When the Chow Gets Chatty


My foods are talking to me.

And no, not in a "Syd Barrett Of Pink Floyd Thinks He's an Orange" sort of way. Or even like that hallucinatory claymation cupcake scene in Tim Burton's Cabin Boy. No, I mean they're talking in a hip and witty marketing zen sort of way.

And man, are they chatty!

I guess it started when Arizona Iced Tea began sharing a little philosophy with every bottle. Then not long after, my Snapple chimed in with commentary off the top of its cap.

But recently, I've been unwrapping a Lipton teabag for a nice post-work cuppa, and it's been guessing my mood.

"Unwind the string, unwind your stress," the tea packet advises.

(Gasp!) How did you know, O Wise and Minty Teabag of Wonder, that I am perhaps just a bit high strung?

Could it be because I am buying Mongo-Mint-Uber-Tension-Calmer-Downer(TM) tea?...

Or that I am currently surrounded by a four-alarm bonfire of lavender aromatherapy candles? ...

Or I'll be drinking this tea with a blood pressure pill chaser?...

What was the giveaway? Fess up!

Ah, but my teabags tell me other things, too.

"A minty way to say goodbye to stress," confides the tea.

"I know," I reassure it, "that's why I bought you."

"Like a cool breeze on a hot day," it insists.

"It's -2 degrees here, so don't get me started on the weather, Teabag."

"You've got goodness at the end of the string," it says.

"Okay, now you're just getting cocky."

Then my Heinz Ketchup piped up about how "its what hamburgers dream of." That it's "easier to spell than Worchestershire." And instructs me to "put it on food."

And now, now even the Dove chocolate has started enabling.

"Go ahead, have another :-) " its wrapper tells me, complete with smiley emoticon.

And I find I'm scared, because not only is it a little pushy and flagrantly unconcerned about my diet and health, but it appears to be web-savvy.

Who knows what a high-tech chocolate bar all hepped up on its own sugar high might be capable of?

It could start ordering more Dove to be sent to my home by the caseload.

It could go out on a huge spending spree!

I could end up at 300 pounds and in the poorhouse if I don't keep an eye on things! I won't have it, I tell you!

But:
"Too much of a good thing is wonderful," the Dove coos.

"Think without limits," it whispers.

It's like some cacao-powered devil on my shoulder. Telling me the things I want to do but shouldn't.

"Remind yourself it's okay not to be perfect," it assures me.

Yeah, yeah, let the paramedics know that after they get me out of the chocolate coma, okay?

Frankly, my kitchen is getting entirely too noisy, and it's starting to freak me out.

"We can't control the wind, but we can always adjust the sails..."

...Says the fortune cookie that came with my Chinese food. At least the cookies and I go way back. There's a comfort factor there.

But I tell you, if the next cupcake I see wants to have words? I am so taking some vacation.

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18 comments:

Jaffer said...

I have never tried the Dove chocolate. I find it weird ! Don't they make Soaps ?
Perhaps it's a marketing genius - get dirty with our seductive chocolates and cleanse with our soaps also.

Good point made in the end. I am double checking my breads and bagels and butter for hidden messages from now on.

My Tim Horton's cup used to me orders in French:
"Respectez vos Environnement !"

"Oui monsieur I will respect my Environment ! Sir !"

Recently they have toned it down to:
"Respectez L'Environnement"

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- I think the Dove of Dove Chocolate and the Dove of Dove Soap are different companies with the same name. Which is sort of a relief, really. :)

Your Tim Horton's coffee gets pretty bossy, doesn't it? Maybe this is why your big cities like Toronto are so clean. :)

Drowsey Monkey said...

LOL ... I never noticed all this because I eat it too fast. Who reads the package? That's probably not a good policy.

Jaffer's right - Tim's cups are kinda yelling at me!

Anyway, I do enjoy a good conversation with my Rice Crispies once in a while.

Tiggy said...

I hate it when packaging has wording on them like "For external use only".

Why put it in a tube if you can't squirt it in your mouth?

Jenn Thorson said...

Drowsey- If the tea talks, I feel compelled to slow down and listen. :) I'm sorry to hear that Tim Horton's is home of the Shouting French Roast. "Special Napoleon Blend, enjoyed by French dictators everywhere..." :)

Tiggy- Keep an eye out, your packaging might just change to: "For external use only- this means you, Tiggy! Not for snacking!"

You never know.

Chat Blanc said...

I think you've just uncovered the mystery behind my high cholesterol! I've been listening to my food! I'll betcha that at night while I sleep the chocolate, peanut butter and bacon all get together and conspire against me. damn them!! *shakes fists*

Jenn Thorson said...

Chat Blanc- I haven't heard much from the bacon lately, but the chocolate is definitely talkative. I'd say set up a nice recording device-- perhaps even a good ol' live blog feed-- and we'll find out just what they're up to. :)

ReformingGeek said...

Wow! Nothing like becoming one with your food. It's getting a bit scary out there.

Jenn Thorson said...

ReformingGeek- Heh, of course, I might have inadvertently set the tone for that with the scary cupcake picture-- sorry 'bout that! :) He's like the "It" of cupcakes.

Melanie said...

My food isn't talking to me yet, well except for the Dove chocolate.

I did notice however that Americans are now so stoopid we need a recipe for baked potatoes printed on the potato sack.

Da Old Man said...

But Food is so wise, so friendly. The earliest foodspeak I remember was on a bottle of 7 Up. "You like it, it likes you" was what was so seductively whispered. It knew, and not only refreshed, but made me at one with my beverage of choice.

Jenn Thorson said...

Melanie- Oh boy- and what does it say? Wash potato. Wrap potato in Reynold's Aluminum Foil (cross marketing) and bake?

Da Old Man- So the 7up was some early self-affirmation? Like, even if the rest of the world didn't like you, 7up did?

That's kinda nice, really. I'll remember that the next time I'm having a bad day. :)

Jay said...

You can go into a coma with chocolate???

Clearly I'm not eating enough! LOL!

Marvel Goose said...

What I don't like is when my pretentious latte gets all political on me. Starbuck's has those quotes and "conversation starters" on the sides -- most of which just assume that I'm in favor of recycling.

Jonny's Mommy said...

It is flat out freaky when messages show up in our food. I don't like that at all. Scares the crap out of me. And is it a bad thing that one time I got a fortune cookie without a fortune? Does this mean I don't have a future? Crap. Well, at least the fortune cookie let me know.

I need that tea though..to tell me to unwind. Isn't that clear by now?

unfinishedrambler said...

Hasn't Taco Bell been doing that too with its hot sauces? Although they talk to me anyway...well, to parts of me anyway, and usually it's not pretty. ;)

Carrie Geyer said...

Everyone "loves the quotes" on the inside of the Dove Promises. I get as excited about reading them as I did about Cracker Jack prizes when I was a kid. Visit my blog for the latest Dove Chocolate News. By the way, I like your writing style!
Carrie

Jenn Thorson said...

Jay- Well, keep trying-- you obviously haven't reached maximum chocolate saturation. :) You just need more chocolate and to really apply yourself. (bummer, right?)

Marvel- Sounds like Starbucks is as bossy about its coffee cups as Tim Hortons is in Canada. I guess it isn't surprising that coffee gets a bit uppity sometimes.

Jonny's Mommy- I think if your tea told you to unwind and you were stressed, it might just push you over the edge and set off your inner Hulk. :) It needs to watch whose buttons it pushes, that tea.

UnfinishedDude- I don't know about Taco Bell-- it's been a while since I've been there, and last I was, I don't recall commentary from the hot sauces... At least not in a literal way.

Carrie- Well, this is a tad unusual. Chocolate marketing blogs... Well, I guess it's not surprising-- if the chocolate wrappers talk to us, they might blog, as well. :)