In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 24, 2008 / 21 Sivan 5768

Getting the brand back together

By Malcolm Fleschner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When my old college roommate sent me an email directing me to a recent article in the New York Times, I was instantly suspicious, concerned that this was just his latest not-so-subtle attempt to remind me of how badly I'd mistreated him back in school. How else to explain earlier news stories he suggested I might be "interested in" featuring headlines like, "20 Years Later, College Roommate Repays Debt," "Long-time Friend Admits To 'Borrowing,' Totaling Car" and "Using Another's 'Clean' Urine to Pass Drug Test Now Classified as Felony?"

Thankfully, after clicking through I discovered that this time the forwarded article had nothing to do with my alleged past misdeeds that there's no hard evidence to prove I was even involved in. In fact, the story titled "Can a Dead Brand Live Again?" dealt with ways modern marketers are trying to revive discontinued products that, while no longer commercially available, still retain brand awareness among consumers. One example might be the 1980s-era shampoo "Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific." The last bottle of this product left store shelves years ago, but many of us still remember it. Why? Most likely because "Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific" was by far the best-known consumer product with a name that also doubled as a weirdly inappropriate remark one might make to the product's user. Other, less successful consumer items in this category included the ill-fated "Where Did The Yellow Stains On Your Teeth Go?" toothpaste and "Your House Doesn't Stink Like An Old Lady Anymore, Great-Aunt Agnes" air freshener.

The Times article specifically describes one company's efforts to bring back Brim, a brand of decaffeinated instant coffee pitched with the slogan, "Fill it to the rim - with Brim." For some reason, television during my childhood were populated with countless inane commercials touting the superior taste of instant coffee. Particularly egregious examples include the ads featuring two middle-aged women sharing a cup of General Foods International Coffee and reminiscing about all the men they slept with while backpacking across Europe ("That waiter in Paris, what was his name?" "Jean Luc!"), and the Swedish-accented spokeswoman Mrs. Olson extolling the virtues of "mountain grown" Folgers Coffee, which viewers were no doubt left to assume was cultivated in the legendary coffee-producing regions of the Swedish mountains.

But for sheer coffee commercial dimness, I'd have to give the nod to Brim. Brim's ads typically opened with two rugged-looking people entering a rustic cabin, still riding high from an exhilarating outdoor activity like ice fishing, seaplane flying or calf-birthing. As the celebratory coffees were being poured, some variation of the following dialogue ensued:

Coffee Drinker #1: (raising a hand) "Only half a cup."

Coffee Drinker #2: "What, don't you like my coffee?"

Coffee Drinker #1: "I love the rich taste. It's the caffeine I can do without."

Coffee Drinker #2: "But this is Brim. It's decaffeinated, so you don't have to stop at half a cup."

Coffee Drinker #1: (takes sip) "Mmm, if it tastes this good, I don't want to stop. Fill it to the rim."

Coffee Drinker #2: "With Brim!"

(Both laugh heartily at this clever play on words)

I feel that if the folks mentioned in the Times article are serious about reviving the Brim brand, they should first be required to answer a few questions about this ad campaign:

First, what kind of insecure, paranoid person reacts this defensively and starts demanding answers when a guest requests only half a cup of coffee?

Second, who ever heard of offering someone a cup of coffee and then pouring decaf? Homicide has been committed for less. Are these the same people who used to secretly switch instant coffee for the fine coffee they usually served at elegant restaurants?

Finally, who wants a cup of coffee - or anything else, for that matter - poured to the rim of the cup? Or is that just an instinctively passive aggressive response to being grilled over how much coffee you want to drink? "Sure I like your coffee - I like it spilled all over your white shag rug, jerk!"

Frankly, I would love to see the new owners of the Brim brand remake these ads, but with a different, more realistic take. When the host asks, "Don't you like my coffee?" the guest can respond with, "No, actually, I don't. It tastes like crap. Which is why, after I grudgingly choke down this half-cup of swill you served me, I'm going home to drink some real coffee - Brim. Plus, because Brim is decaffeinated, I won't get all amped up to come back here and explain all the other things I don't like about you, the least of which is your lousy coffee."

And if that doesn't work, they can always try changing the product name to "Gee, Your Coffee Tastes Terrific."

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


05/29/08: Phrased and confused
05/13/08: Take this job and love it
04/17/08: News you can (re)use
04/02/08: Commercial (over)load
02/20/08: An overdose of reality
02/14/08: A developing situation
01/30/08: I can tech it or leave it
01/02/08: Confessions of a coke addict
01/02/08: Our bills are due
12/13/07: Going (to lunch) once, going twice…
11/28/07: Out with the old
11/06/07: My latest pet project
11/06/07: Can't tune it out
10/23/07: Something special in the hair
09/12/07: Can I have your attention, please?
09/12/07: Houston, we have an image problem
08/21/07: In the heat of fashion
08/09/07: Let's get in the game
06/13/07: You gonna eat that?
05/08/07: That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning

© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner