Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tomatoes and advertising.

I'm in St. Martin for a couple weeks visiting my younger daughter, Hannah, who is teaching scuba diving at a kids' camp down here. We arrived around 1, finally got settled in our rental then drove off to the supermarket to pick up some supplies.

Living in New York, we don't get to barbecue, so when we go away in the summer, that's what we find ourselves doing.

In any event, one thing struck me when we were buying fruit and vegetables down here: the look bad but they taste good.

In America, just the opposite holds true. Food looks good but tastes bad.

There's a lot to think about in this dichotomy. In America, there is uniformity. There is a moderation of mood. You're suspect if you're too sad or too happy. Anomalies are frowned upon.

In small backwater islands like St. Martin, life is more of a crap shoot. Fruits and vegetables, and life itself, is not standardized. The unexpected is to be expected. A tomato, for instance, might be either very good or very bad. It's not likely just to be bland.

I think advertising in America has become like our fruits and vegetables. We have processed, tested and homogenized work so that it is 100% guaranteed inoffensive. Everyone looks the same, acts the same, and smiles the same. It is neither very good nor very bad.

The main thing it has going for it is it's bland.


Sean Peake said...

i blame art directors ;-)

dave trott said...

Great analogy, I will have to nick it.