Friday, October 26, 2007

melty melty cheese

Here we have an example of marketers slipping infantilizing language into the mainstream. I have seen two separate companies use the word "melty" to describe the cheese on their products. This strategy works on several levels. First, viewers are addressed as children. Second, they are reassured in their regression: being children allows them to divert attention from their anxieties by feeding their narcissistic, escapist tendencies with physical substances. The gooey texture of melted cheese -- however awful the taste -- is to be associated with childhood textures, from poop to finger paints to macaroni and cheese.

Of course, the obsession with cheese among marketers of industrial food is a long time thing, of which I write in a long essay about Outback Steak House in a past month.

In any case, the use of the word "melty" makes me cringe. What other baby talk are we going to hear from companies in their campaigns to reduce us to mewling brats crying for their comfort foods?

The word is part of the "comfort food" offensive, which takes advantage of post 9/11 fears to sell crap food to people. political economy indeed.

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