This is everything that’s wrong with marketing today.

I picked up a package of gum the other day and noticed the copy on the box. It read “Trident – Fuse it up! Chew the sweet pieces with the sour pieces and you’ve created a fusion of flavor that’s all your own!”

OK. Wait a minute. What the hell does that mean? Do I want to “Fuse it up!”? I don’t think so. I just want some gum. I don’t want my own “fusion of flavor”. That sounds like an atomic bomb going off in my mouth. Who writes this meaningless claptrap? Was there a focus group where some highly paid advertising agency 20-somethings asked “If you wanted something to explode in your mouth, would it be Trident?” Probably.

Good marketing and promotion has nothing to do with meaningless slogans or mindless concepts. Did Trident think that I would read that garbage and have an overwhelming urge to “create a fusion of flavor that’s all my own!”? In my mouth?

Cadbury (who owns Trident) used to market the gum as “The Ridiculously Long Lasting Gum”. This is actually more meaningful. People that chew gum (teenagers and New York secretaries) want the flavor to last. This statement speaks directly to that desire. “Fuse it up” means….nothing.

So I just tried the gum. There was a burst of flavor that lasted about thirty seconds. What they didn’t tell me is that, after this burst of flavor, the “fusion” I tasted the worst aftertaste I’ve ever experienced. Apparently, this is the “Fuse it up!” part of the product experience. No more fusing it up for me.

Note: this article was originally published in 2006. I brought it back from the dead because I noted that Trident has abandoned the “Fuse it Up” idiocy because it didn’t sell gum.


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