Monday, October 30, 2006

The key to a good blizzard

I was in the grocery store last week, trundling my cart past the vast middle bit of the store containing inedibles. I can't understand how it's profitable for stores to be purveyors of everything from bean sprouts to deck chairs; to me it's analagous to that old saying "jack of all trades, master of none". How can they be any good at selling groceries when they're trying to sell all this other stuff as well?!

Anyay - I spotted a product that gave me the heebi-jeebies. Actually, a family of products. They were keychains, shaped like (i) a Dairy Queen ice cream cone (ii) a Dairy Queen ice cream sandwich, and (iii) some brand name mint-chocolate candy whose name presently escapes me. Probably because when I was a kid, I wasn't the focus of marketing efforts the way children are today. Each item had the appropriate logo prominently displayed.

I'm not a parent. But. I can't imagine buying my kid a toy with a food logo on it. To me, it's a gift that celebrates our unsustainable, consumerist lifestyle (useless plastic toy with no educational value, likely to be quickly discarded) and our unhealthy habits (message to child: candies and desserts are highly desirable). Not only that, but the product is straight up advertising - which I might alternately describe as cunning psychological manipulation.

Then again, lots of parents get their kids brand-name clothing. I suppose that's not so different.

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