An Evil Brand

Remember how much I hated Mountain Dew’s Game Fuel? How about those Energy Potions? In both cases, I railed not only at the awfulness of what I’ll charitably refer to as the flavor of these food products but at what they represented. Marketing something like a specific food as being for “gamers” or whoever is possibly insulting but mostly just gross. Food is more than just the sum of its bodily effects and identity is more than can be expressed by what you consume, in terms of both media and food. Products that market a food because of its effects and according to supposed social identity would rob us of that complexity. Gross.
Not to belabor this point, or the ones I made when critiquing Jacob Aranza’s Backward Masking Unmasked, but I found what is likely the zenith of this horrendous trend. No, it’s not the Blood Energy drink (which I haven’t seen in person yet); I’m talking about 1in3Trinity Energy Drink. Apparently, this stuff has infested convenience stores and local ethnic groceries for some time and I’d no clue. Not only that, but it’s part of a brand dedicated to using the name of what the owners presumably believe the Lord of the universe to sell junk like Ed Hardy knock-off t-shirts at $30-60 (!) a pop. Does plastering His name -- and even the symbols of His intervention in the drama of human existence -- on expensive junk count as blasphemy? I think He made mention of taking his name in vain somewhere (He doesn't like it). Perhaps the real question is whether or not the people behind the 1in3Trinity brand ever contemplated the possibility that maybe some things are too grave to use as marketing tools.

I told RockManXZ24 about this, and his first reaction, a trickle of bemused laughter, changed to something like irritation, and finally resentment. He agreed that such a challenge must be answered, and we set out to find this product and buy it while keeping a straight face. Say what you will; we were bored.

The nearest store that carried 1in3Trinity was a gas station in one of rougher parts of town. RockManXZ24 decided to bring his PSP so he could play Crimson Gem Saga in my car and nearly missed out on seeing the two arrests occurring simultaneously on opposite sides of the street. We eventually found the convenience store we were looking for and grabbed the remaining cans, which looked like they’d been sitting in the cooler for months untouched. We’d done a good job of not acting stupid up until we arrived at the counter and the attendant behind the register stopped for a moment after scanning our purchase. “These energy drinks?” the clerk asked us in a thick accent that nevertheless held the distinct affect of the incredulous. That’s when we failed to keep a straight face.

The actual drink is pretty foul, like most energy drinks. It’s brimming with artificial flavor, Taurine and B-vitamins, although not nearly so much caffeine compared to what I guess are the secular-humanist energy drinks. The website claims 1in3Trinity Energy Drink, “A special blend handed down from the flourishing vines and trees of the Holy Land… Fused with ‘Fruit of the Spirit.’” It tastes like sugar-free Red Bull with grape juice. For those not familiar with the New Testament, among the Fruits are peace, patience, gentleness and self-control. Is that what anybody drinks an energy drink to experience? If you do, write in and let me know. And I'll call you an idiot and a rube.

I well know that this isn’t unusual and that much of modern marketing revolves around targeting demographics and preying on their sense of identity as part of said demographic. While the Energy Potions and Game Fuel thing was lame enough to be insulting, they are comparatively innocuous. The really evil thing about 1in3Trinity products are their insistence on making religion into a marketing brand. It insults God, assuming that the people behind 1in3Trinity actually believe in Him, by reducing religion into a bland consumerist action. It then insults the religious by assuming that they’ll buy it. Unfortunately they’re basically right. Christians, who so often complain about holding so little clout in modern culture, react by curling into a circle-jerk of mindless religiosity based not on the immediacy of God within their personal lives, but consumerism. You shall know these by the number of Christian themed products they own.

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