What Would Happen if Famous Authors Wrote Product Descriptions?
A Parody of Famous Authors Describing a Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato
By Chip Compton
At Britton Marketing & Design Group, we have a penchant for taking a different look at arts and letters. For instance, check out this Design Feature, which showcased famous logos made of Legos. Or enjoy this parody of Goodnight Moon. In this spirit, we thought it would be fun to explore how famous authors might describe an ordinary product — in this instance, a Starbucks Iced Carmel Macchiato.
A graphic Design Feature including recognizable logos (such as Fanta, Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and Pepsi) made out of…www.brittonmdg.com
Starbucks describes the drink like this: “A Starbucks® classic, chilled for a classic summer’s day. To our signature espresso we add a creamy mix of vanilla syrup and cold milk poured over ice; it’s then topped with our proprietary buttery caramel sauce. Sweet!” The coffee powerhouse adds this: “DID YOU KNOW: Macchiato simply means ‘marked’ or ‘stained’ in Italian. In the case of caffè macchiato, this means literally ‘espresso marked with milk.’”
Parodies are great. They range from TV shows to commercials to movies to presidents, and the list goes on. Even books…www.brittonmdg.com
What follows are ways certain authors might have written this copy.
All this coffee crap makes me sick, if you want to know the truth. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s g**dam phonies. Phonies hanging out, drinking coffee and listening to jazz. Makes me sick. I don’t care that the Iced Caramel Macchiato uses espresso (like they can’t use regular old coffee), vanilla and cold milk. And to top it off, and this really gripes me, they use “buttery caramel sauce.” Geez, would you get a load of that! It’s so damn pretentious.
I only come in here with Phoebe — we sit way the hell in the back — to make fun of the phonies. All of them think their crappy screenplays are going to be made into big-shot Hollywood movies, which I hate — all of them. Like hell anyone’s going to read their g**dam stories. I almost feel sorry for them.
“Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato for Holden!”
Jack had heard stories about the Iced Caramel Macchiato, but he wanted to try one for himself. He slowly approached the barista, who was a looming figure, at least 6 feet 10 inches tall. Most disturbing about him was the lifeless look in his cold blue eyes — the kind of look that could be honed only by serving hard time.
“Can you tell me about the Iced Caramel Macchiato?” Jack asked.
The barista stared over Jack’s shoulder, appearing to be dazed and intensely focused all at once. He answered in a monotone, “It is cold. The bone-chilling variety. And because of the buttery caramel sauce, it is sweet. Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet. In Italy, the macchiato carries the mark of milk. It is known to be sinfully delicious.”
Jack hesitated and then asked for a Grande. After three sips, he screamed out in pain. Screams that could be heard two strip malls over. It wasn’t the drink. Jack was to blame. He had drunk too quickly and now suffered from a terrifically painful brain freeze.
“My good chap,” Hercule addressed the barista, “it has come to my attention that I should partake in your Iced Caramel Macchiato.” The detective had ulterior motives, as he had known of colleagues who had enjoyed the beverage but could not identify the ingredients.
The barista looked warily at Hercule before beginning to make his drink. It was curious that he turned his back, as if hiding something from the ace sleuth.
What the barista didn’t know was that Hercule was watching him make the beverage through the reflection of the drive-up window. He easily identified the espresso, vanilla syrup, cold milk and ice. He then saw the barista pour on the caramel sauce.
Upon first taste, Hercule determined that the drink was cold, and sweet. But something was missing. Armed only with a refined palate, he took one more sip. Yes! The caramel sauce was buttery. The mystery was solved.
The potion to create the magic spell of deliciousness was relatively simple. Young wizards and witches merely had to start by mixing espresso, cold milk and vanilla syrup. At this point, drinkers will be entranced, nay, hypnotized, by the olfactory nerve–activating concoction.
After a wave of the wand, the mixologist should gently pour the elixir over ice. The beverage should now be topped with caramel sauce, the more buttery the better, and then poured into the Venti flagon. This will allow for the spell to maximize its powers.
Complete the process with this incantation: “Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato for Professor Dumbledore!”
Iced Caramel Macchiato is a thing of joy
It delights all who partake
And mixes espresso, ice and milk
And goes exquisitely with a scone or cake;
And sweetest is the vanilla and caramel playing
As they create a wonderful storm
That could make anyone contented
With a heart that’s become so warm.
It’s delicious, this Iced Caramel Macchiato
We love it because of milk; we love it because of ice
We love it because of vanilla and caramel
It’s nice! Nice! NICE!
This drink is simply wonderful
It keeps us fresh when we’re on the go
It’s much better than regular coffee
It’s made with yummy, yummy espresso!
David Foster Wallace
When I entered Starbucks, aka the Caffeine Capital of the World (and I am pronouncing them the “Capital” based on the fact that according to the Internet — that all-knowing, omnipresent beast that has turned all of our lives sideways, and upside down, for that matter — Starbucks has more than 21,000 locations worldwide and more than 191,000 employees, cf. Forbes.com), I had one thing on my mind (that’s a lie, as it is neurologically impossible for me to have but one thought, as the synapses fire constantly), and it was re: the company’s Iced Caramel Macchiato.
The ingredients, of course, are nothing more than an amalgam of natural and artificial ingredients that chemically affect not just our taste buds but also our central nervous system, at least in regard to the caffeine.1 To ingest one of these beverages, you need to do no more than ask your barista (who, most assuredly, will misspell your name on the cup; “Dave” will become “Dayv” or “Theresa” will become “Trisa”) to add espresso to a mix of vanilla syrup and cold milk.2 That mixture should be poured over ice and topped with caramel sauce.3
Once these steps are taken, you will have a macchiato.4 Imbibers need to be careful, though, as the delicious Iced Caramel Macchiato causes disinterest in all aspects of life, except for drinking another Iced Caramel Macchiato.
1. The romance is stripped when caffeine is thought of as the drug that it is: a methylxanthine alkaloid, a stimulant. With a chemical formula of C8H10N4O2, it is most commonly found in coffee, which, whether interesting or not, actually is derived from a seed and not a bean.
2. Espresso is the virtual king of the coffee world, as it is used for Americanos, cappuccinos and lattes, in addition to the aforementioned macchiatos. Imagine a world without espresso. C8H10N4O2 addicts shudder at the thought.
3. While many will argue about caramel vs. carmel, it is pretty clear-cut that “caramel” is delicious, and “carmel” should be thought of as “Carmel,” as in the cities in California (v. Clint Eastwood) and Indiana.
4. In Italian (not to be pronounced eye-talian), macchiato means “marked” or “stained.” It derives from Latin’s maculatus.
This blog was fueled by R.E.M. — Strange Currencies on Spotify.