Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, January 08, 2021

I’m not sure if using characters from “The Waltons” — or, really, their signature “G’night” rollcall, along with the show’s theme music — in TV commercials for Cingular Wireless’ new push-to-talk feature is an act of cynical nostalgic manipulation, or of inspired genius.

I’m inclined to think it’s the latter. When I first saw it, I thought, “How long has it been since that show was cancelled?” Meaning I wasn’t sure that the Waltons retained much of the iconic status they had 20-30 years ago. But then, I realized: The show holds a special place in the memories of people now in their 30s and 40s, who watched it when they were kids (while I fall into that agegroup, I’m not a fan — I don’t think I’ve ever seen even one episode). So, it’s a natural to conjure up good feelings from an old favorite when selling cellular service.

“Can you hear me now, John-Boy?” (I know, I know, that’s Verizon Wireless; I bet they wish they’d come up with it…)

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/08/2021 08:59:54 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., TV, Tech | Permalink | Feedback (1)


Should NASCAR ever expand to Italy, it may run up against some brand confusion. Nascar Studios is a Web advertising and marketing design shop based in Naples.

I’m hoping Nascar someday gets the Formula 1 account. I’d love to see F1’s website sporting the legend, “designed by Nascar”.

Since I don’t speak or read Italian, I can’t discern much about the company. From their Web portfolio, I can see they’re typical of design shops all over the globe in going overboard on Flash. In the case of Harmont & Blaine (home of the designer weiner dog), it makes for a bloated, practically unusable site.

On the plus side, they do maintain a blog. Again, it’s in Italian, so I can’t read it. But it appears to be updated frequently, which is always a good sign.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/08/2021 08:34:21 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Other Sports | Permalink | Feedback


I check this site’s referral logs as much as I imagine most people check theirs. It’s voyeuristic and a bit unsettling to some visitors, but it’s hard not to do it when it’s a default setting in the administrative backend. It’s a harmless way to feed curiosity about where visitors are coming from.

It’s also a source of humorous discovery. Like this recent visit from an Earthlink customer, which reveals the names given to that Internet service provider’s nuts-and-bolts hardware:

NameServer: ITCHY.MINDSPRING.NET
NameServer: SCRATCHY.MINDSPRING.NET

Someone at Earthlink is a fan of “The Simpsons”. Or, at least, of The Itchy & Scratchy Show.

Then again, the “Simpsons” fan might have been working at Mindspring, the formerly independent ISP that Earthlink acquired years ago. That accounts for the mindspring.net domain, and for the cartoon names being around for at least a couple of years now. (I wonder how hard it would be to change the names of those servers, and if it’s worth it?)

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/08/2021 07:11:32 PM
Category: Internet, TV, Pop Culture | Permalink | Feedback (4)


pucks anonymous
The “my NHL” series of TV spots have been compiled into a single four-and-a-half minute minimovie for your viewing pleasure.

I think it’s funny that, while the players are anonymous and their team uniforms are generically branded with the NHL crest, the boards shown during game action clearly feature specific real-life league sponsor ads, including Mastercard and Coca-Cola. It strikes me as an odd juxtaposition: Advertising reality intruding upon a fantasized scenario. (Or maybe the other way around.)

I’ve been decidedly underwhelmed with the “my NHL” campaign. Considering the ad/marketing firepower the league lined up after lockout’s end, I had hoped for a more dynamic showing. Instead, this whole Sun-Tzu/medieval warrior crap is dull. At best, it jolts the already-converted hockey fans, and leaves potential new converts cold.

OLN’s promos are only slightly better. Maybe we’ll see something better from NBC’s hype.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/08/2021 01:32:45 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Hockey | Permalink | Feedback (2)