Marketers still searching for perfect worlds

The term "utopia" refers to an ideal society. So says Wikipedia, which isn’t 100 percent accurate, but we’re not living in a perfect world, so it will have to do. Sir Thomas More coined the phrase in a book written 500 years ago. More’s a saint, by the way, so that must have been one heck of a book. Fast forward a few centuries, and we get ITopia from Intel and Qtopia from Quicken, which, respectively, give users access to Intel engineers and financial planning information. Both sound great, if your vision of an ideal society involves IM-ing with chip-makers or filling out loan applications. (Oddly, mine does, but I’m working on that in therapy.) Starbucks, never one to pass on a java-related trend of either the caffeinated or high-tech variety, launched a community site soliciting ideas from customers on perfecting the brand experience. I asked them to also serve Dunkin’ coffee, so I could have more options, but I haven’t heard back. Such convenience is also part of my utopian vision, along with a strict ban on robots, cats, “muscle cars” and county music. Well, maybe those freaky, hairless cats are OK. The Dixie Chicks can lump it. UPDATE: Mr. Griner points out that his agency, Luckie & Co., recently did a “Foodtopia” campaign for Asheville, N.C. See a couple of the print ads here and here.

—Posted by David Gianatasio