Every once in awhile I happen to catch Willard Scott and Smucker’s brand fruit preserves wishing someone a sticky, jammy 100-year-old birthday on the morning television. They tend to have a few variations on the basic format, which is:
[Name you don’t hear anyone naming their kid any more] is celebrating his [number that’s over 100] birthday today! He enjoys [unusual activity for an elderly person] and [food not normally associated with healthy living]! Happy birthday, [Name you don’t hear any more]!
Then while I’m taking a shower, I’ll imagine various announcements as they would be in real life, with an actual cranky, elderly, and incontinent 100 year old person:
Davis McDavis turned 100 years old today. He enjoys soft foods, coumadin, and having his diaper changed.
Or how about:
Davis McDavis turned 102 today. He eats a diet filled with butter, whole milk, and cream. He attributes his long life to having a glass of wine every day with dinner, and says he owes his long marriage to the second glass of wine he has after he finishes the first one.
Davis McDavis turned 105 today. He enjoys eating nothing but cookies for dinner, yelling at the television, and burning scented candles to cover the stench of cat urine that permeates his filthy, tiny, crumb-filled apartment. What scant joy he feels at reaching this milestone is obliterated by the raging loneliness caused by the death of his children, and his inability to go to the toilet by himself. His favorite activity is sitting, which coincindentally is also the only activity he is physically able to do other than sleeping, and that includes, as mentioned, his ability to go to the toilet by himself. On certain extremely unfortunate occasions, the line between these three normally separate activities has been blurred quite alarmingly.
Sure makes you want some jam, don’t it?
Speaking of witches, remember my “Walt Disney Words” post before, about never understanding the reference a brand name is making? I thought of a few more which I guess I’ll use in a future post, but the Smucker’s slogan is also one of them: “With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.” To be honest, I still don’t understand this slogan – does it mean:
- With a brand name that’s as stupid as “Smucker’s,” our actual jam is forced to be superior in quality and taste simply to overcome the handicap of our stupid brand name!
…or does it mean:
- With a name as trusted as “Smucker’s,” on the jar, the jam enclosed in the jar must also be quite good.
I would love it if you could tell me which one of these meanings is correct, or if there’s somehow a third interpretation that they are getting at? I think #1 is stupid, but #2 presupposes that you know and trust the brand Smucker’s as the basis for the advertising slogan for the brand name Smucker’s, which is really circular.
With a name like Rolex, it has to be good.
With a name like Liquid Feces, it has to be good.
Both of those slogans depend entirely on your previous perception of the brand. Shouldn’t your slogan add or enhance the consumer’s perception of the product, rather than just remind people, “Whatever your previous perception of our brand – be it good or bad – continue having that perception!”?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go to the toilet…by myself, thank you very much. May as well enjoy precious moments such as this while I still can.
That is all.