Lucky Me! Family Meal Ad

      27 Comments on Lucky Me! Family Meal Ad

With the the recent passage of RA 9710, known as the Magna Carta of Women, the Women Media Circle initiated consultations and discussions with women media practitioners in order to draft proposals for the new law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). The focus dealt on the provisions in the law’s Chapter IV Section 16 ““Nondiscriminatory and Non-derogatory Portrayal of Women in Media and Film,” as well as other provisions relevant to media, arts and communication, that will have an impact on our practice and creative expression.

During our break, a media practitioner pointed out to the group the latest Lucky Me! TV ad below:

The ad shows the kid eating alone, pretending to smoke using the lumpia, then a caption “Studies show that the less often we eat with our children, the more likely they are to smoke, drink and use drugs when they grow up”. No source of the study cited. Towards the end of the ad, Sharon Cuneta invites everyone to go home early on September 28 so they can eat together with their families. We all agreed that the ad discriminates against the OFWs, the working parents and others who can’t make it early during dinner time.

I posted this in my plurk and facebook where I said that the the new Lucky Me! ad discriminates OFW families and career moms and I failed to mention and others who can’t join their kids in the dinner table. I got diverse opinions: ( I removed those that got confused with my incomplete posting)

1. my sentiments exactly while I was watching the ad. I am a working mom and most of the time, I don’t get to eat with my kids but that shouldn’t be a reason for them to feel neglected, right?

2. Whoever made that video has no empathy for working moms who get torn up between work and taking care of the kids since “dads” aren’t even around or not doing their job as a parent… ewan ko… just irritated lang.

3. I believe the TVC was a good ad, one that does not intentionally discriminate.

It’s true, kids need attention and guidance. Where the attention comes from, the commercial does not exactly specify. If their yayas or aunts or immediate relatives are their family because of the parents’ working condition, then guidance and attention should come from them.

Where’s the discrimination in that?

4. It’s a good ad. Advertisements target the majority of potential users, this one hit the bull’s eye.

5. I have mixed emotions and am still mulling over this, quite thoughtfully. I frequently had dinner alone, or with just my younger sister if she felt like eating at the same time I did. Both my parents worked long hours, and even had to travel often. On one hand I understood why they weren’t around; on the other, I greatly envied my friends who had dinners at home with their entire family to talk and laugh with.

As we discuss topics like this, maybe one of the questions on the table (so to speak) should be why is it so that millions of parents have to be torn apart from their children in order to feed them? And why does the Phil govt encourage this just so they can benefit from dollar remittances? Family dinner conversations ARE important — they are one of the few times parents can find out what their children are up to (and vice versa). I didn’t grow up to have any kind of substance abuse or delinquency problems, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel like I missed out either.

6. This is a flawed concept. It doesnt mean that if you dont eat together your children will turn up bad. A lot o f kids around the world eat alone from time to time and they turn out ok. The one who conceptualized this ad has to do more research or maybe has to have more common sense.The owner of Jimenez, Abbie Jimenez(is it the agency) is a HS classmate of my sister so far their previous ads had been OK.I know she and her husband are not managing it anymore.

7. I almost always eat alone since childhood and it would be nice to have some family around to eat with. =/ I respectfully think you’re reading too much into what the ad has to say.

8. if it was not presented in such a negative light. It smacks too much of anti-smoking, anti-drugs ads (ie. if you smoke, you die). So here it’s insinuated that if your kids eat alone, they get in trouble — which obviously brings up a lot of parental feelings of frustration, anger, angst, even guilt. If, however, the message was cast in a positive way (ie. when a family eats together, then good things happen), then Sep. 28th would become more celebratory rather than fear-generated. I don’t think scare tactics were necessary here, and I suspect might have even diluted the power of the message by creating too much negative noise.

9. This ad made me feel weird. Agree with Gigi’s comment. A lot of ads appeal to guilt but this is just a bit off for me.

10. But this ad got an impact on my daughter. She was always telling me she might become a hold upper, smoker, drug addict if we would not eat together. I still guided her although I already finished my meal. And I explained to her it will always depends on her outlook in life and good deeds.

The ad was more on negative impact on my daughter. Eating together is not the only activity for bonding time. There are some ways of bonding time…

11. i don’t think it discriminates – it just shows that when parents don’t eat with their kids – things may happen. possibilities lang naman

12. di naman siguro. mas okay naman tlga na salu-salo ang isang family sa hapag kainan, kahit at least once a week.

13. it could have shown differently. It’s such a big impact when kids see this kid doing some action as if he is smoking. Kids will only understand the action but not the real message

14. it’s telling OFW parents and career moms that they aren’t good parents because they don’t have the time to be with their children as much

15. Many OFW parents and career moms want to be with their kids but have to work, and feel guilty about that enough already. It makes people feel that if they don’t eat dinner with their families every night then they are not a good family. It ended up making me *not* want to buy Lucky Me because of the ad. So I guess it backfired.

16. The ones who made the ad should’ve been sensitive enough to not do this. Awareness for what? Clearly, they have conveyed the message in a terrible way. I myself am a mother and I find this ad too controversial

As you can see from the comments, 3/16 thinks it is a good ad while the rest think it brings negative impact.

I am not sure where the Lucky Me! ad agency got their source of the study. A study on ” The Importance of Family Dinners IV, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA)” at Columbia University was conducted in September 2007 and says that

Compared to teens that have frequent family dinners, those who rarely have family dinners are three-and-a-half times more likely to have abused prescription drugs or an illegal drug other than marijuana.

Family meals together is a great activity. It’s the perfect time and place to reconnect and to show our kids that they are our priority. Sitting across the table is where and when I find out more about my children’s likes, dislikes, and daily life. Each family’s situation varies. If only, Dad and mom goes home early from work in time for dinner. If only dad or mom did not have to work abroad. If only dad or mom was not a single parent.

I was a stay at home mom and ate with my girls during dinner time. The problem is their daddy works late at night and the kids will be too hungry by the time their dad arrives. We made up for it during weekends when we were all at home.

This Lucky Me! advertisement does not give positive feelings to most families. Sure, we should encourage family meals together but why use this scare tactic? In Time’s article on The Magic of the Family Meal does not specify dinner.

Research on family meals does not explore whether it makes a difference if dinner is with two parents or one or even whether the meal needs to be dinner. For families whose schedules make evenings together a challenge, breakfast or lunch may have the same value. So pull up some chairs. Lose the TV. Let the phone go unanswered. And see where the moment takes you.

Each family determines their family meal time, whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner or late night snack. The definition of a family unit varies. A family may be composed of two parents or single parent, a guardian, grandparents , siblings or the yaya and combination of all. Let’s not alienate the OFWs or the working parents or those who can’t be there for dinner. Schedules can be adjusted within a family unit. The ad is silent on the family unit involved. It might have helped if they showed a scene of this family unit.

And for goodness sake, this study was done in the USA. Maybe it is high time, Lucky ME! initiates a Family Meal study in the Philippine setting before launching another ad campaign.

I won’t allow Lucky Me! to set the standards for the Value of the Family Meal in my family. First of all, their products are processed foods. The value of Family Meal comes in preparing and enjoying the cooked meal , not instant pancit noodles. Secondly, they shouldn’t define family meal time.

Just instill the magic of the family meal.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1389 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.