Monday, January 3, 2011

Almost-Famous Amos

Sometimes we can be so gullible as a consumer base. Advertising coaxes us, begs us and prods us. Some products are as they claim, but in my view the majority pale in comparison to their advertising. Take the word 'famous'. How many products use that word in their advertising, use it in their slogan and again on the packaging? Really? How many have you actually heard of.

My Beloved and I visited our wonderful grocery store the other week. As we toured I passed a display of 'famous flour'. Famous flour, I thought. Never heard of it. As we proceeded I counted fourteen products that used the word famous (and we were 1/3rd the way through the store when I started. Are they really famous? If so how come I had never heard of any of them. One claimed to be 'America's favorite flour' for bread.

If I walked down the street with a list of products and stopped twenty people I'd bet less than five percent of those items would have any recognition. The only one I would even remotely speculate a random person would know is the cookie company Famous Amos. I'm sure some of these may be regionally famous but even that should have a limit. How many pizza companies from just New York claim to be a famous pizzeria? It seems like they all do. Every pizzeria from NY on the food channel seems to be famous. The only food product I know of from NY that could be called famous is Nathan's Hot Dogs.

I would propose the following: any company wishing to use the term famous for their products must call my mother-in-law, the Gnome, to ask permission. She would then call all her friends, who have about four hundred years of life experience. Should any three have heard of the company or its products they may then use the moniker. Any failed attempt shall render them impotent and void of famous. They may apply again after a period of ten years.

We'll take about 'America's favorite' tomorrow. They may have to call my uncle.


  1. They'd better hurry; he's not getting any younger!

    I do like your thoughts on "famous".

    Remember when McD's used to advertise so many billions sold? There was a one-location burger joint near the old homestead that posted on their sign: 11,165 sold. Not enuf. Closed.

  2. Billions served...thousands eaten!