Sunday, June 18, 2006

Personified Food Mascots: EVIL!

If there is one marketing mistake that major food manufacturers make, it is personifying their products. Now I am not talking about the use of funny cartoon pitchmen that are related but not the product themselves like Toucan Sam, the Trix Rabbit or Chester Cheetah.

No, I am talking about figures like the Kool Aid Man, Mr. Peanut, the Pillsbury Dough Boy and Charlie the Tuna. You know, characters who are consumable in and of themselves.

I don't want to think about the fact that if I have Kool Aid from a pitcher, I am draining the Kool Aid Man of his lifeblood like a vampire, and bravo for the art director who came up with the idea that he should be filled with a red fluid. He couldn't have been blue, orange or purple could he? Granted, blood is slightly easier to scrub out of a white shirt than Kool Aid is.

And what about the California Raisins? Who wants to devour a singing Motown band od wrinkled little troubadors? How did California and Motown get mixed up together again? Happily, this was a very short-lived phenomenon. Rumor has it that the Doughboy's stripper sister, Cinnamon "Cindy" Buns, did the lot of them and gave birth to some Cinnamon Raisin buns, but that's another story.

And I can just imagine Mr. Peanut, upon finding out that his family has been skinned and eaten by the human race, going on a rampage against us all... perhaps making a fine cooking oil and butter from our crushed bodies.



Of course, I can see depression hitting Charlie the Tuna hard. He has been rejected so many times that he just decides to give up on life, after all, dolphins were better than he was as a food item to a lot of company. He also did a lot of things he wasn't proud of in the salmon spawning grounds, and you can't forget that, even with prodigious amounts of alcohol, can you? So he starts hanging out near the end of the pipe coming out of a Michelin factory, trying to poison himself to death, but all it ends up doing to him is turning him into some kind of bloated supermutant fish that will baffle the fishermen that pull him up after a hulk-like bender down by Venice Beach. Ironically, he does look a little like a roasted chicken so Jessica Simpson has the last laugh.



See, this is the problem with having an active mind... you end up making backstories for EVERYTHING, and I personally can't eat anything that has a backstory.

17 comments:

Mr. Fabulous said...

I would love to get a look at your psyche profile. I bet it is facinating...

Maritza said...

Pillsbury Doughboy's sister Cinna Buns died of a yeast infection last year, by the way.

You're funny and I'm happy someone out there knows Esquivel.

Karl said...

Kinda scary, knowing that there's another person out there that thinks like me.

MC said...

Mr. Fab: I feel lucky that at the institute, the golden rule is doctor-patient confidentiality. I have my school records, and that alone is worth study.

Maritza: Wow, it has been a tough few years for Pop N-Fresh(his rap name yo!), what with the suicide of Speedy Alka-Seltzer in a bathtub efferverscence and now this. I guess the Jolly Green Giant is his only friend now.

Karl: That's the wonder of blogging.... I mean, if people who like women in overalls can get a blog together, why not cranky pop culture addicts who are neurotically obsessed with talking nuts and fish.

Wow, that sounded more insane than I had intended it to be. At least that's what the Lucky the Leprechaun keeps telling me.

jody said...

Awesome post. I have often thought about the same thing. No quite as indepth mind you but it has crossed my mind.

Christian Johnson said...

"I can't eat anything that has a backstory." Brilliant!

MC said...

Jody: it is a pleasure meeting you and you have a wonderful blog as well. I am going to miss Mr. Dressup when he is off the air.

Christian: Good to see you around and thanks for the link at Cinerati. I thought about titling the article that, but I thought that might have tipped my hand a little too much.

Anomie-Atlanta said...

I still have nightmares about the California Raisins. Their Christmas special ruined the holidays of 1987 for me.

arthbard said...

It's okay, man. They want to be eaten. Douglas Adams predicted it, see?

"... it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly."

So, it's cool.




I'm hungry, Mr. Peanut. Get in my stomach!

MC said...

Somewhere in your distant past, I imagine you as some fat bastard eating a little man while singing about ribs... baby-back ribs for some reason.

The fact that it doesn't disturb me much really freaks me out however.

arthbard said...

I'm still a fat bastard.

But now I sing the Oscar Meyers bologna song.

MC said...

Ack... your bologna has a first name... that's backstory dammit. He has a wife and a kid, and some maniac gunned them down at a mini-mall and so he turned to a life of vigilantism, only to discover he lost his soul along the way.

arthbard said...

Right ... But, it's still cool, because now he's manically depressed and ready to take the suicidal plunge by - you guessed it - getting in my stomach.

I can't deny him his final release, man.

MC said...

But maybe that's his plan... he gets into your stomach and then beats you up from within and takes a crap in all your arteries. He is a wiley bastard that Mr. Meyer is.

Jeremy Barker said...

Draining the Kool-Aid man of his life force has never bothered me - he shouldn't have smashed through my wall like that. What freaked me out where the Burger King ads last year where an army of chickens danced and marched (to the killing floor I presume), celebrating the chain's new chicken sandwhich. Only thing I could think was, "Why are they so happy?"

MC said...

They were probably happy because that freak of a Burger King was using them for his personal "amusement", and death was better than what he was doing to them.

OR the advertiser had an employee who snuck that by everyone as some form of twisted statement about our fast food culture. Yeah, that could happen.

Tim said...

Here's a new personified food character, the First Potato of Modern Art: http://www.artsology.com/potablo_potasso_1.php