Friday, June 17, 2011

College World Series sideshow:
ConAgra bronzes, uncans Chef Boyardee

Walmart has thousands of greeters and now ConAgra, the $12-billion-dollar-per-year food conglomerate, also has a greeter at its 10th & Farnam Omaha headquarters: Hector Boiardi, aka Chef Boyardee.

The 6-foot bronze statue was hidden in an oversized, replicated can of some Chef Boyardee product and freed at 10 a.m. today. (The can may have been fake, but the food described on the label certainly sounded real: 1500 Mg of salt and about 40% fat for two servings.)

During the College World Series the ConAgra front yard will pitch the firm's products amid big screen TVs showing CWS games.

The statue was sculpted by Omahan John Lajba, who also created the sculptured symbol of the College World Series, The Road to Omaha.

AKSARBENT would show it to you, but except for personal photographs, "the sculpture cannot otherwise be reproduced in any way, including by photograph, without CWS, Inc.'s prior written consent."

Two Omaha flatfoots were on hand to make sure no one rushed the ravioli. When the camera panned to them they both affected smiles at the very same instant. Do they teach this in cop school?

Rainbow Rowell, in her story yesterday about today's ceremony, revealed the only interesting thing about this:
Because the figure on the Chef Boyardee logo doesn't look exactly like Hector Boiardi, Lajba had to blend the real man with the brand icon to make sure the sculpture would be recognizable.
The only entertaining aspect of this dog-and-pony show were the special needs kids on whose behalf ConAgra was selling its stuff at the event.

After several iterations of the corporate video loop, when the increasingly aptly-named Hector Boiardi asked yet again, "Hello! May I come in?" the kids started yelling, "No!"

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