If I were a 3 Musketeers Bar…
No one would be in love with me. Because no one likes 3 Musketeers bars.
I can’t remember the last time I even had one. In fact, I can’t recall ever desiring one, except if you count thought experiments in which I try to imagine the subjective experience of someone who, for some reason, prefers 3 Musketeers to the much superior Snickers or Milky Way. (My psychologist friends tell me this is called “imaginative empathy.”)
What I do remember is a series of stop-motion commercials for 3 Musketeers which tried to make 3 Musketeers seem not only appetizing, but “fun” and “exciting” as well. Especially this commercial, which features three musketeers shipping a tanker of gray-beige nougat to the 3 Musketeers factory when, suddenly, Drill Man appears! He’s going to drill right through that tanker of gray-beige, gritty nougat and take it all for himself because he doesn’t realize he can just purchase a 3 Musketeers from any store or gas station. Drill Man is promptly defeated by our brave musketeers, and as they drive that tanker of gray-beige, gritty, oddly bitter nougat through the gates of the 3 Musketeers factory, the musketeer who looks like Will Smith remarks that Drill Man could have simply purchased a 3 Musketeers bar, since this commercial is from the early 2000s and thus needed to be self-aware and “funny” and “cool.” The commercial closes with the tag-line “You deserve it!” Which, if we’re being honest, sounds less like the tag-line for a chocolate bar, and more like something you’d hear being shouted while a hate crime’s being committed.
The brand changed track in the late 2000s and early 2010s with a series of commercials in which 3 Musketeers tried to present itself as the “lite” candy bar when compared to the likes of Snickers or Butterfinger. I guess tasty things like caramel, peanut butter, and nuts are too fattening for dieters, but that “fluffy chocolate” that tastes like Crayola Model Magic cut with cocoa powder is (apparently) a healthier alternative.
The name “3 Musketeers” never made sense to me, either. What about this candy evokes the thrilling novel by Dumas? Maybe, I conjectured, there existed a lost chapter in which Porthos tries to make chocolate for the crew and fails miserably. Well, according to Wikipedia, the original 3 Musketeers from the 1930s consisted of three separate pieces, each consisting of fluffy nougat covered in chocolate. The nougat came in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. So yeah, three flavors, three bars in one package–that makes sense. But due to rising sugar costs during WWII, the company reduced the three bars to one and stuck with the chocolate nougat since chocolate was the most popular flavor. Though if we’re being honest, if that stuff in the middle of a 3 Musketeers wasn’t explicitly called “chocolate,” I’d never think to call it that. It’s more like the potentiality of chocolate than actual chocolate.
Now that I think of it, The Three Musketeers is a misleading title for the novel itself. Think about it: a musketeer is someone who fights with a musket. Do any of them ever fire a musket? No, they all fight with rapiers. And there aren’t even three musketeers, there are four. Didn’t any of Dumas’s editors bring these glaring inconsistencies to his attention?
Dumas? More like…well, you know.