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.
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.
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.