Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hee! Hee! Hee!

The graphic above is a scan of a Whoopie Cushion my daughter "won" at a Chuck E Cheese restaurant.

We spend years telling our kids, "Farts aren't funny. Say 'excuse me.'"

Then, in the mere exchange of 5 paper tickets, Chuck E. Cheese himself puts his stamp of approval on the plastic-scented, inhumanly loud simulation.

It's mine, now. I hope she forgets about it.

The next time we're forced to go to CEC, I'm going to give the kids a choice - we have lunch BEFORE and they can get another whoopie cushion. Or they can eat lunch THERE and they don't get a whoopie cushion.

Same results.

POSTSCRIPT: I'm getting feedback from sadvertising readers that farts are, indeed, funny.

Here's one reader's opinion: "John Lennon. The Queen of England. Ghandi. Saddam Hussein. Cher. Michaelangelo. Pee Wee Herman. Barry Bonds. Marilyn Manson. The Chicago Bears. Rammstein. Don Knotts. Jesus Christ. Martha Stewart.

They all fart, or have farted... everyone farts.

Loosen up, giggle a bit."

I was buying it until he got to Jesus Christ and Martha Stewart. No way.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Earth to NASA - Come in NASA (static SFX) - NASA, we have a problem..."

The graphic above is from a story regarding the upcoming shuttle launch.

There is no question the headline is awful. The question is, "How does a grief-giving headline make it into the story in the first place?!"

There are three likely reasons:

Reason 1. The entire NASA PR department scheduled vacation time at the same time.

Reason 2. Aerospace Engineers are socially inept and can't relate on an emotional level with the general public.

Reason 3. NASA really believes the shuttle is a piece of junk.

Click on the headline to take you to the story - read for yourself how top NASA officials can't agree on whether or not an impending launch is safe. In short, we have a top-management bicker-session going on about the safety of the shuttle.

"It's gonna blow up!"
"Is not!"
"Is too!"
"Is NOT!"
"Is TOO!"
"Is NOT™ face!"
"Piquard's gay!"
"Kirk's a jerk!"
"I know you are, but what am I?"

The risk of putting fragile, soft people into explosive rockets is obvious. We KNOW this isn't a trip to the mall. But to turn each pioneering act of space-travel into an office pool is messed up.

OR...Reason 4: NASA is selling commercial space on the live launch.

"Guys, we can get 100 Gross Rating Points if can get some 'thrill' back into these launches! We toss out some doom&gloom, bite our nails, maybe show some tearful goodbyes...crying kids, mom, dad, wringing their hands, it'll be HUGE!"

I hope it's Reason 4.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Praise the Lord and Pass the Heal Potion!

The graphics in this post are from the website of a new computer game titled, "Left Behind: Eternal Forces."

It is a computer game that places the player in a post-rapture environment. In case you're not familiar with "The Rapture," it's the alleged abduction of all good Christians by God, right before the devil incarnate wrecks unholy hell on those "Left Behind."

From their own website, "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" features:

· Conduct physical & spiritual warfare : using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world.

· Command your forces through intense battles across a breathtaking, authentic depiction of New York City .

· Control more than 30 units types - from Prayer Warrior and Hellraiser to Spies, Special Forces and Battle Tanks!

· Play multiplayer games as Tribulation Force or the AntiChrist's Global Community Peacekeepers with up to eight players via LAN or over the internet!

What they're saying is this: "There will be holy Jihad. All infidels will perish!" Check the screen-shot below - haven't we heard this kind of rhetoric before?

Obviously, with self-righteousness like this, they don't need a savior, they need a decent BRAND MANAGER.

Soon, zealots from all over God's green earth can practice the devlish art of religiocide because, "It don't matter! All the good'uns ha'been taken up!"

We can read that Jesus healed, wept, lead, preached - even got pissed off (at people who profit from other people's ignorance).

But - can you imagine Jesus scrunched down on the crest of a hill, peering over a group of Pharisees, whispering, "Ok. Here's the plan. and Simon walk around the left flank. John, guys get the flaming tar balls ready. Judas? Ok- you saunter down there and distract'em while me'n Peter rush in to cut off their ears!"

Good grief - too many people's brains are in their "left behind."

Christian culture is definitely in need of salvation.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Marketing Terror 101

You couldn't beat the Nazi's for understanding the subtleties of communicating "terror."

Of course, the Nazis were awful human beings. But as "marketers" of their awfulness, they were superb.

Exhibit A: Putting air-driven sirens on their Stuka dive bombers. (cue aircraft diving noise) "STUKAS!" Egads, horrible sound, evil name and a big bomb to punctuate the thought = pure terror-branding success.

Exhibit B: Black uniforms for the SS secret police. Of course! Evil doesn't wear khaki. Evil wears BLACK! Duh! You think those black shiny boots were quiet? Heck no! Those terrible clips and clacks of goose-stepping was designed to make anyone swallow hard.

Exhibit C: Panzer Tiger tanks. What a name - "Panzer Tiger Tank." In WWII, the Brits had the "Matilda." The American's had the "Sherman." The Nazi's had...PANZER TIGER. And the Tigers ate Matilda and Sherman up, too.

So, along comes North Korea, star-struck and hell-bent on winning the "I'm Rotten Too!" contest with Al Queda and Osama. Instead of hijacking planes, NK is going ballistic for MISSILES.

As a terror weapon, Missiles rule. No mess, no mug shots - just a big ol'red button and a huge WHOOSH! Everyone goes "oooh!" and "aaah." Scientists in lab-coats get to high-five along with the jackbooted military.

And such an opportunity for terror-naming - geez, just writing here, I'm coming up with a jillion great names for a missile - "SKORTCH" or "SKYVYPER" or "IMPAYLOR". And, using the clever spelling, NK could have them trademarked too!

But no. NK deems their new missile, "The Taepodong."

Oh bruther. Who on earth is going to be afraid of a Taepodong!? Granted, it's not as groin-pinching as NK's OTHER evil missile, the "No-dong," but it's still...well...silly! It's irrelevant that the "Taepodong" or "No-dong" or "Whateverdong" mean something really firey-nasty-rotten in NK. To the intended targets (i.e U.S.A), they're geeky. And frankly, geeky doesn't cut it here.

"Hey. Did you hear NK launched a bunch of missiles at us? They're supposed to hit in 7 minutes."
"Yeah. Taepodong 4's."
(pause) "No way!"
"What did you call them?!"
"Taepodongs. Is that stupid or what?!"
"What's a freaking 'Taepodong?!"
"Beats me, but it sounds"
"Well, for a sec I was thinking like a SCUD or a Russian KH-31."
"KH-31! Now THAT'S a Missile!"
"So..uh...wanna come over after work and watch American Idol with me and Michelle?"
"'k! See ya."
"Yeah. See ya."

And the Taepodong's whiz off harmlessly into space, where they eventually collide with the sun and leave a momentary blemish on the infernal surface.

Then, some lab-coat guy in an observatory writes in a journal, "Today I saw a little brown smear on the surface of the sun. I think I will call it a "tapodung."

Lobsters, 1. Hungry humans, 0.

"...trying to determine whether the creatures suffer along the way."

"...lobster condos."

"...away from children's tapping fingers."

"...are treated with respect and compassion."

And then...

"...expectations for quality and flavor."

Evidently, pampering the lobsters wasn't a good idea.

So, the right decision would have been to humiliate them in huge tanks and let kids drive them around on the grocery store floor.


Next up? Better living conditions for bacteria cultures in yogurt. Plastic is sooo tacky and have you seen the gaudy colors on yogurt packaging these days?!