Tag Archives: marketing

Eat to live or live to eat?

18 Oct

Image Source: © 2014 pithypants

We all learned a lot about each other’s eating preferences on our trip to Italy. If I had to summarize, here are our dietary tenets…

Mom:

  1. It’s not breakfast unless it involves orange juice and milk.
  2. Every table should include a salt shaker.
  3. There is such a thing as “too much” marinara sauce.
  4. Meat makes it a meal.

Me:

  1. Live to eat.
  2. Salami is like a blood-sugar insurance policy – one slice at every meal keeps things ticking.
  3. There’s no such thing as too much pasta.
  4. If a restaurant has bruschetta, we’re ordering it.

Alicia:

  1. Eat to live.
  2. Black tea, hold the sugar – hot/cold throughout the day.
  3. Have yogurt, will travel.
  4. Coronettos whenever possible.

Further demonstrating how differently we approach food, shortly after returning, my sister shared this link for Soylent. I encourage you to check out the page and see if anything about the concept appeals to you. (Soylent is a food replacement product that provides nutrients via a powder that mixes into a drink.)

The stated benefits are:

  • Time: Prepare multiple meals in minutes – no need to shop for individual ingredients or plan ahead
  • Money: Spend less than $10 per day on food, and less than $4 per meal – get more than a day’s worth of meals for less than the cost of takeout
  • Nutrition: Eat balanced and wholesome – get all of the essential nutrients required to fuel the human body

Sorry. This guy’s value proposition falls apart for me with the first bullet – I enjoy taking time to shop for ingredients and cook dinner. And more important than money or nutrition to me is TASTE. It might be wrong, but I eat for enjoyment, not nutrition. My sister on the other hand…

Granted, all you need to do is look at us to see how our eating philosophies have shaped our bodies. She’s an easy size 4, and I could definitely stand to lose a pound or, um, fifteen. Details.

Finally – because I’m mildly obsessed with Soylent and the fact that this guy thinks enough people are wired like my sister that there’s a market for this product – can we discuss the name? Is it a terrible or brilliant marketing move to name his product after the 1973 sci-fi movie Soylent Green, which is summarized by Wikipedia as “…the investigation into the murder of a wealthy businessman in a dystopian future suffering from pollution, overpopulation, depleted resources, poverty, dying oceans, and all-year humidity due to the greenhouse effect. Much of the population survives on processed food rations, including “soylent green.”

I mean, the plot does seem to be playing out in real life, so I can see where Soylent’s founder drew a connection. The problem, however, is that at the end of the film, you discover that “soylent green” is actually PEOPLE. So here’s guy in 2014, selling an unrecognizable nutritional powder and he’s deliberately named it something that calls to mind cannibalism. Interesting brand strategy.

Which camp are you in? Love to eat or eat for fuel?

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Clearly this was a man’s idea.

20 Apr

Tuesday morning as Alan and I were getting ready to leave for work, he emerged from my guest bedroom with a shit-eating grin on his face. “Are those your new pants in the closet there?” he asked.

I confirmed that they were.

“Interesting label on them,” he paused. “I can’t believe they actually sell pants that are billed as ‘curvy with stretch.’ That’s clearly a euphamism.”

I would have glared at him, but I share the same opinion. I buy 90% of my wardrobe from Ann Taylor Loft. I love that I can grab clothes off the rack and know if they’ll fit without trying them on, but I think their sizing system is a bit, um, insulting.

They have three styles for all their pants, each named after a woman: there’s the Ann, Julie or Marissa cut. While I like the fit, I find the names stupid. Not to mention, when you have two names clearly rooted in the 70s, what is Marissa doing there? It’s like Barbie and Skipper suddenly having to drag Barbie’s younger sister Stacie along. Just a mismatched item.

So back to Alan. He wanted to know a) how a store actually turned a profit that had a product labeling women as fat, and (to his credit), wondering why I needed a pair of pants designed to be curvy and stretchy.

I explained that the Marissa cut is for straight, boy-cut bodies, so those clearly wouldn’t work for me (I have hips, yo!). And the Ann style is made for — I don’t know, I guess people whose belly buttons are located where most people have a sternum. Or perhaps they should be called the mom-cut, since the waistband is always about four inches above a person’s hips.

Whatever. With those as my other options, I’ll take the pants that are designed for someone with a distinct waist and hips with a different measurement. And even if they may have been named by a passive-aggressive man who wanted his wife to diet, I’m going to just think that the “stretchy” allows me to have an extra helping of dinner without sweating it.

Now that I think of it, I’m seeing the advantage to pants that have a waist band four inches above my actual waist. Sign me up for the Ann cut!

I could get my MBA. Or I could prove why I don’t need one.

3 Aug

At the pool this weekend, Alan and I each floated around lazily on a styrofoam water noodle. You know what I’m talking about, right? One of these things:

The water noodles are the awesome yellow things supporting my equally awesome parents.

Let’s talk about how awesome they are. They are simple, yet they support your entire body weight, making it possible to sit, stand or just float without expending any effort. We got to talking about how much weight they could support, and Alan noted that we may be pushing the single-noodle limit.

It was about this time that I said that if I were the manufacturer, I would sell a larger noodle, and I would call it the “Super Noodle.”

And the slogan would be:

The Super Noodle: for Super People!

Except, to make it funny, I would actually want the slogan to read:

“The Super Noodle: for Super (Big) People!”

Do you see what I did there, with the subliminal (big) reference? Makes it funny, doesn’t it?

I asked Alan how many I would sell. “A lot,” he guessed. But then he went on to add, “Skinny people would buy them.”

And you know what? I think he’s right. Super Noodles and Diet Coke.

Go figure.

Should I be scared of my stove, or the guy who labeled it?

18 Jun

The other night when Alan was over, waiting for a flank steak to broil in the oven, we started looking at all the dials on my new stove. And we had a few observations.

First, I’m not sure I understand the function of a “PROOF” button on my stove. Will it spellcheck my meals? Will it demonstrate that the food is, in fact, cooking? Seriously – what the hell is that about? And even more frightening – a “PROBE” function? Are you an appliance or my gyno? And if you are an appliance, what dill-hole named that function?

And this one can only be explained by a bad copywriter (or a witty one):

Seriously. I think even second graders know that burning bridges is not a desirable thing.