I recently walked past a bus shelter displaying an advert for new flavours of Diet Coke — Feisty Cherry and Exotic Mango — bearing the exhortation “because you’re an early adopter.”
This tickled my inner Marxist. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Mad Men of late, but I couldn’t help thinking what brilliant advertising this was. Setting aside the fact that Cherry Coke was introduced in 1985 – and what exactly it is that makes this variant “feisty” – who cares what the product is? YOU should purchase it, because YOU are a trend-setter! YOUR patterns of consumption are so much more on point than others, who admire YOU so much they’ll want to emulate YOU. We, YOUR friends at Coca Cola, want YOU to be a key element in the dissemination of this product. Because YOU are special. Because YOU have a valuable ability to recognize what will be popular before it’s popular. Because YOU are an early adopter. Continue reading “Because YOU’RE an early adopter…”
It strikes me that Black Friday sales videos — featuring people stampeding into stores, trampling one another, or fighting over limited-inventory sales items (sometimes even fighting each other) — are comparable to the spectacle of the Roman coliseum, no? For, much like those ancient events, the desperate people who are put into an outrageous situation are not what it is about; instead, it is us, the ones comfortably watching those brawling shoppers, at a safe distance, who ought to attract our attention. Continue reading “Circuses Not Bread”
“If you’re not sexy, you might want to be easy.” So wrote David Epstein in an Inside Higher Edarticle written about the website ratemyprofessors.com, which allows students to provide public feedback about their professors. In addition to reporting some basic information like the student’s interest in the course material and their perception of the necessity of the textbook, class attendance, etc., each student grades their professors by providing feedback on three major scales: “Helpfulness,” “Clarity,” and “Easiness.” A fourth measure, “Hotness” (symbolized by a chili pepper), is awarded when students deem a professor suitably attractive. Continue reading ““If you’re not sexy, you might want to be easy”: Some Thoughts On Ratemyprofessors.com”
NPR ran a story the other day based on a Daily Beast article about the disappointing reality that a lot of popular craft whiskeys that cater to the discerning consumer with an appreciation for the finer things are actually not produced in artisanal small batches at all but instead hail from the large Midwest Grain Products (MGP) factory in Indiana. How to tell you’re getting the “real thing”…? Check whether the product is “distilled by” or “bottled/produced by” the company—a big difference when looking for the origins of the whiskey you’re consuming. Continue reading “Not That There’s Anything Wrong with That…”
On this Canada Day, we’d like to take moment and ensure that everyone knows the words to the Canadian national anthem — if only to get a free beer, should you ever come across one of these red refrigerators.
Looks like Prince William’s been listening to Toto…
The latest in the royal baby craze is news about baby-and-future-king George’s nursery theme. If you haven’t been paying attention to the news (soon to be featured in grocery checkout lines, no doubt), you may not know that the new parents are decking out their baby’s room with an “African theme.” Continue reading “King of the Jungle”