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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mixed-Message Branding at CAT-Scan Springs

Last week, in a CAT-scan waiting area, I toasted two other patients while downing my EZ EM Barium Sulfate Smoothie. (four glasses; one every 15 minutes) You drink it for its “contrast” coating that articulates the diagnostic dye injected during the scan.

The flavored, thick-textured smoothie is supposed to mask the drink’s underlying metallic taste. But the pained expressions of my waiting room mates (one had opted for banana; the other berry) told no lies: The drink proved less than a mixological triumph. I did somewhat better with vanilla, but all three of us shared equally in onset bloating.

Too Many Choices?

Pouring my second round, I took comfort in the bottle’s label depicting a foamy smoothie accompanied by a vanilla floret and beans. But then, my eye spotted the graphic of a gastrointestinal track in the label’s southwest corner. How whimsically it mirrored the smoothie graphic with its exclamatory straw. And what an addition to a kid’s crazy straw that gastro-appendage might make.

Inspiration for a crazy straw?

But why ruin vanilla imagery with that alimentary distraction? The answer: Consumers don’t purchase the product. It’s the clinics and medical technicians who do. Let's drink to them all.
The Barista's Delight: Mochaccino

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