Truly Lunchtime News Chum

Today’s lunchtime news chum is all about… food and marketing.

  • Marketing Food on TV. We’ve all see commercials for restaurants where the food looks so appealing… yet when you get to the restaurant, it is so… blah. There’s a reason. It turns out there is a whole special segment of the creative market devoted to making food look good. These folks are responsible for the flying food through sheets of sugar, water, or whatever; responsible for making junk food look like it is actually edible; responsible for making those water droplets move just so. A fascinating read.
  • Marking Food on the Road. An interesting article from the LA Times on the profusion of farmer’s stands on Route 152, Pacheco Pass. In this economy, it is a way for farmers to make extra money… and of course, the foodies have gotten into it.
  • Marketing Food.. to a specific gender. Dr. Pepper has introduced a new product… which it is marketed to men only. Specifically, Dr. Pepper Ten, with 10 calories, is marketed as the drink for men who want to watch calories but wouldn’t touch something labelled diet. They are pulling out all the sexist stereotypes: Instead of the dainty tan bubbles on the can, Ten will be wrapped in gunmetal grey packaging with silver bullets. There’s a Dr Pepper Ten Facebook page for men only. TV commercials are heavy on the machismo, including one spot that shows muscular men in the jungle battling snakes and bad guys and appear to shoot lasers at each other, which states: “Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda. You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.” Sigh. As a man, I actually find this offensive.

…and a bonus. As we’re talking about women and stereotypes: Here’s an interesting article about a Sikh custom called kesh, hair. Evidently, it is a Sikh religious precept that the body is a gift to be honored by leaving it in its natural state. Maintaining kesh, or hair, is one of the five articles of faith. However, today’s society (translate: the view of some men (I hesitate to say “many”, atlhough that is likely the case)) does not seem to like women with hair on any place other than their heads… and even there, only on selected places. This creates a problem for Sikh women, and the article explores this tension, and how they deal with the struggle. This reminds me of Mayim Bialik’s struggle to find a modest Emmy dress to fit with her goal to maintain traditional Jewish standards for modesty. I truly admire anyone who says: “This is my religious conviction, and I’m going to do what I need to do to follow it”. (Note, however, this this does not extend to the notion of “This is my religious conviction, and I’m going to force you to follow it.”)