Lunch Here is the text from the label of the drink I had with my lunch yesterday. I'm printing it's entirety because frankly I've never read such florid copy for something which amounts to fizzy iced tea. Can you spot the moment when an imbalance occurs between what's being written about and what's actually there?




Ginkgo refresh - the sparkling drinking pleasure. Ginkgo refresh has a distinctive flavour and contains ingredients which make it an innovative thirst quencher.

Today's knowledge confirms that Ginkgo with dextrose:

  • Improves concentration and receptiveness.

  • Promotes mental performance

  • For over 300 million years, Ginkgo bilboa, "Asia's sacred tree", has been a symbol of special strength and resilience. Even in early times, special powers were attributed to an exact from its leaves. It looks, though as if Gingko may contain the secret of great vitality.

    Recommended serving: 1 bottle daily. Serve chilled.

    Ginkgo drink with dextrose.
    water, sucrose, dextrose (1.4%), carbon dioxide, natural and nature-identical flavourings, citric acid and malic acid, green tea extract, Gingko extract (0.01%), colour: caramel.
    I've actually highlighted the moment for you in case you might miss it. 0.01%? All that text about Gingko for 0.01%? Sure, there's going to be a homeopathic element but what about the other 99.9%? There's more dextrose in there, but it's the smaller of the two substances they choose to talk up. But what might that have read like if they'd gone the other way?


    Dextrose is the natual form of Glucose.

    One of the most important carbohydrates and is used as a source of energy in animals and plants. Glucose is one of the main products of photosynthesis and starts respiration. [from]
    Not quite so sexy really. Which is the clue to this text. It's advertising copy, no more or less. It's designed to be read in the supermarket whilst the consumer is decided which soft drink fits their image. At £1.03 a bottle, it's some image to be maintaining.

    But what interests me is whether the good people at Carpe Diem needed to have their copy checked by the advertising authority -- I'm guessing not. Looking more closely though they aren't actually claiming anything about the drink's peppy effects, in particular Gingko. The key phrase is "Ginkgo refresh has a distinctive flavour and contains ingredients which make it an innovative thirst quencher." This doesn't elude to Ginkgo being the main reason for the 'rejuvenation for the spirit' -- to be honest there is enough sugar in there for that. But it's the overall impression. The Ginkgo is the selling point but it's the side issue when it comes to the drink itself, the consumable. Which is just excellent marketing.

    After all, I bought it, drank it, and now I'm writing about it.

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