There’s something slightly bananas about this slogan:
“Taste Me Do Good” bananas.
The bananas in the boxes are grown in Ecuador following organic, fair-trade practices. That’s very commendable. But the marketing language—from that slogan to the name of the growers’ community, Interrupción—is less appealing.
For starters, how to interpret “Taste Me Do Good”? I can understand “Watch me do good” (although it isn’t quite grammatical: “Watch me doing good” would be more English-y). The bigger problem is that the verb to taste doesn’t function in the same way as the verb to watch. You can taste flavor, but you can’t taste fair-trade practices.
Maybe we’re supposed to mentally insert a comma between the clauses, to indicate two separate actions? Oh, look—there it is on the website.
Now we’ve got an Alice in Wonderland imperative: Taste me! Then, once you’ve finished tasting, go forth and do good (deeds). Right?
Well … not exactly. Here’s how the grocery chain Fresh Direct breaks it down:
Grown the way Mother Nature intended, our hand-selected fruits and vegetables come directly from family farms and cooperatives throughout the Americas and meet the highest quality and food safety standards.
We guarantee that a fair price is paid to producers, workers receive a living wage and work under safe conditions, and that our planet is protected through environmental sustainable production processes. Every Taste Me Do Good product generates funds or "fair trade premiums" that go directly to farm workers and their communities to invest in much needed health and education projects.
Aha! So “Taste Me” is a command to the buyer, while “Do Good” describes what “we” are up to? It’s a non-parallel construction, and it makes my head hurt.
Let’s move on to the name of the “stakeholder community” behind the tasting and doing: Interrupción. The business was founded in Argentina in 2000; the name is Spanish for “interruption,” with no lost-in-translation meanings.
Is the name effective? I’m torn. An interruption is usually rude and unwelcome. On the other hand, it can call attention to urgent news: “We interrupt this program to bring you…”
Alas, Fresh Direct’s copy is unhelpful:
We interrupt with Taste Me Do Good™ products, offering you nourishing food that empowers the farmers who produce it, and protects our earth in the process.
We interrupt what? No explanation.
Interrupción’s “About Us” page does a better job.
The journey toward a sustainable future begins when we interrupt our usual ways of understanding our personal impact on the world to develop a new, global sense of our own influence that spurs responsible action. This concept of creating a more inclusive and sustainable form of participation in society inspired our name: INTERRUPCION, which is Spanish for Interruption.
We interrupt the way business is done as usual by working directly with small and medium sized producers in Latin America to ensure a better quality of life for farmers and a healthier earth for future harvests and future generations.
Sounds good! But then there’s this:
We interrupt shoppers at the supermarket to offer them a choice and a new option…
Sorry—that sort of interruption is just annoying.
An interruption on the part of a fluent translator, or a skilled proofreader, would have been a good idea:
We established INTERRUPCION on the principle belief…
That’s principal, as in first. It’s a principal principle, you might say.
Finally, I’m simply mystified by this:
Our logo, an asterisk, reminds us that behind everything we do there is a process and an impact.
Asterisks can remind us of many things—footnotes, missing letters in swear words, ungrammatical or nonstandard language, wildcard searches—but “process and impact”? Really?
Taste test: There are some appetizing concepts underlying this do-good effort. I just wish the story had been more thoughtfully executed (or translated) before it made it to the table.