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solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris
Hoover, Coke, Windows & Pritt sticks are all branded products that have become synonymous with the product itself. Virtually every company in the universe wants this for their version of the crap they’re selling as it pretty much guarantees market domination. All well and good, even if it’s usually the case that the monopolizing product is usually a steaming pile of shit that is only really top of the market because they aggressively cock-slap the competition into oblivion (not that any of the above mentioned stick out for this). The metaphorical nails-on-a-blackboard becomes a physical reality when companies that are quite obviously never going to dominate the market try desperately hard to wheedle their way into common parlance, kind of like the guy who doesn’t say a single word to anyone at a party and then tries to add everyone who went on Facebook.
The one which I noticed most recently, that instead of making me want to continue to buy their product made me want to call them a bunch dick-holes on the internet, was a packet of crisps from a company called Tyrrell’s. I just happened to buy one of their packets of crisps (which, quite apart from their marketing, were just a bit rubbish anyway) and read the back of the packet out of sheer boredom as I was early for my seminar. This is what it said:
At Tyrrell’s we enjoy food & we enjoy life: something we often refer to as ‘Tyrrelling’. Have you been Tyrrelling recently?
Generalizing somewhat, but if anyone said they’d been ‘Tyrrelling recently’ they are, most likely, made of cardboard and in need of a thoroughly good kicking. Or just put them out in the rain so they go all soggy. It’s this kind of ‘We’re a lovely bunch of chaps’ marketing which makes water boarding seem like a preferable way to wash your hair. The company that most sticks in my head when it comes to making products that insist on having a ‘lovely chat’ with you when all you want to do is get on with your sickeningly boring life would be Innocent, the company that most resembles a flock of Mormons (with less of the Jesus love-in and more of the ‘So sweet it’d be better for your teeth to brush them with industrial files’ banter). I will add in at this point that I really like their smoothies (even if their drinks are just slightly cheaper than my tuition fees).
Out of curiosity, does this kind of marketing actually work? Is anyone (who isn’t possibly schizophrenic) under the impression that Innocent are their chums? Does reading their informal and somewhat childlike messages generate a warm, fuzzy feeling inside and then incline them to sign over all their worldly possessions for just one more bottle of fruit pulp, as if they’re a Green Party version of a smack addict? The kind of people that go skiing a lot, discuss the relative merits of Banksy and buy as much food as they can from a farmer’s market, even if the farmer’s had grown the vegetables in their own shit and the ‘pork’ actually from unfortunate ramblers?
Whether this is a better, or more palatable, marketing strategy than those favored by companies forever chasing buzzwords like ‘cool’, ‘hip’ and ‘fresh’ is like trying to decide whether you’d rather be strangled to death or hung. I think what I’m getting at is that I don’t want companies trying to be ‘chummy’ with me. I have enough hassle trying to be sociable with real people, let alone try and have some kind of weird love-in with a group of people whose sole purpose in their lives is to flog me their drink I could make myself if I weren’t so sodding lazy.
If, Innocent, you want to be my friend, then don’t charge me for your drinks. Or if you do, don’t try and make me give you all my life savings for the privilege of getting a sip of your health nectar. In return, I’ll make you a nice cup of tea if you ever pop round. And no, I will never pop round to yours because you live in London and I’d rather write something positive about Andrew Lloyd Webber (he looks like a serial killer who’s been put in a microwave for too long) than come to London.
Quite how I went from ranting about crisps no-one has heard of to seemingly writing a letter to a maker of smoothies, I’m not entirely sure.
But it must be because I’m so wacky and looking forward to hearing from the really great good stuff that is out there just waiting to be cuddled. So if you’re one of those super nice people (we here at this place call them ‘sneople’) who would just love to chit chat over the phone we’ve decorated as a rabbit hugging a sheep (we here at this place are ALWAYS calling it our ‘ring ring rheep’), then give us a buzz (to fit in with colloquialism, we’ve painted pictures of cutesy bees on all our phone lines because we’re lovely. And slightly homicidal). Alternatively, PLEASE KEEP TO YOUR SHITTY SELVES & SEND US ALL THE MONEY YOU WOULD OTHERWISE BE USING TO KEEP THE BAILIFFS AT BAY.
We’re a little bit mad, us. (PLEASE LOVE ME)