of her not wanting to prepare (or eat) several of the options. Mostly I found I was appalled by the packaging. But if you’re stuck in a cooking rut (same things all the time), they can be inspiring. Blue Apron and Green Chef stood out as pretty excellent (and you still get to cook), but the latter used far more equipment and pans than strictly necessary - and again - the packaging was appalling.