Being Chill

The above greeted me when I walked into our Acme grocery store a couple of days ago.  The gentleman pictured is none other than Jalen Hurts, who is the quarterback for the only undefeated team in the National Football League, our hometown Philadelphia Eagles. Before I entered the store, I had no earthly idea a company named Lemon Perfect even existed, let alone they had a product described as Hydrating Lemon Water.

But I immediately wanted to try it.

Sales and marketing to consumers….some is subtle, some is subliminal, some is a punch in the face. All are designed to separate our money from our wallet. Intellectually, I know this. But emotionally, I also know I sometimes get an immediate desire to acquire based on the advertising alone. Not just for what the product is, but for what feeling I’m supposedly going to experience from using it.

Now, just because Hurts is pictured with a bottle of hydrating water, I’m not instantly inclined to buy it. But of course, it doesn’t hurt.

The primary reason I immediately became fascinated with this product is because of lemons. I love lemons. If I come across something with lemon represented to be in it, there’s a sort of invisible, irresistible magnetic beam which inevitably draws me to it. Even if it’s something I don’t need, ever wanted before now…you get it.

Because I was in a bit of a time crunch at that point, I only had time to procure the milk, bread, and eggs we really needed…but Lemon Perfect Hydrating Lemon Water is now atop the grocery list for the next stop. While I remain highly skeptical of how much more hydrated this product will really make me than plain old H2O…if this tastes like real lemons it could be a “need.”

Later in the same day, I saw a TV spot for a product called Honey Lemon Chill Vicks VapoCOOL Severe Cough Drops.

You know where this is going, don’t you? These are already in the medicine cabinet. I don’t have a cough, but I am all for preventive medicine so I’ve already sampled this product. Not bad at all – enjoyed the lemon taste.

What you don’t know yet is the marketing on this product wasn’t just attractive to me because it was represented to be lemon-y, but because of the use of the words “cool” (VapoCOOL!) and “chill.” And this is where I pivot from what’s supposedly in the product…to how it will be received by my sensory receptors. Cool and chill are very much purchase trigger words for me by themselves…more so when used together.

I already use a product because it is “arctic”…

Now, I don’t know exactly where this all began. I’ve liked Winter for as long as I can remember, but when a food or beverage product is marketed as arctic, ice, cool, cold, chill, etc. it creates an emotional response within me which often leads to me buying and trying the product. I have the exact opposite buying emotion when it comes to products marketed with descriptions including words like tropical, sun, warm, hot, heat, etc.

Yeah, it probably IS a Winter thing.

Putting lemon, cool, and chill together in the same description made it just a matter of time before I bought those cough drops. If Vicks had advertised them with the lead ingredient as horseradish instead of honey, I would still have bought a bag.

I will confess neither the Vicks cough drops or the Altoids mints made me feel cool or chill or in the arctic while using them. I remained at 98.6 F. In the instance of the word chill, maybe the sales and marketing folks are just using it like cool kids use it these days?

No matter. It’s cool. I’m chill.

While thinking about ad-driven purchases, I also remembered another item I buy that falls into this brisk category…caramel cold brew coffee. You know by now they had me at “cold” brew, right? Be advised, I also love me some caramel…as much as lemons. If someone ever successfully grows a caramel lemon tree, I’m purchasing it.

While I know there is a defined, unique process to creating cold brew coffee, I really have no idea if my local Dunkin’ strictly adheres to it all the time because they are super-busy all day long. Hell, with the three pumps of caramel I get added to each order for all I know it’s just yesterday’s regular coffee not reheated. Regardless, it helps get me going in the morning. It’s definitely cold…and it’s positively caramel.

It also should be noted here our local Dunkin’ franchises are huge Philadelphia Eagles supporters. (Did I mention the Eagles are undefeated?)

The sales and marketing gurus got me once again yesterday…when I noticed a food article online. It was about a product that won’t even be on store shelves until February, 2023…M&M’s Caramel Cold Brew Candy.

I sprained my wrists getting to the M&M’s website.

I’ll admit to being skeptical these will be colder than other M&M’s. No matter. The website asked if I’d like to be notified when this new item will become available. Yes, please. However, I am taking no chances. Once the calendar flips to 2023, I’ll be pro-actively calling around asking stores ”DID YOU GET THEM YET?”

Sales and marketing pros look to connect with consumers any way they can, not only promoting what their products are all about, but also by creating an expectation of how we will feel using them. This new M&M candy is a perfect example of this. According to M&M’s, the Caramel Cold Brew Candy will be represented by the new Purple M&M, which they note is distinguished by her authenticity, self-awareness, and confidence.

Who wouldn’t feel good buying Caramel Cold Brew Candy from that spokescandy? There’s a legitimate potential when this product comes out…it might just sell out.

Maybe I’ll start calling around in December…


Pictures Courtesy Proctor & Gamble/Mars Incorporated

63 thoughts on “Being Chill”

  1. This was great! For me, all something has to say is ‘special edition’ or ‘limited time only’ and it is in my cart. This year I bought a small carton of ‘special edition’ ice cream–the flavor was Grey Poupon and Pretzel. Disgusting. But, it was special and, of course for the summertime, a limited time only. I had to buy it!
    Don’t you love those York Peppermint Patties candies with cold blast of air with each bite? Yes!!
    But now you have me thinking about those caramel cold brew M&M’s. Those have got to be limited edition…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to look up that Grey Poupon ice cream you mentioned. Van Leeuwen apparently had a number of summer limited edition ice creams. Of the ones I saw, I probably would have went for their Honey Cornbread with Strawberry Jam. I do so understand “falling” for exotic ice creams. We actually have York Peppermint Patties in the fridge. I simply cannot eat one at room temperature.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You had me until cold coffee. Cold coffee to me is sadness, you can’t dunk a biscuit in it. Lemon coffee though, hmm would that work?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate! For me, it’s breakfast cereal. As a child, I was part of that “bowl of cereal with Saturday morning cartoons” ritual. But even as an adult, as I wander down the cereal aisle at the grocery store, I’m always tempted to pick up a box based on the delicious (and usually sugar-filled) images. Advertising in this country is practically its own art form. Our brains are deluged with it from the moment we wake up and start looking at our phones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read a website called The Athletic (sports-related). When it first started, one of the attractions of subscribing to it was it was completely ad-free. Recently, the New York Times bought The Athletic. About ten seconds later, the ads started coming. Funny thing is – and making your point perfectly – is that I hardly even noticed because there are ads everywhere else I look. Your last sentence says it all.


  4. I too love lemon and all its citrusy goodness. Cool? I’m menopausal with raging hot flashes… I say bring it! While I don’t drink coffee, I’m totally down with anything beginning with the word caramel. I’ll race you to the candy aisle for those.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not a huge football fan, baseball and boxing are my sports… but I live in rabid Patriot country so I root for the Packers. The fans wear cheese on their heads, how could I not?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Funny post and I’m a sucker for lemon and caramel also. When I was in CA people brought their surplus lemons from to their yards into work, like zucchini in August anyplace else. That was so cool. The downside: Whenever I had to buy a lemon at the grocery store, I knew the check out clerk was judging me as friendless.

    If only caramels grew on trees.

    Cold brew: all yours. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am literally drooling over hearing that in CA people brought lemons to work like zucchini. That almost would make me come back into an office. Almost. I guess that’s what they mean about finding friendship at the grocery store. You get to mingle with other lemon-less folks.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to be one of those guys who introduced new products. My biggest claim to fame is Nighttime Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine. I wanted to use the line “Sit on the bed when you use it,” but legal wouldn’t say yes. I hope you get your M&Ms

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  7. You do realize you may have jinxed your beloved Eagles by bragging about them, don’t you? Just kidding. How much power can fans have, anyway? As for caramel, I’d buy myself a caramel mountain if I could.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Haha! I’m guessing you also fall for the . . . .”be the first to try” . . . lines so ubiquitous these days. Not me. I let everyone else be advertising guinea pigs and marketing lab rats.

    If “they” don’t die, I consider the buy. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Every now and again, I get hooked by something or other. Like you say, it’s not about the fact we KNOW what they’re doing but rather, it’s how we feel about it. If something comes across as positive or ‘chill’, there’s really no reason not to try it. If it doesn’t do it for me, oh well, but at least I tried it.

    That said, the Caramel Cold Brew M&M’s flavor? I am going to start placing calls on those puppies right along with you.

    As for the Eagles, tough game this weekend against the Boys. They have to disrupt Cooper Rush every chance they get because that offense isn’t scaring anyone. But their defense, yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I sort of feel like I’m on a sugar overload after reading this post! Plus I am incredibly cheap. It takes a lot for me to embrace new products so quickly. That equates to my ignoring everything you mentioned with sugar in it and sticking with regular old filtered water from my Brita with a nice slice of lemon or two tossed in. I would take a donut though, if you have an extra anywhere 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Somehow you went from a healthy drink to confident candy in one post and applaud you. Nothing better than thinking about all the things, then writing about them. I’m rarely up-to-date about new products, but I need to find some of those new Purple M&Ms. Forget that drink.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lulu: “Ooh, our Dada has many recipes that include lemon. It’s quite popular around here! For instance, he makes these lemon bars with lemon frosting, and lemon poppyseed pancakes, and lemon lavender bread, and DID I MENTION THAT WE NEVER GET TO EAT ANY OF IT?!?!?!?”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I don’t usually get suckered into the marketing hype … UNLESS it’s to do with records! ‘Repressing,’ ‘hand numbered;’ Limited Edition’ ‘Coloured vinyl.’ You know that kinda stuff.
    SOLD! To the grumpy wee Scots guy who doesn’t ‘usually get suckered into the marketing hype.’ 😉 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love writing that takes me on a mental journey, and you just did that. A couple of things: the caramel-lemon combination is intriguing and is now something I want; also, I became a Pittsburgh Steelers fan as a young South Carolinian almost solely because of the Mean Joe Greene commercial for Coca-Cola where he tossed his sweaty game jersey to a young fan. Its uncanny how effective good advertising can be. Congrats to the Eagles. Let’s not talk about the Steelers.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am positive you are far from alone on becoming a Steelers fan off of that commercial. We shall agree to not talk about the Steelers just yet this season, but perhaps they can figure some things out now that the inevitable quarterback change was made. Happy to have intrigued another caramel-lemon lover.


  16. Well, at least somebody’s football team is off to a great start! No complaints. Your Eagles won me my office pool, so I’m happy they’re doing so well.

    You probably love York Peppermint Patties? I’m with you on anything advertising lemon or chill. And for me, vanilla is equivalent to your caramel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I recall you saying the Eagles helped you out recently. Hope the Broncos get the ship righted with a win on Monday Night. I have York patties in the fridge as I type this. I do so respect the vanilla love. That is definitely in my top 5 of flavors.


  17. I am also attracted to “lemony” products. For me, lemons represent something that’s good for my body. The citrus fruits are great for cleansing our digestive tract, but I also feel the color that bright yellow of a lemon is a great mood enhancer. When I see it, I immediately think of the bright sun and my mood gets brighter. 🙂 Just my 2 cents. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I used to work in a grocery store, so even months before they put stuff out, I’d get an early glimpse of it, and some stuff I immediately wanted to try, and others kind of lost their appeal when I walked by it every day. I’m also a sucker for lemon but also peanut butter and chocolate so that usually gets me.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I got a good laugh out of this, Bruce! It’s true, even if we know deep down that it isn’t the right choice, we sometimes just shrug it off and go for it because.. why not? While lemon, cold, and all that are your trigger words, you bet that anything with “Batman” in it, easily, EASILY, gets bought by me. No one around me is even surprised when it happens. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

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