Guelph is getting some national attention thanks to actor Jon Hamm portraying an “honourary Canadian” in the latest SkipTheDishes advertisement.
In the ad, released Sept. 16, Hamm correctly points out that Yukon Gold potatoes are from the southwestern Ontario city and not the territory in northwest Canada.
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Hamm is seen in the 15-second clip lying on a couch in a red and white maple leaf sweater asking his assistant, Brandon, to order him some more Yukon Gold french fries through the food delivery app.
“Yukon’s greatest creation,” Brandon declares, to which Hamm replies: “Everyone knows these were invented in Guelph.”
The ad campaign features Hamm, originally from St. Louis, trying to act like a Canadian and playing up the stereotypes.
In another advertisement, Hamm claimed he bought a “moose jaw” and a “yellow knife” to cement his Canadian citizenship. But this time, he was completely accurate in pointing out that Guelph is the original home of Yukon Gold.
The potato variety was developed in 1966 at the University of Guelph by Gary Johnston and reached Canadian growers in 1981, according to a post on the university’s website.
Yukon Gold is considered one of the university’s top achievements. In 2015, it was named among the top five Ontario innovations developed in university research over the past century by the Council of Ontario Universities.
Johnston, who died in 2002, named the potato after the Yukon River and said its success is due in part to its unique name.
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“Some of these varieties didn’t make the potato hit parade probably due to a lack of promotion, scarcity of seed, but most of all, not being marketed by variety name,” Johnston wrote in a 1992 article.
“Yukon Gold was the first Canadian-bred potato variety to be promoted, packaged and marketed with its name right on the pack.”