Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The return of generic beer

Mmm, tasty!

I must spend way too much time in Wal-Mart. This will be the fourth time I’ve spoken of it in this blog. However, since I find solace in pushing my cart with the one bent wheel through the cookie aisle late at night, I’ll lay some more Wal-Mart inspired thoughts on you.

Wal-Mart, it seems has had some sort of marketing psycho-weasel squirm their way into the packaging design area. Whereas their store brand once had appealing graphics that seemed to be trying to evoke your senses that you were not buying the cheap store brand (when in fact you were doing just that) now they’ve channeled the late 70’s stagflation in full force.

“I tell ya brother, times are tough”

See, from the time of Nixon to Carter you could go down to the store and buy any sort of food in a UN approved plain white box with the name of the contents on it. Call it “playing the commodity market with food stamps” if you want but this stuff was everywhere. A savvy person could figure out who made it by such things as addresses, packing dimensions etc. It was all generally horrible and the only saving grace was that it was cheap.

“Hey, all they have on this damn island is an IGA store!”

This stuff all went by the wayside by the late eighties or early nineties as we all embraced the concept that we wanted to be rich or at least pretend like we were in our McMansions with the granite countertops and leased BMWs. Noodles became pasta and the plain white box that said “Macaroni twists” became Italian inspired “Rotini” with a nice drawing to imply your cheap ass carbs came from Tuscany.

Fast forward a decade or maybe two and we’re all having a big potluck at the CCC work camp with beans and rice. Seems that Wal-Mart’s branding committee decided that we’d feel like we were wasting our money buying fine Italian Pasta and maybe what consumers have a hankering for these days is a good ole box of the cheapest noodles we can find.

Hence the new look of the “Great Value” brand. Lots of plain white area with a diner style photo of what you can make with the contents. Add in the most boring font you can find and it’s gonna be a winner with the newly unemployed.

Sauce and noodles, now that’s sexy

PS: I hear Smiley Face is getting his notice too, here’s the new guy

“Don’t worry fellow Americans, everything’s gonna be alright…

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