Monday, 30 May 2011

Celebrity Shilling

imageWhat’s with this country nowadays that nobody has their own taste and opinion and they can’t even decide what to like unless some celebrity says so?

Case in point: I made a cake today (OK, only from a packet mix) and the instructions said to beat it with an electric mixer.

Well, I don’t have one and I don’t have a lot of strength and ability left in my wrists and hands now either, so after a few seconds of manual beating, my wrists were tired, my hands hurt and I wished I did have an electric beater.

So, off to Amazon / eBay to look for one … for next time.

And I’m met with an array of kitchen gadgets advertised as Delia’s cheats (although, I don’t see this a cheating: more of a *disability aid*), or marketed under the name of some so-called celebrity chef like Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Antony Worrall Thompson, Marco Pierre White, James Martin, etc.

This, of course, is a win-win situation for the manufacturer who appears to get a celebrity endorsement and for the celebrity who’s paid to shill the said piece of junk. The only losers, of course, are we consumers, who inevitably pay more for the appliance than we would have if no name was attached to it.

But I think what riles me most about this situation is that, in order to market these items and shift enough of them off shelves to make a profit, these manufacturers seem to think that they need to treat us like idiots.

Do they honestly think that no *mere mortal members of the public* have ever been in a professional kitchen? (There’s enough *ordinary folk* being exploited to make cheap reality TV programs – including the cookery ones – to prove otherwise.) Because, as anyone who has ever been inside a professional kitchen (or is in possession of a bit of common sense) will know, the likelihood of any professional chef using a £20 plastic mixer in their busy professional kitchen is pretty close to the same as finding hen’s teeth or rocking horse poo!

There probably are people who believe that said celebrity actually uses the appliance in question. There are also probably not a few who actually believe (or at least hope) that the said item does possess the necessary qualities of robustness that is inferred by inferring professional use.

To me this seems deliberately misleading, dishonest and morally wrong.

What’s next, hookers advertising themselves by the name of the footballer they last shagged? Oh, sorry, that already happens, doesn’t it? Smile

One upon a time a decent brand name was enough. That’s what I want: a brand know for it’s quality, not merely for its associations with the latest in a long line of professional marketers. This has become impossible to buy, because reading the reviews, they’re full of stories like, “We just replaced the one we got as a wedding present 37 years ago …”, but “this last 9 months.”

That’s not just a decline in quality and standards, it’s taking in-built obsolescence and waste to a criminal level. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I thought we were supposed to be reducing waste, recycling, being green …

1 comment:

ronsrants said...

"The only losers, of course, are we consumers, who inevitably pay more for the appliance than we would have if no name was attached to it."

Indeed - it's a surcharge on gullibility.

Agree entirely about the mixer, though. Making bread by hand is exceptionally painful now, plus it keeps me on my feet longer than is good for me.

Using a stand mixer (Kenwood Chef), to do the grunt work makes a massive difference to me, without any detriment to the finished loaves. In fact they might even be better, as the machine isn't tempted to skimp on the kneading.


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