Tag Archives: marketing

Slurping Mad

I was cycling back home from work one day when an incredible thought struck me. The cause for that particular thought to emerge was that I was going across ramen place after ramen place and smelling the heavenly flavors of whichever broth was under preparation at that specific point in time. I did not stop to ask for details.

The revolutionary idea was to start eating at all the shops on the way to the office one by one until I can write a thorough review of all the things Loop 7 (環七通り) between Nerima and Shinjuku has to offer ramenwise.

The culture of eating ramen is fascinating on many levels. It is the only eating culture that I know of that emphasizes eating rapidly while making weird noises without including any social interaction whatsoever. As a self-taught barbarian, this is something I long for whenever I have to eat with other people in a so-called civilized manner. The ideal, standard ramen shop is a place where you pay for your food beforehand at a ticket dispenser, receive a ticket with the dish you ordered, put the ticket on the counter, get ramen, stop breathing, eat ramen, wipe table, put dish back on counter and leave. Naturally, there are usually a few words exchanged with the owner to choose toppings or thank for the food, but there are no conversations between restaurant-goers, no eye contact with anyone, and people concentrate on, get this, *Sam Kinison voice* FUCKING EATING!

My initial problem with planning to report my eating experiences is that I have a very practical approach towards food. Either something is excellent, maa maa, or edible. Otherwise it isn’t food. And there are a lot of things you can eat that aren’t food as well. The fancy ramblings that food critics offer are just a highly sophisticated form of verbal perversion that I don’t want to be associated with. As a rule I’m much more interested in what constitutes my food than how many bizarre adjectives a highly paid lobbyist can find to describe it. Although my writing skills could possibly be up to the tedious task, my imagination and self-respect most likely would not be. I consider food critics to fall into the same category as people in marketing, i.e. they are the bane of the earth. Unfortunately it appears I am soon to belong to both demographics.

Furthermore, there is a high chance that my food commenting would strongly resemble the taste interpretations on Japanese TV, which essentially consist of randomly chosen famous people chewing for a few seconds before making retarded faces and repeating oishii until they start foaming at the mouth and fall over backwards. If I actually manage to cook something up related to ramen tasting, I’ll put up a dedicated page for that. Don’t expect too much, though. It could get boring really fast. For all of us.


Broken Marketing

In terms of marketing, spamming via regular mail is right there on top of my hatelist along with door-to-door religious marketing and telemarketing. So no matter how beautifully personalized the message is (Dear N.N. and so on), stuffing trash through the mail slot in my door most likely will not make me buy whatever you’re trying to sell. It will, however, help the paper recycling business. In addition, the means through which the message arrived was not its only flaw.

The whole offer was meticulously composed in a way that made it impossible to clearly decipher how much the offering was actually going to cost. No, I don’t give a shit that it’s “the rest of the year for the price of 2 months” if you will not tell me how much exactly is two months in fucking real currency. Due to some brain lapse I was actually interested in seeing if ordering the newspaper in question would have any value for me, so I wasted 5 minutes of my life turning the A3-sized offer sheet around trying to find the only information I was interested in in the first place.  Alas, all the marketing department had had the wisdom to print was praise for all the useless “benefits” a potential customer would be getting. Oh, that, and of course how much money I would be saving. Apparently I don’t need to spend a dime. This is full of win.

Naturally, the attached order form had the actual price written on it but even there the box-checking system was confusingly stupid. I’m too lazy to scan the form so you’ll just have to take my word for that. The potential customer is always right.