Pointless Butter Advertising

(I can’t believe it’s not shit! Actually, I totally can)

I’m the sort of narcissistic hedonist who indulges in dairy products because piss on animal welfare, because I want some milk with my bran flakes, so I get through quite a lot of butter when I have toast. Personally, I go for Flora, because there’s an offer at Sainsbury’s where you can get two tubs of low-fat butter for two quid, and a single tub is £1.82 so that second one is basically 12p, but there’s a disturbing part of the Flora world that I never really noticed before: pointless subadvertising.

When you open your pack of delicious, delicious, soul-damning butter, you’re confronted with a single sheet of foil over the top of the butter, presumably to keep it fresh and cool while on the shelf, which is often decked out with a variety of harrowing adverts featuring Flora-indoctrinated children dipping toast soldiers into eggs in scenes that are not at all phallic and frankly demonic. These adverts, as do all in this wonderful capitalist world we live in, encourage its audience to engage with the product in question with the same cultish devotion as the cartoon on the foil; this creates a nice paradox whereby human beings, with our complex thoughts and priorities in life, are presented as inferior to a  drawing on a bit of paper (that exists purely to sell you that bit of paper) because you don’t like Flora butter quite as much as little Timmy does. How could you, you heartless, butter-bashing bastard!

But beyond this edgy, sophisticated critique of our society, there’s a functional problem with this literal second layer of advertising: it’s completely pointless. Unless you’re the kind of psychopath who opens all the products in the supermarket to try them before buying them, you won’t see this ‘why don’t you buy some Flora?’ plug until you’ve already bought some Flora. Combine this with the relative cheapness of the brand – see my 12p tub above for details – and I’d imagine that most Flora fans don’t indulge in this sweet buttery toast-covering as a one-off, but buy many packs at once, over a long period of time; Flora isn’t a one-night stand, but a long-term relationship, one that you get tired of piercing pretty quickly, and starts to taste of emptiness and regret after a while, but that you stick with anyway because you need some butter in your life, and you don’t hate this one and weren’t that emotionally invested in it in the first place.

So basically, your butter sucks, your economic system is for losers, and you’re going to hell for not being Straight Edge; the James Patrick Casey blog, where every silver lining has a big frakking cloud.


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