Those of us “of a certain age” recall Wonder Bread commercials advertising it as especially good for young children. It “helps build strong bodies 12 ways” went the tagline.
Never mind that Wonder Bread was, and is, all air held in place with some light white foamy stuff that sorta looks like bread when you smash it into a small stale lump, and tears apart with the force of your breath alone. What were the 12 ways it’s supposed to be especially nutritious?
It’s a wonderfully ambiguous phrase, and can mean any number of things. It could be a listing of 12 ingredients, or it could be twelve body parts it helps nourisdh, or it could be twelve attributes. I think I heard the answer once, but I can’t remember it. But ambiguity is all, in the world of advertising, and words are important. Not merely the ambiguity of “ways”, but the wimpiness of “helps”. Nobody’s going to take them to court because Wonder Bread doesn’t have 12 countable vitamins and minerals.
On the other hand, KFC’s contention of “Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices” bugs me if William Poundstone’s analysis showing only four ingredients is correct.
Before the “12 ways” slogan, Wonder Bread advertised that it “makes you grow taller in 7 days.” That slogan caused more childrens temper tantrums and sold more bread than you can imagine.
That was one of the slogans that finally got the feds interested in truth in advertising. I suspect that Wonder Bread came up with the “12 ways” slogan in order to make a change without it sounding like much of a change.
It’s hazy, but I believe from time to time the commercials would say something like builds strong teeth, healthy bones etc, and left the impression those were some of the mystical dozen. Perhaps it was the fiber, found mostly in the wrapper.
About the only clear memory I have of the time period, was we were supposed to trust our car to the man who wore the star.
The enhancement of white bread with additives relate to a WWII era government program Wonder signed up for. At the time, some sort of ailment, which is now fairly rare, was pretty common, particularly in the South.
I remember when it was “8 Ways”.
I have always thought it should have been “Only 8 Ways” since, being white bread, essentially all the nutrients are removed from the flour in the processing stage and then some are added back in. Most important missing ingredient: fiber.
The 8, later 12, ways were the re-added vitamins and minerals.Other missing items were trace minerals and vitamins that were never replenished in the flour.
OK, I know it’s a zombie, so this may have been covered… Nope, I’ve read the thread, and it wasn’t mentioned. Here’s my recollection. Some government agency made them stop, decades ago, saying that because a) it was a health claim, and b) they couldn’t answer the question, even then, under threat of being fined. I doubt you’ll ever find a definitive answer, since they got fined then for not being able to answer the question.
My recollection may be wrong. I was a kid at the time, too.
And as for the sentence in the OP, previous to the last one I just quoted:
And it was kinda sweetish, too. Soylent Braaaaiiiiinnnssssss is Wonder Bread!!!