Part of me wants to preface the following rant with an introduction to Vegemite, how it’s an Australian intitution despite being owned by an American company, blah blah blah, but really, that’s Googleable data. Let’s cut to the chase, viz: iSnack 2.0, the recently chosen and equally recently abandoned name for Kraft’s new Vegemite-with-cream-cheese spread.
I mean, seriously: iSnack two-point-oh. There are so many things wrong with this that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Cribbing Apple’s lowercase i-prefix in an ironic context is one thing – it falls into the same category as using ‘Mc’ to denote cheap, homogenised and tacky produce, a la McDonalds – but bestowing a stolen moniker on an actual, honest-to-god product? It’s like Kraft has set out to mock themselves.
Pardon by French, but what the fuck does a glorified condiment have to do with the already amorphous concept of Web 2.0? Both technologically-oriented parts of the name constitute the most dismal attempt at being Hip To The Young People I have ever seen. Even the civilian who came up with the title as part of Kraft’s ‘Name Me’ campaign admits it was ‘all a bit tongue in cheek’ – something which Kraft, in their rush to appear savvy, seem not to have noticed. The name was chosen, they say – or said, before the mockery set in – ‘based on its personal call to action, relevance to snacking and clear identification of a new and different Vegemite.’ Say wha?
How does Vegemite with cream cheese constitute a personal call to action? How is referencing the internet and the products of a successful computer company in any way relevant to snacking? I mean, wow. Really. That is some grade-A bullshit right there. And another thing: given that Kraft presumably wants this product to endure in the same way regular Vegemite has, why would they name it after the techno-cultural ephemera of the noughties? When Web 2.0 is but a naff reference to past events and Apple or somesuch corporation has long since replaced the iGen fad with something newer and cooler, how obsolete would something called iSnack 2.0 be? Give it a couple of decades, and maybe it would be retro, but until then, you’re stuck with an unberably passe product name that causes mass hysteria and blindness.
Even by the standards of bad marketing, this stands out as a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Kraft might change the name, but it’ll be a long time before they live this error down – and rightly so.