Monday, July 31, 2006

It's good to be rich, connected

When the owner of the Rangers and the Stars starts a new sports marketing interest, you have to take notice. What's he doing? What's the goal? Why does he need a separate company to do what his teams' staff should already be doing?

And then, you get to the last sentence: junior needed a job.

How will this affect your in-home date?

Fire at Quebecor's Dallas press.

The good news: no one seems to be seriously injured. Bad news: 100 people were working at 4am just to make sure your mailbox will be filled with Christmas catalogs.

Southwestern Ohio: chic!

It's still shocking to realize that Procter & Gamble owns a fashion house. It must be shocking for them too because now they're shuttin' it down. Oh, they'll keep Escada and Anna Sui fragrances but the cash-burning dressmakers have been jettisoned. Too bad. So many French-designer-underarm-deodorant-cross-promotional ideas, lost forever. Oh well. Best now to concentrate on razors.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Except for socially, you're my role model

One reason why Lisa de Moraes is my favorite writer: "Vittorio -- he aspires to be one of those celebrities whose first name alone is enough, like Cher -- started out studying and performing opera; PBS says he was nicknamed Il Pavarottino, 'Little Pavarotti,' by The Man himself. At some point, however Vittorio decided to chase the money and now goes in for popera....Vittorio makes great eye contact with female critics, wives of male critics, and female PBS publicists."

OK, now that Strahan divorce trial is just getting ugly

From the Post of course: "NIKE might want to cut down on celebrity pitchman Michael Strahan's swag allowance. 'They give you a certain amount [in merchandise credits], and if you don't use it by the end of the year, you lose it,' the Giants great said last week as he was testifying at his divorce trial about how much he spends on clothing. Strahan said he's been giving thousands of dollars in sneakers and clothes to his kids, his parents and pals because he can't possibly wear it all. 'After a while,' the sack king said, 'you get a little worn out by the Swoosh.'"

Friday, July 28, 2006

"We listened to consumers who said they want to eat fresh fruit, but apparently they lied."

Wha? People aren't honest in focus groups? But they're getting paid!

Suzanne Kapner remains unimpressed with Paul Pressler's offerings

The New York Post continues its Gap-bashing apace: "Analysts who have spent the last few weeks visiting stores generally give the clothes high marks for delivering a more focused message - in line with the tagline from the new ad campaign, 'keep it simple,' but worry that the merchandise lacks a 'wow' factor." And, surprisingly, three out of three Post gofers agree!

Still, there's some good news. Gap executives sure can spot their shoplifters.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

No one wanted this: the Weinsteins and Rupert Murdoch, in bed together

I won't tell you what I thought about Clerks 2 until we've all seen it and can talk about it together. But I will say I was just as entertained by the credits as I was by the movie itself. There's a reason for that: "The Weinstein Company is boasting about creating a unique partnership between Clerks 2 and MySpace whereby the first 10,000 people who linked a designated page to their friends list would be permanently added to the ending credits of the film." Nikki Finke does not approve!

But I think once she sees that Jersey Girl reference, she might change her mind.

ADDED: Kevin Smith -- who's all too happy to have a public feud these days -- asks Finke: "since when are the credits sacrosanct anyway?" And that's really the point here. If caterers, assistants and personal trainers can be included, why not 10,000 of your most devoted fans? It's fun! Lighten up!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A carton of unintended consequences, please

Self-checkout is killing the impulse buy.

Since this probably means you missed Star Magazine's explosive revelations about Johnny Depp's secret double life, I offer you this re-cap: Depp sure was engaged a lot. Now he's got kids, whom he loves. Oh, and he looks like this.

Damn trends. It's getting so a company just can't keep up.

At least the problem has been diagnosed: "RadioShack noted that consumer awareness of its status as a dealer for Cingular, the leading U.S. wireless provider, is low. The company said other trends are working against it as well...." With detailed analysis like that -- along with their remarkable customer service -- it really is a wonder they're doing so poorly!

Racking up credit card debt will make those 71 days fly by

Until the series returns, there's the Battlestar Galactica MasterCard! But please be careful. If you use it to purchase clearance-priced Star Wars figures, the universe WILL collapse upon itself.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Now this is just unseemly

Subway franchisees sue the parent company over ad funds. Is it really a matter of money? Or do they just want to eliminate Lovitz?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I am inconsolable

Alas poor Breton.

ADDED: Following the very excellent example of Tim Gunn, I will now call everything that's even remotely distasteful to me a "hot mess," and I will pronounce it "hawt messss" because that's how he says it and it sounds kinda dirty that way.

Asking the tough advertising questions: part two

Do famous athletes owe it to us to do PSAs? And if they appear in TV spots, do they owe it to us to be STD-free?

Quote of the day

Brilliant: "I blog because I got tired of the sunburns and mosquito bites I got while standing on the highway overpass and screaming at the passing cars."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Asking the tough advertising questions

Should we all keep buying CoverGirl to show solidarity with Christie? Or stop buying it because the shit might not work?

I'm thinking buy. But I'm sentimental that way.

Too much information

In a post that I was too fatigued to actually read, Virginia Postrel seems to argue for less blogging.

Wherein I come to Rachael Ray's defense

I just want to ponder this Gawker note for a minute: "'I'm grossly unqualified for every job I ever had,' chirps Ray, happily demonstrating and celebrating the fact that once you've been on TV for one thing, you can be on TV for anything else."

Qualification talk? From the current editor of Gawker? Now somehow, that's just funny.

Evidently no one else gets much work done either

100 million?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Barbara Millicent Roberts is a tad nervous these days

Did I ever tell you that I went to a Barbie convention once?

Hello? You still with me?

I know. I can see how people would think it's strange but if you can't spend your adult years overpaying for the toys that you abused and destroyed as a child, then really, how can you ever expect to be able to love?

These days, though, I fear for Barbie's future. While movie tie-ins are saving their other divisions, Mattel just might give up on original thinking and stick us with a Bratz clone. Because 4-year-olds need something to play with as they recite the lyrics to 'Promiscuous."

Happily, there is better news -- news that, in fact, has now given my life meaning and direction. Robert Best is a contestant on the new Project Runway. Yes, Barbie Collectibles designer Robert Best. Y'all! This is exactly what I hope Mattel can somehow be made to understand. Good things truly do come to those who honor Barbie.


It's Mary Kay week in Dallas!

How many shows can Rachael Ray host without developing a chemical dependency?

Just when I start to think I can't possibly be interested in Rachael Ray's new talkshow she has to go and say this: "'I'm really tired of seeing makeovers and date things and everyone is 20.'"

Now I'll have to watch. Woman's obviously a genius.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The waiting IS the hardest part

"Hello, weekend? It's me, Irene. We met about 4-5 days ago. Yeah, that was me. I hope things didn't get too crazy for you.

Oh good. I don't remember a lot of it either. Like I said: crazy! But look, I'd really like to see you again. Yeah. Is there any way you can get here before 5? I could make some drinks--

No? It's gotta be 5, huh?

OK. Sure. I understand. See ya."


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will continue to ruin baseball for years to come

The ratings are in and Fox's all-star game earned "the top ratings in viewership, households and the adults 18-49 demographic." That's an audience increase of 15% over last year. Not too shabby.

Still, not everyone enjoyed the game. It is, after all, difficult to watch Tim McCarver's public battle with idiocy. But I blame myself. Or more precisely, my chosen profession. Because even though advertisers lined up for the event, no one ran a fun, standout spot. Yeah, Holiday Inn worked Joe Buck into their existing campaign and Steve Hall probably liked it but: a spot that lionizes the announcer? And not even a legendary, Harry Caray-like announcer? Joe Buck. That's we got? Sigh. Is there really no, you know, player worth creating a campaign around? None?

Bo Jackson, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"Having sex on the Ferris wheel"

Clearly Six Flags executives aren't enjoying their parks nearly as much as the teenagers are.

Personal productivity numbers will suffer!

Even though I believe a July run is a mistake of Apprentice-like proportions, I will still diligently prepare for tonight's show by visiting Blogging Project Runway every 2-3 minutes today. Then again, I might simply call in sick.

No one has job security except Pressler

Gap fires another top executive -- the Old Navy president -- and this one doesn't even get the courtesy of the "to spend time with family" lie. Just so long and thanks for all the Morgan Fairchild ads!

That's just so gay

Unlike Ozzie Guillen -- who will be there out of a sincere wish to make amends -- Gay Games sponsors might be in it for the money: "Companies are also realizing just how good a demographic they can reach by going after the gay market, which represents more than $600 billion in annual purchasing power, according to some estimates."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

This belongs in the octagon

In news that will shock G4, large racks are not what's saving Spike TV. Instead, it's the UFC. And you know what's interesting? I mean other than Stephan Bonnar? UFC pay-per-view events evidently draw around 480,000 buyers, the same as professional wrestling. I think only boxing's biggest star -- Oscar De La Hoya -- significantly beats that.

So: learn your submission holds. It's the only way to advertise to the young male demo!

Let us pause now to admire Johnny Depp's intellect

As you well know, James Lipton is the creepiest motherfucker presently on TV. Almost unwatchable. When his guest was Johnny Depp, the sheer number of awkward pauses and non sequiturs damn near shattered my satellite dish. But this exchange was interesting:

"JL: Are there any of your movies that you've never seen in a theater?

JD: There's quite a few.

JL: Or even in a screening room?

JD: There are some that I haven't seen a frame of. Yeah.

JL: Really?

JD: Yeah. And that's no disrespect to the filmmakers or the people involved, but once my job is done, once they say, you know, 'you're wrapped,' at that point it's really none of my business what they do with it, so I just prefer to walk away."

Such a shocking confession naturally prompted Lipton's alien-brain to immediately ask about Martin Landau. But wouldn't you, a normal person, have wanted to know why -- exactly -- Johnny Depp is so disinterested in the finished product? It's as if he doesn't always share everyone else's vision. As if he's shunning organization-wide goals and focusing instead on the only factors he can control. As if approaching it any other way would make him crazy(er).

Johnny Depp: he's just like us! Except for the sordid secret double life! Oh wait.

Marketing conundrum or simple karma?

Ron Perelman dumps Ellen Barkin for something younger and Revlon's new age-defying Vital Radiance tanks. Of all the reasons -- "'it was a very competitive environment in the marketplace'" (mean, nasty competition!); "'Our efforts to create awareness were not having the total impact that we had thought'" (mean, ineffectual ad agency!) -- no one states the obvious.

The Olay brand managers must be happily married.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Are citronella candles the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people?


But: styrofoam coolers are still the best thing ever. Bonus points if there's a beer logo on the side.

King of the hill, top of the heap

Everywhere you look an ad? New Yorkers are so lucky.