Monday, December 19, 2005

Hyperbole squared, times infinity

Dontcha just love marketing speak? This is taken from an ad in the Sunday Times Magazine last Sunday, placed by Blacks (an outdoors/camping store), for a Columbia ladies’ jacket:

This is the women’s Voulez-Vous Parka by Columbia” – it’s a stupid product name, but fair enough. I can live with that.

“It works best on any hike because the Omni-Tech Villi Twill XB shell offers excellent breathable protection to keep you dry and comfortable in all conditions.” – More stupid product names (Villi Twill XB? Who comes up with this stuff?), but it’s all fairly standard marketing speak so far.

“And the Ultra Plush Pile lining and Micro-Temp insulation makes sure you’ll stay warm and cosy” – It’s all beginning to get a bit much – Ultra Plush Pile? What’s “Ultra” about it?

“It has a Cyber Twill chin guard to protect your face from the wind”. – Well thank God it’s a “Cyber” twill, cause, you know, those standard Twills just don’t cut it.

“An emergency hood is stored under the collar for unexpected storms.” Oh dear. Describing a hood as an emergency item. Unexpected storms? What if you were expecting the storm? What happens to the emergencyness of the hood then?

“The Underarm Venting System provides maximum air circulation.” – OK, now I’m a fan of underarm venting systems. They help keep me cool. Really. But calling it an Underarm Venting System really doesn’t make it any more glamorous than an ordinary underarm venting system. Really.

“It has a lift ticket D-ring for easy access and lots of multi-function pockets. The front pockets have rubber Titanium zip pulls, easy to open even with your gloves on.” It’s hard to know where to begin with this one. Perhaps someone could explain to me exactly what a “lift ticket D-ring” actually is? My absolute favourite, however, is the “multi-function pockets”. I’ve been waiting for these for ages. I mean, my whole life I’ve been confined to single-function pockets. But now these new-fangled, crazy multi-function pockets are around, I can finally move on with my life. Whoo – technology, eh? Although, I’m left somewhat confused by the “rubber Titanium” zip pulls. Are they rubber or Titanium or both? Does a jacket really need Titanium zip pulls? Do they really need to give Titanium a capital letter?

“The Columbia Voulez-Vous Parka’s unique sleeve construction with Radial Sleeves and articulated elbows give maximum movement. This allows your arms to go up while your jacket stays down, and along with the internal powder skirt, it ensures that all the snow stays out when you’re on the slopes.” The first part of this sentence can be roughly translated as, “This jacket has sleeves. You can move your arms in these sleeves. Now, isn’t that neat.” “Radial sleeves” – what ARE radial sleeves? Similarly, if someone can explain to me precisely what makes the elbows on this jacket “articulated”, I’d be happy to hear from you (as it happens, I’m happy to hear from you even if you can’t).

Maybe I’m just behind the times with jacket technology, but I could’ve sworn my jacket already has multi-function pockets.


Blogger Robin said...

i don't know about you... but my elbows are always articulating. Otherwise you'd be stuck with a pile containing a distal humerus, proximal ulna and radius, and some ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. If that were the case, I would never be able to reach for, and hold up to my lips, that cup of delicious hot cocoa. Additionaly, if the elbows of my sleeves were not articulating with the rest of my sleeve. Then I'd just be wearing short sleeve jacket and wrist bands. So don't diss articulated elbows-- cause I'd freeze to pieces!

19/12/05 4:54 pm  

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