n. In a product, an intrinsic property that promises to simultaneously satisfy two opposing consumer desires.
Other Forms
Many products exhibit a paradoxical essence, or paradessence, in promising to simultaneously satisfy two opposing consumer/buyer desires. 'Products blessed with paradessence somehow combine two mutually exclusive states and satisfy both simultaneously. Ice cream melds eroticism and innocence. Air travel offers sanitised adventure. Amusement parks provide terror and reassurance. Automobiles render drivers reckless and safe. Sneakers grasp earth and help consumers soar free. Muzak is a hybrid of transience and eternity'.
—Aidan O'Driscoll, “Culture, Contradiction and Marketing Pragmatism,” Irish Marketing Review, September 09, 2009
Palin is a paradessence, and hence a wildly popular commodity, because she combines the family-centeredness of the ideal suburban Mom with the ruthlessness of a corporate "warrior" in the dog-eat-dog neoliberal economy, or of a hard-core ideologue/foot soldier for the Far Right. She is sort of a perfect combination of June Cleaver and Ilse Koch. She both energizes the GOP’s fundamentalist-Christian base (which was previously very suspicious of McCain), and appeals to non-fundamentalist, independent white voters (who find her even more charismatic than Obama — with the added advantage that she’s white, to boot). It is probable that, given how gender formations work in America today, so powerful a paradessence would have to appear in the form of a woman, rather than a (heterosexual) man.
—Steven Shaviro, “An Issue That Won’t Go Away,” The Pinocchio Theory, September 13, 2008
2001 (earliest)
The paradessence of coffee is stimulation and relaxation. Every successful ad campaign for coffee will promise both of those mutually exclusive states." Chas snaps his fingers in front of her face. "That’s what consumer motivation is about, Ursula. Every product has this paradoxical essence. Two opposing desires that it can promise to satisfy simultaneously. The job of the marketer is to cultivate this schismatic core, this broken soul, at the center of every product."
—Alex Shakar, The Savage Girl, HarperCollins, September 18, 2001
A jaunty wave to reader Laurie Mullikin for letting me know about this term (twice!).
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