A Sweetly Satisfying Seduction

Advertising is meant to be a seductive tool that brings together both supplier and consumer.

But is the outcome always a happy marriage?

I made myself a test subject the other day while flying interisland by going along with an ad printed in the glossy inflight magazine.

Of course, I wasn’t going to be a guinea pig for just any ol’ ad. No, it had to be an offer for arguably the most decadent local ice cream pie served in Hawaii!

It didn’t take much arm-twisting for me to follow the specific instructions on the ad after salivating at the photo: a huge slice of vanilla mac-nut ice cream on a chocolate cookie crust drizzled with liquid fudge and topped with whipped cream.

I was to take a picture of the ad using my phone, show it to the waitress upon spending a minimum of $15 at that restaurant and then get the dessert for free!

I had forgotten about that ad until one day my daughter flies home and shows me a photo of the same ad. Like mother, like daughter. Again, we forget about the ad because it’s not a dessert one would consume on a regular basis. Nor did we feel like splurging on dinner.

But we all still have to eat and we all want diversity, so the day inevitably comes to choose finer dining than the usual fare. After finding a reason to celebrate — after all, it is the day after 3-14-15 or Pi Day (3.1415) — we think of places that offer food both enticing and of good value.

My daughter logs into her smartphone and notices a photo blog of a beautiful fresh-fish wrap. It looks delicious, healthy and big enough to split — and guess what? It’s at the restaurant offering the free dessert!

Our criteria of quality, quantity and value offered in one fell swoop, we head on over to the restaurant knowing that, at the very least, we will not go home hungry. Probably heart-strained, but definitely not hungry.

Upon arrival, we must wait 15 minutes, but a quick wait it is.

A few feet away, a sand volleyball tournament is reaching a climactic finale. A large crowd roars as nearly every volley is returned with an exciting spike. Meanwhile, standup paddlers surf in the distance, their silhouettes like petroglyphs against the early evening sky.

As the game crowd disperses, our buzzer goes off and we find ourselves at the table grinding the spinach tortilla with seared ahi and veggies, and tacking on a light Caesar salad to the order.

To cap off our meal, we dig into that free towering ice cream pie with nary a worry in the world, like the fat yellow tabby cat lazing around the base of the coconut tree just a few feet away. We leave satisfied and happy with our total experience.

I’d say that ad achieved its desired results all right … as did we. This time, it was a happy marriage.

janeesaki@gmail.com

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