Monday, February 13, 2006

Thermy Sez:

"It's safe to bite when the temperature is right!"

Well, yes. I suppose it is.

I found this gem on the ground beef I cooked up in our Hamburger Helper* tonight. Frankly, I'm not entirely sure what to think. Aside from the digital temperature readout inside his mouth, Thermy is old-school, dawg.

No, older school.

The marketing philosophy behind this little icon is fairly interesting. Marketing gurus say, Retro is cool! Retro is homey! Retro is comfy and appealing!

Well, I guess. Marketing gurus say we want ground beef packaging that suggests it dates from 1954? Are you sure 160 degrees Fahrenheit will be hot enough?

Also somewhat troubling is the fact that Thermy appears to be suffering. He's perspiring heavily, something I personally would kind of prefer my kitchen implements didn't do. He's mopping futilely at himself with a large polka-dot handkerchief. His eyes have a frantic glaze to them. Jesus. What kind of a heartless bastard ARE you, anyway?!?

I really wanted to blame Albertson's for this bit of iconic ghastliness. I'm pissed at them because I bought a bag of whole-bean coffee there this week; when I opened the bag it had almost no aroma, and when I brewed the stuff it tasted like wet cardboard. This is actually fairly typical of my experiences with them. Their prices are slightly higher than HEB's, and their stuff isn't ever quite as fresh. I only go there because it's not crowded, whereas HEB is generally a madhouse. Well - yeah.

Unfortunately, it looks like this particular campaign falls squarely on the shoulders of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. When you get down to it, this is unsurprising. I'm just coming into government work after a couple of years in marketing. I can believe that the combination of the two would be a little... off.

And speaking of a little off, what's that strange smell...?

Hey - does your stomach ache at all?

*Jingle: Helps you help your hamburger help itself to help you have a really boring dinner!


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