To Krunch or not to Krunch


Not exactly Shakespeare up there in the title, for sure, but advertisers take their words as seriously playfully as the bard. And I take them seriously too.

Oh, not serious like the kind requiring pursed lips and furrowed brow as one gets ready to tell someone news that will change everything from now on. But serious because as a lover of words and the way words intermingle with each other, such writing is well worth looking at; maybe while eliciting a groan or two, but still worth taking a moment to study.

As a lover of philosophy, underneath my groaning and studying is a fascination at how this kind of advertising language works; not only works but works at all; not only works at all, but works well.

The fact we can understand deliberate misspellings without missing a beat and read things that sound literal at face value but automatically shift them to the meaning beneath the meaning of the words themselves says a lot about our thought processes, our shared culture, and how darn hard it must be to be a translator.

That last part is always the start of my look at such things. Forget English as a second language, for advertising surely turns it into a third language. For example, let’s look at Krunchers!® kettle cooked potato chips.

The name itself is spelled deliberately with a “K” to form a brand name that can be trademarked yet obviously makes us think of the word cruncher. Note the ‘s’ on the end, doing triple duty. It makes the official name of course, but doesn’t it also add a plural sound to it, addressing both the bag as a whole and the individual members? Also the ‘s’ even without an apostrophe hints at a friendly, shared-ownership sound that is favored among chip manufacturers like Lay’s and Mikesell’s.

Welcome to Krunchers!®

Welcome has all kinds of warm and fuzzy connotations here, but the main one seems to be suggesting that you are about to enter a grand land you’ve either never entered before or, if you’re a returning Kruncher, a land that is glad to have you back. The world, this world, is yours to krunch.

A kettle chip breakthrough that explodes with great flavor and krunchy texture.

“Breakthrough” is always a good word to use whenever possible. Every time I see it in advertising I think of things like the Pond Institute (Remember all those “Here at the Ponds Institute” ads, anyone? I couldn’t find the right vid on You Tube, so use your trusty if rusty imagination and maybe even memory) and imagine scientists in white coats, lots of test tubes, and high-tech equipment, one of which undoubtedly goes “Ping”. Not just tasty here, folks, but scientifically tasty.

“Explodes” is a nice word, too, as we do not think of body-damaging sorts of explosions, automatically shifting its literal meaning to fit the context already being painted for us.  Do you hear the dual duty it is performing? Is the explosion happening inside your mouth or on the surface of the chip? I would say it’s wanting to mean both.

That’s because we hand-pick premium potatoes, slice them to the ideal thickness and season them with the finest spices available. The result is that chip lovers say Krunchers!® are better than their regular snack chips.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I would know how to give the right inflection or sound for an ® at the end of a word, even if I did say such a thing, which I don’t.  Even with or without such inflection, we know the sentence is referencing a collective preference rather a verbatim transcription.

Say good-bye to wimpy chips and bite into Krunchers!®

I love this anthropomorphic line. It reminds me of the poor woman who always seems to be having conversations with her former mop or some other cleaning products. I couldn’t find the video of this on You Tube, as apparently a lot of people think I want to see them or their family interacting with their cleaning products. But regardless, the brand’s command here wants us to take the action of course of no longer eating the other chips, rather than really suggesting we wave our hands to a chip we’ve put on a bus taking them away to potato camp. But think how easily we move from the literal level to the idiomatic one.

Your mouth will say what your ears already hear

If you think about this mouth and ear line literally, it reads like a koan. Yet we sense well enough what it means; the kind of pleasurable sensation it is wanting us to anticipate.

Nothing out Krunches

For it’s been tested, I guess, against many a rival in the great arenas of Rome and has always been victorious. Not sure what the comparison metrics for krunch are. Though the ‘nothing’ part here, like so many of the other words, also does dual duty. Not only are you left with putting their product out in front, the word nothing encourages you to shunt all other competitors to the back. It is such an absolute word, it brings with it a silent shade of ‘no one even comes close.’


Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Get some today and let your krunching out!