The announcer then asks, "But how will you really know they're not just being polite?" At that point, a tall, masculine guest goes over to the cook and plants a big, squeeky kiss right on his lips. The announcer adds, "Oh, you'll know."

The cook looks a little bewildered but not unhappy or grossed out. There's even a momentary hint of a smile.

This ad only aired for the month of May for Memorial Day and disappeared. It's ad agency wouldn't talk about it, despite a neutral handling of the material. The kiss has no negative homo implications and presents a step forward, even if few saw it.

The ad reappeared in 2001 but with the kiss edited out and replaced by tears from the happy eater.

Why did the kiss go? "There was some viewer reaction," says Mack Barrett, McCormick's spokesman. "We like to think we're sensitive to our audience."
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Company: McCormick & Co.
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: McCormick Grill Mates
Ad Title: Kiss
Business Category: Packaged Foods
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America
Agency: Sawtooth Group
Year: 2000, 2001
Target: Mainstream
Company: McCormick & Co.
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: McCormick Grill Mates
Ad Title: Kiss
Business Category: Packaged Foods
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America
Agency: Sawtooth Group
Year: 2000, 2001
Target: Mainstream
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Theme(s)

Same-Sex Affection

Walking Fine Line/Mixed Reception

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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An announcer says that McCormick Grill Mates make your grilling "irresistible," as a man is shown grilling in his backyard with guests. "In fact, Grill Mates will grab you a slew of compliments like..." and a man says "Mmmmm," and a girl in pigtails says "He's really outdone himself this time."

The announcer then asks, "But how will you really know they're not just being polite?" At that point, a tall, masculine guest goes over to the cook and plants a big, squeeky kiss right on his lips. The announcer adds, "Oh, you'll know."

The cook looks a little bewildered but not unhappy or grossed out. There's even a momentary hint of a smile.

This ad only aired for the month of May for Memorial Day and disappeared. It's ad agency wouldn't talk about it, despite a neutral handling of the material. The kiss has no negative homo implications and presents a step forward, even if few saw it.

The ad reappeared in 2001 but with the kiss edited out and replaced by tears from the happy eater.

Why did the kiss go? "There was some viewer reaction," says Mack Barrett, McCormick's spokesman. "We like to think we're sensitive to our audience."

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Nino Ciraulo , Dallas
I saw this ad recently on various channels, mostly cable networks. The kiss however was removed and a tear drop was added to the gentleman who gave the cook a kiss in the original ad. Disappointing.

Paul Weston , Houston
I remember the commercial well and all we got here in Texas was the "tear drop" version.... Go figure...!

Laura Moody , Fort Mill, SC
I was lucky enough to catch the first version. It made me grin.

Keith , Concord, NH
Pulling the "kiss" from this ad only goes to show that the world, and advertising, still has a long way to go toward acceptance. Otherwise they would have thought more about how cute the overall commercial was and not so much about who the kiss may have offended. Had it been 2 children kissing, there would likely be some "morals group" that would scream of the promoting of sex between children. You will NEVER be able to keep everyone happy, so why try........

Terrence , Alberta, Canada
I enjoyed seeing the kissing version of this ad many times in Canada. I don't think that the satisfied steak eater is meant to be gay. Instead, he's a steak lover who is so impressed and grateful for his grilled meal that he spontaneously kisses the chef. "Oh, you'll know they're not just being polite" is a great punch line and, more importantly, the chef is not disgusted or angry, but merely surprised . After they changed it to the tear version near the end of the campaign, the ad really didn't make any sense. If the kiss was too controversial, they could have at least had the guy give the chef a tight hug.

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Sonst Nichts
Company: McCormick & Co.
Brand: Lucky Strike
Country: Germany
Region: Europe
Year: 2008


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