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Walkers Baked Crisps - Half-baked Advert

Walkers are currently running an advertising campaign for their latest 'low fat' crisp - the Walkers Baked range.

This advert starts with a computer generated British Isles being towed out of the wind and rain by a number of ships lead by the animated likeness of ex-England-footballer Gary Lineker - the long running and extremely annoying Walkers frontman for a number of years, who announces "Come on lads, let's bake this country".

The Islands end up being towed to Jamaica where the ad cuts to Lineker reading a newspaper which announces "Nation Bakes" and "No return to work in the forseeable future".

Finally, the scene cuts to Lineker (and apparently the rest of the country) relaxing in a hammock, below a sign claiming they're "better for being baked".

This initially made me laugh, as 'baked' is a slang term for being high on marijuana, and Jamaica has a reputation as a country where marijuana use is common.

After some research, it turns out this reputation is reasonably well deserved.

Baked in Jamaica

In 1976, the researchers Vera Rubin and Lambros Comitas published the findings of a study entitled: Ganja in Jamaica. A medical anthropological study of chronic marihuana use. In this study Rubin & Comitas conclude that about 60 to 70 percent of the lower classes of the rural population use cannabis in one form or another.

The sizeable Rastafari movement advocates (but does not require) the use of marijuana, as do a number of other high profile Jamaicans, including the late reggae singer Bob Marley.

The 2002 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), issued by the US Department of State on March 1, 2003, admits that Jamaica is a major supplier of marijuana to the US, depite a growing domestic supply.

Better for being Baked?

Is it possible that this advert is just an unfortunate co-incidence - a country with a reputation for high levels of production and use of marijuana, and the use of the word 'baked', which happens to be slang relating to the same?

I'm starting to think not - many people won't notice, and those who do will either laugh and move on, or start foaming at the mouth and writing to their MPs and the ASA about it. Either way, it's a clever campaign if it works.

The part of the advert that finally convinced me that this is intentional (or someone on the production team was having a laugh and nobody at Walkers noticed) is the leaves on the palm trees.

Marijuana Leaf Walkers Baked Advert

Watch the advert

What do you think? Watch the video of the advert, and let me know


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