Dear dessert-marketing corporations: please do not attempt philosophy

On my flight to Boston the other week, I was given a dessert (to be fair, a pretty good chocolate mousse) in a pot whose packaging was so startlingly inane that I had to save it for later derision. Here it is:

It isn’t just that the philosophy of the dessert-marketing corporation is unbearably vacuous — though that is true, and if followed would certainly lead to an unhappy and ordinary life.  Beyond that, it’s also hopelessly confused. The injunction to “break free” is immediately followed with a command to worship … who, exactly? Or what? “The Gü decadents”, I suppose, whoever or whatever they are. Are they us? Are they the manufacturers? Are they a mythical class of beings dreamed up by the marketers? Who can tell?

What we do know is that although Pleasure Is Everything, Ordinary Is Pointless and we are to Break Free, it’s also important to “Be good! Please recycle the cardboard packaging”.

Unless, you know, doing that would impede your happiness. In that case, I suppose you’d better do what comes naturally.

At least the soya lecithin, potassium sorbate, xanthan and guar gums, modified maize starch and potassium sorbate (again) tasted pretty good.

9 responses to “Dear dessert-marketing corporations: please do not attempt philosophy

  1. Andrew Hickey

    Clearly Gu are secretly adherents of the works of Aleister Crowley, and want to convince us that doing as we will should be the whole of the law.

    Does that mean that come the apocalypse, there will be a war between the Gu forces of darkness and the Angels of Delight?

  2. You mean “do as you will apart from recycling, that’s mandatory”.

    LOL at “Angels of Delight”.

  3. Looks inspired by Japanese products with strange English-like slogans. For instance, my beloved industrial-looking cassette-tape case:

    I want to live,
    like the flying birds in the sky,
    like swimming fishes in the sea,
    like blooming flowers on the earth.

    You say don’t do this but your reposting their stuff says they succeeded and should do it more.

  4. If you feel that being held up to ridicule constitutes encouragement, yes.

  5. Well, they’ve studied this, and people who are annoyed by an advertisement, statistically… buy the product. Which constitutes encouragement. I’m not sure whether sharing your annoyance has been found to influence others to buy the product, but it stands to reason.

  6. “They’ve studied this, and people who are annoyed by an advertisement, statistically… buy the product. they’ve studied this, and people who are annoyed by an advertisement, statistically… buy the product.”

    That is a counter-intuitive finding, to say the least! Do you have a reference? I’d like to see the study.

  7. Mike, Steve is correct to a certain point. It is called ‘Annoyance Marketing’ and it does increase brand recognition simply because in this day and age it is so hard to get attention. Whether it has possitive or negative long-term benefit is mute but generally in the short-term it does correlate with increased sales. It is generally (in fact almost exclusively) high volume/ low margin product. Not sure about UK/US experience but classic instances in Australia are “Where Do You Geddit ??” “Rugs Galore”, “Hello, Hello – Chris and Marie” and “Walker Tiles”

  8. Michael Stanley

    What? No new posts here in ages? I always love coming by here and reading the reviews and talk. But it’s totally silent! Unless The Doctor come by, grabbed you, and is bringing you back a year later by mistake, you need to get back to posting! :)

  9. Yes, sorry about that. Other things are intruding at the moment, especially the Academic Spring. I do intend to resume posting here, but I don’t have a schedule in mind.

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