Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, March 09, 2021

yo g
I’m getting a buttload of visitors, so I might as well take advantage of that to unload some Gmail invitations. I’ve got 50 of them, so if you want one, tell me. They don’t even require a full name anymore, just a valid email address, so leave that in the comments and I’ll zoom out a Gmail invite to you.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/09/2021 11:37:25 PM
Category: Internet | Permalink | Feedback (2)


Crispin Porter’s “Subservient Chicken” campaign for Burger King made a lot of noise as being an example of viral marketing in action.

But aside from providing a lot of fodder for blogs, did it really deliver as an ad campaign? Adweek presents its case study of the initial and latter-stage rollout, and comes to some conclusions:

About a month after the TenderCrisp sandwich debuted, BK reported that sales had steadily increased an average of 9 percent a week. Since then, [Burger King VP of marketing impact Brian] Gies says the company has seen “double-digit” growth of awareness of the TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich and “significantly increased” chicken sandwich sales. And the TenderCrisp does sell better than the Original Chicken Sandwich.

[Crispin Porter creative director Andrew] Keller says he knows only anecdotal results, but to him, they lean toward the positive. “Foot traffic is my biggest concern,” he says. “I want people going to BK, talking about BK. I got a call from a friend of my wife. She said, ‘I was in Burger King and I don’t know why.’ That to me is an effect of advertising.”

However, at least one franchise owner remains skeptical of the narrowly targeted approach. “It’s difficult to show a causal relationship between sales and the advertising,” he says. While overall “system sales are doing well,” and the chicken sandwiches are selling “reasonably well,” he expresses concern about the limited appeal of such creative. “In the long term, this thing has to evolve,” he says. “I’m more of a traditionalist. I like to see the food.”

It’s safe to say that BK is going to stick with CP+B for a while. Contrast these results with the advertising ineptness of Quiznos: BK allows its agency to do their thing, yielding success; Quiznos tries to usurp the process, leading to dismal and repeated failure.

By the way, the secret of how the Subservient Chicken interactive website works is revealed; it’s not live:

The Web site, conceived and built by CP+B creatives, including interactive creative director Jeff Benjamin, and The Barbarian Group in Boston, went live April 8. For the Web site, creatives thought up about 400 commands and filmed an actor in a chicken suit acting them out, and then programmed them into the Web site to allow anything viewers typed in to get a response.

Yes, I’ve got Burger King on the brain lately. Hey, better that than putting their crap down my gullet.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/09/2021 11:15:18 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg. | Permalink | Feedback (2)



As you can see, Duke’s initial reaction to the death of his gonzo inspiration was less than subtle.

But was it too close to reality? The exploding head motif was interpreted by some as being uncomfortably close to Hunter Thompson’s bullet-to-the-brain demise.

Gary Trudeau preemptive explanation dismisses the parallels:

… Trudeau said regular readers of the strip should not find Duke’s exploding head all that unfamiliar.

“I’ve been exploding Duke’s head as far back as 1985,” he said. “I also had a rocket burst out of his head, a flock of bats, and during Duke’s run for president, Mini-D, a tiny self that conducted Duke’s business, even gave speeches when the candidate was incapacitated.”

It sums up my feelings exactly. I totally didn’t make the connection when I read the strip yesterday; it didn’t even occur to me. I understood that the conventions of comic strip humor, combined with Duke’s warped perception, allows for mind-blowing information to manifest itself with, well, his mind blowing.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/09/2021 10:41:26 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Celebrity | Permalink | Feedback (1)


rays by the bay
As part of the St. Petersburg Times’ retrospective on 10 years of Devil Rays baseball (I warn you, don’t click unless you can stand the ugliness), columnist Gary Shelton files from the Spring Training 2010.

It’s a time when Cal Ripken is MLB commissioner, Jose Canseco and his wife J.Lo have a hit reality TV show, and, predictably, Tampa Bay’s baseball squad has taken out a multiyear mortgage on the AL East cellar.

Shelton does the whimsical future/alternate reality schtick ala the sporting world every so often. He’s quite good at it. I wouldn’t want him to do it to death, but still, I wouldn’t mind seeing it more often.

I still have fond memories of sitting at the kitchen counter and reading his 1993 Tampa Bay Giants home opener report. It was a bittersweet way to put the whole Bill Lurie affair behind us.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/09/2021 10:11:57 PM
Category: Baseball | Permalink | Feedback


Don’t ask why, but on the way home tonight, I started wondering whether or not a Spanish-language version of the song “Tomorrow”, from the musical Annie, has ever been done.

I’m not the only one to ponder this.

The NFL rendition was a month ago, so as enjoyable as I found that, I doubt it’s had that much of a lingering effect on my psyche.

Rather, I think it’s because the lyrics seemingly would translate smoothly:

Mañana, mañana
Te amo, mañana
Siempre un dia lejos

Any Spanish speakers out there care to take a crack at it? The above is my best shot, and I have a feeling it’s pretty ragged; I’m not at all confident on the translation of “away” to “lejos” in this instance. (And to think I once was a member of the National Spanish Honor Society…)

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/09/2021 09:42:53 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Creative | Permalink | Feedback