Welcome back for another instalment of my blog – Batts outta Hell – where I take the piss out of ads. I could take the shit out of ads, but that’d be more work. Today it’s about a bag of coffee.
About two years ago, I decided to pop into the Grass Roots store on the Danforth in Toronto after my hot yoga class to cool down one winter day. Grass Roots is an environmental store that sells everything from organic bedding to organic skincare to organic baby products to they just went out of business. On this specific day I saw what I thought was a bag of coffee, so I picked it up and smelled it which is what I do every time I see a bag of coffee. I’m a real sniffer. Always have been. As a kid I would circle the vicinity of my mother’s bum after she farted to smell it. I can’t believe I’m admitting this but what are you gonna do. I’m sure there are weirder behaviours out there like that woman in Florida who ate her sofa. At least it’s organic which reflects my commitment to creating a more sustainable world.
The coffee smelled amazing and I wanted to know what the brand was but all it said on the package in big letters was, “This is Not a Bag of Coffee!” What? I just smelled coffee. Have my smell buds gone to hell. If it wasn’t a bag of coffee then what was it? A bag of dicks? That’d be pretty cool. It certainly would give you more pep to perform an early morning felaish.
But the bag went on to explain.. No pun intended here but I have been referred to as Bag, Bags, Bagalini. But let’s get back to the coffee bag.
This is what they say is in the bag:
The coffee in this bag is the symbolic by product of friendships that span between Oaxaca to Ontario. It’s picked and roasted with the utmost integrity for the producers and the land it’s grown on. Your purchase supports their work and our commitment for food done differently. It’s a way to participate in a socially just equitable, ecological food system.
So it’s symbolic coffee not coffee coffee. Phew. That explanation made all the diff. I’m all for food done differently but this bag of coffee is trying way too hard not to be a bag of coffee!
If you’re coffee, be coffee. Why hide behind some inflated verbiage of what you’re purporting to be? I would be coffee. Maybe I have been coffee in another life which explains why I’m writing this piece in defence of coffee that has no reason to be afraid of being coffee. Coffee’s the tits!
I think it’s emblematic of a society that is hyper advertised to. Brands feel like they can’t just say what they are anymore, they have to couch it in disingenuous adjectives. I believe this happens mostly in North America and began when products were no longer being manufactured here. Corporations had to justify who they were to consumers by coming up with bullshit brand bibles and aspirational messaging. Starbucks and Lululemon are perhaps the most famous for this. Lululemon with their ‘Manifesto’ telling you to breathe, drink water, do yoga, make friends, blah, blah, blah. Starbucks with spreading their mission to: “Inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.” All for $4.99.
What a convoluted world we live in where it’s not enough to just say what you are or who you are anymore. I remember once my mother bought a pair of shoes made in France. There was a card inside the shoe box that said: “Thank you for buying these shoes. By purchasing these shoes, you are supporting French workers.” End of story.