This Device Spits Out Fries When It Hears Triggering Dinner Talk

A tasty way to avoid conflict this holiday

Imagine a holiday dinner that goes awry when your relatives chime in about politics, religion, money, personal grooming and how you're living your life oh so wrong. It's enough to make a person scream for Gramps and Aunt Jane to shut their holes or leave the table.

You could wind up disinherited! You need a way to diffuse the situation and restore the spirit of the season. Now, there's an appliance for that.

Developed by McCain Foods in Canada and creative agency Rethink, DistractiFRY dispenses french fries when it hears keywords tied to hot-button topics. "Got a job yet?" "Who are you voting for?" "Where's my grandchild?" and "I don't mean to be rude, but…" are just some of the 80 phrases that would result in an outpouring of crispy goodness:

McCain Invents DistractiFRY to Stop Awkward Family Conversations

Leave it to smart tech and vegetable oil to grease the wheels of festive togetherness! Of course, you could just pass a plate, but why make the effort? Folks can visit for the chance to win a catered blow-out complete with one of those merry machines. (Maybe it's the only one they made. Who knows?)

"We tried to avoid anything too topical, as that would soon be replaced by more relevant topics," says Rethink ACD Eric Seymour. "We wanted to choose trigger phrases that would be timeless and relatable for a large group of people."

These include references to marital status, conspiracy theories, gas prices, pyramid schemes, grandchildren, salaries, crypto, inflation, Donald Trump, Covid, recessions, divorce and climate change.

Though when you think about it, the device actually rewards guests for bringing up awkward topics. Its presence could actually spark uncomfortable conversations. Ah well, at least you'll get fries with that.

Who needs chit-chat anyway? Just chow down on salty sides, jiggle like cranberry sauce and keep on the lookout for McCain's viral hen-bot.


Title: Distractifry

Client: McCain Canada

Agency: Rethink
CCO: Aaron Starkman
CSO: Sean McDonald
ECD: Leia Rogers
Creative Directors: Leia Rogers, Lara Palmer
Art Director, Creative Director:  Grace Cho
Art Director, Associate Creative Director: Eric Seymour
Writer, Creative Director: Sean O’Connor
Writer, Associate Creative Director: Jordon Lawson
Writer: Jessica Liew
Senior Strategist: Sam Massooleh 
Broadcast Producers: David Fraser-Winsby, Leanne McLellan
Associate Director of Digital Production: Kyle Hicks
Director of Post Production Social: Megan O’Connor
Production House: Partners Film Company
Director: Michael Downing
Post Production House: R&D
Editor: Austin Blackmore, Stephen Parker
Colour & Online: Hardave Grewal
Audio Mix: Wave Productions
Device Build: WonderMakr

Brand Narrative: 
Account Director: Sara Lemmermeyer 
Account Manager/Influencer Specialist: Karin Torn
PR Manager: Jacky Le
PR Coordinator: Kaitlyn Vian
PR Coordinator: Claire Tam 

Account Services: 
Group Account Director: Kai de Bruyn Kops
Account Director: Michelle Rupisan
Account Manager: Josh Gilmore
Account Manager: Dishant Verma 

Marketing Director - Canadian Retail, McCain Canada: Matt Kohler    
Director of Marketing Retail, McCain Canada: Michael Embir
Senior IMC Manager, McCain Canada: Kathryn Miskell    
Senior Brand Manager, McCain Canada: Laura Kennedy         
Brand Manager, McCain Canada: Nita Sandhu    
Associate Brand Manager, McCain Canada: Julia Deep

Other Credits:
Media Agency: UM Communications
Vice President: Joanna Janisse 
Director: Andrea Neale
Senior Planner: Adam Steeves
Connections Planner: Gurleen Bhalla

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