Stay Free! | 5 December

Carrie McLaren stayfree at
Mon Dec 4 19:24:43 EST 2000

Alas, I am finally getting a few things online from issue #17 (which, of
course, it is never too late to purchase!)

Introduction to #17

World View: random marketing headlines (copied below)

"Media Literacy Sells Out"

"A Sample Media Literacy Lesson"

- - - - - - -

And speaking of media literacy:

"Report: TV Helps Build Valuable Looking Skills"

"A New Way to Be Mad"
A solid, even-handed piece about people who yearn to have their limbs cut
off. What does this have to do with consumer culture? Beats me but this
(almost) makes me want to renew my subscription to Atlantic Monthly. The
author makes a connection between amputee "wannabes" (their term) and
transexuals that I never would have bought in a million years. Highly

An item one David Hollander sent me in light of the deaths of untolled NYC
Silicon Alley dot-coms.
A web critique of Adbusters magazine ("Steal Something Day")

- - - - - - -

[ World View, or, Marketing News of the Weird ]

Baby books are now made to resemble Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, M&Ms,
Sun-Maid Raisins, Hershey's Kisses and other snacks. Some of the books-a
joint effort between food companies and publishers-suggest kids sort,
place, and count using the product. Anne Daniel, a child librarian in
Maryland who favors titles such as The M&M's Brand Counting Book explains:
The number one criterion for a book, she says, should be that it will "make
a child reach her hand out and pull the book off the shelf." The books are
quite profitable. More than one million copies of The Cheerios Play Book
and The Cheerios Animal Play Book have been sold since 1998, yet many
parents avoid commercialized books "like the plague." (Washington Post,

* * * * *

Churches across the country are starting "martial-arts ministries" to lure
teenagers to religious services. Emmanuel Baptist Church in Lewistown,
Mont., which started teaching karate two years ago, has since baptized 24
of its karate students, and attendance at Sunday services has doubled to
130. According to Jim Garrett, youth pastor at Cathedral of Praise in Ohio,
action movies are a big help. "Every time a new karate movie comes out, our
class booms," he says. "Kids want to re-create their favorite scene."

Karate does, however, present practical problems for churches. Bryan
Hebert, who heads Kicks for Christ Ministry in Archdale, N.C., has had to
dismiss three students for using their Christian karate to beat up people.
To avoid such conflicts, Sherry Brown at Mount Pleasant Christian Church
requires her karate students to memorize three Bible verses a month. Other
Christian teachers are less concerned with Jesus's lessons of restraint. As
Ken Jezek, who runs Warriors for Christ in Gilbert, Ariz., puts it, "When
in doubt, take it out."
Dave Sutterfield, whose seven-year-old son studies karate at Mount
Pleasant, has decided to explain Jesus's stand on self-defense at a later
date in order to avoid confusing the boy. "We just want them to get the
basics about sin and Jesus's love first," he says. (Wall Street Journal,

* * * * *

From a press release for "Play-Time, Snack-Time, Tot-Time: Targeting
Preschoolers and Their Parents," a conference held at The Helmsley in New
York City in March.
Creativity! Marketing Power! Brand Recognition! As marketers we strive to
use our creativity, and marketing power to create brand recognition and
consumer loyalty. How do we go about this when our products are for
children age 2-5?
This is certainly a challenge. As we know, if the child doesn't like the
program he/she won't watch it. If the tot doesn't like the toy, he/she
won't play with it. And if the child doesn't like the character he/she
won't snuggle with it.
Play-Time, Snack-Time, Tot-Time will show how companies have built products
that the past five generations have used . . . and loved. Discover how
newer characters, toys, books and programs have broken into the market and
stole the hearts of our children.
8:45-Opening Remarks by Susan Royer, Sesame Street Research
9:00-Truths About KGOY (Kids Getting Older Younger). As technology takes
over toy development, research shows how a child's development is affected
by his/her exposure to education. Families are developing a different way
of life. Also, Preschoolers: The New Marketing Target.

9:45-Defining Today's Mom. "Today's Mom" research, commissioned by
Parenting Magazine, provides a comprehensive profile of the attitudes held
by moms with children under age 12. You will leave this session with
insight into the motivations behind today's mom's behavior and how you, as
marketers, can capitalize on these motivations.

11:30-Developing A Branded Theme. Be taken through a live Carter's case
study and learn how you can create fresh excitement through a new theme for
an established brand. Learn about the tie-in with John Lennon Art Design
and installation of Carter's Imagination shop at Macy's.

1:30-Facilitating Learning Through Play. The concept of electronic learning
toys has evolved as we apply more research about how kids learn through
3:15-The Waterbabies ® Story. Hear how water balloons and condoms
transformed into a multi-million dollar baby doll through creative
marketing. Hear about:
Not Invented Here Syndrome: Your vision becomes myopic. Stop it!
Kissing Frogs: Effective ways to work with the outside creative community.
Does Anyone Care About Product Anymore? It is either a hot licensed item or
price, how can you change that? Strategic Planning: Does your company
really do it? Live it?

4:00-Coloring Outside The Lines; Thinking As Preschoolers Do.
Learn how to break the rules. We will manipulate your knowledge and
experience for out-of-box extraordinary results.

1:15-Anthropological Research: Hands-On Training in The Latest Trend in
Effective Toddler and Youth Research! Anthropological research is an
ancient technique to learn the deep needs of individuals from all ages:
infant/pre-verbal to elder individuals. This workshop will teach you how to
use observational research techniques when trying to find out the desires
of toddler age consumers. Moms, dads, and grandparents are often unaware of
what they do and really need.

* * * * *

In Beijing, a line of teenage cyclists advertise a furniture company by
riding in formation around the city. In a country where billboards rent for
as high as $8,000 per month and 15 seconds of airtime on local TV costs
$2,800, people are cheap. The riders, all poor, rural migrants are paid the
equivalent of $80 month each. (New York Times)

* * * * * is among a number of companies hiring student armies on
college campuses. At Florida State, Varsitybooks's students have chalked
the sidewalks with slogans such as "Smashing Savings." At the University of
California at Los Angeles, they've greeted returning classmates with apple
cider and granola bars. According to Robbie Wright, an alien at Texas Tech
who oversees marketers, "The most effective thing has been
getting professors to let us speak to students during classes." (Wall
Street Journal, 1/31/00)

* * * * *

On the American Kennel Club's list of the "hottest dogs" of 1999,
chihuahuas remain in the top ten, propelled by the popularity of Taco Bell
commercials. Meanwhile dog breeders search fervoursly for the "Next Dog."
Tony Scandy, who doubled his sales of Scandifio Cane Corsos over a
three-year period, considers the rare Italian mastiff "The Dog of the
Future." A former car salesman, Mr. Scandy says, "[Corsos] are for people
who have owned German shepherds, Dobermans and Rottweilers, and are ready
for something different." Another seller promotes its big livestock guard
dog the Caucasian Ovcharka as having "the stopping power of a .45-caliber
pistol." On the other end of the fence, backers of the New Guinea singing
dog say the dog's high-pitch whine sounds like a tune. (Critics point out
that the "singing" could be mistaken for the whimpering of a wounded
animal.) With so many up and coming breeds, who can choose? Terri Murphy, a
part-time breeder in North Carolina., has switched dogs three times in the
past 20 years. "I evolved," she says. (Wall Street Journal, 2/3/00)

* * * * *

Instead of endorsing products for annual fees, boxing legend George Foreman
has opted to sell his name in perpetuity, thus becoming (eternally) George
Foreman's Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine. The manufacturer,
Salton, paid $137.5 million for Mr. Foreman's name and image after Foreman
successfully transformed himself from the snarling ogre, who once pummeled
Joe Frazier, into a bald, benevolent, burger-chomper. Salton-which also
makes Juiceman, Breadman and Toastmaster products-has sold 10 million
nonstick grillers since Foreman started endorsing them in 1995. "I'm
learning to accept that the least part of me is about boxing," Foreman
said. (New York Times, 1/21/00)

* * * * *

Due to drastic cutbacks in government funding, schools in Alberta, Canada,
are turning to a new way to pay for teaching materials: Casino Night.
Spellathons and auctions, citrus fruit and sausage-none of them can match a
good night of gambling. Unlike school fundraisers of the past, proceeds
aren't for band uniforms. They pay for teaching materials, for math
textbooks and staff training. "I would much rather parents participated in
school life through helping their kids with reading programs," says Rod
Kostek, the principal at Rio Terrace elementary. "The thought never entered
my mind that we would be worried about purchasing textbooks. Or that I'd be
running chips." (Globe and Mail, 12/14/99)

* * * * *

Every newborn in America can have his or her own free Web site, thanks to a
new service by Sesame Street. Sesame Street creator Children's Television
Workshop and its marketing partners hope to establish a new megasite where
sponsors can link up baby Jane's family and friends. "We're in the business
of providing our customers-both hospitals and new moms-with what they
want," said Duane Clement, an alien at Bounty SCA Worldwide, which, along
with companies such as Blockbuster, Hallmark Cards, and Pizza Hut, are
backers. is the second major venture for, specialists
in "lifecycle" (cradle-to-grave) marketing. Next on the planning board is a
site dedicated to matriculating students: (Interactive
Week, 1/17/00)

* * * * *

Animal Fair is "not for anyone who would be reading Dog Fancy. Dog Fancy is
a mass magazine . . . It runs articles about your dog eating your shoes.
Animal Fair is about designing a life style with your pet. It's more
-Wendy Diamon, the founder of Animal Fair, a magazine with features such as
"Reel Pets" (pets in film) and "Star Pets" (pet astrology) alongside
stories on hero pets, senior pets, luxury kitty cabanas, and four-legged
fashion. (New Yorker, 10/4/99)

* * * * *

Capitalizing on the urban tradition of preaching from street corners, Nike
unleashed a new ad campaign for the 30th New York City Marathon. Prophets
in flowing robes (and Nike attire), men in sandwich boards warning of
"Judgement Day," and gospel choirs helped spread the message. Bus stops and
other places were plastered with messages like "The End is Near" and "Keep
the Faith." (New York Times, 11/4/00)

* * * * *

Psychological segmentation for the brand personalities of the major shavers
in France, according to market research:

Wilkinson: The Squire
Traditional nobility
English colonisers
Knights of the Round Table
Experience, know-how
Feeling of belonging to a special caste

Schick: The Sleeping Brand
Vanished civilization
Lost planet
Faceless inhabitants
No soul, no culture

Bic: The Charlatan
A shapeless world
No ideas, no know-how
No figure head and no order

Gillette: The Champion of Civilization
Authority and social order
Dictatorship, tough regime
Clean, controlled world
Official Gillette TV propaganda
Little room for individual differences
(Admap, March 1992)

* * * * *

After moving in a new office suite, workers in the British Broadcasting
Corporation's finance department complained of feeling lonely in the hushed
atmosphere. The BBC's solution: a special "mutter" machine that plays a
tape of simulated human conversation punctuated by light laughter. Music
was ruled out at an early stage because of potential disagreements over
taste. BBC bosses also ruled out turning on a television or radio so that
staff could listen to their own programs because that might be too

Yong Yan, a sound expert and consultant, said that overquiet workplaces
were becoming as big a nuisance as noisy ones once were. Double-glazed
windows, efficient air conditioning, and computers have made offices far
too hushed for some, lowering morale and productivity. (Christian Science
Monitor, 10/26/99)

* * * * *
Now that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer sponsors Sesame Street, messages
capping off the end of every episode have been replaced. Announcements that
the show has been brought to you by, say, "the letter Z and the number 2,"
have been replaced with "Pfizer brings parents the letter Z-as in
Zithromax." Pfizer and Sesame Street's collaboration began in October 1999
with a multimedia promo kit, Sesame Street Goes to the Doctor. "The
relationship between Pfizer and Sesame Street came about as a natural
outgrowth of our mutual interest in children's well-being,'' said Pfizer's
alien. Pfizer is a global pharmaceutical company whose products include
Zithromax, Zoloft, Viagra, Diflucan, Lipitor, and Celebrex. (Company press
release, 10/27/99; FAIR press release 3/16/00)

* * * * *
With dozens of new internet start-ups overloading television, radio, and
newsprint with advertising, internet companies are worried consumers won't
take them seriously. BigStar Entertainment, a start-up that sells videos
and DVDs online, has one solution. The company has rented a fleet of
delivery trucks-and plastered them with the BigStar logo-to give the
impression of being a "brick and mortar" company. The trucks don't carry
BigStar movies; it's probably pizza boxes or office equipment inside. But
BigStar figures the fleet gives it a certain gravitas. It trains the truck
drivers to answer questions about BigStar's business-even though they don't
work for the company-and to hand out coupons. (Wall Street Journal,

* * * * *
The rich are different from you and me: they have detailed "incentive
plans" in their wills and trust funds. According to leading estate
planners, incentives are "the new trend for the millennium." Rich people
who set up trusts may require that their children pass periodic drug tests
or set up prenuptial agreements to get their money. One man has a plan that
will first give his son half the money. After five years, the son's assets
will be audited and if the equity is the same or greater, he can have the
rest; if it's less, he gets nothing. One man adds a $10,000 bonus to his
children's trust each year they don't have a driving violation. Another man
gives bonuses if his son marries the person who is the mother of his
children and they live together in the same house. This form of "financial
parenting" is so popular that the premier annual estate-planning conference
featured a presentation called "Planning to Influence Behavior: Guiding
(Controlling) your Children and Grandchildren." (Wall Street Journal,

* * * * *
Four out of ten top executives are obese, finds a recent Tufts University
medical-school study. (Wall Street Journal, 2/23/00)

* * * * *
Taking a tip from Blair Witch, marketers have taken to manufacturing
internet buzz, a.k.a. "viral marketing." Word of Net in Los Angeles is but
one of several companies that hire people to troll Internet chatrooms and
newsgroups posing as clients' fans. In a typical day, a Word of Net
employee switches personae sixteen or so times, transforming from, say, a
frat boy talking up to a 50-year-old movie buff reviewing
Being John Malkovich. Sometimes they'll assume two or three personalities
at once, posting messages and then replying under a different identity.
Purposeful grammatical errors and misspellings are de rigeur. According to
Word of Net, staying undercover is important. "People don't trust
marketers," says one employee. (Creativity, November 1999)

* * * * *
Recent baby names in Utah: Cola, Tide, Downy, Starbuck, Thermos, Avon,
Audi, Lexus, Porsche. (Utah Baby Namer, an online guide "for parents
looking for that distinctive name that says 'I'm a Utah Mormon!")

* * * * *
Selections from Ebay in May 2000:
Elian music theme as played on Miami radio; currently $5,000.

BOTTLE of OCEAN WATER: SAME as ELIAN WAS IN; currently $19.99. "I look at
the SEA and FEEL for the UN-FREE who give their LIVES in the PURSUIT of
FREEDOM as you will with this TRIBUTE to those who were in the SEA."

Authentic Elian Drawing in Coloring book; currently $5.

"Drawn by Elian as he flew on the plane to Maryland. Retrieved for me by a
stewardess friend. This will go fast!"

Elian type raft-hand made American flag; currently $48.

"This is a hand made American flag that came off a raft like Elian's that
landed on Fort Lauderdale beach in the fall of 1999 with 19 Cubanos."

Innertube From Elian's Raft. "Once I heard about Elian, I called my cousin
in Florida to try to get anything of Elian's. He couldn't get anything
except an innertube from his raft. It's worn out pretty bad, and there is a
tear in it (sorry). Check out my other auctions for a porch light from
their house."
HolyWater of Elian Gonzalez, La agua de Elian; currently $15,099.00. "This
is the water from Little Havana, Miami, where Elian was staying. The water
comes in a glass bottle and is blessed by a priest."

bid $25.00

* * * * *

From the 3 Seasons Marketing web site:

It's Big! It's Bold! It's In Your Face! 3SM is a moving billboard company.
We sell advertising space on ice cream trucks. Why ice cream trucks?? They
combine moving billboards with radio. They play music to draw attention to
your ad!! Traffic must stop for the ice cream truck just as with a school
bus, giving people time to absorb your copy. Ice cream trucks travel at
very slow speeds and make frequent stops. Ice cream trucks can go where
billboards are prohibited or unavailable . . . we are never zoned out. A
positive lasting impression creates a need for your product. People love
their ice cream man-in most neighborhoods, he/she is the most popular
person in town. Do you remember your favorite ice cream from childhood??
Find Out More!

* * * * *

"[I'm] one of the original founders of the Lo Life's Polo Ralph Lauren
boosters who stole Ralph Lauren and dominated it as a lifestyle and a sport
. . . To me, the fifth element in hip-hop is fashion."-Rawkus Records
recording artist Thirstin Howl III

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