It all started with a simple question from our 15-year-old son — “why do I have to take two gummy vitamins when the bottle says ‘One-A-Day’ in big, bold letters across the front?”
Apparently my reply, “Because the tiny, nearly unreadable script on the back says to take two,” was inadequate because in return I received the infamous teen eyeroll accompanied by an extended sigh and “that’s dumb.” He’s right, it is, but it also got me thinking about names and slogans that really don’t make any sense.
One of the greatest examples is “The NeverEnding Story,” a 1984 fantasy film based on Michael Ende’s novel of the same name. If the story never ended, why was a sequel made six years later and a third installment in 1994?
Smart Water won’t actually make you more intelligent. In fact, you might want to reevaluate whether paying more than $2 for a bottle of water is a wise investment.
Contrary to popular belief, Red Bull won’t actually give you wings. A throbbing lack-of-caffeine-induced headache the next day, yes, but you’ll have to wait until the afterlife for wings.
Nobody is losing weight on a Thin Mint cookie and light beer diet, and I hate to burst anyone's soda bubble, but Dr. Pepper is most likely not what the doctor ordered.
If companies really wanted to sell their products, they would be more truthful with their customers.
In sticking with soft drinks, let’s take for example Pepsi, which in 2020 changed its slogan to “That’s what I like” (as if anyone noticed). Perhaps a more appropriate motto would be “Is Pepsi OK?” since that is the first question asked by waiters and waitresses across the globe anytime a Coke is ordered and the restaurant carries the alternative.
On the topic of food, I propose that Tostitos tortilla chips change their nickname to “mouth-cutters” since you can’t eat a handful without drawing blood.
Similarly, Hot Pockets — those disgusting conglomerated microwavable wraps marketed to teens — should consider, “Betcha can’t taste how nasty these really are since you scalded your tongue and the roof of your mouth on the first bite.”
And don’t get me started on Nature Valley granola bars. The commercials show a touching moment between friends when they take a break on a mountaintop with the epitome of hiking food — granola bars. As any mother will tell you, there is a reason they are eaten outdoors — “crumbs everywhere.”
Since we are being honest it only makes sense that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream drops its “I would live by everyday” slogan for something that better describes what their consumers are really doing, perhaps “Eat away your feelings.”
I think we can all agree that Target should be “Walmart for the middle class” and Chick-Fil-A “You only crave on Sunday.”
But Waffle House, Taco Bell and Denny’s are whole other beasts. Based on the extent of their rush hour and clientele, “It’s 2 a.m. and you’re drunk” sounds about right.
Chanda Veno is managing editor at The State Journal. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org