Friday, June 13, 2014

Thinking ON the Box

            To quote the Music Man, “Ya got trouble, folks!  Right here in River City.
Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Packaging!”
            Okay, I took some liberties with that last word.  But stay with me.  There’s a whole sub culture swirling around us that most of us don’t even notice. It’s the world of packaging. 
Everything we buy is presented to us in some way that makes us want to grab it and shell out money for it.  People study this in college, people work at it in full time careers, and we fall victim to it every day.

   Like commercials, colorful packages beckon to us.  Buy me, buy me! they say.  There are even conventions and award ceremonies to celebrate innovative holders for things innovative people convince us to buy.

   So you would think they would triple check everything on the package, right?  No typos, here, no Sir!  No untrue claims, no silly phrases.
            And a big company like Kellogg’s—you’d think their packages would have the best descriptions of all, right?  Well, it turns out that St. Bob likes to eat their Raisin Bran Crunch for breakfast now and then.  
           This morning I was sitting beside him munching on a breakfast that’s none of your business—okay, FINE!  A LEMON BAR— when I happened to see the back of the box. And there, in tiny white lettering on a red background, it says, “Kellogg’s cereal with ½ Cup  milk plus an 8 oz. glass of milk is a good source of protein and gives you the calcium, Vitamin D and potassium your body needs.”
 Huh?  Read that again.  You need half a cup of milk with the cereal, and then another whole glass of milk to get the right nutrients?  Does the cereal count for nothing?  And who drinks a glass of milk when they’re having cereal with milk?
If it were me, and I couldn’t promise my product met the minimum daily requirements, I wouldn’t even bring it up.  Right?  Just show healthy, energetic people who look like they’ve never had a tastier thing in their life.  Focus on those two amazing scoops of raisins and call it a day.
Does this mean that the glass of milk I had with my lemon bar turned the entire thing into a fitness fiesta?
Not long ago I bought a paint remover that boasted, “Semi-odorless!” on the label.  What?  There’s a smell?  Hey, if you can’t say “odorless,” why bring the matter up?  Something tells me there are two products that won’t be sweeping the packaging awards this year.
No fancy packaging, just fabulous books await you at Kindle and in hard copies at CreateSpace, when you order my latest three novels-- Jungle, Sisters in the Mix, and Pinholes Into Heaven.

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