Monday, June 04, 2007

Temple Of Evil

Temple Of Evil
Originally uploaded by Gringcorp.
I've explained before that Union Square is the epicenter of misguided and intrusive marketing campaigns. For various reasons, including the proximity of New York University and a few ad agencies, product launches tend to be visited on the area's workers before anyone else.

Please don't think we're grateful. My intern came back a day or two back in a state of considerable agitation. She had been accosted by a spokesmodel with what appeared to be a sample of cookies. The bag even had "Cookies" in large writing on the side.

Can you guess what happened next? Inside the box was not anything useful, like a life-sustaining mixture of sugar and fat, but a pedometer and some promotional material. Similar payloads were concealed within fake pizza boxes and lord knows what else.

The source of this disturbance is a new "weight loss product" called alli, which, its makers note, is FDA-approved and available over the counter. This means that it may not be ineffective and its probably not dangerous. The only remaining strike against it is that it's part of the pernicious, meretricious, and psychologically harmful weight-loss industrial complex.

I can't speak for women, I wish I could, but since I'm reliably informed I talk kind of funny for a man I should probably avoid speaking for a different gender altogether. But if I was a female I would be heartily sick of an entire industry devoted to telling me how I should look, feel and eat.

As it stands, I'm just irritated by the litter, obstruction, vacant spokesmodels, pastel shades and smugness of the enterprise. You can check out the fiasco at the Daryl Roth Theatre for the next week or so. Gumby Fresh does not endorse flinging pies, congealed fat, government cheese or Skittles at them. Much.

[UPDATE: Uncanny. More here from the Observer's bridal blog, with reporting and everything. Plus, they actually read the patronising garbage on the side of the fake boxes:

“I want pizza, not this dumb thing,” said Ms. Sullivan, holding up the pedometer like a smelly sock. On the box was some coy “nutritional information”: “Calories Per Slice: A Whole Lot. Fat Grams Per Slice: More Than You Want to Know. Probably Going Straight To: Your Hips.”

Oh, and welcome, Glaxo readers (for it is they that foisted this cluster of idiocy upon us). How many insecurities did you attempt to monetise today?]


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