Mas#tags: Why #potatoes are the first sign of the apocalypse

By law I may be a young person, but really I’m a cynical old grouch. For longer than I can remember, I’ve been complaining about society and how we’re all inevitably doomed in one way or another. Usually, if something really provokes me, I’ll blog about it at 3 in the morning, go to sleep, realise that what I’ve written is garbage and send it to the eternal pit of doom that is my drafts folder to decompose.

This time, however, things have started to get personal.

I like potatoes. They’re nutritious (or so I’m led to believe) and both appropriate and tasty in almost every culinary context. I also like social media and communicating with fellow humans and all that guff, though I am of the opinion that non-ironic hashtag abuse is pretty barbaric.

Funnily enough, the worlds of potatoes and social media have managed to survive independently for millions of years without any signs of convergence or even inklings of it ever occurring. But then Captain Birds Eye came along like some deranged @DrFrankenstein, with blatant ignorance of hashtag etiquette in tow.

Mas#tags are the #new #tasty pot@to shapes (seriously) for the woefully undercrowded frozen-potato-shapes aisle in your local supermarket. For those who’ve managed to bear with the story thus far, it will surely come as no surprise that Mas#tags are social media-themed frozen mashed potato shapes. And an atrocious crime against humanity, potatoes and the Internet.

In a press release, Birds Eye’s Senior Brand Manager, a man who I can only assume is paid a very healthy wedge (sorry, couldn’t resist that one) called Pete Johnson had, apparently legitimately, the following words to say.

The addition of Mas#tags to our food range is an exciting development for Birds Eye. Social media is all about conversation and we’re confident Mas#tags will resonate across various groups of people.

Correct, social media is about conversation, but note that there is absolutely zero correlation between conversation and frozen potatoes. Also, talking about Mas#tags “resonating” across people makes it sound like they’re bouncing solids that will skim along from head to head when entrenched in a violent (but carbohydrate-filled) food fight.

We’re constantly looking for ways to innovate and inspire consumers and hope that Mas#tags will get people talking around the table and help to make mealtimes more enjoyable.

This statement really hits me. The Internet is a wonderful thing, but the fact that our culture and its obsession with social media, celebrity and the obsessive use of hashtags has spiralled to the point where marketing dudes can come up with preposterous ideas such as Mas#tags with this conversation crusade as defence and not look entirely stupid is pretty damning. And yes, people will buy these and not just for a laugh. There’s probably someone somewhere who thinks this is a legitimately clever and fun idea.

If your dinner needs a #injection of pot@to, Mas#tags will be available in the big three UK supermarkets next month for £1.75 for 456g. Join me in buying a bag, if only to crush them into 140 pieces with a cricket bat.

Source The Independent