25 June 2010

Back to the 50s: Green Cars

It has nearly been a week but here's the post you've been waiting for about Back to the Fifties.
This year my immediate family and the 51 Pontiac was joined by my MFG (mostly Finnish girlfriend). It was a pleasant time. There was plenty of opportunities to cat nap in between walking around the grounds. My brother in law made some delicious food. A record number of pre-1964 cars were on hand (most of them Chevys.) In this post we will see a few green colored cars . Why green? I thought it would be unique. However, I discovered it was far from uncommon. Orange would have been a better choice.
Nonetheless, here they are:

This last one is what I call a forest service green. The forest service has a considerable number of vehicle of  this particular shade of green.

Hidden Fargo: Urban art

These urban murals would remain unknown to many in my circle of friends until recently. That is if you saw the video and were at the big shindig a few weekends ago.
Not sure of the artist but these are gems on the prairie. The color gives that corner of town a bit of a surreal feel. It's like as if you were transported to Chicago.

Not sure why this picture is on its side. I took it straight up with the camera.

24 June 2010

Ugly Online Ads: The female newscaster

There have been plenty of female talking heads on the news for years. Barbara Walters was the first on network TV in 1976. I'm sure there are more from local stations. With the advent of cable it opened the doors wider for women presenting the news. With that, we have a slew of "ugly" ads which draw upon our desire see beautiful women tell us what we need to know. The ads are not  ugly by our standards but it does beg the question how far this lady would stoop to hawk us the 'wares. She literally shills for about 5 different things. And because she is in the position of news presenter, she has automatic cred in our minds. Let's see her in action.

Breaking news! Acai Berry diet exposed! It is so shocking! She shilled quite a bit for the Acai berry folks in the beginning. I sure many were surprised by her shocking finding: you can buy acai berry online!

Her next assignment: report on money. This photo appears in ads selling low rate mortages to work at home money schemes. She filed this report right after the acai berry assignment. Not as shocking.

Then the iPAD craze hit. She switched wardrobe, added some bangs, and got a tan with the money she made from previous reports...er ads. 
It should seem too good to be true. And in fact it is a bit. The "report" is a bit misleading because it is for an auction site. I doubt you could ever get the Ipad for under $25 since this ad would increase demand and thereby inflate the price of iPads on the site. Why this is considered a consumer alert beats me.
It would be an alert if she had said "Obama wants every American to have an iPad." No comment from the McCain or Clinton camps.

More iPads, new dress, no bangs. I think she is going for the Christi Paul / Robin Meade look.

This lady is just a pretender. Looks like some high school TV station presenter. Clearly a wannabe in this realm of online advertisements: the news authority has got a revelation.

22 June 2010

Pardon the skirts, welcome the horns

I had mentioned the ambush marketing campaign that Bavaria Beer did at the World Cup last week.
To recap: women enter the Netherland/Denmark match, they remove some attire to reveal orange mini-skirts which have a small name tag of the brewer attached. Said women are removed from venue and 2 are charged.
Well FIFA has dropped the charges and settled with Bavaria with Bavaria agreeing to abide by FIFA marketing rules until 2022 and stop discussing the incident. This article give more detail.
So Bavaria gets slap on the wrist. I find it surprising that other ambush marketing ploys haven't been "thwarted" in the same way. I have heard Pepsi is being sold outside many venues. Is Pepsi, not an official partner, involved in ambush marketing? Or can certain entities "get around" the laws here?  
So skirting the issue certainly was a mission accomplished for Bavaria. And FIFA sort of wins too by not coming down hard upon such infractures to their sponsorship scheme.
To be fair, FIFA puts on the tournament (and others) with their own funds collected from licensing and sponsorship. It may seem they have dollar signs in their eyes but really are they only responding to the market forces- the world is raving mad about football. And what makes those forces- me and you. So we should blame ourselves for the way things have become.
As for the vuvuzelas, I am not convinced this is an African cultural thing as much as it is something attempting to unite fans to the hosting nation. I am certainly not convinced that in its current incarnation-the loud constant buzzing bleat- it is not representative of how these instruments are typically heard at matches. It seems that marketing may have also made this instrument into a hugely popular trinket. Will there be an offically sponsored sound of the World Cup in upcoming years?

18 June 2010

Out to be amongst the cars

It's Back to the 50s weekend and the Green Hornet will be at the car show along with numerous other family members. But before I blow through this post let me post something in honor of John Wesley who just had a birthday. It's a goofy song.

Our next post is rather old. You may have seen it before but in talking with others I know nobody seems to remember if they had. This one is dedicated to David.

With that I bid you all adieu for the weekend. Stop by the Green Hornet if you are at the show. We're usually near the grandstand. But that changes depending on how early we get to the grounds. Car show coverage later next week.

16 June 2010

Ambushed again: the shill of the skirt

I am by no means an marketing expert but when a news story flashed across the wire concerning ambush marketing at the World Cup I was curious to know more. 30 women came to the Netherlands Denmark game dressed in orange skirts which were apparently tied to a give-away by an non-FIFA sponsor brewer (Bavaria).
For an academic look at ambush marketing I read this article by Jason Schmitz.
It also took a bit of turn when it was discovered that an ITV commentator bought the tickets for these women in orange skirts even though FIFA stipulates such bulk ticket purchases should be for friends or family.
Bavaria denies any wrongdoing.  The South African police view these marketing infringements "in serious light," according to a statement. So if 30 fans showd up in the same orange strip of the Holland team which was acquired in another non-sponsor giveaway would police act the same? Maker of the jersey, Nike, is not an official sponsor or partner. If they want to be consistant they should.
The Athens Olympics seemed to come done hard on everthing from food to clothing in the venues.
So before you think South African government is grasping at straws in trying to prosecute offenders who would use ambush marketing - South Africa amended its laws to create the designation of protected event of such is FIFA World Cup.
The Dutch fans are typically wild about wearing orange. The ticket scandal will be easier to prosecute especially since the ambush was alleged undermining mega-brand Budweiser and no trademark seemed to be involved with the infraction. Therefore the a court would need to prove that consumer sophication would be such that seeing these orange skirts made them think of Bavaria Beer [see my additional comments below because I changed my mind.] Still they made quite a stir at the venue.
Yet, it is in the best interest of FIFA and the organizers to protect its sponsors because they are the ones which dropped millions, if not billions of dollars for their designation as official sponsor or partner.
Just goes to show how protectionist large properties (i.e. Olympics, FIFA World Cup) have become in the modern age so much so they can even influence national policy to even make spectators remove trademarked goods of non-sponsors.
Nevertheless without the 30 skirted women (fans) the Netherlands went on to win, albeit in a bit unconvincingly. Still a win is a win.
Associated content: Yahoo coverage of shilling skirts

After reading the Yahoo account I see the situation a bit clearer, especially since these ladies entered the game as Danish supporters (red clothing) and then removed the attire to reveal the orange skirts thereby creating a scintillating event. And yes a small tag on the bottom of the skirts identified the brewer- Bavaria. And Bavaria Beer has done this before.
But in confronting the ambushers FIFA and organizers ultimately lost. They gave them their publicity.

And this just in- Spain upended by the Swiss!

15 June 2010

A video and a record

Above we've got this famous Monty Python dead parrot sketch done by scammers who have been scammed themselves to do the sketch. It is a result of a scambaiter sting from a number of years ago and made a little famous by the NPR program This American Life. Which by the way you don't need to donate to but I'm sure it would be appreciated since Ira Glass and his gang would love to continue doing some great  and ambitious radio documentaries. Last year's New York rest stop one was really very good and their forays into economics have proven informative.
And now for the record. A record I apparently one but never realized it. It is a very poor record by all accounts but I made when I ran the 3200m in the Prairie Rose State Games a number of years ago. 16:15.28 is NOT a record I am of which I hold much pride. I am much prouder of my 3:57:33 marathon record. Apparently not many men aged 24-29 have run the 3200m. I think I was the only one. Ever. I remember that I did not really train too much for that race. I think I also ran the 400m and 100m but I am not sure. So I am not Steve Prefontaine. I might do better now but the record for my age group now is around 12 minutes. I'd have to work pretty hard to get into 6 minute mile shape.
And speaking of running. After the Fargo Marathon I have not seen many runners out. I don't run late anymore but I it seems training is on hiatus for quite a few. But perhaps my routes are a bit odd.
And the friendliness is gone too. I've been heckled running on Main and catcalled up University. And folks I am not running in the street. I am on the sidewalk!

08 June 2010

A galaxy far away- World Cup 2010

Adidas released this long commercial featuring amongst others Daft Punk, Snoop Dog, and David Beckham. There may be others in this advert for the World Cup but I am unsure who they all are. I think I saw Noel Gallagher. The commercial blends these notables into the cantina scene from Star Wars (the one that came out in 1977). It's good for a grin or two.

World Cup kicks off this Friday with game 1 Mexico versus hosts South Africa. I suspect it will be a lively affair. At every World Cup the host nation has made it out of the group stages. However, this time around it appears that some pundits are predicting this won't be the case. However, the unknown elements of these tournaments bestow special favor upon hosts. I am hoping the match will be free flowing and the South Africans will surprise Mexico by coming up with a draw.
The big game for the Yanks on the weekend sees them play a star studded but a bit staggering England side. The English always seem to get plenty of attention but have failed to produce the goods in the last four tournaments. The British press seems enamored with criticizing the team to some degree even when they win. David Beckham will not be taking part in this squad. He's injuried and thus was not even considered. But for publicity's sake he may make an appear as a VIP. I doubt he'll be playing in 4 years time for the next tournament.
The US may be up against a formidible opponent. I think the US will be fortunate to get a draw even if the English are a little inconsistent and wobbily.

01 June 2010

Thanks Remer and an Ipod

The first order of business before I begin detailing my most recent camping adventure is to thank Remer. The depot wayside was ideal for making dinner and it had clean bathrooms and even a free box from which I scavenged a set of train postcards. It is a quaint stop on the way back from Grand Rapids.
I'll probably write about the camping adventure later but will give you a little preview. I was back in the Chip- The Chippewa National Forest. It was a good trip which primarily featured  hiking. I needed to break in my new pair of boots so I left many footprints.
In other news, I joined the Ipod world today. I got an authentic Ipod Nano. And it was broke!
But I knew that. That's why I purchased it. It was only like $17 shipping included. It needed a new LCD and felt that repair was feasible. The LCD only cost me $6 or so. I had done repairs on PDAs so I felt this would be as simple as the many videos on YouTube made it out to be.
Well, it wasn't. The hardest part that took many hours was removing the case. Even with special tools this was close to impossible. I ended up somewhat breaking the back panel in trying. It's not too bad. The silicon cover for the Ipod makes up for the back panel not wanting to stay on all the way. But the repair worked and now I am an Ipod repair man of sorts.

Signs of Beer 4: Uffda

This edition of Beer Signs actually finds us looking at a bottle from Wisconsin. New Glarus to be exact. I spotted this bottle in North Central Minnesota at a Goodwill. Not sure why Goodwill has it. Not particularly collectible although the name is cute.
The New Glarus Brewing Company is a regional micro-brewer which produces about a half dozen styles of beer year round plus numerous seasonal and surprise brews which appear from time to time. What we see here is Uff-da, a bock style that was produced in winter according to the brewery website. The website also describes the other styles which are brewed. Apparently the New Glarus brews do not cross borders and can only be found in Wisconsin. So if you find it elsewhere, it probably was smuggled.
Our beer correspondent, Phil, would probably want me to smuggle some to Dakota when I go back home to areas near the Wisconsin border.