Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, November 11, 2021

Here are two currently-running television commercials:

This one promoting the Ask.com search engine:

And now this one, for T-Mobile’s new G1 phone (aka the Android-powered “Googlephone”):

Notice any similarities?

Both ads use the motif of consumers having easy access to answers to their spur-of-the-moment questions. In the Ask.com spot, entitled “Nagging Questions”, the emphasis is on the ability to get quick, targeted, and straightforward results to basic requests (i.e., “where’s the closest fried-chicken restaurant?”). The G1 spot focuses more on the mobility of finding such information via the Google-optimized phone in your pocket. Essentially the same messaging.

It occurs to me that there’s no better way to convey the handiness of ubiquitous/more efficient search technology than to have characters vocally pose questions. So it’s probably coincidental that the creative in these spots mirror each other. Still, to me, having both ads running at the same time seems confusing and threatens to undercut both products. Unless you’re paying close attention to either particular ad, it might not register just what’s being sold: A phone, or some website.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/11/2021 02:59:43 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet, Tech
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Even though today’s Veterans Day observance in the U.S. commemorates all veterans from conflicts of living memory, in Europe it’s a much more specific remembrance, and thus a more somber affair:

Over four years [during World War I/The Great War], armies millions of men strong clashed indecisively in horrendous conditions. For the first time on this scale, genuine home fronts formed, as civilians were targets of bombings and food blockades. British war losses, at more than 700,000 men, remain the heaviest in the country’s history. French and German dead were even more numerous, totaling 1.4 million and likely 2 million, respectively. It was the need to come to terms with this immense loss of life that shaped European commemorations of Nov. 11.

Indeed, on the heels of those losses came the victims of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. Take that all together and you’ve got Europe’s “lost generation” of the early 20th Century. It comes down to a day of the dead in Europe, versus a day of the still-living in America (with the U.S. having already gone through that passage with a comparable lost generation from the Civil War).

The passage of nearly a century doesn’t negate that void, which is why it still resonates today:

Yet in France, where the death toll of 1914 to 1918 exceeded that of 1939 to 1945, the dead of World War I retain a strong grip on the national conscience. Across the country today, local mayors will lead remembrance services, the names of long-buried soldiers will be read out, military bands will play and citizens will sing “La Marseillaise.”

In Britain, where an estimated three-quarters of the population paused during the two-minute silence on the armistice’s 80th anniversary and where, in 2002, a BBC poll rated the Unknown Warrior as the country’s 76th greatest citizen, public memory of the war is even stronger. Visit the country (or its former dominions including Canada and New Zealand) in November and you will still see paper poppies being widely worn — a reference to the blood-red flowers which grew on the shell-torn battlefields and to John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields.”

Those poppies are most visible here on National Hockey League game broadcasts, where the majority of the head coaches are Canadian, and thus sport those distinctive red symbols in their suit lapels.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/11/2021 02:26:06 PM
Category: History, Society
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In case you haven’t heard, there’s a bit of turbulence in the economy.

And if you live and work in New York, the ground zero of this meltdown, inevitably the ripple effects of this “correction” hits you. The trickle-down theory of prosperity proves out when the trickle dries up completely.

Which brings me to me. It didn’t take long for my consulting assignments with financial and media companies to start thinning out. I’ve still got enough contacts here and there, but the workload is definitely thinning. I’m putting bids in for projects and getting belated responses — a sure sign of uncertainty at corporate HQs — or even no replies at all.

I’ve got enough stashed in the bank that I’m not too worried — yet. But I can see a slow slide coming, and I don’t want to get caught scrambling for crumbs while a more severe slowdown — both large-scale and specific to me — gears up. Secondary to paying the bills is avoiding a personal/professional malaise that would set in if I don’t have enough work on my hands. I need to keep busy, preferably in a lucrative sense.

So, at this point I’m widening the scope of my bids for marketing/creative services work. I wouldn’t be averse to landing something of that nature via this blog, so don’t be shy if you’ve got something to offer me…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/11/2021 10:42:57 AM
Category: Business, New Yorkin'
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