Earlier this decade, Nissan had the bright idea to turn their popular Murano SUV into a convertible. Shockingly, turning a tall, ugly-ass utility vehicle into a $45,000-$48,000 luxury cabriolet did not go too well, to the point where if you visit Nissan's own web page for the car today, it flat out recommends you a separate SUV and convertible.
Unless you're really tall, you could barely see out of the CrossCabriolet. The lack of structural integrity thanks to the removed roof made the car shake like a toy. It was slow, sloppy, and handled like a brick, and was somehow heavier than the standard Murano.
In other words, expect aging hipsters to buy the shit out of these as soon as they finally get tired of riding bicycles. Maybe the Murano's cup holder's even big enough for a bottle of Coors Rocky Mountain Sparkling Water.
Colgate Tries To Create "A World Of Oral Care" (By Introducing Colgate-Brand Microwave Meals)
"Hey, Jenkins. Did you come up with those suggestions for brand extension like I asked?"
"Yes, Sir, I did. To truly expand our toothpaste empire, I think we should start making ... ready-to-eat meals."
"The frozen kind, Sir. That you heat in the oven. We'll strap our brand logo all over the packaging and everything. That way we can market them along with the toothpaste, under some handy umbrella term like 'World of Oral Care.'"
"Do you really think that people will want to associate the taste of chicken pot pie with the clean, minty tang of our toothpaste, Jenkins? Or the fluoride aftertaste of said paste with goddamned beef lasagna? People's taste buds will be completely confused. That way, only madness lies."
"Yes, it does. The great god Azathoth will be most pleased, Sir."
"Yes, he will indeed. Excellent work, Jenkins. Here's your bonus."
I have no proof that a conversation like that took place in the Colgate headquarters circa 1982, or that elder gods or (more likely) cocaine were involved in the brainstorming process. But hey, let's see you come up with a better explanation for the existence of Colgate Kitchen Entrees.
"Why not accompany your meal with a nice glass of Colgate orange juice?"
The early 1980s were a growing market for ready-to-eat meals, so Colgate hoped to tap into it. Like Coors, they brazenly did this with their existing brand name. Unlike Coors, Colgate decided to go balls-out and confuse the hell out of its customers with packaging they had already learned to heavily associate with a radically different product. The idea, I suppose, was to create an umbrella brand of consisting of whatever Colgate felt like people should stick in their mouths. In practice, that went roughly as well as you'd expect. Not only did Kitchen Entrees experience a swift, resounding failure, but in certain places, the sales of Colgate toothpaste actually went down because the customers were now mentally associating it with frozen spaghetti.
I like to think that those stickers came with the meals, and the Museum of Failure merely bought the surplus from Colgate.
I'm not throwing stones at these companies. On the contrary, I say keep 'em coming. Their profound misunderstanding of basic human psychology is more helpful to me than any antidepressant. It brings me so much joy that I should be able to pay for their next ridiculous product with health insurance. As long as those keep popping up from time to time, I think we're all going to be just fine.
Pauli Poisuo is a Cracked columnist and freelance editor. Here he is on Facebook and Twitter.
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