tab party

blog friends,reviews,trends — Danielle on September 17, 2007 at 8:40 pm

tab party

Reviewing some of my favourite fashion copy cliches reminded my of that one time… back when we had the TAB party.

One of the privileges and pitfalls of being a fashion blogger is the PR pitches. Most are spam, but some incite genuine curiousity… as Chanel reminds us, never be too quick to delete… sometimes it really is good enough to be true. Or, as the TAB party taught us… well, what did we learn here?

Anita got the email from TAB saying that if we had a TAB party and posted it, we could win a trip to New York. So Carolyn, Anita and I agreed that we would party together, TAB style. See how blogging makes you the tool of corporate America?

Besides the fact that the drink itself is a vile, artificially sweetened artificially pink jolt of mystery herb and caffeine, the “TAB party” kit was an array of branded bits of plastic and parlor games with a sinister subtext. The line that sets the tone for the material we were supposed to have fun with can be seen on the top left corner of the magnetized frame around my face –

Fake is for last night, not handbags.”

The quote on the right says –

“If it doesn’t fit, it was ugly anyway.”

What is the message here? “I try on ugly clothes that don’t fit me, I’m sexually unfulfilled and conspicuously consuming, at least I have my fuel to be fabulous?” This is a drink for unhappy people. Thank you Coca-Cola.

We didn’t even finish the first can the aftertaste of the message was so bad. So we uncorked the real fuel for fabulousity… of the alcoholic variety. And I thought I had seen the worst ever example of female-focused ad copy.

That was until I got the gift bag from Chick Advisor’s Shop Crawl, which was a really awesome event. They had lots of cool sponsors like Kiehl’s. The gift bag had a cute bar of soap called Transition Man for literally washing that man out of your life. I thought that seemed okay, Transition Man didn’t take itself too seriously. Good gift for the recently broke up, maybe.

But the product copy that matches the TAB party favours in terms of contempt for customers is Sunsilk ThermaShine, which asks on its bottles –

“Hair Duller Than Your Last Date?”


I just want to ask that shampoo who it thinks it is talking to. I have not tried the shampoo yet. Somehow I think it would make me feel dirtier instead of cleaner.

They tried to send me to Hairapy, I said no, no no.

Does attempting to make people feel bad about themselves and their lives really sell more stuff? Did I just sell out by writing about it?


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    1. I LOVE how that tab nastiness is geared towards women. Tab had a booth in a mall nearby and my boyfriend tried it… yuck. Why is their such horrible advertising towards women? In a birth control commercial today I saw women shopping, eating together, talking on the phone, and shopping again. Is that all we’re good for?

      Comment by Christy B. — September 17 2007 @ 9:46 pm
    2. You know, my hair is a little dull and my last date was definitely a DUD. I think I’ll go buy some of that Sunsilk Thermashine.

      Comment by Jesse — September 18 2007 @ 7:36 am
    3. Jesse – I believe the question was whether your hair was dullER than your last date.

      I heard on the radio recently that the stats show that there are more single people in North America than ever before. So I suppose that there is an audience for these jingles. Maybe fashion designers should wise up and instead of targeting the chic modern woman, they should go after the lonely modern woman.

      Comment by Danielle — September 18 2007 @ 8:35 am
    4. I organized a TaB Energy party in the spring. I agree the campaign was a dud. The ad copy and swag were tacky pure and simple. The pre-loaded AMEX card didn’t work. I still haven’t sent them the 25 cents/per can (I figured I’d use the AMEX money anyway and since I didn’t get any…) and to this day, there hasn’t been any follow-up.

      Regardless of what the messaging told us, we had our party after group manicure/pedicure. We all felt pretty special and no silly messages were going to burst our bubbles.

      Comment by Eden Spodek — September 18 2007 @ 8:18 pm
    5. “Does attempting to make people feel bad about themselves and their lives really sell more stuff? Did I just sell out by writing about it?”



      And, please Danielle, if you are going to sell out, try to get a better price than some free soda-pop and a possible trip. At least have them throw in a bag of pretzels or something. Maybe some toothpaste to wash out the taste of Tab. Oh dear, I just thought of a slogan. I better leave that alone. There might be children here.

      Comment by Ryan Oakley — September 19 2007 @ 1:06 am
    6. Ryan – I was thinking about deleting that line last night but now that you have referred to it, I will leave it in.

      Yes, I would sell out – for a trip to Chanel, sigh!

      Also, now I am desperate to find out your TAB slogan. It can’t really be worse than the ones that TAB provides, can it? Curious……..

      Comment by Danielle — September 19 2007 @ 9:56 am
    7. I was thinking about toothpaste . . .

      Mouth scummier than after last night’s “appointment”?

      I think you can see where I’m going with this. I think tab should go for really sad people. Victims of date rape and people recently diagnosed with STDs. No one hits that demographic. Something like, “He said he didn’t need a condom, now you need a Tab.” Or “Screaming no was for last night, today is about saying yes. To Tab.”

      Comment by Ryan Oakley — September 19 2007 @ 11:37 am
    8. Thhey probably wouldn’t give you the trip b/c you gave them such a bad review! Oh well, I think it’s wonderful that you’re willing to stick it to them. Though refusing to have the party might have been sticking it to them a littler more…

      Comment by Isabel — September 20 2007 @ 8:13 pm
    9. Isabel – this happened months and months ago, I’m past the expiration date for a good review anyways – and if you read Eden’s review linked from the first comment. I don’t think we wanted to stick it to them, it’s just that our expectations were met with a dud of a campaign.

      So it had to be said. What kind of blogger would I be if I licked Coca Cola’s corporate butt? To paraphrase Ryan, that would be like saying yes, saying yes to Tab.

      Comment by Danielle — September 21 2007 @ 5:30 am
    10. I barely give these lame corporate contrivances a glance but, the scary thing is they seep into soft subconsciouses.

      Comment by S. — September 21 2007 @ 9:41 am
    11. There’s a good cure for the subconscious. Negativland.

      Comment by Ryan Oakley — September 21 2007 @ 4:20 pm

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