This being the era of social media, the blogosphere is already wrought with commentary and critique. One product, Skinny Water which has printed on its bottle, “Recycle – Our planet needs to be skinny too” has come under enormous scrutiny. At first glance one might infer that the company is merely promoting recycling through imagery and personification as a cry to action. Untrue says blog commenter Jane Komplain, “Is recycling really making the world skinnier? Skinnier? That, like, doesn’t even make sense.” This sentiment has consumed the web, an outcry from those looking back at a day when all product names were factual and self explanatory. Gatorade, Poweraid, Laffy Taffy and Superman Ice Cream have been targeted by similar groups.
What are we to infer by these developments? Can’t we live in a world where we get everything we want through a $1.99 cherry water drink with infused vitamins? Doesn’t drinking Skinny Water mean we can cancel our gym memberships and leave Lane Bryant behind? No. Marketers have now pigeon holed the public into having to think beyond product labels. Gone are the days of looking at names like Muscle Milk and automatically assume our bodies will bulge until the shirts rip from our chests. The industry has entered an era where slogans and product names merely allude to what is possible, not actual.
In a related story, Lake Superior may not be superior to the other Great Lakes. Details soon to come.