For some reason, Asics creates world's largest Lite-Brite picture

Posted on Thu Jul 16 2009


Asics is hosting a nationwide series of music festivals throughout the year to promote its new SportStyle shoe collection. And guess what they're bringing with them to lighten up the campaign? The world's largest Lite-Brite picture! The 11-by-15-foot depiction of the GEL-Lyte III shoe took six months to build and features over 300,000 of those pegs I used to choke on as a kid. The Hasbro toy has illuminated homes with colorful pegs and lighted backgrounds since 1967. So, rather than view Asics' endeavor as a giant waste of time and money, let's consider it a nostalgic relic of pop-culture. It's already made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records and has begun making appearances at boutiques and major music events around the country. OK, so which brand will bring us a giant Lego campaign? A supersized spin-off of Mr. Potato Head? A modern life-sized remake of Candy Land? Only time will tell.

—Posted by Allison Shafir

Rain or shine, July 4 is always better with many shots of tequila

Posted on Thu Jul 2 2009


The nerds at The Weather Channel have finally decided to call on the party folks at Jose Cuervo to show them how to have a good time. The tequila brand is sponsoring a special section over at devoted to Independence Day in all its glory, from picnics and firework to up-to-date weather forecasts. What would a combo TWC/Cuervo July 4 barbecue actually look like? Allow me to speculate. On one side of the yard, the runny noses, thick glasses, spin-top hats of the weather team, who are playing chess, exchanging safety tips, and conducting experiments on the barbeque sauce. On the other side of the lawn: party animals sharing cocktail mixes and chatting up girls in bikinis. Could the celebration of our nation's independence unite these groups? Can geek and bro just get along? Only time will tell.

—Posted by Allison Shafir

One wine maker that can get away with a fashion sweepstakes

Posted on Fri Jun 26 2009


The little black dress (LBD) is an essential part of every woman's wardrobe. However, for women who need a little help in the fashion department, Little Black Dress Wines will set them straight this summer by teaming up with and closet organizer Easy Track for a "Dream Closet Makeover" sweepstakes. Oh yes, some dream of slaying dragons (or other metaphorical demons), some of achieving greatness. But some just want to dress themselves. The sweepstakes (which celebrates the release of LBD Wines' new cabernet sauvignon) will bring a lucky winner $10,000 in Zappos- and ET-approved clothing, which I'm sure will be put towards a good cause. We have certainly strayed a long way from the pure Coco Chanel notion of the LBD. With baggy jeans, belly shirts and gladiator sandals on the loose, it is about time we called in the experts. That is, if we can really call Zappos and Easy Track experts. Well, I guess we'll have to keep waiting.

—Posted by Allison Shafir

Justin Timberlake touts another sleek package: 901 Silver tequila

Posted on Wed Jun 24 2009


For 70 years, the heart of the agave plant has been cooked, crushed, fermented and triple distilled to produce the smooth and slightly sweet magic of 901 Silver tequila. And which lucky star is bringing this sexy back on the market in a sleek new package? Mr. Dick-in-the-Box himself, Justin Timberlake, of course! In fact, 901 Silver tequila is named after the (901) area code of the artist's hometown, Memphis (in spite of tequila's origins in Jalisco, Mexico). That said, J.T. was spotted launching the new tequila at a trendy New York club, showing off his Southern swank with a rager that lasted until 11 p.m! If a Timberlake rep is correct and "901 is that time of night when your evening is ending but your night is just beginning," then is 11 p.m. that time of the night when you pay the models for making you look suave, put away your think glasses and noir hat, and climb into bed with your bodyguards? 901 Silver will put you back 40 bucks regardless, and as with all tequila, is the throat burn and throbbing headache worth looking cool for a night you can't remember? Think about it, kid.

—Posted by Allison Shafir

Lots of drunk Facebook users pick Corona as their favorite beer

Posted on Fri Jun 19 2009

Finally, Corona has earned some street cred. Well, some Facebook cred. After a vote on the popular social site, Corona Extra has been crowned the favorite beer on Facebook. And it isn't bad. Despite its light color and bubbly aftertaste, Corona is a beer all can enjoy. As the frat boy graduates from Natty Light and Keystone and makes his way into the corporate world, he establishes a lifelong relationship with Corona. Whether at the beach, playing golf or shooting the breeze at a pub, Corona has got your back. Oh, Corona, with your light, golden color and lemon crescent cap, you are one heck of a beverage. I'd like to thank the 2.5 million Corona lovers out there who voted Corona to the top spot. It's about time!

—Posted by Allison Shafir

TomTom GPS devices add the soothing voice of Homer Simpson

Posted on Wed Jun 17 2009


I don't know if I'd be more appalled or frightened hearing Homer Simpson's disembodied voice guide me along as I drive. Yet that prospect has become a reality now that GPS maker TomTom is partnering with Locutio Voice Technologies and Fox Licensing to bring Homer to all TomTom devices via a $12.95 download. OK, backtracking, I would probably be amused having Homer in my car—someone to talk to and laugh with while driving those lonely, narrow nighttime roads. However, as weeks and months slid by, I would begin to look like a middle-aged, overweight cartoon character due to Homer comments such as "Take the third right for the ice cream truck! Mmm … ice cream." Then I would not be laughing anymore. And what if the device malfunctioned and made inappropriate or frightening or remarks like, "Take the third right, donut! ... Mmm people"? Homer would be fun at first, but I prefer the calming, ambiguous voice of a British woman, a male college professor, or even Mr. Moviephone. Thanks but no thanks, TomTom!

—Posted by Allison Shafir

New Belgium jumps into water advocacy with its Skinny Dip beer

Posted on Mon Jun 15 2009

Skinny Dip for the environment! Designed to quench thirst, Skinny Dip, a New Belgium seasonal brew, wants to be the poster beer for water advocacy. With water conservation is embedded in its corporate culture, New Belgium has become nationally recognized for taking a dive into water advocacy. Of all the trials and tribulations of the world, why water? Because "No fresh water means no great beers," says the Web site. Still, it seems funny, as New Belgium's Skinny Dip is in some ways water's competition. It's designed for the physically active, calorie-conscious beer drinker—hence, the name and "thirst quenching" factor. (Still, people probably won't be packing bottles of the stuff to head to the gym.) Nevertheless, at 108 calories, Skinny Dip has become a strong seller since it launched in 2006. So, while it may never become an all-purpose thirst quencher, it is saving the fishies and benefiting humanity one beer at a time.

—Posted by Allison Shafir

Seriously, America, you really think Starbucks is the best coffee?

Posted on Fri Jun 12 2009

87709-Starbucks_Zagat copy

"Zagat says we're the country's No. 1 best coffee. Actually you said it, but Zagat repeated it (which is nice)," says Starbucks. Are you for real, America? You think Starbucks is the best coffee? You were fooled by the smiling naked mermaid mounted on every cup, or perhaps by the seemingly innocent media promotions in which Starbucks posed questions like, "What if we all cared enough to vote? Not just 54 percent of us, but 100 percent of us"? Clearly, Starbucks has become an omnipotent and dominant force. In the 1999 film Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Dr. Evil's lair is, in fact, Starbucks. I don't believe in coincidences. Not only has Starbucks taken over almost every street corner, infiltrated mainstream media and pop culture, but the brand is also aggressively forcing its way into the Internet in the form of digital ads, e-mails, Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. Enough is enough, Starbucks! Give the little guys a chance. Have we no time to pause in a small café, sip quality coffee and appreciate life, rather than turning to quick fixes like Starbucks? Ah, but look again, Starbucks won for best coffee in the fast-food section of Zagat's 2009 survey. That's like being the best of the worst. In that case, congrats Starbucks!  

—Posted by Allison Shafir

Let's just be thankful that Yaz's balloons commercial got burst

Posted on Thu Jun 11 2009

This Yaz birth-control commercial has come and gone, but the annoyingly catchy song "Goodbye to You" by the Veronicas remains in my mind nearly a year later. In retrospect, the ad is more ridiculous than ever—women gazing romantically at a sky of colorful balloons carrying messages such as "fatigue," "increased appetite," "moodiness" and "bloating." Interestingly, only some women take notice of the onrush of balloons, while others appear ignorant (e.g., the woman running in the park, unaware of the balloons potentially streaming from her uterus). I wonder, is anyone alarmed by the stampede of balloons? Furthermore, whom (or what) are these women saying goodbye to? Condoms? Babies? Men? If you haven't noticed, the opposite sex is mysteriously absent in the warped universe of Yaz birth control. While these attractive, oblivious women rejoice, and their problems float away in colorful bubbles, the voiceover describes the potential complications that may arise from taking Yaz. Apparently, it didn't do a good enough job. The FDA burst Yaz's bubble by saying the ad overpromised. Goodbye to you!

—Posted by Allison Shafir

One day, hopefully, we'll be free of Ashton Kutcher's Nikon ads

Posted on Wed Jun 3 2009

The more I see Ashton Kutcher's ads for Nikon, the less I like Dude, Where's My Car? In this particular execution, Ashton prances around a high-end party in a glittery white suit jacket, acting obnoxious rather than humorous or "cool." The artist formerly known as Kelso from That '70s Show takes pictures not only of his hot flock of groupies and hip friends (one of which closely resembles P. Diddy) but also of the older, more out-of-place guests. Ashton, in his ridiculous car salesman attire, proceeds to ridicule these unfortunate folks. This seems odd, since Kutcher produced the show Beauty and the Geek, a gallant effort to restore the confidence of the awkward and dorky. Plus, he married a much older woman. Despite my love of most things Kutcher, I can't help but acknowledge how these ads have become progressively more cheesy and Ashton increasingly annoying and even creepy. Sigh, long gone are the merry prankster days of Punk'd.

—Posted by Allison Shafir



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