Product Basement

THERE are marketing geniuses out there working hard to get us to buy crap we don’t need, right? Then why does it look like the people behind these products are trying to turn us off?

Take Kellogg’s new Wild Animal Crunch. What better way to start the morning than with a box of what appears to be: A) cereal made from endangered critters, B) slop that’s fed to them, or C) lumpy mounds of their feces. “Share your love for animals at the breakfast table.” Sorry, but who loves animals at the breakfast table? And should I be mixing cow’s milk with panda shit?

Speaking of shit, how would you market a crappy comedy to DVD viewers? Why, you’d treat them as if they were as dumb as the characters in the movie. The tagline for the film “Sharp as Marbles” helps explain the rather subtle title: “Marbles aren’t sharp … And neither are they!” Haaahaaaa! Wooooooo! So I guess they’re a lot like marbles because they aren’t very sharp! Good one!

Know who else isn’t very sharp? The folks behind Pringles Select. Has there ever been a more oxymoronic name for a product? The package promises “a Unique Taste Escape.” Huh? An escape from taste? But it gets worse.

The parmesan garlic version of this crap just might have the worst copy ever written for a product: “Like a Parmesan cheese wheel rolling through a garlic patch.” Mmm, I can already taste the dirt and smell the vomity odor. “Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and faint hints of garlic will have your stomach talking and your mouth watering.” Sounds like the end of many a drunken night in college. “And when you get a taste of this delicious flavor, your inability to speak will say it all.” Chips that render you mute? “The enticing zest will zing your taste buds with the kind of pleasure only a connoisseur can truly appreciate.” Yeah, because connoisseurs love dried potatoes with glyceryl monooleate and onion powder.

I’d go on, but I just ate one and I’m speechless.

Found a product that leaves you dumbstruck? Let me know at


4 Responses to “Product Basement”

  1. Adam, once again, you’re picking on pandas. The folks down here at the National Zoo in D.C. will be calling for your head very soon.
    By the way, they issued an alert recently when one of the females was exhibiting “pregnant-type behavior.”
    Here’s a dazzling snippet from the Post:
    “Zoo officials said yesterday that a recent hormone spike detected in the urine of giant panda Mei Xiang may be a sign that she is pregnant again.
    Or not.
    Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated in March with semen from the zoo’s male panda, Tian Tian, a procedure that in 2005 led to the birth of Tai Shan.
    The rise in progestin is a good sign, zoo officials said, and may indicate that a fertilized egg is implanting itself in her uterus.
    But it is also impossible to interpret with any certainty.”

    Sounds like they can’t make up their minds. Maybe some panda-based cereal will help.

  2. Just in case Mei Xiang is pregnant, she should probably ease up on the kung fu.

  3. 45vinyljunkie Says:

    Yeah, the copy on the Pringles chips is pretty bad. Back in the ’90s I worked for a small newspaper that tried to turn its only compositor into a food critic. In one of his columns, he wrote, “The mashed potatoes were so delicious they made my taste buds dance.” I kid you not.

  4. Protective Fred Says:


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