Diet Dr. Pepper commercials bother me.
I don’t have a problem with Dr. Pepper. I’m not a huge fan of the taste (to me, it’s like drinking a liquid Tootsie Roll – not that there’s anything wrong with that). But I don’t dislike it either.
I don’t have a problem with Diet drinks. Some would dare to suggest that I’m addicted to a particular diet soda made by the Coca Cola Company. But I think addiction is a stretch. I can quit anytime I want. I just don’t want to.
I don’t have a problem with commercials. Not all TV spots are clever and engaging. But some are. I find myself quoting “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials from Dos Equis quite often (“He’s the life of parties he’s never attended.” – brilliant). And if I’m honest, I do kind of want to smell like the guy in the Old Spice commercials. (Also, I would like to borrow his pecs and abs for, say, 20 years or so.) The “Can switching to Geico…?” commercials were fun until they basically beat the concept into the ground, then dug it up out of the ground (literally) and starting beating it back into the ground again.
But Diet Dr. Pepper commercials drive me crazy.
Here’s their description: “Diet Dr. Pepper tastes more like real Dr. Pepper.”
Compared to what? Cat litter? Cigarette ashes? Bleach? Whenever you say a thing is “more like” something, you have to be comparing it to something else, don’t you? For example: When someone says my son “looks more like you” to me, they are saying that he looks more like me than he does my wife. A point that I’m sure she’s more than tired of hearing after 11 years. “More like” requires an object of comparison. Diet Dr. Pepper never tells us what it is comparing itself to. Previous versions of Diet Dr. Pepper? Dos Equis? Old Spice body wash?
We never know. And that’s why it drives me crazy. It’s like it is comparing itself…to itself. And that’s not allowed is it?
It made me think of other products (real or imagined) that might have trouble in comparing itself to other products. Here’s a few I thought of…
- The Nectar of the gods. “Try Nectar of the gods. It tastes like…well, it tastes like itself.”
- Sliced bread. “Pick up some sliced bread. It’s the best thing since..well, since a really long time ago.”
- Cat’s Pajamas. “Have your cat fitted for this comfy set of pajamas. They’re just the…well, they’re just really swell.”
- The Other Side of the Pillow. “It’s cooler than the…well, it’s just super cool.”
- Gold. “Buy gold. It’s as good as…well, it’s unbelievably good.”
- Any picture. “You’re going to love this picture. It’s as pretty as…well, it’s lovely.”
Reminds me of life. Sometimes it’s hard to put into words how good life is. What do I have to compare it to? It’s just big. Incredibly abundant. Huge.