Man demonstrating milk carton design has difficulty opening it (video)

[Video Link] Arbroath says: "This quite famous clip shows a high-ranking official of the Austrian equivalent of The Milk Marketing Board demonstrating how to use their newly-introduced wax/cardboard milk carton." It's probably from the 1980s.



  1. Brilliant.

    One of my guilty pleasures is watching shopping channels (as entertainment, not a means to procure goods) and the frequency in which things don’t work properly is hilarious – and yet people still buy them in droves.

  2. The milk carton is easily one of the most frustrating packaging designs ever made, right up there with clamshell plastic packaging!

    1. I grew up eating school lunches with those tiny milk cartons and never had much of a problem with them. But now I hear kids are drinking the stuff out of bags which to me just seems crazy.

  3. He should have asked a software developer for advice on this. Rule #1 is that you NEVER do a live demo!

  4. Am I the only one to recognize that this hilarious demonstration is actually intended to look awkward? Is it because I speak German?

    1. I think you might just have been blessed with a sense of humor. Not normally associated with the deutschsprachige, but hey, there are exceptions to everything.

      1. Ah, okay. I get the problem. Yeah, I agree: we Germans aren’t actually famous for our humour. Actually, these are Austrians. Whole different story, I guess ;)

        1. I thought Austrians were specifically famous for their humourlessness.  But maybe it’s just that they have a particularly dry and subtle sense of humour that is largely inaccessible to outsiders.

          1. Both true. Austrian humour is particularly dry and dark. If you do a search for the cartoonist Deix (image search will provide enough material), you should get a sufficient idea without getting the hassle of the language barrier.

          2. We’re mostly pretty morbid and dark, yes. Which might explain why so many British comedy shows are disproportionately popular in Austria.

            But we also call the Germans stiff and humorless, while the Germans in turn usually forget we exist. As one German humorist living in Vienna put it “Most Germans have no opinion on Austria, but every Austrian has an opinion on Germany”.

            Probably because we’re the smaller sibling.

      1. As probably expected, they actually talk about the “ingenuity” of that particular packaging while demonstrating the contrary.

    1. That would be another brand of packaging. Presumably even the original Tetra Pak, or just another company’s version of it. ;-)

      1. In Soviet Russia, Tetra Paks You!

        But anyway – the subject of this post looks just like the milk packaging common it the U.S. until a few years ago when the same cartons, but with a threaded cap on the top became common, say, um….eight or five years ago, at least for the half-gallon sizes. Smaller than that it still is mostly the glued, open-at-one-end-not-the-other cartons.

        I’m pretty sure the glued, open-at-one-end-not-the-other cartons were originally invented by the Tetra Pak company. I know for certain the updated version of these, but with the screw-top are.

  5. Reminds me of the first time George H. W. Bush saw a grocery store bar code reader.

    Edit: Here’s some video. It’s the best I could find of the incident.

    1. Snopes has an interesting overview of that event, and they point out that not only wasn’t it the first time he had seen one, but he wasn’t even particularly mystified by it. It’s fun to believe that his type are stupid though, right?

  6. As a former employee of  a Swedish dairy company I have to say that that’s what you get when you use cheap knock-offs of Tetra Pak.

    Off course, there may be some merit in not just giving more money to the Rausing family, which, as we’ve seen recently, lead to drugs and murders.

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