If you read this on a website and had no idea what was being shilled, what would you guess?
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I posed this question to the hive mind (and by “hive mind,” I mean my wife and my five Facebook friends). Someone guessed prosperity gospel life coach. Others included co-op offices, start-up funding, and website development.
These (and several others) are all thoughtful and reasonable responses. They are also all wrong.
The company in question sells reading glasses — or “eye appliances” as they call them — and their site is an absolute cornucopia of cringe.
Want more? Here’s more.
We’re done with acting our age. Let’s be our wildly experienced, highly intelligent, hyper-engaged, getting older selves. Put your readers on and join us. We’re squashing age stereotypes. Welcome to the new age.
Let’s translate. “We’re done with acting our age, so we’re trying desperately to make aging cool by acting like teenagers.” If this company were a person, it would be Madonna.
Or “Let’s be our wildly experienced, highly intelligent, hyper-engaged, getting older selves.” Not sure who they’re aiming at here, but my wildly experienced, highly intelligent, hyper-engaged, getting older self thinks this is a load of wank.
Or this? “Put on your readers and join us.” Pretty sure they mean “Put on your readers so you can read more of this bilge and hopefully drop a minimum of $90 for something that works no better $9.99 Walgreen’s readers.” Yup — their readers (excuse me, their eye appliances) start at $90.
And “We’re squashing age stereotypes.” Really? What could be more stereotypical than Boomers trying to be “edgy?” These glasses are the aloha shirt and Converse All-Stars of eyewear.
How about “Welcome to the new age?” New age? More like, “Welcome to old age, motherfucker. Sucks not being able to read, huh? But no worries; drop $100 and we’ll help you read your iPhone and make you cool again.”
The cringe continues. One model of eye appliance is described as a “collab” inspired by cool cars of the 1950s.
First off, a collab is more like two hip-hop artists getting together to make something especially unlistenable. However, “collab” does rhyme with “money grab,” and that’s exactly what this feels like.
Perhaps the best part is their tagline: “Get older. Own it. See stuff.”
Not exactly “I came, I saw, I conquered,” is it? Good thing Julius Caesar had better copywriters. “I came, I saw stuff, I conquered” is not going to make into Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.
And while I’m being nit-picky, the “See stuff” thing makes no sense. I wear readers, but I wear them to read stuff; I see stuff just fine. You’d think this would be obvious, as they are called reading glasses, not seeing glasses.
For the record, I’m all for reading stuff; just not stuff like this.