May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
June 24, 2008
/ 21 Sivan 5768
Getting the brand back together
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
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K