The sacrifices I make

More from the supermarket:

This is what happens when there’s a line at the supermarket. No, I don’t usually buy candy, but today I did have the time to examine the packaging of this new product featured right at the checkout line. 

My first thought is – “drops”? Well, there’s another unprotectable name. Yes, think lemon drops or cherry drops – or even cough drops.  These “drops” above are pretty much lozenge-shaped just like other candy drops. So while Hershey’s has affected a “tm” after “drops,” the term is generic.

Then I examined the tagline: No candy shell – No mess.  Is that a slap at M&M’s? Is candy shell mess this year’s bedbug infestation? Alternatively, are they trying to say that even though there’s no candy shell on these, there’s still no mess?

Well, that’s where mere visual examination fell short. I actually purchased the package pictured and opened it up to see and taste just what Hershey’s is getting at here. So what did I find? Lozenge-shaped Hershey’s milk chocolate with a glossy coating instead of the usual matte, instant-melting finish that you find on Hershey’s Kisses. The coating looks kind of like the one on Milk Duds, except that it’s integrated with the inside.  So the No candy shell – No mess tagline essentially combines two unrelated features of the product, which, IMHO, falls kind of flat: it’s not catchy and I have to think about the advantages it’s attempting to communicate.

All in all, I conclude that this is a product for which I can’t imagine the public was clamoring.  But since M&M’s has been expanding its product line (mmmmm . . . pretzel M&M’s . . . ), I guess Hershey’s feels it must do the same. And the upside? My kids will be really excited that there’s chocolate in the house!

I don’t understand the question and I won’t respond to it

It’s 11 degrees and snowing here today.  But it’s a dry cold, to bastardize a saying. I decided to see what supermarket panic looks like in the face of a big snowstorm, and I have to say it was not bad at all.

Until I saw this, when I whipped out my camera in a panic:

Now that is terrifying, for a number of reasons. First of all, for the trademark geeks among us, this is a great example of violating the cardinal rule that says you don’t turn your trademark into a noun. Not that naming a cheese substitute “chreese” is all that original or distinctive, but calling the product “chreesy” doesn’t help. 

Second, for the language geeks: How are we supposed to pronounce “chr-” here?  Obviously, they want us to pronounce it with a soft “ch-” as in cheese, but the fact is that “chr-” has a hard “ch-” as in chronic. So I totally want to pronounce chreesy as “kreezy.”  Moreover, I don’t like the word “cheesy” in product naming at all, so to highlight it as they do is a major turnoff.

Third, and finally, for those who enjoy cooking and eating, feh.  This product sounds disgusting. There are plenty of appetizing dishes to eat if you’re vegan or must eat a dairy-free or gluten-free diet. Here’s a great mashed potato dish – enjoy!

[Edited to correct adjective to noun in my cardinal rule discussion!]

Good thing we’re not British

Well, we’ve been in Denver for over two and a half years and I just noticed this somewhat surprising barber/salon name:

That’s Bull Locks, in case you can’t read it.  My mind immediately went, as it so often does, to the gutter – bullocks being an American corruption of bollocks, a term with “numerous useful applications,” according to Urban DictionaryWordnik says it’s a British noun, verb, and interjection that’s vulgar and slang.

So what does it mean? Pretty much the same thing as the business name in my last post: Family Jewels. Alternatively, in the words of the immortal Barry Zuckerkorn of Arrested Development fame, “Those are balls.” 

The Bull Locks website is silent on the etymology of the name, but I like to think that it was the result of a dare, e.g., “I bet I can name my salon chain after balls and no one will know!” Certainly an unusual name for a hair salon, but hey, you can enjoy a tasty lunch at Smashburger (an outstanding name among a sea of burger joints around here) afterwards.

[And yes, that’s the real color of the sky today. It was 65 degrees. Not complaining.]

Destination: San Juan

A Royal Caribbean cruise in December to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary provided less blog fodder than I’d anticipated.  Still, a shore excursion to San Juan, PR, provided just the chuckle I was looking for:

Strongly recommended

Let’s just say that if there isn’t a rule that a mark or company name should not begin with or comprise the element “vag,” there should be:

Consider pronunciation, for example.  Hard g or soft?  I think I’ve said enough.

Going green

Just a quick post to placate my impatient readership (hi again, Dad!).  I am not normally a fan of using “green” to convey the eco-friendliness of a product.  I think it can be overused and thus not distinctive.  I’ll make exceptions, however, and I just drank one this weekend:

This amber ale from the Deschutes Brewery was the perfect refresher after a morning on the slopes at Vail yesterday.  Of course, the fact that it accompanied some amazing dishes from the bar at Larkspur Restaurant didn’t hurt.

But back to the trademark: I think “Green Lakes” is a great mark that enables Deschutes to both suggest the organic nature and other attributes of its beer and also evoke an appealing image.


Photo from Deschutes Brewery website.