Special Editions mean exactly what?

“Special Edition” is what the label said on the cup of hot chocolate said and this got me thinking. Is anything really “special” anymore? I have just poured myself a cup of Carnation’s Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate to enjoy while I catch up on some of the articles I have subscribed to through RSS. It is a tasty treat and if you are a fan of dark chocolate I suggest trying it. That said, it is not ”special”. It has no unique taste or blend. I am sure anyone could make it with a bit of coco and powered milk. In fact, that might even be tastier but it is still not special.

This got me thinking about do products of any kind really make special editions anymore? Did they ever really make a special edition before? Now if this Hot Chocolate was made from a rare kind of coco, only made once a year in a very limited quantity – say only one store chain carried it and only 5 can’s per store – and came in a specially designed, reusable canister. Then I would call it special. So beyond a marketing gimic is anything really special, rare, or unique?

The original iPod was unique! However, it was not rare nor was it limited. The production has only increased with every generation made. The U2 edition iPod was different. Came preloaded with some U2 content and had the signatures of the band on the back. The color was unique at the time – black with red – but it was still not “Special”. It was just your standard iPod with a different case and some music already on it.

So my next question is can software be special? Could “Special Edition” software really work? Since software can be copied and reproduced, it is hard to hold onto the idea of rare. If that is the case, it stands to reason that it could never be special since with the click of a few buttons any number of copies could be made.

So back to my original thought. What is the point of “Special Edition” anything if it is mass-produced and contains no unique or rare quality. It seems it is nothing more than marketing speak gone a little to far.

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2 Comments on Special Editions mean exactly what?

  1. Just another one of those marketing terms to join the list. They seem to come up with new ones every couple of years. Seems that if it isn’t the original product they can just put on a “special edition” sticker on it.

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