Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, August 07, 2021

deal struck
You mean to tell me that the Tampa Bay Lightning was just sold, and Jim “Blackberry” Balsillie wasn’t consulted first?

I’m sure there’s much hand-wringing in southeastern Ontario over this misinterpreted missed opportunity.

Despite the obviously overdone associative motif, this NHL franchise sale was indeed shocking. Despite a blatantly absentee ownership under Detroit-based Bill Davidson, there was no sign that he was looking to unload the team — not to mention the lucrative downtown Tampa arena and land-development rights that went with it.

So, given that the new Doug MacLean-led ownership group is called Absolute Hockey Enterprises… Can we look forward to Absolut Vodka winning the alcohol-pouring rights for the St. Pete Times Forum? Let’s hope so!

Having spent much time in Tampa Bay, including the span from the inception of the expansion team through to the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup win, I’m keenly interested in this development. Not that I expect anything earth-shattering — no, the team’s not moving, not with that sweet facilities-control deal locked in — but it’ll all be worth watching.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/07/2021 11:25 PM
Category: Hockey
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If there’s one thing McDonald’s has learned, it’s this: Damn the food quality, so long as you nab ‘em while they’re young.

The research, appearing in August’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, was funded by Stanford and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation…

The study included three McDonald’s menu items — hamburgers, chicken nuggets and french fries — and store-bought milk or juice and carrots. Children got two identical samples of each food on a tray, one in McDonald’s wrappers or cups and the other in plain, unmarked packaging. The kids were asked if they tasted the same or if one was better. (Some children didn’t taste all the foods.)

McDonald’s-labeled samples were the clear favorites. French fries were the biggest winner; almost 77% said the labeled fries tasted best while only 13% preferred the others.

Fifty-four percent preferred McDonald’s-wrapped carrots versus 23% who liked the plain-wrapped sample.

This shouldn’t be news. Every young family I know features Happy Meal-obsessed tykes. The formula’s simple: Make foodstuff fun with lots of colorful content and packaging, combined with the novelty of leaving the house for eats — a mind-blowing concept for early-stage development.

I wonder if this doesn’t touch on a more fundamental human need to inject something extra into what we eat. Food is among the easiest commodity to market, after all. Everything from beer to organics get embraced by consumers who eagerly swallow the marketing message that comes along with it. It’s not enough to have access to all varieties of food — they have to come with an associative identity. It starts with Ronald McDonald, but doesn’t end with him.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/07/2021 10:41 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food, Society
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all over the map
Google has discovered that there are an awful lot of dots on their maps, and they all need filling-in — especially those business-directory listing locales. Rather than do that job themselves, they’re outsourcing it to their on-the-ground users:

Under the terms of the Google Business Referral program, representatives can earn up to $10 for each business they catalog for Google – $2 for the business’s information, and $8 for getting the company to verify that the information is correct by either sending in a postcard or approving it online.

Easy money! Don’t worry, the Mountain View crew won’t go broke from the potential payouts. In fact, the real genius is that they’ll probably wind up recouping that money many times over:

If Google can get people to add business details to its maps, the referrals effort could prove to be financially rewarding in the long run. As part of the program, representatives also will be telling local businesses about Google’s AdWords program – and I’m sure Google hopes that once they know about AdWords, the businesses will turn into Google advertising customers.

So Google gets to fill up its database with valuable Yellow Pages-like content that will be licensed to other channels, plus it gets free promotion for its advertising programs that will convert to a comfortable percentage of new AdWord customers. Like I said, genius.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/07/2021 09:53 PM
Category: Business, Internet
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