Saturday, April 16, 2005

Marketing Hilarity

Marketing, the enormous and pervasive business of selling differentiated products. In our ultra-competetive economy, the ads can become more important than the quality of the products. But all too often, the marketing gets ridiculous. Consumers would be wise to ignore all of the packaging. This is a fun trick I use.

I mentally rename products and brands - but with the appropriate antonyms. If Weight Watchers became "Gut Ignorers", who would buy their products?


Go Lean becomes "Stay Fat".


The Baby Einstein brand becomes "Baby Moron" or "Baby Idiot".

Now for the worst offender:

"Rosie the organic range chicken enjoyed the good life before ending up beheaded, plucked, swathed in plastic and artfully arranged on a bed of ice at the Whole Foods Market in Glendale, Calif. Rosie spent life in a custom ranch house in California's wine country and exercised in an airy, sunlit building on an earthen floor covered with clean hulls of rice. She nibbled on golden corn and flew the coop in an outdoor yard. And unlike poultry sold at most grocery stores, this bird never used antibiotics or growth hormones.

That, at least, is the reassuring tale told in the brochure (printed on recycled paper, of course) available for discerning shoppers at the track-lit, pristine poultry cooler in Whole Foods stores. The real point: Rosie is priced at a princely $3.29 a pound, more than twice the cost of your regular bird."

click here and scroll to the bottom to see a side-by-side comparison of prices between Whole Foods and a local grocery store. I like how they call Whole Foods, "Whole Paycheck". What nut would pay $3.89 for a dozen eggs? How much extra does a cage-free egg white omelet cost?

Personally, I prefer the eggs from the tortured, death-row hens in solitary confinement.

(That entire article from above starts here.)

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