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A brief history of eggverts, by Kibo

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Your mail continues to pour in about Robin Southgate's Java Toaster, which we first featured back in March, and revisited in graphic detail on Monday.

Thanks to those of you who pointed out that BBC's Tomorrow's World featured the machine last month, which we didn't know. But then we haven't watched Tomorrow's World since the halcyon days of William Woollard (with voice overs by Derek 'Food Programme' Cooper), and the um, reception's pretty poor here. But according to the article at the BBC's website, two commercial companies are interested in exploring commercial models.

Terry Hendrix draws our attention to a Hello Kitty version of the same idea. Six shades of brown, but alas only pattern.

However several of you have pointed out that advertisements on food have been tried before. You have to accept, and we're not sure if we do, that eggshells constitute food, not packaging. According to Maurice Walshe, Jurassic-era British telco BT numbers amongst past egg-vertisers.

However the definitive tale of promotional eggshell tattoos comes to us from Internet legend James 'Kibo' Parry, of alt.religion.kibology fame. Kibo writes:


Hey Andrew! I enjoyed reading your article on the Java toaster.

And now I am enjoying writing a correction to mail you

About ten years ago, in Israel, a company started printing gads on eggshells -- the first such ad was a Kodak logo. However, this caused controversy due to the fact that the people printing on the eggs didn't first certify that the ink was kosher, if my memory is correct. I have no idea if eggs are still being defaced in this manner.

(Printing-equipment companies have advertised many times by showing their machinery printing onto eggshells, or even egg yolks -- my suspicion is that that's what gave them the idea to start doing this commercially. Either that or someone said, "We want consumers to think of Kodak products whenever they smash an egg!")

This logic can also explain other advertising oddities such as the Jolt Cola jockstrap, if you assume that all advertisers are insane. ("When you think of filthy jockstraps, think of the taste of Jolt! And vice versa!")

However, I still cannot understand why Yahoo! paid 7-Eleven (American convenience store chain) to sell a "Yahoo! Grape" flavored Slurpee. People waste their ad money on the strangest whims. Whatever happened to telling people why they should buy your product? Now they're just throwing logos around randomly.

Well, quite. Kibo has been collecting commercial misadventures for some time, and we heartily recommend the orange cone ("the typographical dingbat of public spaces") of his own gallery.

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