Posts tagged “homer simpson”

Homer Simpson’s Duff Beer: Barley, Hops and Cultural Stories?

My first column for Core77, Homer Simpson’s Duff Beer: Barley, Hops and Cultural Stories? is up. Here’s an excerpt (but click through to see the whole piece):

We were in Rome a few weeks ago – essentially the bonus portion of my trip to Munich to speak about culture at the UPA conference. Turns out it’s cheaper to buy separate return tickets San Francisco-to-Rome and Rome-to-Munich, giving us an extra opportunity to explore. Upon arrival into Rome, we took the train into the city, with jet-lagged eyes upon early morning haze, grabbing clues from the random bits we could see out the window. As we passed through a train station, I spotted a young woman on the platform wearing a sweatshirt that read "Duff Beer" with the typeface and logo that is probably familiar to anyone who’s watched The Simpsons. I was intrigued at the notion that the Simpsons was popular enough in Italy that the young-and-hip would be not only be wearing clothing from the show but something more obscure than, say, Bart exclaiming "Non hanno una vacca, l’uomo!"

While the Duff website (in German) makes liberal use of the (dare I say it) comic Simpsons font, the copy emphasizes just regular beer stuff and offers no content that connects back to the actual Simpsons television show. This may be the most quiet, understated bit of post-modern marketing, evar. Even if the product doesn’t mention Homer or Springfield, we the consumer have Homer in our minds. We bring that experience to it. Sure, that information is not technically present in the product, so in theory one might come upon the product with no knowledge (that was the premise of The Gods Must Be Crazy). But Homer is everywhere in the culture (probably even in the Kalahari) – you probably can not feasibly experience this Duff Bier without that context.

The Springfield Shopper

Life does imitate The Simpsons, or at least exhibit the absurditity so well captured by The Simpsons. First, while I’m all about avoiding waste and am brimming in admiration for cultures that use every part of the buffalo, it’s hard not to be a bit suspicious when the Dole Nutrition Institute goes to some great lengths to offer non-food (but hey, they are healthy) uses for Dole products.

For example, Banana Bread Head

Have a couple of bananas that have ripened beyond their prime? Don’t throw them away! Treat your hair to this vitamin-rich conditioning pack by blending a banana with a tablespoon or two of honey, plus a few drops of almond or vanilla extract for extra shine and a yummy fragrance that will remind you of mom’s fresh-baked banana bread.

Mix together banana, and honey in a blender. Wet hair with warm water and apply. For extra penetration, use plastic shower cap or wrap your hair with a towel. Wait about 20 minutes – perfect time to try the banana mask below – then rinse thoroughly, following with shampoo and conditioner as usual.

Mashed banana functions as a mucilage, much like aloe vera gel, protecting hair from environmental damage and smoothing frizzy flyaway hair. By bringing moisture to the surface of your scalp, this pack also serves as an excellent treatment for a dry, flaky scalp.

I’m going to be sick. I have been known to sport some fruity-smelling hair, but really, too much. Remember Steve Martin’s deodorant?

Tunafish Sandwich! I put a tunafish sandwich under each arm, one or two behind the ears… I don’t smell like any other guy! And it’s economical too, because the smell lasts for four or five days.

Dole also offers information on some other fresh fruit stuff to rub on yourself, including
* Lana’i Pineapple Body Scrub
* Strawberry Body Smoothie
* Indian Mangocado Body Polish
* Brown Sugar Jojoba Scrub
* Caribbean Conditioner
* Green Goddess Mask
* After-Beach Banana Mask
* Pi?±a Party Peel
* Good Morning Mask
* Papaya Peel
* Queen Bee Cleanser
* Green Tea Tonic

And elsewhere in Homer-esque food stuffs comes The Butter Trough, a restaurant in Atlanta that serves a strangely limited menu of bread, breadsticks, butter, and iced tea. It’s all free, thanks to advertising.

Finally, we serve you the absolute best and freshest supply of butter to be found in the region. Made from only organic minerals, The Butter Trough’s butter is made daily for your enjoyment. Twice hourly, the supply of butter in The Butter Trough is refilled. For your enjoyment, our farm clad employees slop the super heated butter into the butter trough so that you can enjoy it at its most liquid consistency.

The butter is made of minerals? Employees are “farm clad” and “slop” the butter into a trough? Damn right it better be free because who the hell would pay for this?

Don’t miss their catchy slogan “Friends. Fun. Food. Free.”

[via Mom; The Consumerist]


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