Marketing can be great for a laugh. Commercials have become an integrant part of our culture: they can be funny, sad, arty, pretentious, moronic, but there's no going around them. The fact that they tend to tread the thin line between product promotion and blatant lie often annoys me, especially when lying becomes less and less of a scruple. And yet I can't deny I'm fascinated by commercials, the little tricks, catch phrases, borrow-in-your-mind tunes. I only wish I could stop singing the latter.
My latest favorite smile-inspiring commercial spiel comes from the nice guys of LantChips in Sweden. Being sold by the furniture giant IKEA in their food shops, these are commonly referred to as IKEA-chips/crisps by my friends. I ran across one of their organic crisps, sold as Alstroemer Chips, recently. The name comes from Jonas Alstroemer who is considered the "father" of potatoes in Sweden; not everyone agrees on that, the people at Uppsala University have quite a different opinion. The packaging of these chips is really neat: old fashioned, yet simple. It really wants you to think potato and crisps are an old Scandinavian tradition. The "Scandinavian style" at the front, the little description of the product signed by the company's "Master Crispmaker". I just love that. What does a master crispmaker do BTW? Can you study or fo an apprenticeship to become one? Just reading the name fills my mind of pictures of a guy in an old fashioned building slowly chipping away thin slices of potato on a huge wooden block, measuring each one for constant thickness, frying every single bag separately, checking taste. Production wouldn't be that high, but the quality would be superb.
Now, reading the info on the webpage, I have little doubt that the people at LantChips are passionate producers of crisps. I'd love to have a chat with the people there since I'm sure it would be stimulating and an educative experience. I just don't get the old-fashioned spiel: the company was born in 1992, even if the pictures in their history page look like they could come straight from the early XX century. What's wrong in saying you're the new cool kids on the block? Maybe I'm just too much of a marketing ignorant, or maybe too cynic.
But how were the chips, you ask? Nice actually, just tasting one now. I'd even say really nice. Thick cut, Kettle Chips style, not too oily though somewhat too salty (but which crisps aren't?). I would buy them again, though they don't beat the Kettle Balsamic vinegar and sea salt chips: posh, I know, but so nice!