Friday, November 5, 2010

See what the gang in marketing can come up with

We are enjoying a fish dinner, and I have declared there is no such fish as a scrod (standard New England pattah, after we have invoked The Lwad...) and she says "there is no Chilean sea bass either."

I was eating an Idaho trout, myself.  But the game was on.  I do not doubt my companion's authority.  She is the Me to me... I am only citing sources here because one does like to be accurate.

It is a Patagonian toothfish (and we are not supposed to be eating it just now.)  This is a pretty good technique for managing our wild food sources, isn't it?  If you want us to buy it, call it Chilean Sea Bass.  Need it to fall out of favor, and  it goes back to being Toothfish.  We never want to eat anything that makes us think of biting down on a tooth.

If you've taken a single American Studies or advertising class, you've heard about the Chevy Nova that wouldn't sell in South America because it means "Doesn't Go" in Spanish.  Consider the Citroen, national car of France, that probably wouldn't sell here anyway, just because it is French, whether it sounded like a lemon or not.

The best food marketing trick I know was to give it a French name once it is dead on on the plate.
Anglo-Saxon is for working animals; Norman French is for garnishing.  Mais oui.

During my childhood, we watched entire food commodities forced to advertise themselves.  Branding wasn't even the issue.  The industries themselves were up against it, and got together to beg us.  Please.  Milk, eggs, beef, pork, cheese... even SOUP is good food.  Please, please eat our food.  Last season's Mad Men had the team at Sterling Cooper trying to revive coffee when everyone else wanted to buy the world a Coke.  It reminded me of the Coffee Achievers campaign of the Big 80s.  Bowie, King/Queen of the Moment, with his crazy dilated eye... who doesn't want coffee if it makes my hair do that?

I think Cicely Tyson just suggested that coffee made her slap that guy.

Well, "National Coffee Association," you got your way, didn't you?

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