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

get on the bus
Does anyone else find “The Partridge Family” theme song, “C’mon Get Happy”, to be vaguely intimidating?

That exhortation to “come on, get happy!” just seems so insistent. It’s like getting marching orders from the Hippy Nation.

And yes, I do have that song in my music collection. What of it?

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/06/2021 09:03 PM
Category: Pop Culture
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It’s come to this: Plagiary is a new scholarly journal, representing “cross-disciplinary studies in plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification”.

Oops. By cribbing their subtitle, did I just commit the same foul act? (I’m pretty sure those trusty quotation marks absolve me.)

As long as I am quoting, I feel compelled to highlight a particularly good summation of what’s fostered this rampant and high-profile forgery of late:

“We are creating this kind of winning culture that is causing a lot of people to take shortcuts, to overinvest in the chase for stardom,” [Duke University Center for Academic Integrity executive director Timothy] Dodd said. “It’s a corruption of the kind of marketing culture of ‘if I can get it to sell, then I have done well.’ And, if you have to sell something that is a bit fraudulent, that is deceptive, that’s still in service to the greater good, which is ‘I’ve marketed something.’ “

Rationalization at its best: The sin is not the deed, but getting caught.

Obviously, such an undertaking has a bullseye on it:

[Founding editor John P.] Lesko said he “could see someone try to flip something past us as a prank or to make a statement of some sort.” To avoid the embarrassment of publishing plagiarized material, Mr. Lesko does background checks on authors before he sends their submissions for review and checks random phrases via the Internet to ensure the work is not lifted. Eventually, he said, the journal may also use plagiarism detection software.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/06/2021 05:26 PM
Category: Publishing, Society
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georgia on my mind
Strange happenings going on in Atlanta Thrashers land.

First, the team initiates a “jersey exchange program”, which involves fans trading their out-of-town NHL team colors for Thrashers garb. Good team-spirit idea, but with a kooky twist: The Philips Arena team store now refuses to sell any non-Thrasher merchandise. Hopefully, the promotional goodwill that generates will offset lost sales.

Topping that, GM Don Waddell just guaranteed Atlanta will make the playoffs this year. This, despite the team’s current slump.

Somebody get me some of that northwest Georgia Kool-Aid that’s obviously going around…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/06/2021 04:17 PM
Category: Hockey
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The advent of a certified class of commercial email highlights the dwindling effectiveness of the send-and-receive mode of Internet communication.

Electronic marketers are starting to wake up to the idea that there’s a future beyond email blasts. Chris Redlitz lays this out as an evolutionary process, whereby RSS feeds are ideally situated — both from the commercial and consumer adoption ends — to pick up where email has faltered.

Of course, this is not a new notion. Over a year ago, the since-departed Greedy Girl blog detailed a case study on how RSS delivery outperformed email for viral marketing campaign retention and responses. And the big boys have caught on, too: Ad placement in media feeds are becoming par for the course.

All of which means, of course, that feeds will soon become just as cluttered as the average spammed-up inbox. But that’s progress.

(Via Alan Graham’s post on The Story of Feedster — where, of course, Redlitz is President)

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/06/2021 03:52 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet
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no sale
The game is over, and a good one it was. Pittsburgh and Seattle delivered a most entertaining Super Bowl XL.

Wish I could say the same about the game’s much-lauded commercial lineup.

The rundown reviews abound, including superlative rankings and USA Today’s traditional Ad Meter wrapup. From the media gawking the day after, you’d think the gametime ads actually were worth crowing about.

I really didn’t see anything yesterday to merit the attention. For a bunch of spots that occupy such a priviledged part of the media landscape, they came off as rather ordinary to me. Had you not known that they cost an average of $2.5 million to get into those broadcast slots (on top of however much they cost to actually make), you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish why these commercials deserve any special scrutiny.

I think we’ve reached the point where the price to buy Super Bowl airtime is high enough to preclude the production of truly noteworthy creative commercials. Once the slot is bought, it seems like the ad concept is developed around whatever resources are left over. Even a company like Anheuser-Busch, which bought up multiple adspaces yesterday, didn’t see fit to roll out anything particularly new — they showed off the same old fratboy crap they do every other football Sunday.

Certainly, some of the Super spots stood out more than others. Personally, I relished the chance to glimpse the V For Vendetta teaser (even though I’m expecting the movie to be a disaster). And the Dove spot is getting the acclaim it deserves for being so distinct from the usual sports-centric advertising. But here again, it didn’t represent a new approach: The brand’s Campaign for Real Beauty has been around for months now.

I’m not oblivious to the point: That a Super Bowl ad doesn’t have to be groundbreaking to be effective. Established brands like Pepsi and Burger King only have to flash their colors to reap the benefits of this type of exposure. Still, with all the hype build-up that the ads generate right up until kickoff, I think the audience is entitled to expect more.

I think next year, I’ll change the channel during the breaks.

UPDATE: AdLand’s Caffeinegoddess concurs with my disappointment, taking aim at all the pre-hype and heightened expectations. She even points to a marketing group study by OTX that validates this view:

“We wanted to see if the Super Bowl hype helped ads,” said David Brandt, managing director for OTX’s Marketing Insights division.

“What we found was that respondents took a much more critical view of the ads when they were told they were Super Bowl ads. They hold them to a higher standard than ads in other venues. So not only are advertisers already paying much more, they also have to work much harder to make an impact.”

It seems like the marketers have created a monster, and now the audience expects them to feed it — and feed it filet mignon, instead of regular ol’ meatloaf.

But again, this doesn’t mean an ad must be spectacular to have an impact. Eyeballs are eyeballs, and those 90 million pairs that were glued on Sunday still got exposed to the sales pitches. In a way, the forum was more important than what was displayed within it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/06/2021 03:00 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Football, TV
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It took a full week of being here, but this morning, I finally got a look at some snowfall.

It lasted for all of 10 minutes. And so puny were the flake-lettes that they practically had to fight their way through the swirling wind to make it to the ground — where they promptly dissolved. And the forecast doesn’t call for much to follow.

I kind of have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I don’t particularly want to slush through inches of the white stuff. But if it’s going to be so cold and grey anyway, you might as well complete the picture.

Either way, I’ll have to bundle up.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/06/2021 10:02 AM
Category: New Yorkin', Weather
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