Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Free will? Don't make me laugh...

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Every now and again you’re out shopping and you come across something you’ve never seen before.

Something that, now you know it exists, you cannot imagine a universe without it.

Something so simple, yet such a profound idea, you find yourself irresistibly drawn towards it, convinced Christmas could not fail to be enhanced by its presence.

Something you never knew you were missing until you saw it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…

*Drum roll…*


Marks & Spencer’s Christmas Washing-up Liquid: tough on grease and grime. Orange and cinnamon fragrance.

When we spotted it on the shelf next to the tills, we were awash with an array of emotions.

Desire, of course; admiration for the person who came up with this idea; amazement that no one else seems to have done this before; nostalgia for those Christmas aromas of childhood, even though orange and cinnamon washing-up liquid didn’t exist back then; and guilt for so very nearly falling for it.

We didn’t buy it; we managed to catch ourselves just in the nick of time.

And while I would like to feel a certain air of self-congratulatory smugness for deflecting such a sophisticated psychological advertising technique, the M&S Ready Prepared Honey Mustard & Maple Parsnips now sitting in our fridge, are testament to how powerless we really are in the face of such marketing onslaughts.
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25 comments:

savannah said...

xoxoxoxo it's ok! *snickering* honey mustard and maple parsnips???? happy holidaze, sugarpie!

Gillian said...

its amazing what the brands will come up with at Christmas time - marketing garbage

V said...

Love it....and sometimes it's nice not to bother resisting. Enjoy the parsnips!

Pat said...

Now the parsnips I'd die for. 30 miles to our M&S:(

Falak said...

This post is really funny. Honey Mustard and Maple Parsnips??? Seriously? Does it even taste nice???? Merry christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Pollinatrix said...

You could totally make your own cinnamon and orange washing-up liquid with essential oils added to unscented cleaner. A lot less allergenic too.

I miss parsnips. My mom used to feed us parsnips when I was growing up in Canada, but they're not much appreciated in the American Southwest.

I don't know about the honey mustard and maple though. And I can't help but think about the syrup-on-spaghetti in the movie, Elf.

Charlie said...

How about this for a new invention and timesaver: an automated B.S.er.

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - I know, I know... happy happies to you to :)

Gillian - for many companies, they reckon 40% of annual sales happen entirely in December. I can believe it.

V - I'm sure I will :)

Pat - 30 miles? How will you survive? Perhaps we should start a Christmas Appeal for people who are too far from an M&S. Someone like Gloria Hunniford could front it

Falak - I'll only be able to tell you if they live up to their promise on the 27th - seasonal happiness to you too :)

Pollinatrix - honey roast parsnips are something Maggie's done for many years, so I can't imagine these can go far wrong

Charlie - you'd make a fortune! Probably from hush money to make it disappear without a trace...

emma said...

Bah humbug :-) I miss M&S.
Have a good Christmas - with all the trimmings, parsnips and all!!

hope said...

I saw something similar last week, with an "American icon" twist.

The name Betty Crocker is suppose to bring to mind home baked cookies and cakes. {They're only cake/cookie mixes, but Miss Betty is suppose to be a stand in for Grandma/Mom}.

I found hand lotion and body wash labeled, "Betty Crocker Sugar Cookies". Think there was one for cinnamon rolls and apple pie too. :)

Merry Christmas to you and yours! I'm glad the crowd "following you" took a step back and gave you some breathing room. ;)

Jacqui said...

I moved to Spain so I cannot be tempted at M&S tills - and they removed the sweets so that kids weren't tempted, knowing adults were just as easy to sway into buying things we didn't know we wanted.

Willpower - about 50% I would say, but hey, it is Christmas - enjoy!

Mary Witzl said...

I'd have bit, Kim. I figure I need dish-washing liquid anyway, so I might as well go for Special Stuff. You have to splash out SOMEtimes! And those parsnips sound great!

Merry Christmas!

Dan said...

To be honest mate, I am a sucker for stuff like this. Every winter I have to rush out and buy the Glade Spiced Apple scented candles. I have about 12 of the around the flat, making the place feel festive.

I'm a 31 yeard old man.

I have no hope......

Fat Lazy Guy said...

I might actually like parsnips if they were roasted with honey mustard and maple syrup...

Helen said...

Hey Bearded One - I totally would have bought the dish washing liquid!! Yes - I am that sucker!!The parsnips - that would be a different thing altogether. Wishing you a very festive Christmas and a safe, happy New Year.

Stella said...

Stay strong my bearded friend ; ) The parsnips sound yummy

Jayne Martin said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. You could have ended up with both.

Merriest of Christmases, my friend...

mapstew said...

Nearest M&S is in Cork, over 60 miles away! (Good? or Bad?)

But we do have our freezer stocked with 'Tesco Finest Blossom Honey Parsnips', which we trialed last week, fuckin' yummmmm! Also 'Tesco Finest Goose Fat Roast Potatoes'!! Also pre-tested!

All the meat will be cooked by the Map though, Leg of lamb (NZ), Ham (IRL) and Duck (Local). No Turkey this year, I'm sick of throwing it in the bin a week later! A turkey is for Christmas, not for life!

Have a good one Kim, Maggie, Rogan and Meg.

xxx

erika said...

Ha! You didn't let those tricksy marketers outsmart you! The parsnips don't count, they are vegetables and good, good for ya :)

nikgee said...

I totally enjoyed your post. One because I resemble that statement. I can just see me praising myself for my self control, only to turn the corner and falling prey to another item.

Secondly, I'm not sure how to word it exactly.....I enjoy the way you tell your story. Thanks nikgee

Ambrella said...

very strong will. or lack thereof?

Kim Ayres said...

Emma - you can always got to the M&S website - they've got a place where they show their star-studded tv ads :)

Hope - Betty Crocker hand lotions? Mind you, for some, having their woman smell of cookie mix is possibly one of the bigger turn ons...

Jacqui - there might be no M&S, but I'd trade it for your climate :)

Mary - I've nothing against splashing out sometimes. The problem is resisting splashing out ALL the time...

Dan - maybe you're the man to ask what scent I should get for my car. Everyone I get ends up making the passengers car-sick...

FLG - maybe we should try honey mustard and maple brussel sprouts...

Helen - what about parsnip washing up liquid?

Stella - they do, don't they?

Jayne - and a merry one to you too :)

Mapstew - finest blossom honey, eh? I could definitely go for that

Erika - not so good for you covered in honey and maple syrup...

Nikgee - I think you're attempting a compliment, in which case I will accept it with gratitude :)

Ambrella - ultimately, free will, or even will power, is like a muscle that needs to be exercised if it's to work. The more we use it, the stronger it gets.

Katie Roberts said...

I have managed to avoid the stupid-market for weeks, (due to too much work, not enough money). But had to go there today to stock up for the big family feast tomorrow (nut roast in the oven as we speak)

But today my son saw a good coping strategy. They were blasting us with that horrid 'festive' 'music' that makes you want to run away and puke, not stay and buy more.

There was a guy very happily walking around with hear muffs on (it is summer here) and a big grin on his face :)

Hmm, I wonder if one can do the shopping with blinkers on too?

Happy silly season everyone! May your beards grow long! xx Katie

Katie Roberts said...

sorry that should read 'ear-muffs'!

Ron Tipton said...

Kim,

A lovely bit of prose on resisting the temptations of the modern marketing of items that we don't need that try to convince us that we do need them.

Ron