Monday, May 09, 2011


I'm convinced that sometimes marketing people will just throw words out there in the belief that nobody will challenge them. That's probably because it's true.
Take the item pictured here, for example. This is a package of instant coffee found by my friend Jessie.
We could start with the name of this product, which is "Astoria Special" and sounds like the name of a passenger train from the 1930s. "Astoria" is one of those names that don't really mean anything other than sounding classy, like "Wellington" or "Savoy". Hotels frequently give names like that to their banquet rooms to make them seem fancier than they are, allowing them to charge more for their rental. When you are invited to attend an event taking place in "The Windsor Room", on some level you're thinking of chandeliers, fancy folded napkins and little knives used to spread whipped butter on dinner rolls, not a box lunch with a sandwich and an apple between PowerPoint presentations about deferred annuities.
But this isn't about the name. It's about the superlatives printed on the wrapper. Specifically, the claim of "incomparable pleasure (since 1978, no less!)". Think about that for a second. "Incomparable pleasure". That means pleasure beyond comparison. A day off with pay, spent listening to your favorite music? That band sucks, you slacker. A vacation in the tropics? Welcome to Malaria Island. Orgasms? Might as well be hiccups. That is what the makers of Astoria Special coffee, a beverage you're most likely to consume while sitting on a metal folding chair, reading a year-old magazine while waiting for your oil to get changed (as Jessie said), expect you to believe.


RottenMom said...

I have had incomparable pleasure since I found your blog.

Why, it's Clark! said...

You insist on making me blush. Thank you : )