It's amazing how a food as simple as an egg can be so confusing. Is it good for you (protein) or bad for you (cholesterol)? What's the best variety to buy? What about salmonella? Can chickens that never see the light of day produce a healthy product?
Way back when the Gap found itself in a flap over its new logo design, I asked around and some people agreed: Crowdsourcing is way underutilized.
It has never been what you'd call a torrid affair but I just can't seem to quit it. I remember the first time we met. It was the mid-Sixties. I was visiting my older sister, who had recently married and was living outside of Chicago. We hopped into her car one day and took a 20-minute ride to what is now revered by some as a sacred spot: McDonald's Museum and Franchise Store No. 1 in Des Plaines, Ill. I can't tell you exactly what went on once we got there, but I know French fries were involved.
Wait! Don't pack up your previously owned Prius and trudge off to the mall with that trunk full of returns just yet. If you haven't been paying rapt attention, new trends have emerged in Consumerville that offer alternatives. Re-gifting, buying second-hand, bartering goods or services and even own a renting plan instead of a payment plan are no longer gauche in these trying economic and socially-conscious-if-it-doesn't-demand-too-much-from-us times.
I'll sign off this column by referring you to a very clever contemporary take on "Brand Santa" that's circulating out of jolly old England. But first, I'm going to steal from my lede for a chapter about magazine advertising written for The American Magazine, which was edited by Amy Janello and Brennon Jones, and published two decades ago.
The International Council on Active Aging issued a press release this week declaring that "It's time to rebrand aging from 'burden' to 'opportunity.'" CEO Colin Milner goes on to say "The media has contributed to negative perceptions of aging by frequently showing scenarios such as 'granny in the rocking chair' and 'I've fallen and I can't get up -- but not the other side of the picture.'"
I found myself chuckling absent-mindedly at a GEICO radio spot for about the dozenth time yesterday and then, for about the dozenth time, realized that I shouldn't be. The spot, part of the year-old "Rhetorical Questions" campaign, asks: "Does helium make an opera room less stuffy?"
Let's not be naive. I'm sure there were Greek long-distance runners who chewed the leaves of some performance-enhancing substance and a few Roman chariot drivers who had an illicit trick or two up their skirts that either gave them an undue advantage or caused an opponent's axle to snap on a sharp curve.
Do visions of Walmart dance in the head of every successful niche marketer? Or are some content to live out their life cycle snug in satisfying a small but rabid following?
What's your reaction when you see this headline: "New Estimates of Food Poisoning Cases"? That's what sits atop William Neuman's report in the New York Times that the Centers for Disease Control has revised its thinking about how many people get sick and/or die from tainted food this year.