September 2008


Everything Midas CEO Touches Turns to Mufflers – The Onion Radio News

What makes a flavor capable of jumping food boundaries?

Tea Candy strikes me as a terrible idea emblematic of wider trends in American eating—that food-as-physical-product and food-as-flavor are two different things. Maybe this works in some cases, but most of the time I think we end up with food-like products entirely disconnected from their origins.

In short: Ew. Have an iced tea instead.

Literal slogans with double meanings make for memorable slogans. Because they’re that much more true!

See also the slogan for Weyerhaeuser (“The Future Is Growing”) or the number you call for UPS (1-800-PICK-UPS).

Are we more likely to imbue this sign with authority (even though it, as an advertisement, demands nothing of us) because it was printed to look like a government-produced traffic sign?

How and why do we imbue signs with authority?

The Connecticut State Lottery here exploiting the state’s geographic position between two powerhouse rival teams, the New York Yankees to the south and the Boston Red Sox to the north. The ad introduces the traditional public team-based sports activity, the we’re-gonna-win rivalry in baseball, and translates it into a private individual economic activity, buying a lottery ticket. Interesting: In every ad, the Yankees speak first and the Red Sox respond.

Connecticut is the only place this ad would work. In a world of increasing homogeneity, will we have to rely on borderlands and fringe areas to provide the new variety? (A look at Seatac, the city between Seattle and Tacoma, would tell us no.)

Breakfast a few days ago.

Crispy! Hot! Delicious! If you say it enough times, does it become true?

Also: America Runs On Dunkin’. A great slogan—it positions Dunkin’ Donuts in a supporting role. You’re running, we’re just helping out. At the same time, it makes clear the importance of Dunkin’ Donuts: Could you do this without us? (Interesting also that this slogan has acquired such cultural cachet that a modified version made it into a New York Times article as a way to described an intensely busy period at the office.)

Finally, the slogan is a lie. Dunkin’ is becoming a national chain, but its strength is in the Northeast. There are very few Dunkin’ locations west of the Mississippi. (But would “The Northeast Runs On Dunkin'” have the same ring to it?)

Five pounds of Marshmallow Fluff? I find this amusing.

Amusing first because marshmallows aren’t food to begin with; they’re a food-like product. On top of that, this isn’t even five pounds of marshmallows, it’s five pounds of marshmallow fluff, or just the sticky stuff that is “inside” the marshmallow. As with photocopies, ideas degrade as they are reproduced: the stuff inside that bucket is a far cry from the marsh mallow plant.

The attempt to preserve the same branding, even on this out-of-scale bucket, is funny too.

Also I find bulk quantities of food amusing. Do you really need five pounds of marshmallow fluff?

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