Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, September 06, 2021

Ah, the classics never die. I just saw a new commercial for Burger King, about its latest buy-a-Whopper-get-a-free-song promotion. Just another TV spot.

Until close to the end, when it re-created the immortal “Hey-Love Productions” not-sold-in-stores commercial:

Brother No. 1: This is a fantastic album, man! …Let me borrow it.

Brother No. 2: Noooo my brother; you got to buy your own!

I love it. Yet another example of how Crispin Porter + Bogusky, BK’s agency of record, is the hippest ad shop in the country.

I wish I could find a videoclip of the infamous “Hey Love” spot. It was most famously spoofed by John Cusack in Say Anything…, but you can see most of the real deal in the incomparable House Party.

And yes, “Hey Love” was, in fact, a real album pitched by that real commercial. I remember seeing it several times. That it was included in those cinematic efforts is a testament to its schlockiness, and guaranteed its preservation as an in-joke among thousands.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/06/2021 10:09:25 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Comedy, Movies
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Call me mean-spirited, but I’m glad Mel Gibson’s latest production effort, Paparazzi, was a relative flop with $7.8 million in its opening.

I’d like to think that audiences just knew a stinker when they saw one. More likely, the average schlub probably just couldn’t figure out what the word “paparazzi” meant, and so was scared off.

This isn’t any backlash over The Passion of the Christ, which I considered to be a gutsy bet for Gibson (and an ultimately winning one, both critically and financially — nice when that happens). But Paparazzi is such an obvious celebrity wet dream brought to life, it’s embarassing to see it on film.

Related to this: I think it’s safe to officially declare the once-promising Robin Tunney to be box-office poison. Her string of flops and obscurities since her modest success in 1996’s The Craft speaks for itself.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/06/2021 09:31:02 PM
Category: Celebrity, Movies
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Observed earlier while driving through St. Petersburg’s post-Tropical Storm Frances landscape on this Labor Day:

- The local K-Mart was closed.

- The nearby Target was open. Need I mention that its parking lot was jam-packed?

If ever there was a snapshot of the different directions that these big-box retailers are heading, this is it. Anyone thinking of sinking some money into K-Mart in light of their recent reorganization and renewed marketing efforts might as well forget it; it doesn’t look like its management has gotten any smarter.

The equation is pretty simple: Rotten weather + forced home confinement + aborted holiday weekend = Anxious consumers chomping at the bit to spend some money. Target understands this, K-Mart apparently doesn’t.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/06/2021 07:45:48 PM
Category: Business
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Ginger Altoids. Who knew? (Actually, they’ve been around since at least the beginning of this year, so someone knew.)

They’re pretty good, a nice spicy-sweet combination of flavors. But they’re not breath-fresheners, as I had assumed. The packaging is a bit deceptive on that front: They come in the same rectangular tin as Altoid mints. You’d think they’d put them in a differently-shaped container for differentiation, as they do for their sours and gums.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/06/2021 05:56:23 PM
Category: Food, Pop Culture
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prepare to
Inspired by arcade classic Joust, it’s White House Joust.

Because if ostriches can fly, then so can donkeys and elephants.

(Via DrikoLand)

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/06/2021 01:39:23 PM
Category: Internet, Politics, Videogames
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very funny
Some see the recent theft of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and “Madonna” as a disaster. Others see it as a marketing opportunity, albiet slight.

From a Google AdSense ad I spied this morning:

Buy Edvard Munch Madonna
No need to steal! Buy “The Scream”, “Madonna” and more at Art.com.

I’m assuming Art.com is offering reproductive prints, not the originals. (If they are selling the originals, I think investigators in Norway might have a break in the case!)

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/06/2021 10:11:58 AM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Pop Culture
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I’m watching the continuing weather report. The weather guys keep talking about “cells” forming around the area. The term refers to atmospheric pockets where tornadoes are forming (nowhere too close to me, fortunately).

It’s a sign of the times that, whenever I hear the word “cell”, in a TV news context, I think generally of al-Qaeda. (Frances hates freedom, apparently; considering it’s holding me hostage in my own home…)

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/06/2021 09:55:02 AM
Category: Weather
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Woke up this morning, far earlier than I wished, because Hurricane Tropical Storm Frances is howling its way through my ‘hood. Terrific.

I walked into my living room, and saw the mark that Frances was going to leave on my abode. The ceiling over the southwest corner of the room had sprung several leaks, and was dripping all over the carpet. Wonderful.

It really shouldn’t have been that big of a surprise, as I get a little bit of leakage there on extra-rainy days anyway. The forecast promises non-stop rain for the entire day and evening (and maybe into tomorrow), so that dripping will persist. I wonder how I can get something like this when I’m on the second floor; I suppose my upstairs neighbor is getting something similar. But hey, that’s the advantage of renting instead of owning: I don’t have to deal with the repairs. For the short term, I have to empty the buckets periodically.

Otherwise, things are holding up. My patio is thoroughly soaked, but that’s expected. The windows are getting pounded, but they haven’t sprung any leaks. And miraculously, the power is still flowing, along with the cable and Internet. My cellphone seems to be getting a normal, strong signal. Even the St. Petersburg Times came through, with a paper on my front stoop this morning. It could be a lot worse.

It’s going to be another shut-in day, apparently. But it’s good to know that I may be able to order in a pizza (big tip for the driver).

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/06/2021 09:49:39 AM
Category: Weather
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