As usual, the marketeers have done gone killed a good thing:
For a long time, I have been a fan of all things retro, vintage, and especially Art Deco (a large part of why I love the old Poirot series which airs repeatedly on one of the lesser ITV stations). I guess this originates from a response to the functional, poor quality aesthetic that prevailed in our national home furnishing stores across in the 80s and 90s, when sharp corners and plywood materials dominated the scene. The styling of so many objects spoke only of short, throw away life cycles with a view to temporary practicality. Against this backdrop, scouring second hand shops and charity warehouses for nice bits of a furniture was a bit of an adventure - little was actually purchased but there was a pleasure in seeking out the aesthetically pleasing gems from yesteryear.
As time went by the aesthetic caught on and entered into the mainstream. I didn't mind this at all, because it meant that the old chip-board, cheap looking furniture was being replaced with items that were much more pleasing to the eye. This acceptance applies more to replicas and borrowing from retro and art deco furnishings and less so to vintage items that are made to look old (i.e. items are pretending to be something they are not). The latter objects that are manufactured with a weathered, aged look often don't pass the near-eye test and as a consequence, my heart sinks a little when I realise that a deception is at play.
This year, however, the marketeers have taken this movement too far and now we see these terms (an outcrop of the above movement) splattered about everywhere:
- Hand crafted
- Locally sourced
- Gourmet (I've eaten gourmet chips from a gourmet snack van and they were anything but)
Through excessive use and misapplication (see the Starbuck's advertisement above) these terms have lost their appeal. If something looks rustic, I will give a nod to the aesthetic appeal. I do not need to be told. Ditto if something is vintage. If something is handcrafted, in most cases I really don't really care. Is my coffee made from a machine or by someone's hand? Maybe I would prefer a machine made beverage if I could get a good coffee every time (an impossibility in Starbucks). It's not a selling point. Don't tell me. Locally sourced? Again, I don't give two hoots. Gourmet? I think I'll decide.
Rant over. Almost. While I'm off on one about the marketeers, please oh please quit with the current trend in advertising of telling me how I should feel: "be free", "be inspired". Some advertisements are becoming unknowing parodies, so far are they delving into this emotive advertising. Oh, and what's with the change in L'Oreal's tagline message from 'Because you're worth it' to 'Because we're worth it'? That just gives me the creeps.