I’m not sure how I feel about this.
I love progress, but I also dig a little retro. Old school is cool but an old dog needs a few new tricks every now and again. Honestly, it depends on the situation. I want my dentist to be hip to the latest in oral surgery techniques. But my postal carrier only needs a bag of mail and one of those pith helmet lookin’ things on his head.
Kind of off track here.
The nub of my gist is that I saw a bag of those little mini-doughnuts called Sweet Sixteen the other day. I haven’t eaten the things probably since college (but they are awesome!) and it’s been as long if not longer since I’ve bothered to take true note of the packaging.
You remember the Sweet Sixteen doughnut packaging? White bag, translucent window, so’s you can see the goods on the inside, and a series of little sketched people engaged in activities that can only be described as square at best: hula hooping, sock hopping, the like. Extremely 50s. I always took note of this when I was younger. Even then, the kids on the Sweet Sixteen bag seemed outdated. But it was neat in its own way. I figured the artwork on the package probably hadn’t changed since they started making the tasty little pastries. Like those Dr. Pepper bottles with the 10-2-4 on them. Pretty cool.
But like I said I saw a bag the other day. I was waiting in line at a convenience store and there they were. I thought to myself, “Man, I could devour a bag of those things.” I didn’t buy them for just that reason, mind you. Nonetheless, I really looked at it and saw – to my horror! – that the little people had changed! They weren’t 1950s any more. They were inline skating and talking on cell phones and downloading internet porn! Okay, I made up the last one, but the point is at some point over the last decade or so Sweet Sixteen had seen fit to forego their retro character design for something more hip and 21st century.
Why? Why, I ask. Was there a steady decline in Sweet Sixteen sales due to the quaint portrayal of Happy Days rejects on the bags? Does anyone in PR at Sweet Sixteen honestly believe that sales will increase because Biff is now Chad Michael and he’s got a boombox instead of a hi fi? Has anyone besides me and the middle management tool that oversaw the redesign even looked at a Sweet Sixteen package closely since 1957?
No. Some things should stay as there are. Like Olivia Newton-John pre-Grease. Don’t change ‘em! I don’t fear change but it’s not ALWAYS for the better, people.
Okay. Rant over.
Damn. Now, I want some doughnuts. And Olivia Newton-John.