Advertising nonsense

The other day I was flipping through one of the many catalogues we get sent at work. They are full of new products on the market and cool discounted deals and all the usual advertising jargon you see in the world of products of this sort. Occasionally, though, I come across something which is utter crap.

The most offensive one I saw recently was this nonsense tag line for a coffee company…


What can this possibly mean? Hand-roasted coffee? Hand picked, maybe. Even handmade. But hand roasted? How is that even possible? The workers at Union have limbs which can reach temperatures of over 100 degrees so they simply hold the coffee in their hands for a while? Or they have huge walk-in ovens so they each take a handful of coffee and walk in the oven to caress the coffee beans gently whilst they roast, in the process roasting themselves alive and getting third degree burns, but they don’t mind. They sacrifice their bodies for the sake of bringing us ‘hand-roasted’ coffee. How lovely.

What?! What can it mean? Hand-roasted? Any suggestions?

Next up, a tea company.


Design led. Is that supposed to be a good thing? I’m not sure why that would seem good. Do I want a tea company which is taste led? So I know I’m getting a nice tasty cup of tea? Or even innovation led? So I know that maybe I’m getting something new and interesting. Perhaps a fantastic new tea experience which could change my life.

No! This tea company doesn’t give two hoots about the taste, the innovation, the potential for new experiences. It couldn’t give a cuppa for my morning being made or ruined on the strength of my tea-drinking experience. No. What they care about is the design.

The design. That’s right. They’ll throw any old PG Tips in the box without a care in the world. So long as the design is good, this company is happy. They are design led. Good to know.

The next nonsense is geography-specific.


Stonewall Kitchen, advertising their product in a UK magazine, which is being sent out to small delis and shops around the country, are enticing me to buy their product and stock it in my shop by telling me that I will recognise their product from ‘artisan shops in the US.’

O, thanks for pointing that out. I couldn’t think where I recognised it from. I just knew I’d seen it somewhere!

Because I’m always hanging out in artisan shops in the US.


I’m never out of them.

I practically live in them.


8 responses to this post.

  1. Totally agree. But this is the world of advertising where by them just saying something different somehow, to them, makes that product “interesting” or “different” from anything else on the market to the consumer. The one that got me was the notice I read about in a cafe somewhere that advertised cups of tea/coffee which were provided in a “re-fillable” cup/mug. Fancy that!!


  2. Posted by Alex Jones on January 22, 2013 at 13:12

    Advertising is often clever words lacking substance. No wonder so many have a cynical attitude to advertisers.


  3. Oh so true…..advertisers should make skeptics of us all. My personal pet peeve is the ridiculous drug adds that try to persuade you that 1. you have a problem and 2. that their medicine will cure it….The side effects, however, sound worse to me than the symptoms…..”Don’t believe anything you read and only half of what you see” — pretty good guideline, I think.


    • Good advice! We get a lot of dentist adverts, like for toothpaste or mouthwash and they’re filmed at an angle, all arty and cool. They’re the worst. They’d have you believe that everyone has severe gum disease if you let them.


  4. Advertising is, almost, a ridiculous sport. Someone pays millions to create an almost totally CGI commercial with babies roller skating and it shows the product – “Evian water” for about 2-3 seconds of the full minute or so. Worse, what does Evian spell backwards? – Naive…I won’t drink it.


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