Since I spend my non-blog life as a copywriter, I’m also a copy-reader. I read the copy on ads. I read the copy on websites. I read the copy on the mouthwash, the high-performance sports beverage, the whole-grain pitas, and the imported tomato chutney. Someone wrote that copy, so they deserve the respect of a proper read. Or at least a desultory scan. Sometimes, the copy is even worth reading.
The copy I’ve been looking forward to reading most though, is the copy on the back of my beloved Vosges Haut Chocolat’s new bacon studded chocolate bar. Seeing that copy firsthand would mean I’d finally managed to scare up one of these hard-to-find pork-flecked lovelies. So, when I eventually got my hands on one, I dove into the copy, anticipating the chocolately, bacony goodness that lurked within. The copy promised “a deep milk chocolate with bits and pieces of Applewood smoked bacon and just a sprinkling of Alder salt.” Ah, love at first read. I tore into the silver foil.
Yes, the chocolate is milky and deep.
Yes, the Applewood smoked bacon appears as bits and pieces.
But when I got to the salt, I ran into some issues with the copy. This copywriter clearly has a different definition of “just a sprinkling” than the one I‘m familiar with. There is more than just a sprinkling. There is a generous dousing.
I’m not going to claim heartbreak; Vosges does a decent job of elevating a decidedly Homer Simpson-y combination to a much more sophisticated level. But the salt/bacon proportions are too out of whack to make the bacon bar crave-able. The first thing you taste is that rich, creamy, Vosges milk chocolate. The second thing you taste is crunchy grains of salt. That's also the third thing you taste. The bacon is just a minor note that pops in at the end. Definitely disappointing, since bacon, not salt, gets top billing in the product name. It even ranks higher in the copy. And the ingredients list. But I can't blame the copywriter entirely. If the packaging were rewritten more honestly, I'm not sure Mo’s Salt Bar (with just a sprinkling of bacon) would take the marketplace by storm.
Mo's Bacon Bar just hints at the loving relationship chocolate and bacon can have. It's worth sampling, if you've never tried these two great tastes together. Just try not to read the copy.