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3 posts categorized "commerce"

August 29, 2008

The New Marlboro Man?

Whether controversial or not, one of the most powerful or recognizable branding image of the 20th century happens to be The Marlboro Man.
Introduced in 1955, the Marlboro Man ad campaign was created by the Leo Burnett Company. If you mention The Marlboro Man in certain quarters, you'll receive responses like disgust, derision and outright rage, and it is quite understandable, the campaign promoted cigarettes but even non-smoking ad men and women of this era will concede and admire the campaign for its global success; it is responsible for increasing Marlboro cigarette sales. Cigarette smoking has always been attached to other images, usually sexual images or ideas. In one of my past posts about smoking, you'll find a YouTube image with Dita Von Teese seductively sucking a ciggie. Fashion, sex, image, status, masculinity, femininity, 'female liberation/feminism', it goes on. The cigarette companies have used these ideas to their advantage, and created ads to further enhance their product.

The era of the Fifties (60's and 70's) didn't bat an eyelid over cigarettes. Even as I watch my DVD's of classic Twilight Zone episodes, I see Rod Serling promoting Chesterfields because the cigarette company sponsored the television show and one can see that he doesn't look 100% ecstatic about introducing 'next week's story' to follow that through with ad spiel. The usually eloquent Serling, even a smoker himself, is awkward as he delivers the lines and that was what it was in the Fifties and Sixties; many television shows relied on company sponsorship, or the networks relied on advertising/sponsorship. The only difference between that time and today is that there are so many other products in our world, due to technological innovation and population increase, to advertise – networks don't really need cigarette companies and cigarette companies know this very well but that doesn't stop them sponsoring other events like MotoGP.

Continue reading "The New Marlboro Man?" »

August 27, 2008

A la Naturel Feminine Hygiene

I read about Mary Beth Karchella-MacCumbee and I first thought, 'is she thrifty or what?' There is thrift, and there is anal retention, and I was leaning more toward the latter; is it really about the environment Zebra_pad or is it more about saving a few extra bucks? This lady tries to live as paperless a life as possible (with the exception of parties and house guests that require toilet paper).

No, she doesn't use toilet paper. She uses cloth personal wipes from bamboo, hemp, cotton flannel or cotton velour. We're talking luxury toilet alternatives here; perhaps she can add a log and make it the personal hygiene equivalent of Louis Vuitton. Seriously though, she does make valid points, so many in fact that I had to see her website: E-A-Poo's.

Taking one look at the sanitary pads, the patterns are impressive. They are reusable, and this does make a small difference, if someone is that tight with their cash; a year's supply of disposable sanitary pads would (based on Australian prices) be between fifty to eighty dollars per year. It's not as though this amount is going to really make a dent in the mortgage or anything like that, but would women around the world swap their disposable feminine hygiene products with machine washable products? I don't know if I'd be able to do that; I'm not that hot about washing cloth with bodily fluids. I used to have a hard time washing my lab coat after cadaver dissections. It wasn't the gross factor, but I had to wash it by hand in a tub, and I'd think that despite the powders and bleaches, the formalin penetrated the very thread.

What brings more savings is the cloth diaper but what occurs after a baby is over the six month age and the absorption decreases with increased 'liquid' quantities? Believe me, I've been there. I had my son in cloth nappies for the first six months of his life but they didn't work so well after six months; I found myself constantly changing diapers, and decided to throw them aside and opt for Huggies; luckily my son wasn't allergic, but there are people who are allergic to chemicals in paper products, so this natural alternative may benefit them, but require more elbow grease and nous in relation to laundering poo and blood. It's not like you can take it to the dry cleaner or shove diapers and pads in the wash without a rinse (and a soak).

Anyway, I tend to have subversive thoughts regarding feminine hygiene products. I think that tampons and sanitary pads are a huge scam - governments ought to subsidize the monthly cost. We can’t help it if we have our period. And the other, I think 'give me a break on the environmental factor where sanitary products are concerned.

If you want more info, check out E-A-Poo's.

Image: Zebra printed sanitary pad from E-A-Poo's


June 03, 2007

Waiter, I'll have a little Viagra with that...

It’s become one of the most popular online phenomena in recent days; the Viagra oyster issue has hit Google for a six. Australian oyster farmers like John May have stumbled upon, what they think, a ‘bonza’ idea and have been feeding their oysters Viagra in order to transform them into a real aphrodisiac.

Viagra causes a stir around the world. Anything involving a penis tends to do that; one the one hand many print publications are prohibited from showing an erect penis, but you add Viagra to the mix, and it appears on the six o'clock news (the Viagra, and discussion of its effects. Not the penis).

I was watching the television tonight, and there’s been talk of overseas buyers being interested. The interested parties reside in some parts of Asia, namely Japan, and the Middle East (Dubai), and Pfizer is Pfissed Off and I can’t blame them. It’s a legal cluster bomb awaiting explosion.

I’m not sure if the oysters have any real effect, but I’m curious and my curiosity has led me to another thought that involves consent. If you were a gal out on a hot date, and were offered one of these Viagra oysters, without your knowledge, and it hit you. What would you do? Could this be yet another Rohypnol type ‘date rape’ drug thing? Where this drug, instead of knocking a woman out (like Rohypnol), does the opposite?

Women could use it as well, and their unsuspecting male dates could sit there with a tent pole a short time after the entrée, thinking ‘Lordy me, I can’t pee!’

May’s comment is a classic though. It’s a case of macho bravado when faced with legal action from Pfizer:

"I'm happy to change the name but they are going to have a real David and Goliath battle if they want me to stop."

He’s not worried about the financial potential of these oysters. While he is unable to sell them here, due to Foodsafety NSW, he’s looking to farther shores. The farmers in question have even patented the Viagra feeding process.

Now the other thing that’s unsettling me is why PETA aren’t getting involved. Where are all the animal liberationists when you need them? The poor oyster! It doesn’t have a say in these oyster farms, and there are thousands of them being fed a drug. Then again, PETA is more interested in celebrities, and celebrities wearing fur coats.

Sexual commerce is fun isn't it?

Oysters are now off the menu for me, on first dates. Imagine sitting there with a dud date, and eating a dozen Viagra oysters and being hit by the thunderbolt of lust, thinking 'Jeez, I'm feeling all hot down south,' and for that to snowball into something else, only to awaken the next morning, and think of Talking Heads...

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world in a shoddy bedroom
And you may find yourself behind the wheel in the backseat of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful a strange house, with a beautiful
Wife
butt ugly turd
And you may ask yourself-well...how did I get here?

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