Sunday, January 30, 2011

Marketing Gimmicks that Bug Me

Some marketing  gimmicks annoy me. 
For example...

What it implies: lots of chocolate here!
What  it probably really means: there's no chocolate in this, but it sorta tastes chocolaty.  Or maybe it just looks chocolaty.
Same deal with "fruity," "buttery" "cheesy" etc...

"Made with 100%..."
What it implies:  "This stuff is 100% [ingredient X]
What it probably really means: We're confident you're too stupid to understand the difference between "this is 100% X" and "We took a (probably small) portion of 100% X and mixed it in with the other slop."

Thus this:

Can be marketed as this:

What it implies:  Made  with farm-fresh cream!  And it's a French word with the little doodad over the "e!"  That makes it sophisticated.
What it really means: There's no cream in here.  So we're calling it "crème. "

Maybe the crème is hydrogenated vegetable oil.  Maybe it's beef lard.  The latter is a compromise of sorts, as it least it has something to do with a cow.

I also see crème on expensive skin products*:

Other annoyances:
Surgery candy boasting that it's "naturally fat free"  Does anyone think that Twizzlers are a healthy snack because they're fat free?

"Ancient Wisdom"
News flash.  The ancients weren't that wise.   The ancients thought human sacrifice was a reasonable thing to do.   Then again, considering how many modern people are suckered by dopey marketing techniques, maybe I'm being too hard on the ancients.

Customized Internet Adds:
"[Insert your town here] person discovers miracle treatment for [what we think is probably wrong with you]."
I get stuff like "Los Angeles** Mom Discovers wrinkle cream (or weight loss cure)!"   Inverter Mom really gets around, as she's from El Segundo when I'm at work, and Redondo Beach when I visit my folks
In other words, advertisers are betting that I'm old enough to be fat and wrinkled.   Gee, thanks, guys.

*There is limited evidence that some vitamins (A, B3, C, and E in particular) may be of some use when topically applied, but  I think the vitamins in skin creams are there to sell the skin cream. 

** I don't get the local angle.  Am I supposed to trust the product because a neighbor made it?  Or think "Golly, that's where I live too.  What a coincidence!  I'd better look into this..."


RHSteeleOH said...

Very good post. Radioactive Donkey Slobber is quite funny!

Namowal said...

Thanks, RHSteeleOH,
I actually toyed with several. ah, concepts before I decided to go with "Radioactive Donkey Slobber" "Blended Bat Brains," for example.

stray said...

Scary "food" things.

Namowal said...

Like "cheese" in a spray can?

Or the cubes of quasi meat in frozen pot pies?

Linda said...

I have to admit it. If I saw those créme-filled Choco Bugs on the shelf by the cash register I'd buy a whole case.

Shiz Whizzer said...

The spray cheese is fun to shoot out your car windows going 90mph running from the fashion police.

Namowal said...

I'll have to admit I started craving Twinkies and Ding Dongs when I worked on that picture. Damn you, Créme! You have powers!

Shiz Whizzer,
That does sound like a better use for it!

Pile Girl said...

Your wonderful expose´ reminds me of a book I read once called DEMON HAUNTED WORLD, by Carl Sagan. It's about how people's mistaken beliefs and superstitions are holding us back. It's a really good book.

This post makes me wonder what could have been in those Space Food Sticks I was so crazy about in my youth!

Namowal said...

I remember The Demon Haunted World. That was a good book. It's amazing how credulous people can be.