Insight: Coffee & Image

Why is a “skinny cap” less gay than a “skinny latte”, and why are we afraid to say “skinny cappuccino”? Ted Anthony explores.

This guy ordered a skinny latte...

Harvest Barista: Hi Mr Schumann, regular skinny cap no chocolate?

Ted: On the ball as always Giovanni.

Barista: Got it! (proceeds to make a rich and full bodied coffee)

Ted: (pays three dollars) Thanks Giovanni, have a good day

This is 8:00 am every week day for Ted Anthony. You maybe thinking “Ted, isn’t a cappuccino without chocolate a latte? Why on earth didn’t you just order that?” It’s a valid question. Indeed, a cappuccino without chocolate is indeed very much like a latte (my good friend Jimmy McNobbleson- part time new-business consultant for Anothony Schumann- might objectify the matter and argue that in fact the frothiness of each should differentiate, but that is for him to dispute).

The simple fact is, skinny cap sounds better than skinny latte. There is just too much… frothiness in the latter (two uses of the term twice within the space of two sentences). You see, you might think a man whose job it is to conform markets to identify with a brand, product or service might be immune to such crisis of image. But Ted Anthony, quite conversely, is all about image. He (and I am talking in the third person) must embody the image that he imparts on Anthony Schumann and subsequently that of the client. Our clients pay a premium because we are Anthony Schumann and we inhibit the Anthony Schumann image- subtle bravado. So why is a skinny latte not subtle or bravado? And why is a skinny cap both? Quite simply, successive words with alliteration are gay (and I stress I use the new street definition of the word, I am not referring to the queer culture in anyway). Okay, I can already hear the user comments “Ahhhh, Ted, you order a skinny cappuccino and you say successive words with a litteration are gay”. Ummmm, did you ever hear me ordering a skinny cappuccino? No, I ordered a skinny cap (no chocolate). That is not gay. Anthony Schumann is not gay (and not homophobic, see clarification above). 

There is a huge difference between the ordering of a skinny cap and a skinny cappuccino/latte. One is wussy, the other is not. The taste? Some might argue none, but I would argue that there is a huge difference. One tastes like a frothy coffee the other like success. There is so much to a name and the way it is said. Do we get an old, Stephen Fry sounding Englishman as the voice over for a coke ad pronouncing every syllable of “Coc-ca Coll-lla” with unnerving intensity? No, we get a young, hip surfer type laconically crooning the word “Coke”, because that’s who the target audience wants to be dictated to by. In the same way, to people want to hear a man of Ted Anthony’s status asking for a skinny latte? (just typing it makes me snicker, imagine the reaction at the coffee shop). The fact is, while they might laugh to themselves at the time, when they go away to think about it they’re just going to think its plain uncool. Disturbingly uncool. Why would a man concerned about his figure also order a frothy coffee, why should he get the best of both worlds? Well, the truth is I do, yet no one realises that I do.

But sshhh, don’t tell anyone. Its our little secret.


About AnthonySchumann
Subtle Bravado // Creative Boutique. Ted Anthony - Vision Alec Schumann - Creative Follow @AnthonySchumann

3 Responses to Insight: Coffee & Image

  1. Horatio says:

    Great article Ted. Just your thoughts on chai lattes. Are they gay? I ask because sometimes I need something frothy but don’t want the caffeine hit.

  2. Pingback: Branding: experiential marketing on caffeine « AnthonySchumann

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