A week or so back, I photographed the sauce bottle that you see below, and posted it on Facebook with the comment ‘I’m glad they explain what it’s great with. It’s not like you’d get a clue from the name or anything.’ After a bit of discussion on there, we concluded that maybe the reason for their explanation is that some people might think that burger sauce is sauce that is made out of burgers. But either way, whether it’s to tell us what to use it for, or to tell us what it’s not made of, they’re treating us like idiots. So I ask you – do they treat us like idiots because we are idiots, or have we become idiots because we get treated that way? Of course when I say ‘we’, I’m not talking about anyone around here, oh no, obviously none of US are idiots, no, when I say ‘we’ I’m talking about the wider we of society.
My next packaging example was actually spotted by my son in the supermarket (note how well he models the pack for me to photograph it ). At the top it says ’12 Gold & Black Balloons’. I know what you’re thinking “What on earth do they mean by ‘Gold & Black Balloons’? How will I know what these are going to look like when they’re inflated? How will I know which are the gold ones and which are the black ones?!” Well fear not, there is some helpful clarification at the bottom – there is a picture of the black balloon, with the words ‘Black when inflated’, and a picture of the gold balloon with the words ‘Gold when inflated.’ Thank goodness for that. We’d have all been lost otherwise.
And finally, allergy warnings. I think we’ve all been amused by packets of peanuts that have the words ‘Allergy warning: contains nuts’, and similar. But how about the allergy information below, on a loaf of rye bread I bought recently, it lists 18 items that there could possibly be traces of. My first thought was “…crustaceans, fish, molluscs? Do they bake this bread down on the docks or something?!” Then it dawned on me, they’re just covering their backs by listing all the food items that potentially can cause severe allergic reactions, whether or not there is a chance they could end up in the bread. If this is the way allergy warnings are going to go, then they become utterly pointless.
So I have a question for you – do you find amusement in packaging labelling or is it just me? Oh no wait…that wasn’t my question, my question was – which came first, the idiot, or the one that treats them that way? Well, feel free to answer either, or neither, question.