Friday, August 6, 2010

Product Slogans You'll Never See

I recently took an online quiz that asked me to identify corporate logos without any text around them. There was the Mercedes circle with three-pointed star, the Nike swoosh, the McDonald's arches and 17 more along those lines.

I was surprised to find that I knew 19 out of 20. (I missed on BMW. Without the letters it looked like an Edy's Ice Cream logo to me. In fairness, I had skipped dessert.)

That's how deeply advertising has gotten into my psyche. Naturally, all of the images coming from the companies and their agencies are positive. That's to be expected. But it got me to thinking about what these business enterprises really think of us, deep down in their corporate hearts (if such things exist), and how their slogans could reflect those feelings.

Of course, there is no way for me to know that, short of being inside the inner sanctum of each company. Since that seems unlikely, here are a few of my best guesses as to what they would really like to tell us:

McDonald's: “Nothing shuts up your kid like a Happy Meal!”

Jaguar: “Nearly a century of cool, sleek over-compensating.”

Budweiser: “Drink responsibly … every day.”

U.S. Airways: “Of course it's expensive, you're flying in the air, for god's sake!”

Iams Organic PreBiotic Dog Food: “Let's pretend your dog can tell the difference.”

Geico Insurance: “Help us pay for all those commercials.”

Lowe's: “It's so cute that you think you can build that.”

Pampers: “Because you'll clean up enough of their s*** when they're teenagers.”

Oil of Olay: “Not associated with the Gulf oil spill.”

Charmin: “We call it 'facial quality,' but you know where it goes, right?”

St. Joseph Aspirin: “Would Jesus' stepdad steer you wrong?”

Vegemite: “Go ahead. Taste it. We dare you.”

Miracle Whip: “It's not mayonnaise! Don't make us pound that into your head.”

Velveeta: “When real cheese is too good to melt.”

Kool-Aid: “How many times can we say it? We had nothing to do with that crazy preacher!”

Walmart: “Resistance is futile.”

Tylenol: “Untainted for over two decades.”

Honda: “The Japanese car that won't kill you.”

Clorox: “We don't make it to clean up crime scenes, but nothing does it better!”

ExtenZe: “When you can't afford a Jaguar.”

Sony: “Buy our electronics now, before the prices go down dramatically!”

Lipton: “Did somebody say 'Tea Party!?'”

Aciphex: “We know it sounds like 'ass effects' but now we're stuck with it.”

Lean Cuisine: “Because there is no such thing as 'big-boned.'”

Hot Pockets: “If you are over 18, and eating Hot Pockets on a regular basis, you are not a loser. No matter what your ex-girlfriends say.”

Verizon: “Can you pay me now? … Can you pay me now? ...”

Pepsi: “Very nearly the world's most popular cola!”

Rolex: “We can't think of any reason other than vanity.”

Marlboro: “Reducing nursing home stays by 40 percent.”

BP: “Other than that we're having a great year!”

Again, I should stress that these are just my impressions and not necessarily the real attitudes of these companies. I have no ill feelings toward any of them. In fact, any of these organizations that would like to hire me for an obscenely high-paid executive position is welcome to contact me.

I know. I shouldn't hold my breath.

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