Today’s blog covers:
- God Cancels End of the World. Instead, Holds Bikini Contest
- How Stupid Are America?
- Getting Krafty with Mac and Cheese?
- Photo Realism
- Just Another Day in New York
- And we close with A Few Moments of Zen
This happened a few years ago, but it’s worth revisiting. You may not remember it, but the world was supposed to end on May 21, 2011. Spoiler Alert! It didn’t actually happen.
Back then, I was judging a national advertising competition and the semi-finals were held in Alabama. Or Arkansas. I can’t remember which state, but I do remember someone saying, “Look, Bob, a Jew.” So, it might have been Tennessee.
Anyway, I was on way to the competition listening to a local radio station when I heard a bizarre report:
“Just when you thought you knew the Supreme Being, God surprised everyone here on Earth last Saturday when He cancelled the End the World as we know it and instead announced a Bikini Contest.”
I was positive it was a joke until I drove past two signs. One announced the “End of the World” event and the other promised a Bikini Contest.
I always thought God had a strange sense of humor, how else to explain Bush’s second term?
Still, I felt compelled to knock on the door where the signs were posted, hoping I wouldn’t again hear, “Look, Bob, a Jew.”
A sweet looking, elderly priest (or a man dressed as a sweet looking, elderly priest) answered the door. I told him about the radio report and the strange coincidence of seeing those two signs.
He said, “ Yes, my son, it’s true. God works in mysterious ways. He cancelled the End of the World and instead announced a bikini contest.”
I asked him how that was possible and he said, “God just likes bikinis, so He cancelled the End of the World.”
That made sense to me because, after all, I was in Alabama. Or maybe it was Arkansas.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual Experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Pierre Teilhard Chardin
How Stupid Are America?
STAN: Ha, ha. That’s so funny.
HARRIET: What’s so funny?
STAN: Goldberg. He made a stupid mistake. His headline says,”How stupid are America?” I’m telling you, Goldstein really goofed this time. He should have written, “How stupid am America?”
HARRIET: Stan, like I’ve always said, if anybody knows Stupid, it’s you.
STAN: Thanks, Harriet, Me and Stupid are on a first name basis.
HARRIET: I don’t doubt it for a second, Stan. Sometimes I have trouble telling the two of you apart.
I know we like to think Americans are the best and the brightest, but that just may not be the case. The National Science Foundation surveyed over 2,000 Americans recently with a nine-question quiz about science and 25% of the respondents didn’t know the Earth orbits around the Sun.
Not surprisingly, less than half the American questioned believed humans evolved from other species of animals.
Well, I guess you can blame the Tea Party and the Creationists for that little misconception. But really, it’s amazing that 25% of our fellow countrymen don’t know one of the most basic facts about the Universe–that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Some of those people are so stupid, I wouldn’t be surprised if they fell off the end of the Earth.
Is it any wonder we continue to elect the same do-nothing jerks to Congress election after election? It sounds to me like the Universe is very equitable and we’re getting the politicians we deserve.
Getting Krafty with Mac and Cheese? Well then, shut up about it!
When companies reformulate food and beverage products, they usually advertise it to world. But sometimes advertising “New and Improved” is the kiss of death. Remember New Coke? Thirty years ago, on April 23, 1985, Coca Cola announced it was discontinuing its 99-year old tradition of never altering its legendary formula. And on that fateful day they introduced “New Coke.”
Well, they didn’t actually call it New Coke, that’s what consumers dubbed it. Consumers also said it tasted “vile,” “sludge filled,” and “totally undrinkable.” And those were the ones who liked it!
Less than 4 months after newly reformulated Coke was introduced, it was summarily discontinued. “You’re fired,” as future US President Donald Trump (GOD FORBID!) would say.
Lesson learned? Well, no, not actually. In 1992, Coke tried their failed strategy again. Coke II wasn’t quite the instant devastation that New Coke was. It took Coca-Cola executives 10 years of lackluster sales to finally kill that product, too.
STAN: He’s at it again, Harriet. Goldberger just can’t seem to get to the point.
HARRIET: I wouldn’t complain if I were you, Stan. After all, you’re not real, you’re imaginary. Jack writes everything you.
STAN: Same old song, Harriet. Same old song. I’ve heard it all before. I’m telling you I’m real and Goldenstein is the fractional character.
HARRIET: You mean fictional?
STAN: Whatever. Look, Harriet, I don’t have to take this. I can get a job on another blog.
STAN: Yeah. Or if Trump is elected President…
HARRIET: We’re all moving to Canada?
STAN: No. No. If Trump is elected President, I could be his Minister of Bombasity.
HARRIET: Sorry, Stan, that job’s already taken. Now, shut your pie hole and let Jack continue.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Kraft Heinz was determined not to make the same mistake Coke made with its legendary Mac and Cheese. For three years food scientists, nutritionists and quality control experts labored to reformulate the World’s #1 mac and cheese.
They removed artificial preservatives and swapped out artificial dyes for a combination of paprika, annatto (an orange red condiment often used as a food dye) and turmeric. But when news leaked out on social media that Kraft might change its much loved formula for Mac and Cheese, consumers assumed the product would taste different. And they revolted online and in public.
When you love the way a product tastes, “New and Improved” is greeted with great skepticism by consumers who prefer “Original and Unchanged.”
So rather than announcing Kraft Mac and Cheese had changed its formula, they shut up about it! No ad campaign, no press releases, no tweets, no Instagram or Vine posts, no need to rally brand ambassadors to tout the change.
They just produced the reformulated product and shut up about any changes!
Fifty million boxes of Mac and Cheese later, Kraft’s non-announcement is being hailed as pure marketing genius. Mac and Cheese fans loved the new product because they thought it was the old product.
So now they’re announcing the fact that they never announced the reformulation! Former Daily Show host Craig Kilborn appears in an online and TV campaign that announces, “Kraft Mac and Cheese. It’s changed. But it hasn’t.”
Of course, that won’t stop some new management recruit from failing to heed the lessons of history by probing on her first day on the job, “Say, anybody ever thought of changing the blue box?”
Just Another Day in New York
Moments of Zen
Here are a few Moments of Zen I captured right in my own backyard (Spoiler Alert: I was on the Internet.)
Well, that’s all for today, Readers. Thanks for stopping by. We have a pretty loyal following. More that 20,000 strong. And unlike Stan, most of you are quite brilliant.
STAN: Hey, I resemble that!
HARRIET: Yes, you do. Now say goodnight, Stan.
STAN: Goodnight, Stan.
HARRIET: Good night, all.