Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, September 15, 2021

lesser color
We’ve all heard the rumors about the ridiculous contractual demands made by pop bands when they’re on tour. Among the screwiest is Van Halen’s early-1980s insistence upon being served M&M’S with all brown-colored pieces removed — which turns out to be absolutely true.

I take a similar approach while enjoying my M&M’S, although with a reversed premise: Instead of discarding a particular color, I eat around all the green pieces, saving them for last. (Why green? Because they’re the tastiest ones, duh — and it’s my favorite color, not-so-incidentally.) When you’re digging into a little single-serving bag of the candy, it takes some finger-digital dexterity to successfully extract the non-greens. It quickly becomes an Easter-egg hunt if I luck out with a bag overloaded with greenies.

So I guess this irrational segregation of sugary snacks is my way of being the rockstar that I’m not, and never will be. At least I’m left with chocolate.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/15/2009 08:57am
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, Food, Pop Culture
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Wednesday, September 02, 2021


Building off those body-decay anti-smoking ads from a few years back, New York City is applying the gross-out warning to sugar-packed soft drinks, in the form of a too-detailed visual representation of human fat.

The ads — which cost about $277,000 to develop over three fiscal years, including money for creative work and focus groups — will run in 1,500 subway cars for three months. (The $90,000 cost of the subway advertisement comes through a private donor, the Fund for Public Health in New York.)

Cathy Nonas, a dietitian who directs physical activity and nutrition programs at the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which developed the ad, said that officials concluded, after conducting focus groups, that a graphic, in-your-face approach worked…

“We had to make sure it looked like real human fat,” said Ms. Nonas, of the health department. “We did want those little blood vessels and things like that.”

“Pouring on the pounds” and “don’t drink yourself fat” provide the textual subtlety to counterbalance those cascading globs of sugar-spawned lard. Mentally hitting the straphanger high and low, I suppose.

High time that Gotham lashed out at the sugarwater scourge. I’m sure these tactics will be just as effective in stamping out sweetener-spiked beverages as they were in eliminating ciggies — because you can’t find anyone lighting up in New York anymore, right?

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/02/2021 08:50am
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food, New Yorkin', Society
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Sunday, August 30, 2021

dropI first read this product description for “Da’ Bomb” in Mo Hotta Mo Betta‘s novelty hot-sauce catalogue some 15 years ago:

When a sauce gets this hot, flavor is not really an issue. Pain is the issue.

Da’ Bomb is the hottest we’ve got, so if it’s scathing heat you’re after, you’ve found your dream sauce. Ka boooom!

Nothing drives home the tastebud-searing sensation of blended habanero peppers like those first two sentences. That little snatch of marketing copy stayed with me through the years, in no small part due to my having sampled this hellish concoction — barely a drop, which was enough to set my mouth on fire for literally hours, and keep me from ever cracking open that little bottle again. (It wound up sitting on my desk for years afterward, giving me and visitors a kick just from the warning label.)

It’s amusing that Mo Hotta has preserved that marketing language for so long. I’d like to think it’s because it’s been so effective all this time. But judging from their fairly basic website, I think they simply haven’t bothered to update the copywriting that they transferred online from the old print catalogues. The giveaway is that second part of Da’ Bomb’s description: At 119,700 Scoville Units of heat, this little vial of pain still ranks up there, but is well behind several other of the company’s extreme-hot sauces. Aside from the 1-million Scoville beasts, one notable concoction clocks in at 283,000, earning it the horrific tagline “Dresden in a bottle”.

Indeed, death’s-head imagery pairs up well with these barely-edible flavoring/pain agents. I haven’t seen such gratuitous mixing of food and violence since Suicide Food’s chronicle of barnyard self-immolations.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/30/2009 12:15pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Creative, Food
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Monday, August 17, 2021

that's the spirit
I wasn’t the only one who suspected some unreported product-placement going on with “Mad Men”: AdWeek poked around for evidence.

It found some, specifically regarding Season 3′s unique inclusion of Stolichnaya vodka:

Andrey Skurikhin, a partner at SPI Group, which owns the Stoli brand, said that he didn’t pay for placement. Skurikhin said ["Mad Men" network home] AMC contacted him and, he, being a fan of the show, gladly acquiesced, even producing a bottle from 1963 to conform to the show’s historical accuracy. But was Stoli even available in the U.S. at that time? Not widely, Skurikhin said, but it’s plausible that the high rollers at Sterling Cooper might have been able to access a bottle.

Like I said in my previous post, I don’t have a problem with this premise, because I think it does preserve the authenticity of the storyline. Do I believe Stoli really didn’t pay for this placement? Maybe, maybe not. It could be that the creative folks had that brand in mind, and didn’t want to start a bidding war between Stoli, Smirnoff, and any other historically-eligible Eastern European vodkas. Or maybe AMC will make up the value given to Stoli by hitting them, or other liquor brands, with desirable ad rates for commercial time in later seasons.

There’s no way of telling, other than taking everyone at their words. And that cloak of secrecy is intentional:

When asked whether other brands mentioned on the show on previous seasons like Utz and Cadillac were paid placements, AMC president and general manager Charlie Collier was coy: “We absolutely have product integration on the show, but you shouldn’t know which ones are paid and which ones aren’t.”

Perception is critical. If everyone starts talking about which props are paid-for, that will color the perception of the show, fairly or not. It underlines how much product-placement is still considered a less-than-honorable advertising practice.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/17/2009 08:07pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food, TV
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Wednesday, August 12, 2021

glug
If you’re a fan of “Mad Men”, then you’re probably a fan of the show’s dedication to historical accuracy in libations:

Liquor is not only an integral part of many plotlines (last season, it played a pivotal role in a car crash, a divorce, a rape and two career implosions), but often a telling sign of character. When it comes to choosing a character’s poison, [show prop master Gay] Perello said, many people have input, starting with the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner: “Matt will say, ‘I want them to have a brown liquor.’ And I’ll go, ‘Let’s do a nonblended Scotch, because this is a person who would appreciate that.’ ”

The cocktail historian David Wondrich, 48, thinks an old-fashioned is a conservative choice for the young [main character Dan] Draper, but considers his preference for Canadian Club “exactly right. We’d had years of destruction of the American whiskey industry up until then. So the Canadian stuff was viewed as being pretty good.”

What this article doesn’t bring up: Such a central role for name-brand alcohol creates the perfect environment for product placement. Liquor companies are known to be especially aggressive in positioning their brands into movies, TV shows, and even songs. So regardless of what the prop master strives for, I’m sure there’s plenty of paid-for insertion of specific Scotch, vodka, gin, and beer bottles in the storylines.

In fact, a plot point from the upcoming Season 3 illustrates a seamless method of selling this, without compromising the authenticity:

This season, Sterling gets his hands on some prized contraband: Soviet-made Stolichnaya (then not available in the United States). His priorities remain solidly in place. “Help yourself,” he tells a colleague. “Not the Stoli.”

I’d bet anything that this bit was written into the show expressly because Stoli paid for it. They’d have to forgo the modern-day logo and design, but that’s insignificant — having the vodka mentioned by name by a popular character on a popular show guarantees mindshare, and sales. The minds at Sterling Cooper couldn’t have cooked up a more effective advertising campaign.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/12/2021 03:26pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food, History, Pop Culture, TV
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Sunday, August 02, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, I lamented that I’d overloaded myself by cooking too much rice for dinner. Somehow, I figured that four cups wouldn’t be too much to eat in a couple of days. I plead ignorance based on kitchen math, in that the 1:1.5 ratio of rice-to-water seemed easier to achieve when multiplied to reach whole numbers…

Turns out I needed close to two weeks to finally finish off the leftovers. Managed to clear out the big metal container from my fridge on Friday, and am now thankful for the freed-up space. As I said, lesson learned — a little bit of long-grain goes a long way.

Or maybe I didn’t learn my lesson. Apparently, six days is the upper limit for cooked-rice storage. So I was risking food poisoning, all for the sake of not wasting a few grains. Luckily, I didn’t detect any spoilage, or experience any ill effects. All the same, next time I’ll whip up my rice in small-batch quantities.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/02/2021 01:58pm
Category: Food
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Tuesday, July 21, 2021


Like I said when I first encountered Victory Brewing Company‘s appealing logo-works, I don’t foresee sampling their beverages anytime soon.

But a trick of the light and a half-empty beer glass make for a noteworthy “happy hour” photo moment. Even if the result is reminiscent of an evil clown face.

Almost makes me want to forgo my usual liquor-based cocktails for a tall, cold one. Almost.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/21/2009 03:41pm
Category: Creative, Food, Photography
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Wednesday, July 15, 2021

Being a Greek-American, I’m all too familiar with the gyro sandwich. (And yes, it is properly pronounced YEE-ro, not JIGH-ro; that “g” is confusing when it stands in for the Greek gamma, so deal with it.)

But I can’t say I was overly familiar with just what gyro meat was made of:

The process starts with boxes of raw beef and lamb trimmings, and ends with what looks like oversized Popsicles the shade of a Band-Aid. In between, the meat is run through a four-ton grinder, where bread crumbs, water, oregano and other seasonings are added. A clumpy paste emerges and is squeezed into a machine that checks for metal and bone. (“You can never be too careful,” [Kronos Foods founder Chris] Tomaras said.) Hydraulic pressure — 60 pounds per square inch — is used to fuse the meat into cylinders, which are stacked on trays and then rolled into a flash freezer, where the temperature is 20 degrees below zero.

Mystery meat solved! The lamb actually is highlighted much of the time, even though those “trimmings” are just what you think meat trimmings would be. It definitely lends a unique flavor to what would otherwise be a shredded meatloaf pita. And calling them “lamb gyros” distinguishes from the increasingly common chicken gyro, which contains the much less mysterious white poultry meat.

As for the rest of the sandwich’s elements: I love the pita bread, either as is or brushed with olive oil. Lettuce and onions are standard dressings; I consider the ubiquitous tomato to be the Americanized touch to this combo, and since I hate tomatoes, I disdain this culinary cultural intrusion. I’m okay with a touch of tzatziki, but again, the American custom is to drown the fillings with that sauce as though it were ketchup; I prefer just a touch of the stuff.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/15/2009 10:58pm
Category: Food
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Saturday, July 04, 2021


If there’s a more ludicrous re-branding effort out right now than Miracle Whip‘s current “We Will Not Tone It Down” campaign, I’d like to see it.

I mean, even in the symbol-heavy realm of food advertising, the juxtaposition of party-hearty 20-somethings with a jar of white glop is hard to take even remotely credibly:

Pulsating guitar rhythm, frenetic cut-away video sequences, a mock-defiant come-hither looking waif… Yeah, a mayo/salad dressing hybrid fits right in there. The entire spot is dripping with cynical calculation. I can only assume that ad agency AKQA drugged Kraft Foods execs with some past-due potato salad, and exploited the resultant hallucinatory state across the meeting table to pitch this mess. This, and the entire social media strategy designed to make Miracle Whip “cool” with the kids.

For the record, I don’t eat Miracle Whip. I don’t even want to know what’s in it. And I don’t even know what kind of sales reports Kraft got that compelled it to push this particular foodstuff onto the GenY/Millenials demo. What I do know is that, if people are still confusing MW with mayonnaise after decades of competition, it’s going to take more than a faux-hipster campaign to boost brand recognition.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/04/2021 03:26pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food
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Wednesday, June 24, 2021

double dipped
While Mr. Doubleshot Beer Helmet, above, would never be tolerated inside a proud craft-brewery type of bar or restaurant, the disconnect in matching quality suds with fine foods indicates that those establishments essentially equate beer drinkers with such lowbrow fare:

Great beer abounds today in New York, and the choices keep getting better. Nowadays, almost every neighborhood bar has at least a few craft beers. The better beer bars offer an expanded selection, scouring the world for unknown brewers and new beers. And the mark of a top-flight spot is one or two cask beers, served unpasteurized and unfiltered with natural carbonation, rather than from a pressurized keg.

Yet an imbalance exists that threatens to undercut the pleasure to be found in a perfectly drawn pint. While aficionados yearn to have beer taken as seriously as wine, too often beer is presented in a context that diminishes the respect it deserves…

Popular culture treats beer as the antithesis of stuffy pretension. Beer has spent so long as the everyman’s answer to snobby wine that investing it with serious appreciation and serious context is possibly too much to ask. Yet enough restaurants and taverns today, from high-end to humble, treat beer seriously, knowledgeably and unpretentiously that it is hard to accept any less.

Basically, the craft pubs will boastfully offer up a couple of hundred different brands of brew, but present you with a deep-fried, plastic-basket served food menu that’s no better than what you can pick up through a drive-thru window. Conversely, the five-star restaurants will carry the premium beers to pair with their gourmet dishes, but gives them a back seat to the more-familiar wine list. The former emphasizes the drinking while the latter emphasizes the eating, with the supposedly high-flight ales getting shortchanged either way.

Personally, I’m not much of a beer-swiller anyway. I find the obsession over imports and craft products to be at least as silly as wine snobbery, especially since it’s all ultimately just carbonated pisswater. As always, the marketing wins out in the end.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/24/2009 04:23pm
Category: Food, Society
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Sunday, June 21, 2021

This commercial for Minute Maid‘s Enhanced Juice Drinks has been on the air for at least a month and a half, but it’s new to me:

And here’s the funny-fun transcription:

Woman: Excuse me? I think you’re the father of one of my kids.
Man: Nnn… Oh… Cancun? Spring Break ’99?
Woman: What??
Man: No?!
Woman: No.

Announcer: OOPS! SOMEONE FORGOT TO BOOST!

Woman: Excuse me? I think you’re the father of one of my kids.
Man: Oh! My daughter’s in your art class! Sister Mary Catherine.
Woman: Yeah!

Announcer: MINUTE MAID ENHANCED WITH A FIVE-NUTRIENT BOOST! PUT GOOD IN, GET GOOD OUT!

Uncommonly sharp comedy for a beverage commercial. All thanks to the sensibilities of the 18-34-year-old male consumer, with whom college-level raunchiness plays especially well. A rare instance of a creative approach matching up with its target audience.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 06/21/2009 03:50pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Comedy, Food
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Saturday, June 06, 2021


What’s the most interesting thing about Dos Equis beer’s “Most Interesting Man in the World”, which has parked itself in the pop-cultural garage of TV advertising pitchmen?

To me, it’s that the current run of this campaign is, in fact, the second swipe at promoting this character and theme. The actor behind the beard, Jonathan Goldsmith, has been playing this part since 2006. And I remember the first wave of these commercials making the rounds in 2007.

They didn’t make an impact on first exposure, and went away for a long while. But Dos Equis must have seen enough promise in the concept to stick with it, because the same spots started running again this year. This time, the “Stay Thirsty, My Friends” tagline struck a chord, and a beer icon was (belatedly) born.

Shows what second chances can yield. If only it was believable that such a worldly gadabout would guzzle such pisswater…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/06/2021 08:00pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food, Pop Culture
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Wednesday, June 03, 2021

I’ve gotten some flack over the way I prefer my daily cup(s) of tea: Namely, with the teabag permanently dunked into the cup of hot water, never to emerge until I’ve drained said cup dry.

That comes off as an overly bitter-strong brew to some. But that’s how I like it. It gives me a strong jolt of flavor and caffeine, which I take as benefits. But mainly, it’s a habit rooted in pure laziness on my part. I just figured at some point that it was too much trouble to lift the bag out of the cup after x number of minutes, and have to deal with that drippy mess. So I just leave it in. In fact, when at home, I now even take the minor trouble of grabbing a pair of scissors, and snipping off the string after I’ve poured the water, thus consigning the pouch of leaves to sink irretrievably to the bottom of the cup.

Some may consider this a veritable drowning of the tea leaves. In fact, when considering the traditional water-sieved steeping methods for preparing Chinese tea, you go a step further and characterize my brewing technique to be a veritable water-flogging.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/03/2021 04:58pm
Category: Food
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Tuesday, June 02, 2021

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 02:02pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food, True Crime
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Sunday, May 31, 2021

sweet
How much is that candy in the window? Probably dollar-for-dollar equal with the massive dental bill you’d accrue from putting so much sugary-sweetness into your mouth.

This is the storefront scene at Economy Candy, a 72-year-old small-shop institution in SoHo. I couldn’t resist cameraphoning this window-ful of color while walking along Rivington this weekend (actually on my way to another purveyor of super-sweetened foodstuffs, Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery). Bigger and better photographic record on Flickr.

Nothing like displaying your wares to attract business. Handy local for an impulse purchase of a halvah, too.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/31/2009 07:29pm
Category: Food, New Yorkin', Photography
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Friday, May 29, 2021

It didn’t work in smelling-up movie theaters, but there’s certainly a better synergy for using advanced aroma infusion to imbue foodstuff with calorie- and byproduct-free flavoring:

The latest trend in food packaging seems straight out of science fiction: Jars and boxes lined with “smell technology” emit molecules that push against their contents, infusing the items with different flavors. The concept, however, is steeped in real science: Researchers have discovered that most of what we call taste happens not in our mouths, but through our noses. Aromas, in essence, can trick your brain into thinking you are tasting certain flavors.

So your tastebuds get an assist from your nostrils. Sensory teamwork, I guess.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 05/29/2009 06:46pm
Category: Food, Science
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Sunday, May 17, 2021


Hershey’s Kisses have been around for forever. Their white-cream spinoff candy brethren, Hershey’s Hugs, have been around since 1993.

Somehow, it’s taken me this long to catch on to the complementary branding between these two chocolates: Hugs-n-Kisses, so to speak.

I didn’t realize it until today, when I dipped my hand into a bowl that’s filled with both varieties of foil-wrapped sweetness, and retrieved one of each. I’m not all that particular when it comes to getting my chocolaty sugar fix.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/17/2009 02:17pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food
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Wednesday, May 13, 2021

I actually cooked last night: A steak dinner. And while it’s not the first time I’ve ever grilled a slab of beef, it’s been a good while. Plus, the marinading/tenderizing took most of the day, and even though I didn’t have to do anything but stick it in the fridge for several hours prior to the fire, the process felt preoccupationally-intensive.

All of which is probably what brought to mind the following moldy-oldie comedic essay about a man, his steak, and the philosophy between them. It’s by Michael J. Nelson, alum from the dearly-departed “Mystery Science Theater 3000″. This was a post-MST3K work by Nelson, for a short-lived comedy website called timmybighands.com (in existence in 2001, now long since de-funked). I managed to save a copy for myself; there’s a small handful of replications around the Web, so consider this a minor attempt at further spreading the quirky word. Enjoy.

Socratic Dialogue
….with a Steak
by Michael J. Nelson

Mike Nelson: Steak, why is there you?

Steak: I simply exist. There is no why.

Mike Nelson: Steak? Think back to 20 years ago, why do you think you existed then?

Steak: I can’t remember back to 20 years ago.

Mike Nelson: What do you think that might mean?

Steak: I didn’t exist 20 years ago?

Mike Nelson: Very good, Steak. If you didn’t exist then, and you do exist now, how is it you came to exist?

Steak: You bought me.

Mike Nelson: Could I have bought you if you didn’t exist?

Steak: No.

Mike Nelson: Then who made you?

Steak: The man in the white hat?

Mike Nelson: And how did he make you?

Steak: He formed me from the Mother Steak.

Mike Nelson: What is the Mother Steak?

Steak: The source of all Steak. All my friends in the counter, they came from the Mother Steak, except the pork chops.

Mike Nelson: And who made the Mother Steak?

Steak: I… I don’t know.

Mike Nelson: Think.

Steak: A weed…

Mike Nelson: Are you green like a weed?

Steak: No. I am red.

Mike Nelson: What else is red?

Steak: Other steaks.

Mike Nelson: Think harder, Steak.

Steak: The bricks where the man in the white hat is.

Mike Nelson: Are you hard like a brick?

Steak: No.

Mike Nelson: What else is red, but not hard like a brick?

Steak: A dog?

Mike Nelson: Steak.

Steak: A hat?

Mike Nelson: Steak!

Steak: A shoe…

Mike Nelson: Steak, is the inside of a cow red but not hard like a brick?

Steak: Yes… (pause) The Mother Steak is the inside of a cow?

Mike Nelson: Yes, and…

Steak: And I am the inside of a cow!

Mike Nelson: Yes. And what do I do with the inside of a cow?

Steak: Sprinkle it with salt and pepper, perhaps a little olive oil, then throw it on a very hot fire?

Mike Nelson: No. I let it go, back to the Mother Steak.

Steak: Really?

Mike Nelson: No. Just kidding. Good-bye Steak.

Steak: (screams and sizzles)

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/13/2009 11:10am
Category: Comedy, Creative, Food, Internet, Pop Culture, TV
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Monday, May 04, 2021

Despite favoring its distinct absence in Roberto Bolaño’s “2666″, it’s clear that Geoff Nicholson, the blogger of Psycho-Gourmet, actually gets off on the culinary detailing of food in novels.

It’s all very well for Bob Cratchit and his family to sit down to a Christmas goose whose “tenderness and flavor, size and cheapness” were “the themes of universal admiration.” But since I’m likely to be reading this while sitting alone on the couch sustained only by instant coffee, I tend to develop a bad case of food envy. It’s a lot like sex, I think. I don’t want characters in novels to eat better than I do, any more than I want them to have better sex lives than I do. I’ve realized that the moments of literary eating I like best are the ones in which the characters suffer because of their food.

For me, unless it’s particularly germane to the story, such minute enumeration about what’s on a character’s plate comes off as boring. I put it in the same category as my general disdain for overwrought physical or facial descriptions in the written narrative — it tends to bog down the plot for what I feel is an unnecessary attempt at fleshing-out the character. So since I feel that way about actual walking-talking story elements, you can imagine how much of a waste of letters I consider a deep-drilled description of breakfast, lunch, or dinner would be.

I suppose this is, once again, “a failure of synthetic imagination on my part”, to quote McInerney, dovetailing with my general indifference toward elaborate foodstuffs. I’m not sure which of my palates I should work on first: My gastronomic or my literary.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/04/2021 11:48am
Category: Creative, Food, Publishing
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Saturday, May 02, 2021

credit
So I finally got my swag from running that No Fear “Earn Some Cred” contest: A 12-pack of double-shot cans of No Fear Energy Bloodshot and a black No Fear t-shirt.

I have to say, I was anticipating just giving away both prizes. I’m not much for chugging energy drinks, and No Fear’s branding is really a better fit for someone 10-20 years younger than my 37-year-old hide. Such concerns were why I originally had misgivings about taking Tara up on the offer of hosting the giveaway.

But, now that I’ve got the stuff in my hot little hands, I do think I’ll keep it. I tried a can of Bloodshot, and I like it. I figured the blood orange (blood orange, bloodshot — get it?) and dragonfruit flavoring would be citrusy-bitter enough that it would suit my palate, and I was right. It doesn’t taste nearly as sugary-sweet as Red Bull or the other ultra-caffeinated fizzy drinks. It’s definitely not for everyone — for instance, the inimitable Marvo of The Impulsive Buy gave it a thumbs-down. But I like it. Which I’m sure means that it’ll fail to catch on and be discontinued soon enough, much like the similarly-flavored and long-extinct 180, which I also liked.

As for the t-shirt, I was pleasantly surprised by the super-stylized No Fear logo on it. If you squint, you can see it on the contest image above (the third shirt on the right). For some reason, it comes off as less skateboarder-ish than the standard skull-and-wings orange-bordered version. So I can see myself wearing it, and so I will. Besides, at a Large size, it’s too big to hand down to my 8-year-old nephew, so I might as well make use of it myself.

No telling how long either the t-shirt or the 12-pack will last me. Maybe long enough until the next trinket giveaway comes my way.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/02/2021 01:59pm
Category: Fashion, Food
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Saturday, April 25, 2021

I was recently reminded of this classic commercial for Jamaica’s own Red Stripe beer:

Yeah, I know it’s a vaguely pandering portrayal of Caribbean islanders. Besides, it’s not like Red Stripe is truly a native Jamaican brew anymore — it’s wholly-owned by beverage giant Diageo.

But it still makes me smile with its quirkiness. The whole “Hooray Beer” flash-title, to the “You are very ugly!”, to the closing “Says the beautiful man”. And I don’t like Red Stripe any more than I like any beer, import or domestic. Long live the ugly stubby-nosed bottle!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/25/2009 07:15pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Comedy, Food, TV
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