Minspiration Monday: Drawing connections between olive oil and election campaigns

Believe it or not, this week’s Minspiration Monday post is about olive oil. (And yes, the title of this post will be fulfilled!)

Check out this post about Primitive Cypress olive oil, recently recognized as one of the best olive oils in the world. (Also, did you know there is a whole website dedicated to packaging of the world?? I am intrigued.)

Primitive Cyprus-1.jpg

When you think of olive oil, is that what you think of? Probably not. There’s something clinical yet alluring about such unexpected packaging, where the focus isn’t the brand name or even the beguiling look of the product inside. According to the webpage:

“Derived from the arid and primitive landscapes of the island of Cyprus, its packaging’s minimalistic mood and enigmatic simplicity master the attitude of a great Lady from another era; having no intention of flirting with the public, while keeping to her nature and delivering it from today’s hyperconsumerism.”

To me, this isn’t just about one avant-garde fancy-schmancy brand, avant-garde and fancy-schmancy though it may be. What inspires me about this olive oil bottle is what it says about the needlessness of garish, colorful, sales-y packaging, and what similarly minimalist “packaging” could look like in other aspects of life beyond retail.

You see, with the elections coming up, brand management has been on my mind a lot lately. Every election cycle, it frustrates me to see millions of dollars poured into advertising whose sole intent is to discredit an opponent. Deserved or not, to me that kind of advertising speaks more to the character of the candidate running the ad: Someone who isn’t confident that they can win on their own merits. I know running poisonous ads is part of the campaign game, but that doesn’t make it any better.

What if everything was expected to win or sell on its merits? Primitive Cypress olive oil clearly expects to sell because it’s been globally recognized as a great olive oil. Its bottle can be minimalistic and unusual because it doesn’t–or rather, shouldn’t–matter what the packaging looks like if the product inside is worthy.

Imagine cereal boxes that simply describe the nutritious, tasty food inside without splashes of kooky characters and feeble claims about being “whole grains”–or, perhaps, without having packaging at all. Imagine political candidates who politely described the unique reasons that they were competent, instead of shouting each other down and running hate ads. Imagine cable companies that plainly put out its offers–without bait and switch tactics–and worked hard to be a company worthy of your patronage.

Imagine how freeing that would be, in all aspects of your life: a soothing pantry of bulk foods without words and colors crashing into your eyes; a quiet mind that’s able to make informed decisions without mental clutter; a life working with companies who have to provide honest services or risk going under. Wouldn’t that be nice?


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