Some people get paid to sit around and come up with inventions that make our lives better. And some people get paid to sit around and come up with inventions that do not.
Betty Crocker’s latest marketing campaign lands them solidly in the second category. With the age of coronavirus forever descended upon us, Betty Crocker decided to create the No-Blow Candle, a pointy glowing prism to lob on top of your cake.
“Now hold up,” you might say. “That doesn’t sound too bad.” But that’s not all.
With an LED light and microphone, it senses how loud of sounds your party is making and responds by… lighting up more?
“Lose the germs but keep the cake”
Here’s what Arnaud Sliwa, Betty Crocker Europe and Australia’s business unit director, had to say:
“Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant a few traditions have been lost, and blowing out birthday candles is one of them. Our research tells us however that the cake is not lost, in fact, it’s still very much at the heart of the party. Our germ-free candle solution reacts to universal expressions of joy and celebration: singing and clapping. Give it all you got to light it up completely, make your wish — and then extinguish it with a single clap, no blowing required. We’ve imagined it as a way to lose the germs but keep the cake.”
Let’s just let that sink in for a little bit.
Coronavirus transmission is most likely to occur when people are breathing the same air in enclosed spaces in close proximity with others. Sure, droplets spread especially in sneezes and coughs, but consider the situation that is being presented in this advert: there is a group of kids sitting side by side in a room, with no masks on. They are laughing – they are singing, which pushes more particles into the air.
And if this party is like any other kid’s party, it’s going to be at least 90 minutes long. Whether or not the kid blows on the cake is not likely to make a substantial difference in whether any of these other kids get the virus.
Regardless of which end of the spectrum you are at with coronavirus caution, this invention is simply incoherent.
If you are seriously concerned about transmitting the coronavirus, then you probably aren’t going to have your kids sitting side by side in a room shouting and singing in each other’s faces. If you aren’t seriously concerned about transmitting the coronavirus, then why would you care whether one kid blows on a cake when they are shouting and singing in each other’s faces?
At this moment in time, the product is still in its prototype stage. It remains to be seen whether or not Betty Crocker will move forward with producing it. The YouTube video introducing the product is now displaying as Unlisted, and comments have been disabled, so perhaps the No-Blow may ultimately be a no-go.