14 Oct

5 Weird Combinations…But Some of Them Actually Work

By Libby Esterle, Senior Account Executive

Every day when I drive to our Cincinnati marketing and communications agency office, I pass by what I (and another colleague who takes the same route) consider to be a strange investment on the part of one particular homeowner.

It is a gate. A lovely, impressive and rather imposing stone and iron gate. Alone, that is not unusual, especially in this part of our beautiful city where people can fox hunt in their own neighborhood. No, what is strange is that the gate completely dwarfs the nice, yet much more common unassuming two-story brick home behind it.

It’s completely out of proportion.  Even stranger is that the property is by no means enclosed. The gate doesn’t tie into any kind of actual fencing around the property, nor is there any kind of natural barrier, such as dense shrubbery or a tree line. So, you can literally walk around either side of said gate and get in.

The house is nice. The gate is (MUCH) nicer. I just would never have put the two together.

So, this got me thinking- What weird combinations seem to work? What doesn’t? A few of my thoughts:

• Carrot cake. Now, I’ll admit I’m not a big cake person in the first place but, regardless, I really think vegetables have no place NEAR sweets, especially in cake form.  Some of you may disagree, like my mother-in-law who ordered a carrot cake for my baby shower because she likes it. Gotta love a strong southern matriarch!

• Cakes, Part Deux. Designer cakes that look like something else entirely. I don’t want to eat a cake that looks like a hamburger. Or French fries. Or a pickle. No, I want to eat a cake that looks like a cake, walks like a cake and talks like a cake. (But I still kinda love the red velvet armadillo groom’s cake from “Steel Magnolias”).

• From truffles to bars to brownies to shakes, the trend of salty sweets is going strong. Like it? Love it? Never tried it? While I don’t have a big salt tooth, this is a combination that intrigues me…

• A restaurant called “Chalk” (now closed). I heard good things about this place when it opened but the odd name always stuck out to me. Why would I want to eat somewhere that I immediately associate with a powdery, talc-like, bitter taste (thankfully, I gave up eating chalk long ago)? Did other people have the same issue? Is that why it went out of business?

• And weird combinations aren’t limited to just food-they can be found in marketing and advertising as well. Take the following strangest celebrity endorsements for instance.  Ozzy Osborne hocking I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter? Joe Nameth endorsing Beautymist pantyhose? Why not?

Tell us, are they any combinations you find strange but appealing? Strange and off-putting? Or just plain weird?