The Cookie Crumbles: No Apologies
Recently I saw this advertising ploy on a package of cookies that I usually enjoy: Unapologetically Delicious.
First, I must say that the word, unapologetically, is a very lonnnng word. Eight syllables long. The size of the box had to almost be extended to accommodate the word. Secondly, why apologize?
Why not just say: Delicious! or Very Delicious! or Super Delicious!
I believe there are a few reasons why advertisers would presume that the cookie-buyer and the cookie-eater in the USA would have to feel somehow chastened for the act of consuming a cookie so delicious that a sense of conscience had to be called into play.
* All cookies must be treated equally, with hard-as-a-rock cookies that break your teeth being just as good as the soft cookies that melt-in-your-mouth. The stifling label of class equality has now been stuck onto your cookie jar.
* If you are what you eat, you certainly are how you look at what you eat. And if you presume that a delicious cookie needs no apologies, why, it’s become un-American!
* The appeal to the masses has gotten so massive that now the advertiser has to sidle up slowly and, er, apologetically, to the bar of greatness. It’s Great! has become Everything is Great, but this Box of Cookies is Unapologetically Great!
The world of cookies has crumbled in America. It’s a complete mess. Pepperidge Farm Lidos have vanished, never to return. I can find them only in on-line, internet images. They make an appearance once a year, in the Holiday Assortment Pack, at vastly reduced size and greatly increased price. Milanos, however, have taken on every flavor and festive occasion known to this nation. And, yes, in my super-taster opinion, Lidos are better than Milanos.
Mother’s Cookies are things Mother would not recognize as her own. Recipes have been sold and bought and re-formulated and re-packaged but the package says “Crunchy and Distinctive.” Cookie Crumbs! The oatmeal cookies are very hard, wafer-thin and they disintegrate upon dunking. The only distinctive quality is their lack of quality.
Stella D’oro Margherites are half the thickness of their former selves, and about two inches have been lopped off of the length. I used to feel guilty eating more than two of them. Now four of them cause me no pangs of conscience. And they are, I taste-sense, a bit pasty.
The fidgety conscience that goes into concocting the phoney advertising ploy ought to be applied to the making of these petits gâteaux. Ripping off the customer is not ethical. I know how often it happens; thus, I’m a consummate consumer realist.
I’m not asking for truth in advertising. That request is, I realize, beyond the pale. And yet, I do protest!
Advertising is an unabashedly American invention. Warts and all, it’s a creation that used to be innovative, fanciful, fun. The masses, and I as well, used to enjoy advertising for its ripe blend of flagrant truth, inescapable exaggeration, hilarious humor, and enchanting enticement to try It, buy It: You won’t regret It or deny It.
We in the USA are now “treated” to . . . Unapologetically Delicious!?
I realize that the advertisers must diligently work with the times wherein they exist. Eating the entire Sara Lee cheese cake during the 1990s was deemed “inappropriate” and so They came up with those mini-things that dried out in the freezer. Since those halcyon days when Dinosaur Grahams still stalked the preschool earth, the nexus between company and consumer has become a bridge that’s been burned, by the advertisers.
I know that love can build a bridge; I also know that what’s inside the package ought to match what’s hawked on the outside of the package. Maybe the Suits can reconstruct that span before this decade comes to an end.
Size, taste, texture, and price in relation to quality — those tangibles all matter! Given the way these cookies crumble, baking cookies may yet come back into vogue!