Buyers panic when they think goods will run out. Sellers panic when the buyers run out. What buyers do when they panic-buy is buy stuff. But what do sellers do? They panic-sell. Marketing! The iron fist wrapped in the velvet glove crashes down on us. Now the gloves are off. Tesco’s are panic selling to the nation and one pernicious part of its panic strategy is a Tesco’s own brand poem. “What Burgers Have Taught us”.
Poetry is used by people at times of crisis. Poetry is used by most people when there’s a need to express their inner self to the outer world, to form a bridge between the two. Go around a graveyard and you’ll see poems written or quoted by people who, like Tesco’s, don’t normally use the stuff. You’ll find it at Weddings and Valentines and funerals. There are many more examples of this bridging poetry. It’s probably the most honest use of poetry of all.
And that is why “What Burgers Have taught Us” makes me angry. This disingenuous pile of horse shit has been served up for us to eat at the crisis table of Tesco. The crisis is theirs not ours. I think I’m going to be sick. I’m not sure what they’re feeding me but it feels as untruthful as say a burger made of horse meat – For example!
I appreciate poetry and poets dabbling in popular culture. I like it when Cathedral Cheddar use simple rhyming structure each Christmas to sell their cheesy wares or even when Prudential used poetry to sell insurance or when Macdonalds used poetry to sell things. I loved TRIDENT soft gum’s use of a poetry in it’s advert. Sadly ridiculously some poet friends of mine felt it was racist and it got pulled. There are other massive fails. Virgin scored a massive fail when it used the poetry of he who shall not be named – less said about that the better.
But What Burgers Have Taught Us is insipid Orwellian vacuous and manipulative double speak. It trounces any notion of what poetry is or what an apology should be. What the piece says is as bad but that it would use poetry as it’s vehicle is worse. If your partner painted on a clowns sad face whenever they apologised would you believe them? Exactly. The most sincere way of saying sorry is to use the same form of advert they used to sell us the horse meat in the first place. Linguistically that would be more effective and more honest after all So using their catchphrase Tesco’s Every Little Helps I tried one myself.
Tesco’s Every little helping of horse made us a profit
We’ll make it right and pay it back. We’ll knock some money off it
I’d like to strangle the person who wrote What Burgers Have taught Us then feed them into a mincer and serve the little Burger to Tesco Shareholders.. I’ll call it humble pie. Who knows what’s in it. Seriously though, where lies the problem? The problem is in the merging of the food chain and the supply chain.