Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, March 11, 2021


Like the above custom logo? I’d direct you to the site where I generated it so you could roll your own, but that would be pointless because it’s been cease-and-desisted out of existence.

Yes, candy giant Mars is a little touchy about unauthorized ad agencies messing around with that iconic Snickers logo and typeface. Mainly because the agency of record for the candy bar is already doing that, with a highly-visible campaign centered around the make-believe “Snacklish” imagery:

Snacklish is a humorous way of speaking that revises everyday words and phrases for a Snickers-centric world. To underscore their origin, they are printed in the typeface and colors of the Snickers brand logo.

For instance, the basketball great Patrick Ewing becomes Patrick Chewing. Combine the rapper Master P with the peanut, a main ingredient of Snickers, and he turns into Master P-nut — perhaps a hip-hop relation of the Planters brand mascot, Mr. Peanut.

Other examples include a Snickers taxi, or snaxi; peanutarium, for planetarium; and chompensation, for compensation. And the Sigma Nu fraternity is transformed into Sigma Nougat, after another Snickers ingredient…

The genesis of the Snacklish idea can be traced to elements of a campaign, also by TBWA/Chiat/Day New York, that appeared from 2006 through early 2007. There were outdoor signs in large metropolitan markets that offered made-up words like “peanutopolis” and “nougatocity,” in the typeface and colors of the Snickers logo.

In research among consumers, “those billboards kept coming back” in positive comments, said Mark Figliulo, chairman and chief creative officer at TBWA/Chiat/Day New York, part of the TBWA Worldwide division of the Omnicom Group.

That led the agency to see “if we could make it more than an outdoor campaign,” he added, “by taking it from a word play to a language.”

Can’t say I blame Mars. They paid a good chunk of change to TBWA/Chiat/Day to plaster those faux-logos all over the place. So it doesn’t much matter if a rogue shop decides to expand on the idea just to show off its chops — even if it did send a good bit of traffic toward the official site.

Funny that I got wind of this, only minutes before the snckrz.com site was defuncted. Just the other day, I was doing the subway-stare at one of those Snacklish ads, absently admiring the distinctive font. Little did I expect that I’d get to play with it myself.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/11/2021 08:33:24 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Creative, Food, Internet, True Crime
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not mickey-mousing
“Split/Second” is not only a highly-polished car-racing videogame, it also represents Disney’s doubling-down on its in-house gaming development studio:

The title is part of Disney Interactive Studios’ strategy of injecting around 20% of its investment dollars into new intellectual property. The company invested about $170 million in overall game development last year and plans to increase that by $40 million to $50 million this year.

The video game market continues to expand even as music and DVD sales slump.

San Diego-based consultancy DFC Intelligence predicts that the worldwide video game market — including consoles, portable machines, their software and PC games — will hit a record of $57 billion this year, up from $33 billion just three years ago.

Nintendo Co.’s success with the Wii, which helped to expand the market beyond “hard core” gamers over the past few years, could play nicely into Disney’s reputation for family-focused material. In fact, Disney has had mixed success with a mature-rated game, Turok, a violent shooter game that was distributed under the Touchstone label. [Disney Interactive head Graham] Hopper declined to comment on reports that a sequel to Turok had been scrapped, but he said that building a big Touchstone game portfolio was not a priority “right now.”

Disney is taking more production in-house, rather than licensing its own characters and content to other developers. It rejected a pitch from its longtime video game partner THQ Inc. — which made the games based on Disney’s Ratatouille and Cars movies — to create the game for the upcoming Toy Story 3 film.

The company has a goal of self-publishing 80% to 90% of games, acquiring five development studios in recent years, including Black Rock and Austin, Texas-based Junction Point Studios.

It’s a big shift. Instead of merely repackaging movie, music, and other intellectual property into outsourced software (almost as a merchandising afterthought), Disney is essentially melding the creative process behind gaming with its other content production. They aren’t the first to do it, but they’re probably the biggest Hollywood studio to make this move. It’s probably the first step toward a full integration of digital media with old mass-market forms — “Disney Interactive Studios” will simply become Disney Studios, releasing content packages that are a blend of interactive media.

All that said, Disney’s current strategy shouldn’t be construed as another example of videogames “overtaking” the movie biz. Because dollar-for-dollar, it hasn’t, as we all know.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/11/2021 11:38:28 AM
Category: Business, Media, Videogames
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A grocery store in Queens features pre-stuffed South American peppers in the produce aisle — the stuffing being cocaine baggies.

In the next aisle over: Crack vials in bags of Cracker Jack

Hat tip to the New York Post headline writer for this one:

COKE STASHED IN DOCTORED PEPPER

Although I wonder if the term “doctored”, meaning “tampered”, isn’t somewhat antiquated these days. Still, worth it to slide in Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper references.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/11/2021 10:41:16 AM
Category: Food, New Yorkin', True Crime
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