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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It’s all black

The 2015 Rugby World Cup is on right now in England, and since rugby is the closest thing New Zealand has to a national religion, it's kind of a big deal. Because it’s in England, most the matches are played at very inconvenient times for New Zealanders. But we can’t for a moment forget that it's on.

Naturally, the TV news and newspapers report on what’s going on, particularly when the New Zealand All Blacks are playing, and also on teams with other Kiwis involved. For example, tonight I saw a report about the Kiwi coach of the team from Georgia (the country, of course; the USA has a team, though).

All of that is to be expected. But this year, All Black promotion is everywhere—even more, it seems, than in 2011 when the Rugby World Cup was here in New Zealand.

An example of that is the milk bottle in the photo above. Anchor produced the black milk bottles for all their varieties, and the only way to tell them apart was the coloured top and the matching colour on the label. There have been complaints about the bottles from customers and some retailers. I don’t like them, either, because it’s just too weird for milk, which normally comes in white or translucent bottles. Black bottles makes it seem off, somehow.

But there’s black products everywhere. A car company is running an ad of TV in which all their vehicles are black, but they assures us other colours are available.

Whittaker’s, New Zealand’s chocolate maker (and one of the very best in the world, in my opinion) has put many of their most popular varieties of chocolate in black wrappers, which makes it hard to tell them apart without looking very closely, just like the Anchor milk bottles. The top of Whittaker’s Facebook Page is below.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone in New Zealand loves rugby or cares about the world cup. Even those of us who do, though with something less than obsession, get a little sick of seeing black everywhere. Even so, I think that even many of the most anti-rugby Kiwis would be okay with all the boosterism if it didn’t make everyday life a little harder, like by creating confusing product labelling. Actually, most are probably okay with that—apart from the milk bottles, maybe.

After all, the Rugby World Cup is only every four years, and before we know it, the whole thing will be over. Will the NZ All Blacks win the first-ever back-to-back championship? I don’t know, but if wrapping every single product in New Zealand in black could guarantee that, I’d be okay even with the milk bottles.

Here in the reality-based world, though, well, it’s really just the milk bottles I don’t like.

Go the All Blacks!

See?

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