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Saturday, August 05, 2021

Speaking of ill-advised brand extensions, Paris Hilton’s pop-musical branch-out is engendering plenty of celebutante-grade hatin’.

So why did I buy three of her songs off iTunes Music Store? And furthermore, cannot stop listening to them even after a week of repeats on the iPod?

Hey, they jam. They are dance remixes: Amped up energy versions of “Stars Are Blind” by Chus & Ceballos (Stereo Remix) and The Scumfrog (Extreme Makeover), and a frenetic tear-up of “Turn It Up” by DJ Dan (Hot 2 Trot Edit). I’m especially fond of Scumfrog’s effort — strategic snippets of the vocals over a driving electro pulse give the song a bad-ass vibe.

Yeah sure, I feel a little dirty about it. But I gotta go with the rhythm on this one.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/05/2021 02:56:15 PM
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture
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Sure, you just love watching “SpongeBob SquarePants” on the old boob tube. But does that necessarily mean you’ll buy a table lamp or toilet-seat covers sporting his image?

Well, yes, it probably does. But just because it works for some talking sponge doesn’t mean it’ll work for every product out there in brand-land. In conjunction with brand consulting firm Tipping Sprung, BusinessWeek shows off seven high-profile brand extensions gone bad:

Harley-Davidson Cake Decorating Kit - A hog on your cake?

Barbie Luxe - Barbie clothes and accessories for grown women, a kooky pitch I ridiculed when it was announced. I’m still waiting for the first Barbie-exorcising fatality to result from this ill-advised move, by the way.

Hooters Air - The name doesn’t really refer to owls, silly. Speaking of which, I’m still waiting for the failure of Hooters’ China market foray.

Jaguar X-Type - Ford trying to foist its cheap Euro-trash Mondeo model on the States by grafting a tony Jag hood ornament onto it.

Heinz All-Natural Cleaning Vinegar - Double the acid content found in edible vinegar, but in bottle packaging nearly identical to the foodproduct version.

Virgin Brides - Richard Branson’s strategy of all-over-the-map product offerings under the Virgin tag was bound to lay an egg (does he really think the name has such a universally golden touch?). A bridal supply store that inaugurated with Branson in matrimonial drag fit the bill nicely.

Maxim Hair Color for Men - Nothing says “chick magnet” like Grecian formula. Especially with dye names like “Red Rum” and “Sand Storm”.

These typically are cases where exuburance over performance of the core product/services was such that the golden touch could be applied to anything. Bags of dirt labeled “Harley” were probably on the marketing drawing board at some point.

The funny thing is that a certain segment of consumers will, indeed, eat this hyper-branding up. But when applied to a more general audience, it opens the brand up for ridicule, and very real damage across the board.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/05/2021 02:17:11 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Pop Culture
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And you thought getting a tattoo — out-of-sight on your ankle — was a stamp of rebelliousness. Underground bodily modification procedures that yield snake-like split tongues and other oddities are gaining popularity with the fringey folk:

Extreme body modification features a wide range of alterations, including some that are illegal in Texas and elsewhere. Some people get horns implanted on their heads. Some install magnets in their hands, creating a “sixth sense” for feeling magnetic fields. Others remold their ears to make them pointy.

“People want, I think in general with society — especially the younger sect — to be different,” said Luis Garcia, international liaison for the Association of Professional Piercers, which takes no official stance on the modifications. “It’s not different anymore to have your navel pierced.”

The ante is being upped. And I was already sick of the tattooing wave.

I’m thinking this phenomenon goes beyond mere plastic-surgical vanity. To me, it echoes Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), a syndrome that compels some toward self-mutilation in order to, ironically, “feel whole”.

Throw in the now-mainstreamed liposuction and botox procedures, and it’s a heady stew. Farewell to the flesh, indeed.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/05/2021 01:36:02 PM
Category: Society
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