Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, May 05, 2021

Citizen Verdict, a Jerry Springer-driven farce, comes out tomorrow in Tampa Bay theaters — and only in Tampa Bay-area theaters.

Why here? It’s a Bauer Martinez Studios production, and Bauer Martinez is a Bay-area studio intent on using this area as test market for its films, along with other unconventional movie marketing/production ideas:

“Most film distributors are run by kids who get $20-million to promote popcorn movies. I am convinced there’s another way to do it. We want to use Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater as a laboratory of testing our ideas about how we want to promote films,” [says studio head Philippe Martinez].

Those include traditional measures such as premiere screenings with spotlights and stars in attendance, and ideas spiced with old-fashioned ballyhoo, such as a proposed newspaper ad for Citizen Verdict presented as a questionnaire on the film’s topic of capital punishment, with Springer and Uncle Sam looking equally grim.

I finally saw the above-described newspaper ad for Verdict today. I’m sad to say that it’s not nearly as unique as it sounds; in fact, it’s quite pedestrian. Looks like any other print movie ad, with a lot of clutter copy surrounding the stars’ likenesses. The questionnaire element, despite being in the center of the thing, actually comes off as being buried, barely noticable.

Very disappointing. Hopefully Bauer Martinez can improve their approach in the future.

In any case, indications are the movie won’t make it out of the Bay area alive.

UPDATE: While the print ad doesn’t work, the online rendition does, I think (adjust volume accordingly).

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/05/2021 08:02:35 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Florida Livin', Movies
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Just thought I’d point out that today is not only Cinco de Mayo, but it’s also 2005. So this year’s celebration has a nice, repetitive brand to it:



If you’re not inclined to knock back the tradicional tequila or cerveza, then I recommend an unconventional way to commemorate the holiday: A spin on the Ron Mexico Name Generator.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/05/2021 06:56:46 PM
Category: General
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I can’t think of a more pandering and pointless action than creating a sales-tax holiday in Florida during the first half of June on all hurricane-preparedness items like batteries, flashlights and coolers.

How exactly is this supposed to help? Does anyone really think that the reason more people don’t plan ahead for having such supplies is because they’re disincentivized by having to pay an extra dollar in tax? Undoubtedly, the psychological push any discounting effort gives will spur sales somewhat, but it’s not going to amount to much.

All this really amounts to, as does any sales-tax moratorium, is a bogus tax cut that the state GOP can tout as an ideological victory. Governor Jeb says as much:

“I’m proud of the fact that in seven years we’ve cut taxes every year,” said Bush, who took office in January 1999. “We’re probably the only state in the country to do that.”

In reality, these tax holidays are gimmicks, loud-sounding nothings, to spur retail sales. They’ve gotten old among consumers; I believe the last round, a couple of years ago, didn’t do much to juice sales anywhere. That weak reaction is a reason why they were skipped over last year.

UPDATE, 5/9/05: In the comments here, I noted:

Granted, the contribution to hurricane preparedness is a positive effect (although it’s funny to think that any of us need extra reminders, after last season’s four-storm adventures).

I guess I overestimate the public’s ability to retain such forceful lessons, even less than a year later: Thirty-nine percent of Floridians still have no hurricane evacuation plan, according to a recent poll. Maybe they figure the state was “due” last year, and so the odds are against any strikes this year.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/05/2021 09:55:13 AM
Category: Politics, Weather
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Of all places, Utah has yielded newly-found oil reserves described as the largest within the U.S. in 30 years, potentially yielding a billion barrels of black gold.

Does this mean we’ll see the growth of Mormon oil barons? Maybe even a re-legalization of polygamy, to have the newly-flush LDS crowd more closely match their harem-packing counterparts in Saudi Arabia? (And while we’re at it, have Utah join OPEC…)

Perhaps at minimum, a “Dallas”-like soap opera will come into being, dramatizing the trashy hubris that comes with petrodollar-fueled excess, challenging traditional Mormon mores. “Salt Lake Nights” or something like that…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/05/2021 09:41:02 AM
Category: Business
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outplay, outlast
Which disgraced player achieves redemption by getting into the Hall of Fame: “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, or Mark McGwire? Gary Shelton presents the choice, reality TV-style.

Although the column presents some good information — for instance, I wasn’t aware that Jackson’s overall hitting stats are relatively weak, even factoring in the era in which he played — overall it’s not a particularly strong piece of writing. I actually agree with the selection of Rose as the worthiest scoundrel to get in, based solely on his career as a player. But Shelton’s overall delivery here could have been better.

The column includes a voting poll for you to chime in. As of this writing, with around 750 votes tallied (that should peak at a couple thousand by day’s end), Jackson and Rose are neck-and-neck as the fan favorites to get a plaque.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/05/2021 09:25:39 AM
Category: Baseball
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