Sunday, July 30, 2006

Artisan Water and The Mystery of Jalapeno Trout

Sprite’s savvy marketing campaign ruined a good night’s sleep for me. I used to have outrageously funny dreams but recently that all came to a screeching halt. The dream began in a large meadow of wild flowers. The morning sun bounced playfully off vibrant Zinnias and Morning Glories. Sad Coneflowers and tiny baby’s breath covered the ground, as proud purple Lupines stretched towards the summer sky. Nature’s perfume wafted around me. I strolled carefully looking for ole’ no shoulders (that’s a snake to all you northerners). And that’s when the nightmare began. I could see movement in the thick broom straw in front of me so I stopped. When I moved the rustling grew louder. When I stopped it stopped. I was being stalked. I stopped and stared. And there beneath the Bahiagrass were little white flowers.
Then suddenly one raised its petals and appeared to look directly at me! I took off running. The white flowers were everywhere. I sprinted carelessly across the endless meadow weaving like a running back. Thousands of the evil flowers chased me as I stomped the ones in my way. They tripped me. I tumbled like a fat gymnast and got back up. They were on my head licking the sweat from my face. Little scratchy root feet clawed at my bare legs and finally wore me down. I screamed, jumped out of bed, and promptly put my house plant on the patio it was 3:15am. Once I calmed down. I realized that the Sublymonal Sprite campaign had its first victim.
Being a business owner I understand the mechanics of marketing impact on sales implicitly. But I wonder if there is such a thing as too much marketing. Take the bottled water industry for example. There are so many artisan flavors that a decision has to be made as to WHICH WATER TO BUY. That is just insane. I keep waiting for the “tap” flavor to come out. Niche marketing to country residents who miss the flavor of the city. Somehow I don’t think that is far from the truth.
Hardees used to sell regular ole hamburgers. Now it is the Angus thick burger. And if you don’t like the burger you can always eat the cheese paper. Catfish are now marketed as “farm raised”, or “grain fed” because harvesting those scavengers from a river sometimes gives you a “poo flavored” fish. Or my personal favorite, the Saab commercial slash car wreck. I will not forget the Saab, even though I wouldn’t buy one. See where I am going with this. Just seeing hyper-creative marketing gives me a headache. Deep down inside we all want something new. Like chicken flavored hamburgers or Jalapeno flavored trout. But the true question is at what mental expense and how long should this mental payment last. And if I catch any of those white flowers in my house there will be hell to pay.


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