I am a total sucker for those sappy TV commercials that come on this time of year. Hallmark has always produced some classics. No slap-job :30 second spots for them. Running up to two minutes or more, these are little micro-dramas are fully intended to produce a little warm spot in the coldest of hearts. The Publix grocery store chain has produced some very nice ones lately, mostly with small children. And this year, Apple has joined the crowd with a really excellent effort. Here are a couple of good ones from this year, and one oldie-but-goldie Hallmark spot from years past.
Posted in Advertising, Children, communications, Entertainment, Family, Life, marketing, Television, Video
Tagged apple, christmas, commercials, emotional, hallmark, Publix, sappy, Television, TV
The headline in today’s local paper reads “Publisher drops Deen cookbook.” “The Perils of Paula” has been all anyone in Savannah has been talking about for the past ten days. In case you have been hibernating, you know that local Savannah restaurateur-made rich-and-famous Paula Deen has been under attack ever since the contents of a deposition were made public, in which she admitted using the “N-word” some 30years ago.
I am of two minds on this issue. My first reaction was this was an incredibly disproportionate reaction to a three-decade old petty misdemeanor. I mean – come on! Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone. I am not condoning the utterance. I just think this is a case of capital punishment for a parking ticket. I feel sorry for Paula. She actually lives around the corner from us, and occasionally we’ll see her shopping in Publix.
On the other hand, to borrow another cliché, “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.” In this case, the sword is the combination of publicity and image. Paula built her food empire and her fortune based on image and publicity. It’s not like she is the greatest chef in the world. Her folksy “Southern charm” made her the queen of The Food Network. Once she caught on, her momentum just kept building. But that kind of fame and image can be like a balloon – big and voluminous, but of little of substance. One leak and the whole thing disappears.
Paula did not do a good job protecting that balloon from lurkers with needles. The damning deposition originates in a lawsuit related to a restaurant Paula created for her brother, Bubba. We know a number of people who have worked at “Uncle Bubba’s,” and they tell us that things were run pretty loose there. I have no idea of there is any merit to the actual lawsuit filed by one of Bubba’s former managers, but it is safe to say that the operation was not squeaky clean. That is not unusual for restaurants, and in most cases, it doesn’t matter — unless you are Paula Deen and you have a mega-million business riding almost entirely on your image. You must make certain there is no one lurking in the background with a hat pin looking to burst that giant balloon. Apparently, she did not do that, and that is her biggest mistake. Too bad.
Posted in Advertising, Entertainment, Food, Life, marketing, Television
Tagged balloon, bubba, deposition, fame, food network, lawsuit, lives by the sword, n-word, paula deen, publicity, Publix, restaurant, savannah
A woman offer me her child at the grocery store yesterday.
It all started as I was walking out of Publix. There was a woman, pushing a cart, and her 18-24 month old daughter in front of me. As the pair went through the sliding door, the little girl started to take off towards the parking lot. “Mom” grabbed her and placed her in the cart’s child-seat. The little girl started to scream in protest.
“Mom” turned towards me and saw I was laughing. I said, “The great escape has been foiled again.” She shrugged and smiled.
I encounted them again a few minutes later, when I returned my cart to the “cart corral.” “Mom” was strapping the little girl into the back seat of her SUV in the space next to the corral. The little girl was still screaming with an impressive amount of energy and vocal range.
“Mom” shut the door and turned towards me, made a face and put both hands over her ears.
“She is very determined,” I said.
“You want her? You can have her — right here and right now. You can have the car and all the groceries too.”
I thought about it for a second, but I really figured that Mrs. Poolman wouldn’t approve.
Maybe I should have considered it more seriously. Her car was much nicer than mine.
Posted in Babies, Children, Family, Life
Tagged car, cart, child, daughter, Family, gift, grocery store, Life, mom, mother, parenthood, Publix, scream, tantrum
Two incidents over the past 24 hours have caused me to think, as I frequently do, “What is that person thinking?”
The first was yesterday afternoon. I used my lunch break to have the oil changed in my car at one of those “while you wait” shops. I told the guy who met me at the car that I needed an oil change and to rotate the tires. He told me that they no longer offer the tire rotation service. I went ahead and got the oil change anyway, but it got me to thinking. “Why would they discontinue that service?” I need to have the tires rotated every ten to 12 thousand miles. The easiest thing is to have it done at the same time as an oil change – two simple and quick, but needed services in one stop.
So what is going to happen is this. I’ll need to find someone else to rotate the tires. (I could do it myself, but who wants to hassle with that? I don’t have a rack and a pneumatic lug wrench.) I’ll probably find someone who will also do an oil change at the same time because I don’t want to have to make two separate adventures out of this if I can avoid it. The end result – my original guy has lost an otherwise happy, loyal and regular customer. Dumb a**.
I made a quick stop at Publix (grocery store) on the way to work this morning to pick up some breakfast bars and a tomato to go with my salad-lunch. As I pulled into a slot in the parking lot, I noticed that already, first thing in the morning, there were grocery carts left in the parking slots. This is a minor annoyance, I know, but it still rubs me just a little. How lazy can a person be that they cannot take their empty cart maybe ten or 15 steps to the cart corral? In the case of the cart that I adjusted my parking to avoid, the corral was just across the aisle. At this Publix, there is really no excuse. They offer free bag-service, just for the asking.
“Thank you for your offer to take my bags to my car, but it won’t be necessary. I’ll just leave my cart in one of the parking spaces. Other shoppers won’t mind. They’ll understand I’m special.”