Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Great Moments in Hucksterism

Hollywood writer and master namedropper Mark Evanier highlights a thriving haven of the art of creative writing—cereal boxes:

Then one day, the word "sugar" began to fall out of favor with parents and maybe even with some kids, too. Sugar Pops became Sugar Corn Pops and then a few years later, they were just plain Corn Pops. [...]

And now it's come to this: [...] The exterior of the container just says Pops on it. Nothing about sugar, nothing about corn. It's just a box of Pops. [...]

It's not a great trend. If people are going to eat sugar, let them be well aware it's sugar. Don't help them pretend it's something else. Why they're doing this, I don't know.
I can hazard a pretty good guess. If I remember right, the most recent slogan they used is, "Gotta have my Pops." They kept the one word that helps them sell the product—to relatively guileless, unsophisticated children, not incidentally—and they eliminated the words that weren't pulling the marketing plow. No mystery here.


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