Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

I came across this advertisement on Facebook . . .

Seriously?  Are we supposed to think that runner is over 45?  I’m wondering if she’s even over 25!

And by the way, I am over 45, and I can run faster than a nine minute mile (especially if I am following her!)

I guess I should get the rate I deserve on life insurance!

And if you are over 45, you should probably ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough to have running.


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Like most runners, I like me a banana now and then.  I usually eat one every day.  It’s a nice quick snack between patients or surgeries that is actually good for me.

Now in all those years of carrying my banana to work with me, I have never had a serious banana incident.  Oh, I may have dropped it on the ground once or twice, but I don’t eat the outside anyway, so it’s not necessarily a problem.

Other people must have banana issues I am not aware of.

Fortunately, we have science.  Technology meets healthy snack in a new way:  THE BANANA BUNKER.


It seems Groupon marketed this product on their website with some hilarious reactions.  The basic problem here is that the protective banana bunker resembles something else . . .

Among the comments and Groupon’s responses:


Laugh if you will, but  they sold out.

So we must wonder now, is that a banana bunker in your pocket, or are you just happy to see us?

Don’t forget to sponsor me in the Beaver Stadium Run to benefit Special Olympics!  Thank you!

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I am not an eco-friendly human being.  There I said it. Hate me.  Despise me.  Curse me.

I don’t mind recycling, if I don’t have to walk all the way across the room to find a recycling bin.

I would use solar panels if someone gave them to me.

I’d drive a hybrid if I won one in a relatively cheap to enter contest.

But then I came across this ad for a new technology on Facebook.  (I swear it was on Facebook!)


Any way, for some reason, I had to check this out.

Stop jacking off and start jacking on?  This is the best thing since Nike told me to Just Do It!

Even if this isn’t for real, you have to admit it is one hell of an idea.  It makes even an un-ecofriendly man like myself want to do my part to save the planet, and power my phone/car/air conditioner/computer, and quite possibly a number of the electricity users in the community around me.

I could be a beata tester!

It boggles my mind the amount of power I have wasted already!

Plug me in!

Gives a whole new meaning to being “turned on!”

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As I looked at my calendar today, I realized that it is now 2014.


But it isn’t.

And then I realized, that I have not received any free desk calendars for 2015.

Is this a government conspiracy?  A sign of the apocalypse?  Or is the economy so bad that no one sends out free desk calendars anymore.

I recall years where I had 4 or 5 of them–more than I needed.  A couple usually ended up in the trash.

I got one from my insurance agent.  From the exterminator.  From my financial advisers.  From my therapist.  (I think that’s the year I got a lot of calendars–one for each of my personalities!)

But alas, I have no free desk calendar for 2015.

What is this world coming to?  And where will it end?

I’d ask when, but since I don’t have a calendar to mark it on, the answer won’t be of any use to me anyway.

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Seriously, who dresses like this for a war?


Couldn’t she at least have accessorized with a shield or a sword or something???

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If you didn’t live in central Pennsylvania in the last forty years, you may not know what a “bank button” is, or more specifically, what a “Penn State Bank Button” is.GettheGoat

It all started in 1972, when Central Counties Bank issued buttons in support of Penn State football with a weekly slogan to match their opponent.  The first button was simple and said, Get the Goat.  (Penn State played Navy, whose mascot is a goat, in case you are not college football savvy.)

The style changed slightly over the years, so that this is what it looked like 10 years later, when Penn State beat Nebraska en route to Joe Paterno’s first national championship.


Over the years, things slowly changed.  Central Counties Bank became Mellon Bank.  Mellon Bank became Citizen’s Bank.

The slogans evolved from simple two and three word phrases to more creative slogans as Sleepless in Ann Arbor (Michigan 1994, playing off the movie title Sleepless in Seattle,) Driving Mich Crazy (again, Michigan in 1997, playing on Driving Miss Daisy,) and Don’t it Make Your Buckeyes Blue (Ohio State in 1999 off the song with brown eyes blue.)  You can see the entire list of buttons ever made here.

But I’m not here to critique the slogans.

If you don’t know already, I am a Penn State fan, bleeding blue and white.  When we returned to Pennsylvania in 1994 after graduating from my residency program, we were faced with having to choose a bank.

Sure, I could have researched who had the best interest rates.  Or who has the most convenient ATM locations.  Or used any number of other pertinent criteria to choose the right bank for my personal accounts.

In the end, I chose Mellon Bank . . . BECAUSE THEY PRODUCED THE PENN STATE GAME BUTTONS.  I kid you not.

Been a customer ever since, even though the name changed to Citizen’s Bank.  Not a problem for me.  They still make the buttons.

Since 1994, I have always had a good relationship with my bank.  I am a good customer.  They may not pay me as much interest on my savings account as someone else, but come August, I could always count on getting a stash of the season’s game buttons.  It was like Christmas in September!

Someone at the bank–and we have moved since 1994 to another city–and a couple of branch offices have closed over the years–but someone always set aside a quantity of buttons for each game and I would pick them up before the season.  Most years they gave me an entire plastic sleeve (20 some buttons) for each game before the season started.  During the season, I would distribute the appropriate button to friends, relatives, fans, and my co-workers and employees the Wednesday before each game.  I never gave them out early to spoil the surprise, and I never charged anyone for the service.  It was a wonderful system that worked well for all parties involved.

Until this year.

When I called to arrange picking up my buttons, I was told they couldn’t do that any more.  There was a “MEMO.”  From “Corporate.”  Apparently, access to game buttons is now being regulated by the NSA.  It is frowned upon in their establishment.

Now let me tell you how this whole thing works.

The Wednesday before a given game, someone at the bank puts the buttons in a basket on the counter for patrons to take.  The button has the Bank’s name on it, so it is essentially free advertising for the institution.  If you have ever been to a Penn State game, you can see a lot of people wearing these buttons.  A fair number of dedicated fans “collect” the buttons, displaying them in various ways.




You do not have to be a bank patron to take a button.  They are free.  You can take as many as you want.  They won’t give me the season ahead of time, but I could dump the whole basket in my pocket and walk out if I so chose.  (I haven’t, but I do take a sizable handful because a lot of people want these buttons and have become dependent on me for their fix.  I had to go back to the bank today because I was short and one of our techs in the office didn’t get a button.)

The bank informs me that I can get a complete set by mailing a check for $10.00 to the bank.

Ah, the plot thickens.

That’s a set of one button per game.  Let’s see, 20 sets?  $200?  And I give them away free?  I don’t think so.  They want my business AND they want to charge me for advertising for them!

Company policy.

Is it company policy, then, to alienate a dedicated customer like this?  Now I have to make 12 trips to the bank in 3 months (I usually go once a month, and that is only because my paycheck exceeds the amount that can be deposited by their mobile app, or I wouldn’t even go then.)  As a surgeon, it is not always convenient for me to drop by the bank during the week.  And since I’m still getting handfuls of buttons (which I don’t get paid to distribute) each week, what difference would it make if my bank helped me out a little.  I suppose I should be thankful they don’t limit the buttons to one per customer!

It’s not like a convenience store or grocery, where a free coupon might draw other business while I’m in there shopping.  I’m not likely going to stop by and pick up a button and say, “oooh, that is a great rate on a loan.  Can I get one today?  Or how about giving me two of those Certificates of Deposit over there.”  Forcing me to enter the bank doesn’t generate any more business.  But the advertising might.  Isn’t that why they are still doing it?

I see a lot of people during the day, and have frequently fielded questions about the button.  One of the most famous was Forrest Thump.  Think about it.  It’s a play on Forrest Gump.  Penn State played Indiana State.  Their mascot is a tree–the sycamores.  Trees=forest=Forrest.  Tree falls–thump.  Team falls–thump.  It’s probably a little too complicated for a fan button, but it generated a lot of questions.  And that’s a lot of eyes looking at the Citizen’s Bank logo.

I’d close my accounts and switch banks as a protest if it wasn’t so much trouble.  But I think about doing that every week when I grab my handfuls of buttons which should already be in my desk ready for distribution.  I’m starting to hate my bank.

But alas, I still wear the buttons, because at the heart of it all, I am a Penn State fan.

I want the buttons.

I need the buttons.

I just wish my bank would stop pushing my buttons!

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I know that the Super Blow (spelling intended) is now a week old, and in this media age of Twitter, Vine and Instagram, a week old post is so 2000-late, but dammit Jim, I am just a doctor.  I’m always running behind.  I haven’t posted since my half-marathon in . . .Holy Crap! . . . October!  And I was running behind people then!  But I digress.

So a week late and a few apples short of a bushel, I wanted to add some post-game commentary.

Actually, it wasn’t much of a game, at least not after the first quarter, so I want to talk about the real subject of the “game”–the commercials.

Were you not just a bit disappointed?

The Budweiser puppy was cute.  The Budweiser hero commercial was moving, but not spectacular as commercials go.  The Radio Shack (“the 80’s called and want their store back”) was probably my favorite, but I loved the eighties and am old enough to identify with every aspect of that commercial.  The Doritos commercial (Time Machine) was good, and perhaps the bar has been set too high.  I missed the actual showing of this one (probably when I had to run out and buy a Maserati Ghibli) and had to watch it on the computer, so it probably lost something there.  I wasn’t outraged over the Coke commercial–but apparently America the Beautiful is only tolerable in English to some people.

But nothing jumped out at me and yelled “this was worth FOUR MILLION DOLLARS!”

Seriously.  $4 million for 30 seconds.  Maybe that is the problem.  There’s nothing left in the budget to actually spend on producing the commercial!

Which brings me to the main point of this diatribe.


When the first Stephen Colbert clip for Wonderful Pistachios aired, I thought to myself . . . “what a waste.”  No offense Stephen, but I don’t imagine you starred in that one for free, and I suspect you got paid more than the eagle, though the bird was a nice touch.  But when the second clip aired, it made me smile.  You fooled me!  I did not see that coming!  First one set it up, and the second one hit it out of the park.


But wait . . .


Four million bucks to hawk pistachios?  Is the pistachio market that competitive that Wonderful Pistachios felt compelled to spend their ad budget (perhaps their entire budget . . . for several years decades) on the Super Bowl demographic?

I have been to many football games over the years, and I have never seen one person chewing on a pistachio.

They might do it surreptitiously, but I have never seen it.

Peanuts yes.  Pistachios no.

No offense Wonderful Pistachios, but your nuts are an eclectic taste.  Perhaps an acquired taste.  I imagine among most Americans, they fall behind peanuts, walnuts, pecans and cashews by a large margin.  And spending $4 million ain’t gonna change that.  (And peanuts are technically legumes, but I digress again.) Granted, the Super Bowl is a global phenomenon and pistachios might be the snack food of choice in some other countries.  But I really believe you could advertise in those countries for a whole lot less than the bill for a Super Spot.  I’m guessing A LOT less.

Or perhaps the idea was to sway you from buying Doritos and picking up a pack of pistachios.  Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pistachios, but he didn’t eat them.  He sold them and bought some real snack foods like Doritos.  Or Twinkies–which probably sell better than pistachios without a Super Bowl ad.

Let’s do some math here.  You can buy Wonderful Pistachios at WalMart for $4.98.  For the sake of making the math easier, we will round this up to $5.  At five dollars a bag, Wonderful Pistachios must sell 800,000 bags of pistachios just to pay for the air time.  This assumes a 100% profit on the sale and that Stephen and the eagle worked for free.  And you know better than to assume anything–you’ll make an a$$ out of U and Maine (ME).  And we don’t want to make an a$$ out of Maine!

According to the ratings, 111.3 million viewers watched the Super Bowl.  Assuming each one of those viewers also saw the ad, that means at least one out of every 140 persons has to buy a bag of pistachios–no! specifically a bag of Wonderful Pistachios!–just to almost break even.  I don’t even know 140 different people so I don’t know if that is even possible.

I know that advertisers do studies.  They research these things.  Aside from a Diet Coke at McDonalds (and only because they do not sell Pepsi) I haven’t purchased a single item advertised during the Super Bowl that I know of.  None of these commercials made me want to purchase their products.  I’ve never owned a Maserati or an Audi.  I have driven a Ford before, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell you which model they advertised with all the fireworks at the beginning of the game.  I don’t drink Budweiser.  Cute puppy.  Keep up the good work.  But I don’t like Bud.

Just who are these people that buy things because they were advertised?  Am I lacking some gene that makes me want to go shopping at Radio Shack?  In my Ghibli?  Sounds like a dog food more than a car.  Ghibli and Bits.  Ghibli and Bits.  Gotta get me some Ghibli and bits.

I can remember jingles from the seventies.  I just have never felt compelled to buy a product because of the jingle.

Maybe it’s all subconscious and I’m not even aware of the power when I’m shopping.  Ooh, that’s funny.  The only shopping I do is for running shoes and running clothes, and I do most of that on-line anymore.  But for the sake of an argument, if I actually shopped for nuts, would I really pick up a bag of pistachios?

I don’t think so.

But dudes, my subconscious is really enjoying those pistachios while I drive my Chevrolet with Bob Dylan at my side.

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