Skittles: “Taste the Rainbow”
Red, orange, yellow, and so forth. Finally, a candy fit for the whole spectrum. With this deliciously bold tagline, Skittles promises a sensory adventure of unparalleled dimension. Time to sweeten things up, stretch your palate, and lick the sky. All of this quite plainly has nothing to do with oral sex.
Nike: “Just Do It”
Admittedly, I am not a sportsman. But I am friends with a few athletes, and I know their penchant for victory. How brilliant, then, that Nike should fly this winning banner. (Obviously, “do” is intended in a platonic sense. Nike is suggesting you do something not someone.)
Gatorade: “Is It in You?”
Frankly, I blame the schools. Filth, filth, and more filth—that’s what’s being force-fed to today’s youth. This tagline concerns the supreme pleasure of hydration, nothing more. And really, what could be better? What could be more satisfying than finishing off a sweaty act of physical exertion with a big, hearty swallow?
Disneyland: “The Happiest Place on Earth”
Sunshine, roller coasters, human-sized mice. Pure joy, in other words. That, my friends, is what Disneyland delivers. No, your happy place is unequivocally not a reference to your genitals, no matter how you might gesticulate in the vicinity of said region using finger guns.
McDonald’s: “I’m Lovin’ It”
I suffer from a particular gastrointestinal condition that makes eating certain fare, shall we say, fraught? I did, however, dine at McDonald’s once during my late tweens, and so I have sampled—albeit with regrettable repercussions—its offerings. This tagline uses “Lovin’” metaphorically. Sorry, you sickos out there! This is absolutely not about making whoopie in a dank, unfinished basement.
Staples: “That Was Easy”
Let’s face it: procuring office supplies is a tricky business. Binders, folders, copier paper—who can keep it all straight? Nor is it “easy” to achieve orgasm, especially not in a poorly lit basement without even a single square foot of carpeting, much less a piece of furniture, much less a sexual partner, only one’s own imagination shining dimly as the lone beacon of titillation.
Burger King: “Have It Your Way”
If you must know, the condition is called ischemic colitis, and if you also must know, I am celibate by choice. My reasons? If you wish to learn more, you should drop by my great-aunt Marjory’s basement. She pitched it to me as a “garden-level apartment,” but then answer me this, Marge: Where’s my as-promised window?
M&M: “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands”
I don’t know. I just don’t know. Family is family, but I can’t shake the nagging suspicion that I am being fleeced. My rent—oh, what does it matter? I am free to diddle myself to my heart’s content in this mold-infested lair. But is the heart ever truly content? What, my sweet Prufrockian lump of sodden swan-rhythm, are you after?
Coca-Cola: “Together Tastes Better”
I—and I cannot emphasize this enough—am down to bone. You are cordially invited to my exceedingly private candlelit abode with its pungent aroma of sandalwood, umami, and radon. Pets allowed, if you’re inquiring. No, I do not presently hold a full-time job. Oh, you work at an ad agency, you say? I am attaching my resumé for your convenience. Could you forward it to HR? Could you put in a good word?
Ben Purkert’s debut novel, The Men Can’t Be Saved, is available now. It’s about—wait for it—working as a copywriter.