So, over the weekend, we are driving along, chitchatting about this'n'that, watching the world pass by the car windows and all of a sudden I spied this! A zeppelin! A dirigible! An airship! How cool is that? It isn't very often that I see one of these beauties silently streaming across a blue sky so I got kind of exciting. I decide that it would be a great idea to follow it. Sometimes I'm a little bit crazy. But Tim is game and so we go.
We didn't have to go far, it was actually just a very large balloon advertising a builder and his latest housing development. Ratz. What a disappointment.
And not just a disappointment to me. While I will probably remember seeing the fake zeppelin for a long time, I already do not remember the name of the builder that it was advertising. So they just spent a whole lot of time, money and energy, being terribly clever with zero return. If they knew, I'm sure they would be disappointed too.
I find that happens to me a lot. I may remember a particular commercial, I may even remember their theme song, but odds are incredibly good that I will not remember the name of the company being trotted out there. I don't know if that's just me and the way my demented brain works, or if it happens to other people too. And this is not a recent issue. This is a lifelong problem.
For instance, there are two major brands of ketchup, Heinz and Hunts. Well right off the bat, the names are far too similar. One of them is the "Slow Ketchup" but which one? I have no idea. One of them is the preferred brand in this house because of it's flavour. Whenever I have to buy a new bottle, I stand in front of the ketchup section of the aisle, uncertain of which one is the right one.
Remember a long long time ago, there was that TV add with the old lady demanding to know "Where's the Beef?". The commercial itself is so familiar to me that I can actually hear her voice when I think of it. What burger restaurant was she shilling for though? Not a clue.
Cleaning products are the worst about this. I remember seeing the ad just as clear as day but the product name? Nope. Not even a little bit. "It starts with a D" I'll say to Tim as we wander the aisles "And there might be a letter in the name as well". We search in vain because there is no product that starts with a D that also has a letter in the name. The names of cleaning products are a little strange, "Brillo", " Formula 409", "Windex", "Kaboom". If never heard of those products before would you have any idea at all what they were used for? I mean, Kaboom? Are we blowing something up?
Some of them have the name of the company right there in front of us, like Ronald McDonald. It's his name. Hard to mistake that one. That was clever. The Trix Rabbit actually says, "Trix are for kids" and that is an easy one. The Burger King …..duh. Even I get that one. The Jolly Green Giant isstanding up for Green Giant vegetables...gotcha!
And it doesn't help one darned bit that the manufacturer's insist on constantly changing the packaging. If I cannot remember the brand, I can always recall what the packaging looks like. It's this tall and this wide and this shape in this colour with this decoration. Got it. Until I get to the store and walk to the body lotion aisle and look for the white bottle of that particular size and shape with the gold swoop. Yikes! Lots of white bottles, Everyone of them the same size and shape, but none with a gold swoop. Dang! Why do you do this to me? Perhaps I can find it from it's scent. Of course not. There are at least a dozen different fragrances for each brand and none of them smells like the one I use. Why are they torturing me?
Other packaging that is far too similar is L'Oreal and Olay. Red and white packaging for the most part, about the same size, roughly the same shape. I cannot tell you the number of times I grabbed the wrong product in my rush to get through shopping. I know now to slow down and READ the doggone things more carefully. In my grocery store they are literally right next to each other on the shelf too, just to up the degree of difficulty for me.
I remember looking for cushions for the chairs in our courtyard. I wanted to be certain that we bought the kind made with that specially made fabric that doesn't get mouldy or mildewy and doesn't fade in the sun. I even researched it ahead of time and found the BEST of the best. Yup that is the one that I want. Great idea! What on earth is that name of that fabric and that company? I should have written it down.
If I watch a pizza commercial or a burger commercial, it works. I mean, yes the not so subliminal message is there, I absolutely do start to crave a pizza or a burger. But I have no idea what restaurant they were pushing If I see a commercial for a good looking sandwich, I never remember if it was Subway, Firehouse or Obies. But then neither does Tim. Of course he wasn't looking because we don't actually watch commercials anymore. We record most of what we want to watch on TV and fast forward through the commercials. Thank goodness. Now I have an excuse as to why I cannot associate the product and the commercial.
Or perhaps it really is just me that these ads and commercials don't really work on. I've been accused before of being an alien from another planet. Maybe it really is true! And meanwhile I will need to start writing my shopping lists in far greater detail when the brand matters.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.