Monday, 22 December 2008

Slogans Are Good For You!

Product: Vicks VapoRub
Slogan: "People Not Symptoms"
Suggested Alternative: N/A. I need to figure out what this means before I can make any attempt to correct it.

So... what? It doesn't cure the symptoms? They aren't important any more? The symptoms are the reason people buy this stuff, guys.

I have struggled over this one over the last half hour or so, trying to work out what it's really meant to imply. It strikes me that there are a few words missing from the beginning of the sentence, but I can't think of anything satisfactory to fit. "We cure people not symptoms" makes no sense, as if you cure the person but leave the symptoms intact, you can barely be said to have done anything at all. "We care about people not symptoms" would clearly be biting the hands that feed them, since they only make any money thanks to disease-causing organisms. "Our products benefit people not symptoms" just seems too obvious to bother with.

Having just checked the Vicks website for the correct format of this slogan, I realised that they couldn't even be bothered to put a comma in it. Every punctuation mark you leave out of a slogan is another nail in your coffins as far as I'm concerned.

Product: Dolmio
Slogan: "When'sa Your Dolmio Day?"
Suggested Alternative: "Pseudo-Italian Name, Pseudo-Italian Taste!"

Yes, that's right, they actually write it like that. It seems inconceivable to me that such a blatant (albeit mild) racial slur can find its way into the world of advertising these days, but there it is. Dolmio are obviously very brave. This is further substantiated by the fact that they put the phrase "best ever" in quotation marks three times on the frontpage of their website. If there's anything to make me suspicious about a product, it's the claim that it features it's 'best ever' taste.

The same page also claims that Dolmio products are made from "100% Good Honest Ingredients". So you can rest assured that none of those shipments of contraband tomatoes we keep hearing about are finding their way into these pasta sauces.

So, when is your Dolmio day? Does anyone actually have a day on which they religiously consume only Dolmio products? We're also expected to believe that a family of food-loving Italians do this. If so, I think that their Dolmio day consists of what can only be called "slumming it".

Their website also, for some reason, features a page of "tips for looking young", including the following:

"Here's a handy exercise tip – workout without even knowing it. When you're shopping, walk up the escalator instead of just standing there. It'll keep you fitter and give you even more shopping time!"

Ah, I see! So all of those people pushing their way past me on the escalators weren't being rude, they were taking an admirable responsibility for their health and well being!

"Dip into your fridge for facial cleansers if you run out. Buttermilk, yogurt and even cream are gentle, natural skin cleansers."

Yes, go ahead and smear your body with dairy products. Serves you right for taking beauty advice from bloody DOLMIO. At least they aren't advocating rubbing a tomato and basil sauce into your skin.

And in their self-promoting, but admittedly more orthodox cooking tips section:

"DOLMIO® Stir-In sauces are perfect for turning an average meal for two into a great one."

Assuming that the "average meal for two" consists of plain boiled pasta, then yes!

If your little ones love sweet food, why not add grapes or sultanas to their favourite DOLMIO® sauce instead of olives or peppers?"

Because they will hate you forever. Mmmm, grape puttanesca!

(By the way, "Dolmio" is an entirely meaningless word made up to 'sound italian'. Make of this what you will.)

1 comment:

  1. The Italian stereotype thing worried me a little bit as well, but I suppose if Mario can do it so can the guy on the Dolmio advert. It's not like it's anything offensive really.

    Tomato is very good for the skin, but you have to eat it, not rub it on :)



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