Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, August 29, 2021

political trendNot that I’m hurting for material to post here, but for my own edification, I think I’ll devote a post a day to the September 2005 issue of Florida Trend and its collection of cover and feature stories that impresses me so. Since there’s five articles in the roster, that will take me through this workweek.

Disclaimer, of course: Florida Trend is my employer. So I guess I’m a bit biased. But I wouldn’t bother writing about this stuff during my off-hours if I didn’t think that this month’s product was especially good.

Up today: Congressional Holdings, a ranking of Florida’s 27 U.S. Representatives and Senators, based upon their Federal Election Commission financial disclosures. South Florida’s Rep. Clay Shaw (R) is the Sunshine State’s big-money frontrunner, with an estimated $10.2 million to $43.5 million.

As usual, Katherine Harris made things interesting. The Republican from Sarasota/Manatee needed an extension for filing her information, so that her data didn’t make Trend’s print deadline. In fact, she managed distinguish herself by being one of the last four House members to file.

Not exactly a glowing track record to point toward for her fledgling U.S. Senate run.

We did get Harris’ disclosure in time for online publication, though. For the record, she measured up as the second-richest Congressperson representing Florida, with a net worth as high as $36.9 million.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/29/2005 11:33pm
Category: Florida Livin', Politics
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First it was the anti-Rupert Murdoch MySpace protesters. Now it’s Flick Off‘s turn to act hysterical. A contingent of Flickr users are grousing about new rules under acquirer Yahoo!, and plan to snuff their accounts in protest.

Perhaps noticing a trend, a psychological rationalization is developing:

Small in context, the opposition to the change illustrates the attachment many feel toward their online identities, according to professor Sherry Turkle, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Initiative on Technology and Self and author of Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet.

“So many of us don’t have a gathering place that feels comfortable and communal,” she said. “For those who found that on Flickr.com, its transformation into a ‘service’ on Yahoo is a loss; they are losing something important to them.

“It is a harbinger of the greater sensitivity we need to show in the future as we take more seriously the psychological importance of our digital lives.”

I don’t doubt that people form strong bonds with their online playgrounds, and from there grow them into personas. When you spend so much time in front of the computer screen, you invest a healthy chunk of your soul into it.

But really, my advice to the disgruntled Flickrs is the same I gave to the renegade MySpacers: Get over it. Flickr wasn’t built to be a clubhouse; it was formed as a business enterprise. If they’re so gungho on having an online home for their images, they should buy a domain name, find a host and start loading up.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/29/2005 10:52pm
Category: Business, Internet, Society
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start selling
When you’re fairly low on the American sports radar, and then you skip a season over labor issues, guess what — you need some help in getting the word out that you’re still alive.

So the National Hockey League is turning to not one, not two, but four ad agencies to announce the resumption of puck-play:

The agencies are Conductor, specializing in entertainment and brand marketing for advertisers like Coca-Cola, Ford Motor and LucasArts video games; CarryOn Communications, a public relations agency; PHD, a media planning and buying agency that is part of the Omnicom Group; and Rogers & Cowan, an entertainment public relations agency that is owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies. The league previously worked with various agencies on a project basis.

As good a lineup as you can get. My advice to Gary Bettman and the rest of the league’s brass: Stay the hell out of the agencies’ way, and let them do their jobs. You’ve proven time and time again that you don’t know how to market your game; let the pros do it right.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/29/2005 10:11pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Hockey
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cold soberloaded
Who knew that the well-known sea shanty “What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?” was “closely associated with football”? That’s the story out of Toyota and ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, when they got some flack for using a tune about drunkenness to sell cars.

From the New York Times‘ Stuart Elliott, in his weekly email newsletter:

According to Wade Hoyt, Northeast public affairs manager for Toyota Motor Sales USA, part of Toyota Motor of Japan, the company and agency know the tune by the title “A Golden Boy Again,” under which they licensed it from N.F.L. Films.

“It’s used on ESPN and in the John Madden video games and is said to be closely associated with football,” Mr. Hoyt says, “hence its use in the August sales campaign with its football theme.”

In discussing it with a couple of the journalists who previously inquired about the song, “they conceded that only older listeners might be familiar with the sea chantey,” he adds. “I’m 62 and, although the tune in the ad seemed to ring a distant bell, I could not put a name to it.”

“Obviously, no one at Toyota or its ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, recognized any similarity to the old sea chantey,” Mr. Hoyt says, “and we doubt that many listeners will, either.” The campaign is scheduled to end Sunday, he adds.

Am I crazy, or is “Drunken Sailor” not more closely associated with hockey? I can’t ever recall hearing the tune at a football game (or any other sporting event), but I’d bet it’s been played at every single NHL game I’ve ever attended (it is a natural on the electric organ, after all).

Could it be that the NHL’s recent lockout also took out the memory of “Drunken Sailor” at the big-league rink?

Beyond that, I vividly recall it being part of the limited soundtrack of the old EA Sports NHL Hockey videogames of the early and mid-’90s. If anything, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the Madden football game developers adopted the tune from the hockey games.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that either hockey or football is a natural fit for a ditty about abusing a passed-out, seaborn drunk. But it’s a spritely melody, nonetheless.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/29/2005 09:21pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Creative, Football, Hockey
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selfless
If you’re a big Elizabeth Hurley fan, be sure to pick up the September issue of Shape magazine. Not only is she looking good on the cover, she’s looking good on a two-page Estée Lauder ad spread just inside the cover, and on an editorial page promoting a “Win Liz Hurley’s Cover Look” contest, prompting raised eyebrows over the rampant editorial/advertising synergy.

All involved are denying any shady dealing, of course. But whether it all came together intentionally or not, it’s an further, uncomfortable step toward blurring the lines. Not that Shape or parent company American Media is a bellwether for the industry, but every little bit, no matter from where, has a cumulative effect.

Hey, wait a minute. I’m a Liz Hurley fan! How can I resist: Brunette, killer bod, British accent… I’d better run out and grab my copy.

UPDATE: Sheesh. Despite having the cover image right in front of me, and reading the article a couple of times, I boneheadedly flubbed the title of the magazine — from the actual Shape to Self. My only defense: Ms. Hurley’s distractingly pretty figure obscuring the title on said cover. Still, I think my fixation on a cutesy headline for this post overrode my eye for detail.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/29/2005 08:45pm
Category: Celebrity, Fashion, Publishing
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