Target market

Hey, we SDSers are apparently at the forefront of a new wine trend. That, or we’re the unwitting dupes of clever marketing. Yeah, the wine drinker of the 21st century, as envisioned by today’s wine makers and described in today’s Wall Street Journal (sorry, you’ll need a subscription to actually read this article, but I’ve saved a copy of it if anyone is interested), is hip, under 35, and willing to pay more than their older, wiser parents for some fermented grape. Well, yeah, so there’s a $12 a bottle limit for SDS, but my older and (arguably) wiser father–who is an elitist in his own right, but definitely not in wine consumption–defines “expensive” wine as any juice that requires an implement other than one’s bare hand and a paper bag to consume, so in that we’re definitely upping the ante on defining an affordable bottle.
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Taking Back The Streets

I think it is important that in these heightened times of security and defense we, as a people realize that each and every one of us has a duty and a responsibility to this great nation in which we live. It is with this in mind that I feel I must compel my fellow compatriots to take bold action and help the join cause of rising up against tyranny. Am I asking for blatant vigilantism? No, nothing so drastic but, I would like to remind those that think such defeating thoughts as “what difference can I make?” that everyone CAN make a difference. To champion the cause of justice we must remember that if one of us stands up, we must all stand up. I have come across a great site showing just how easy it is to make a difference and to prove that even the meekest of us can indeed protect ourselves, our loved ones, and this great land as it so deserves. If you get a moment, I urge you my friends to stop by and check it out. Thank you. God Bless.

“Cellar Marketing LLC”

The CEO of a new client is also working on as something of a hobby. It is not a slick site like but I like the approach. Especially interesting is the “wine-tasting assistant” accessible by the left nav; it actually brought up some wines I’ve enjoyed. As we all look for the wines that will kick ass in SDS competition, this may be a good resource.

Snobs Unite!

Yeah, I suppose it’s the Yalie in me coming out–that is, the inherent Yalie, the one who knew she was going to be an Eli from about 3rd grade on–but I really like this article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Some things really are better than others, and if believing that it’s just a sin to waste perfectly good calories on say, pasteurized brie or Hershey’s chocolate instead of Valrhona, makes me an elitist, then I suppose I’ll wear the Scarlet E.

Finally! A source for potted possum sauce!

Actually, if there had been a “spit, don’t swallow” category, it would be a lot more appropriate to some of the exhibits in the Potted Meat Museum than “yum” but I work within the constraints I am given. At least it’s not nearly as frightening as Pete’s hats of meat last week.

Now admittedly, there is a place for potted meat (and saying “potted meat” gives me a weird little pleasure–perhaps something akin to how Perry feels about “toast points”). I mean, we would have no tuna sandwiches without potted meat, and, hmmm…ok, well, maybe that’s the only one I can think of that doesn’t really spook me. Because, yeah, I’m kinda spooked by beef and iron wine and pork brains with milk gravy. Actually, I’m more than a little spooked by those. Spooked we’ll leave to the realm of canned steak and kidney pie, which seems something iffy enough in its fresh form that it really oughtn’t to be consumed from a can. I’d say the same goes for turtle soup.

And I’m assuming (or is hoping a more appropriate word here) that the armadillo meat–sundried and road tenderized–is a joke, which is why it’s listed under “exotic and other.” Now there’s a category for you! Jay, can we add that one to nonfamous, for newsbits that just don’t work in any of the other established genres?

North Korea’s “Dear Leader” peeing his pants

I hate to sound like the characteristic triumphal American, but this article in The Economist nicely sums up the way that victory in Iraq has changed Kim Jong Il’s tune. This guy is pretty much Dr. Evil on crack, and a far worse dictator than Saddam Hussein ever thought of being, but he’s not stupid. He had been saying that Iraq’s example proved the North Korea needed military might to resist the US; now he seems to realize that his many statues might not be safe if the US decided to turn up the heat under his starving population.

Having previously insisted on one-on-one talks with the U.S., he’s now happy to talk with anyone and everyone– including his neighbors, whom Washington wisely insists must be part of any deal. Bush came really close to setting off a serious conflict with his bellicose talk that left Kim with little room to save face. But now that it’s apparent to him and everyone else that it’s saving his ass that he should worry about, the outlook for a halt on NK’s dangerous nuclear program looks much better.

A small victory for the environment

Anyone who can advance the cause of cleaner air from within the Bush administration deserves a little respect. As the NYT lauds today, Christie Todd Whitman achieved One Huge Step for Cleaner Air by toughening the rules on diesel emissions. This includes “non-road” equipment used in construction and farming. The regulations, when fully in place, will reduce these emissions by 90%. So we can all breathe easier– somewhat comforted by the knowledge that not everyone in the Administration is willing to gut the planet for the sake of Q3 earnings.

“performance sneakers” and the sub-viral revolution

We’re all over viral marketing. So now there’s “sub-viral marketing.” Companies take an ad concept that is on-brand but off-color and leak it out anonymously onto the Web. The rougher the take, the bigger the hit. This practice evolved from the DIY hacks of ubiquitous campaigns like Mastercard’s “priceless.” Yeah, we’ve all seen those spoofs of someone’s party pic with a rude caption.

Where these two trends collide, there is a lot of room for companies to make a big splash for cheap and still defend the chastity of their brands– “Why, we’d never do that– shame on you for thinking we would!” The latest, and possibly greatest Brand That Doth Protest Too Much is Puma.

To wit, Rob Walker’s SlateAd Report Card on a naughty JPEG that looks awfully well-produced. You can (at the moment) see the ads here, but Puma’s lawyers have been sending cease-and-desist letters to bloggers the world round–and funny enough, that means that everybody knows about it now.

The Guardian had this great piece last year on the “sub-viral” phenom; a UK “viral site” features this much more graphic “Levis” add that gives new meaning to “do-it-yourself”–and much, more more content of suspicious provenance.

This is one of the most interesting areas of mutant marketing, and it just goes to show how right Foucault was: the author is dead. But we’ve all downloaded his latest Photoshop text.