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Blend of paradox +‎ essence, coined by Alex Shakar in 2001.


paradessence (plural paradessences)

  1. (marketing) The quality of appealing to and promising to satisfy multiple contradictory desires.
    • 2001, Alex Shakar, The Savage Girl, →ISBN:
      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.“
    • 2004, Stephen Brown, Free Gift Inside!!: Forget the Customer. Develop Marketease, →ISBN, page 53:
      The marketer's task, therefore, is to manage this tension, this broken soul, this bifurcated core, this paradessence of a product or service.
    • 2008, Steven Shaviro, “An Issue That Won’t Go Away”, in The Pinocchio Theory:
      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.
    • 2009, Lee Konstantinou, Wipe that smirk off your face, page 227:
      Although he attributes the theory of paradessences to Chas, Shakar has described the concept as an invention of his own, one that he takes as true: "[W]alking around supermarkets myself, watching commercials, paying attention to what had an effect on me, and then trying to figure out why it did...I came up with the idea of paradessence" (Hogan). One gets the sense that Shakar believes in the power of the "paradessence." that (along with "postirony") it is not only one of the novel's central neologisms, but a principle of construction for the novel itself.