Being a mid-level journalist and blogger is a special kind of adventure. Every day, as you head to your computer to open your inbox, you ponder what emails await you there. One day, you may receive an email from an artist whose medium is cat hair! The next day, a press invitation to Art Basel! And the next, a press release about Kraft Zesty dressing! It’s like Forrest Gump’s momma said about life/boxes of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get.

I wish I could say I made up the Kraft Zesty dressing part, but no, that’s a real one from the vault. And thus begins a completely irregular series in which I respond in kind to some of the PR folks who I know, at the end of the day, are just doing their job.

*   *   *

Dear _____ and _____ of ______ [names of individuals and PR firm redacted],

Thank you so much for writing to me about the “super sexy secret ad campaign for KRAFT ZESTY DRESSING” that you’re organizing, and for offering to put me in touch with its “handsomely striking new face,” Anderson Davis. You must have done a lot of research and reading before sending me your note, because when I opened it, I literally felt like you had read my mind. I mean, just the other day I said to a friend over drinks, “I really feel like I need to branch out from writing about visual art.” And the next morning, a story about salad dressing just falls right into my lap! It’s so uncanny I can’t help but wonder if you were out at drinks with me and my friend. Were you there, but I blacked out? Were you eavesdropping from a nearby table? Is my friend actually you?

Promo shots of Davis that came with the press release — alas, none of him wearing Kraft Zesty dressing

It’s funny, too, because I really do consider salad dressing one of the sexiest (and most artistic) forms of food — or is technically a condiment? Either way, I commend you on your word choice. Will the campaign involve photos of Anderson Davis naked with KRAFT ZESTY DRESSING smeared strategically all over him? Bathing in a pool of it? Do you think it would be possible for me to not only write about the campaign but also gain a really unique perspective by joining Davis in the pool? I’m happy to sign a waiver.

While we’re on the subject of Davis, I had never heard of him before, but the biographical information you provided about him makes me feel like this was a huge oversight on my part. I mean, the man passed on a major league baseball contract after college and recently starred in a miniseries on CCTV! I should know this stuff. But this was the part that really got me: “Having a knack for working with his hands, Davis recently gutted and remodeled his entire home in a month and a half from creating cabinets to laying tile and hardwood.” Have you wondered whether this guy is the new Martha Stewart? Because I have. I think we need to get him a show on HGTV, stat. I can see it now: it’s called Helping Hands, and it features him gutting and remodeling homes for people who don’t have hands (get it?), a different one each week!

I’m so happy you reached out to me about this. I look forward to working with you on this in the future.



The Latest

Required Reading

This week, the Getty Museum is returning ancient terracottas to Italy, parsing an antisemitic mural at Documenta, an ancient gold find in Denmark, a new puritanism, slavery in early Christianity, and much more.

Jillian Steinhauer

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art...

7 replies on “From the Inbox of a Mid-Level Journalist: Salad Dressing”

      1. Alright, I’ve just sent a gem to your/Hyperallergic’s inbox. I really hope you like it!

Comments are closed.