Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, June 02, 2021

According to scientific research, our human lives function on cycles lasting seven years:

- A new study determines that most people shed about half their friends every seven years and replace them with new ones;

- And commonly-held knowledge tells us that the human body’s cells all regenerate themselves every seven years, which follows that we become all become a “new person” periodically.

So we acquire a new social circle to pair with our new bodily shell. Of course, that cellular-regrowth thing turns out to be mostly nonsense. So I’ll assume the same of the corresponding seven-year social-network churn.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/02/2021 11:50:51 PM
Category: Science, Society
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pop toppedI guess Red Bull figures that, if cocaine was good enough for the original blend of Coca-Cola, then a pinch of the white powder is good enough its line of energy drinks:

Officials at the [Hong Kong] Centre for Food Safety said a laboratory analysis found tiny amounts of the illegal drug in samples of “Red Bull Cola,” “Red Bull Sugar-free” and “Red Bull Energy Drink”… The Centre for Food Safety found traces of cocaine between 0.1 and 0.3 micrograms of the illegal drug per litre, the statement said.

Yeah, the “Red Bull Gives You Wings” slogan gets appropriately skewered in this situation; in fact, it might just have to be scrapped altogether when this all blows over — assuming the company itself doesn’t blow away in the process.

But it’s not like Red Bull’s marketing is the only casualty here. Upstart Cocaine Energy Drink is now forced to revise its own brand messaging, i.e. the “Just Say No” to Red Bull Cola campaign. Because, after all, the narcotically-inspired supercaffeinated sugarwater now suddenly looks like the poser as compared to the snortin’ Bull…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/02/2021 02:02:26 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food, True Crime
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For all the hand-wringing over the unconventional back-to-back gamenights start to this year’s Stanley Cup Finals, the strong Nielsen numbers from this past weekend indicate that the format is probably now a permanent feature:

The NBC telecast [of Sunday's 8PM airing of Game 2] drew a 3.4 rating and a 6 share. That’s up from the 2.6 rating and 5 share of Saturday’s Game 1. Detroit beat Pittsburgh 3-1 in Sunday night’s game to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

And those numbers are, indeed, a great showing, even compared to last year.

The stated intent in scheduling the start of the series with back-to-backs was to seamlessly sustain momentum, instead of playing a Game 1 and then taking a night off before following into the second match. The unstated intent: NBC doesn’t want to air hockey during the rarefied weekday primetime hours, so a Saturday-Sunday bloc was the only way to get the broadcast network coverage.

But whatever the machinations behind the scenes, it worked: A build-up in ratings points to the first game being an effective lead-in to draw more viewers the following night. For what it’s worth, Game 2 went head-to-head against this year’s MTV Movie Awards, which presumably would have drained away some of that coveted 18-34 year-old audience; despite that, the NHL increased the number of eyeballs.

Anything that kicks up the ratings isn’t going to be abandoned, so expect this formula to stay in place next year. Let’s just hope the league and the network don’t go hog-wild and extend the logic into unworkable illogic: Back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back for the entire seven-game series, hoping that the Nielsens increase each night.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/02/2021 11:52:12 AM
Category: Hockey, SportsBiz, TV
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Since I’m still too bleary-eyed this morning from staying up late to watch Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” debut, I’ll appropriate Tom Shales’ deft prose in way of assessment:

By the time he finally appeared, many viewers may already have had their fills of O’Brien, who has gone from being the proprietor of an endearingly zany curiosity shop — “Late Night,” airing at 12:35 — to being the impresario at the center of a gleaming circus maximus, resplendent on a gorgeous new set in a huge refurbished studio on the Universal lot in Los Angeles.

I definitely felt there was too much Conan-centric content, particularly with those prolonged taped segements. Probably because of that, there was too little interaction with his supporting cast, namely Andy Richter and Max Weinberg, both of whom provided solid comedic contributions on the 12:30 slot. Overall, there seemed to be too much emulation of the previous Leno regime’s style.

But then again, this is to be expected. One show isn’t enough to pass judgment, and especially not the premiere, when it makes sense to overemphasize the new guy in charge. I don’t expect O’Brien and company to hit their stride until after this week’s overblown rollout concludes. After that, the show will settle into a regular pace that hopefully reintroduces elements from “Late Night”.

Oh, and as for the picture above these words: A leftover from last year’s WGA strike effort. Just happens to be the only photo of O’Brien I have stored, but aside from that, I like it. And I still think he looks like a guest-starring warlock from “Bewitched”, and should play off that in a skit (provided he ever goes back to that playoff-beard look).

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/02/2021 10:59:46 AM
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, TV
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