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Kind of blue

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I was drinking my favorite sports drink after doing a bit of yard work. The drink was blue—almost like the sky, but darker, but much lighter than navy blue.

Hmmm, I thought, wondering what the flavor was. I looked at the label and found the flavor was "Cool Blue."

My first thought was the idea of tasting colors only makes sense if you've eaten magic mushrooms. Then I realized that nobody who drinks it can complain that it doesn't taste the way it should. This led me to see how consumer marketing is increasingly non-committal.

By this, I mean you probably can go into a paint storm and find a hue marked "cool blue." Paint store colors make me laugh because of their names: "Winter Wheat," for instance, or "Pacific Sunset," or "Dusky Moss." I'm just making those up, but I bet none of them is far from reality.

And how about fragrances? Every time I decide to try something different for my shower soap, I have no idea what "fresh" smells like, or "clean," or "sport." So I buy my usual brand.

Until last week. I was determined to try something else. I picked another brand but for some reason didn't look at the label until I got home. I was unwrapping a bar before a shower and checked what fragrance it was. And instead of providing me with a vague name for an indeterminate scent, the wrapper addressed color—and it said this:

"Beige."

It made me laugh.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
nodressrehersal
Jul. 7th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
Blue - too cool for school.
Ha! Truth in advertising - it DOES still exist!

sahlah
Jul. 8th, 2013 11:55 am (UTC)
I am a complete sucker for a well named color. I can look at six of the same shade of paint and I will pick the name I like best. Our living room is "Champagne" and the hallway is "Arabian Sands" the downstairs is "Courtyard." Do I have to tell you they are all slightly different shades of Beige. :)
patrick_vecchio
Jul. 8th, 2013 05:33 pm (UTC)
My wife and I have an agreement: She makes all of the color decisions inside the house. We come to a joint agreement on the house's exterior paint and trim (although I usually go with her picks inside or outside because she's better able to visualize how the house will look).

However, the decisions on landscaping are mine. And all of this is cool with me.
tanadariel
Jul. 8th, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC)
Another fun trick is the gendered language advertisers use. You'll note that women's products include words like "gentle," "soft," and "alluring" while men's products are "strong," "powerful," and "invigorating."
patrick_vecchio
Jul. 9th, 2013 01:08 am (UTC)
I've been so consumed by the visuals that I've never really considered the language. Thanks for the tip! That's my new TV sport.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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