Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, July 27, 2021

signaling
If The Batman’s M.O. is to be a dark, shadowy figure, who matches his blue-black-grey costume with the cover of night to gain a tactical crime-fighting advantage — why does he sport that bright-yellow Bat-Signal insignia smack-dab on his chest?

True, classic iterations of the Bat-suit don’t include that yellow circle. In fact, the way I heard it, the only reason that that spotlight made it onto the Bat-chest was because it was popularized by the 1960s campy TV show, and migrated from there to the comics.

That’s the real-world explanation. An in-narrative justification was best expressed 23 years ago, by Frank Miller in the seminal graphic novel “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns”. The scene is the showdown with Two-Face, when Batman takes a shotgun blast in — you guessed it! — his chest:

…Magnum load, has to be… Hits me like a freight train… The plate holds… Why do you think I wear a target on my chest? Can’t armor my head…

In other words, Batman’s in-action dialogue reveals an ingenious diversionary tactic: Rather than have assailants firing wildly at him, he gives them a conspicuous, eye-drawing bull’s-eye to aim for, which is bulletproofed. Thus lessening the chance of his other body parts getting hit by bullets, and preserving his bread-and-butter movement and agility. Perfect fit with the character’s overall use of subterfuge.

I’m satisfied with this superhero fashion statement. So long as Bruce Wayne doesn’t further accessorize with gold chains or something…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/27/2009 11:44pm
Category: Creative, Pop Culture, Publishing
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Not only is Home Box Office pay TV — it’s also gay TV! According to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which should should know about these things. GLAAD’s third annual Network Responsibility Index ranked HBO as the leader in television programming incorporating a diverse depiction of gay characters and themes.

And yes, that “H” in HBO now can be re-christened to also mean “homosexual”. But I like “gaytch” better, for snappy-headline purposes.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/27/2009 01:23pm
Category: Society, TV
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I’ve got two testicles too many to have taken part in this past weekend’s BlogHer conference in Chicago. But enough of my Twitterstream was attending, and tweeting updates, that I got the gist of it.

Attendees go to these things as much for the peer-to-peer contacts as for the sponsoring product/services presentations (and giveaways, naturally). For brands that want to associate themselves with outspoken new-media women (and thus pick up a good deal of women-centric business), BlogHer is the place to be. One participant, Kathy Casciani of DeVries Public Relations, identified with this product-consumer outreach so much that she actually requested additional corporate pitchers to sell to her:

Sponsors I’d personally like to see at next year’s #blogher: Advil, Red Bull, Metronaps, Dr. Scholls, Band Aid

The request for Advil, a pain reliever, in this X-chromosome context reminded me of another woman-targeted pharmaceutical: Motrin. An over-the-counter drug that’s still somewhat on the outs among a notable segment of the BlogHer community: Mommybloggers, who famously triggered an online “Motringate” backlash over some patronizing advertisements.

I’m sure the Motrin folks have been making amends ever since that episode, but here’s how to complete their atonement: Become a sponsor for next year’s BlogHer conference.

Having the Motrin brandname so intimately linked with the same consumer segment that they formerly offended would do wonders for repairing the damage. And the media buzz, both online and offline, such a move would generate would be priceless, for both Motrin and BlogHer. Both sides would get a boost from such a reconciliation (no matter how self-serving it would be).

I know Motrin’s corporate parent, Johnson & Johnson, was already a sponsor for BlogHer ‘09. But it’s not the same thing. Planting the actual Motrin brandname into that list of sponsors makes this visible, and signifies the intent. Since J&J has an existing relationship with the conference, it shouldn’t be hard to get Motrin into the lineup for BlogHer ‘10. It’s just a question of whether or not J&J wants to take that step; if nothing else, it would shut out the competing Advil (which, like Motrin, is basically just ibuprofen).

I see big potential for this, and fully expect to be reading about this “twist” in consumer-retail/online PR damage control a year from now.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/27/2009 11:33am
Category: Advert./Mktg., Bloggin', Business, Women
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