Thursday, December 21, 2006

How modern marketing has jaded me and made me paranoid

So today I had an intense hankering for not-authentic Mexican food and grabbed myself some supreme tacos from my favorite fake Mexican eatery Taco Bell. I wasn't going to let a little thing like E. coli outbreaks keep me from that tasty amalgam of salty (maybe) meat, cheese, some form of (E. coli-carrying) vegetable medley and sour cream. It's the plague that gives it that irresistible tang.

The highlight of Taco Bell meals are their sauce. At least it is for me. I love that stuff. But only on food from Taco Bell. Anyhow, Taco Bell has been running this campaign for a while where the little sauce packets have messages on them like they're some kind of sentient being trying to connect with you via funny one-liners. Kind of reminescent of taglines from the ads for Crunch'n'Munch and Brach's Rocks in comic books from the 90s. They're not all that bad, but you know, it's some marketing execs who thought this up so every now and then they're gonna mess it up.

Today was odd though. I seemed to have reached in and grabbed a bunch from a batch created by the most lazy ass bastard on the marketing team. One simply said "I collect straws." TWO said "Not it." But the last one? That's the one that's making me write this entry.

The last one said simply. "Ta-dah." Now, it seems that years of being bombarded by pop-up ads/swooshing flash ads/collapseable banners that cleverly hide the collapse button/people stopping you in the street to ask, "Where do you do your hair?" only to try and foist some spa deal on you/sandwich board dudes with flyers/that one guy on who's always on St. Mark's with the mohawk who's REALLY good and flicking fliers SUPER loud right in your ear when you walk by, made me instinctively flinch as my brain quickly went through several seconds of defensive mode, going, "What the fuck. Don't tell me this is some kind of promo for the Scissor Sisters. What if I rip open this pack of sauce and instead of the usual spicy gloop I hear the opening bars of 'I Don't Feel Like Dancing?' Shit am I going to get a holograph of Jack Shears, like Princess Leia, telling me to check out their website for an exclusive song download? Did I just swallow the code to enter a drawing for a free ticket?"

But after I went through that string of thought I ripped open the package, squeeze out some sauce and went back to happily munching on the taco supreme.


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