I don't think it is a stretch of the imagination to say that we, as a country, are bacon-crazy. We use it as a dessert topping. We use them in lieu of roses. We have assigned talismanic powers to a certain actor doubtlessly because he has the last name "Bacon" and not a more conventional surname like "Smith" or "Davis" or "Breakfast Sausage."
More proof that society has achieved peak bacon awareness? This week, Oscar Mayer unveiled a bacon promotion involving an iOS app and promised accessory, and the media lost its collective mind over it.
"New Oscar Mayer alarm clock app releases smell and sound of bacon," the Los Angeles Times reports. "Bacon scented alarm app gives iPhones a meaty overhaul," Mashable declares. "Bacon alarm clock means bacon has finally conquered the universe," the Huffington Post declares.
In order: no, not quite, and it remains to be seen.
Here's what Oscar Mayer has actually done: It's released an alarm clock app for iOS devices that uses the sound of sizzling bacon to wake you up. As for the smell, that comes courtesy of a device that plugs into your iPhone's dock and reportedly emits a waft of bacony scent when your alarm goes off. I say "reportedly" because Oscar Mayer has not actually released this device nor does it seem to have any formal rollout plan to bring its alarm clock to retail. Rather, this quite literal attempt to bring home the bacon is part of a promotional campaign in which a handful of bacon-scented alarm clocks will be given out to participants.
Specifically, Oscar Mayer's contest rules say that the purveyor of bacon and other lesser meats will give out 4,700 alarm clocks, randomly selected by anyone who enters between now when the contest ends on April 4. All you have to do is fill out a three-question survey in which you are asked such puzzlers as "In three words, describe your love for Oscar Mayer bacon." You should be able to ace that.
Or so you would think. I've entered a couple of times--you're limited to one entry per day, although you get extra chances if you shameless promote Oscar Mayer on Facebook or Twitter. Each of my entries has been greeted by this video of Phil Roudenbusch--described as Oscar Mayer's Bacon Cut & Design Chief with undergraduate and graduate degrees in advanced baconing--telling me that I haven't won.
And that hurts, man.
At the risk of this sounding like sour grapes--sour, bacony grapes--I don't think this is the dawning of an age of bacon-aroma technology. Rather, it's seems like a pretty clever marketing campaign by Oscar Mayer to get people talking about the company--and to maybe harvest some emails from people who want to get their hands on that storied alarm clock. And from the company's perspective, this has been a rip-roaring success. After all, we're talking about Oscar Mayer for the first time since we discovered that our bologna did, in point of fact, have a first name.
I'm sorry if this all sounds too cynical, but this week, I was promised a hoverboard and that turned out to be a filthy lie. You'll forgive me if I'm skeptical of the promise of bacon-scented alarm clocks for the masses.
But rather than end on that dour note, let us simply join together and contemplate the mysteries of bacon.