Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Great Moments In Corporate PR

I guess the Corn Refiners Assn.’s lame “it’s fine in moderation!” ads have been a big fail, as they are seeking permission to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar.” Riiiight! Sorta like when Madonna renamed herself Esther or when Sean Combs became Puff Daddy, then Puffy, then P. Diddy, then Diddy. I’m sure if approved this move will go just as swimmingly.

Vanity Fair thinks “corn sugar” is sorta lame, though, and I have to agree. Their suggestions aren’t much better: “Syruption” and “Freshness”? Surely the brilliant minds at Conde Nast can do better.

I have a few ideas: How about “Freedom Syrup,” in recognition of the tremendous amount of corporate welfare taxpayer money which subsidizes corn production? Or maybe they should take a cue from my spam e-mail box and call it something which has been tested by international marketers: “Winning Notification” or “Miley Cyrus Illegal XXXX.” Surely I wouldn’t be getting so much crap with these kinds of subject lines if they weren’t effective?

Or we could call it “isoglucose” or “glucose-fructose syrup,” two actual alternative names for the stuff according to Wikipedia. Or, what the hell, how about Frankensyrup? Doesn’t sound so friendly, of course, but that’s what it is. Frankenfood created in a lab:
The enzyme process that changes the 100% glucose corn syrup into HFCS 90 is as follows:

1. Cornstarch is treated with alpha-amylase to produce shorter chains of sugars called oligosaccharides.

2. Glucoamylase - which is produced by Aspergillus, a fungus, in a fermentation vat — breaks the sugar chains down even further to yield the simple sugar glucose.

3. Xylose isomerase (aka glucose isomerase) converts glucose to a mixture of about 42% fructose and 50–52% glucose with some other sugars mixed in.

Yummy! So yeah, with long unpronounceable words like “Xylose isomerase” no wonder they want to change the name to “corn sugar.”

I always hated those stupid, “it’s fine in moderation!” ads that we’ve seen courtesy of the Corn Refiners Assn. for the past year or two. Yeah, good luck with the “moderation” part. High fructose corn syrup is in everything, from soups and breads to soft drinks and popsicles. “Moderation” is a fantasy where this stuff is concerned.

A few parody ads were made of the Corn Refiners Assn. campaign. Here’s one:

I just find it so annoying that corporate America thinks we’re stupid.