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Showing posts from February, 2018

NOR ANY DROP TO DRINK [98]

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This is the story of how I come across something, and the thought process that came from it. Opening up the latest issue of a magazine I received in the post, I am used to there being a number of sachets or cards glued to pages to advertise new perfumes, shampoos and conditioners. I am also used to getting perfume on my fingers each month when I try to pick them off, which is a sure-fire way to make me not want to buy them later. I then came across a large see-through sachet marked “Garner SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water.” Garnier paid a magazine publisher to affix a bag of water to the inside of a product made of paper, and it was posted to me without leaking? I also liked the clarification that this was “cleansing” water, as if this was an extra quality that Garnier have been able to bring to the water. Perhaps this is me being a bit facetious, as the “micellar” bit must mean that some molecular engineering must have taken place, but if you are essentially claiming to h

JUST GIMME GIMME GIMME GIMME FRIED CHICKEN [97]

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It may have been the use of “chaos,” “crisis,” and even “famine” in headlines, but it was definitely when Tower Hamlets Police, which patrols the traditional East End of London, used Twitter to tell people to stop calling them, while using the hashtag #KFCCrisis. The short version of this story is that KFC, which hasn’t called itself Kentucky Fried Chicken since 1991, has moved the distribution of product to its restaurants from Bidvest to DHL, and to say it has been far from seamless may still be downplaying things: there have been pictures of crying children and angry mothers by locked doors to closed stores, with as many as three quarters of the near nine hundred branches being forced to close until stock came back, while another person was quoted to say, nonchalantly, “I guess I’ll have to go somewhere else.” Apparently, the GMB union warned KFC about this, as Burger King had the same problem in 2012, when they moved their distribution to DHL, but it looks like flame-grilled

WHAT THE WORLD WANTS TODAY IS THE REAL THING [96]

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As one of the most popular and ubiquitous products on Earth, Coca-Cola only needs to advertise its brand either to keep itself in the front of people’s minds, or when they need to tell us how many of their drinks have no sugar in them. The Coke brand is solid: its logo has barely changed since the drink was introduced in 1886, the bold colour red is used across all variations, and the silhouette of the “hobbleskirt” bottle is immediately synonymous. To that end, Coca-Cola advertising can be brilliantly straightforward: apart from American taglines like, “Coke Is It!” and “Red, White and You,” I remember a British poster ad, from a few years ago, of a Coke bottle against a red background, with the line, “And what would you like to eat?” Haddon Sundblom Then there is the “Yes” girl – the Coca-Cola Company’s website points out it would never say “girl” these days. The most famous “Yes” girl ad was from 1946, in a billboard ad painted by Haddon Sundblom, who had also been painti

SOMETIMES THE SUN GOES ROUND THE MOON [95]

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Is there a rational reason for believing the Earth is flat? It’s quite a question to pose, challenging universally held truths about how we see the world, and how we live our lives, but questioning them sometimes reminds us of the concrete truths upon which we base everything else. But is there a rational reason? Any reason? No. Absolutely not. No way. In fact, I should tell myself to fuck off for even thinking of the question. It is not really even a question, because it is not in question – we all know the Earth is round. There was already enough evidence produced in the last couple of thousand years before anyone could take a picture from space. A bit of me did think of this as being too easy a target to discuss, but when the target - the Flat Earth Society, and there still being a theory about the Earth being flat, takes itself too seriously, it makes itself fair game. Why would such a stupid question come to mind? It was a simple case of an engineer entrepreneur launc

BE THANKFUL I DON’T TAKE IT ALL

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One major takeaway from the 2018 State of the Union speech by you-know-who was its length – at one hour and twenty minutes, it was the longest such speech since Bill Clinton’s turn in 1998. In comparison, average length is between forty-five minutes and an hour, while Richard Nixon polished off his 1972 speech within half an hour. What I want to know about 2018’s speech, after checking transcriptions, was how it look longer than last year to deliver a shorter speech. The nearest political showcase we have in the UK is the Budget speech, right down to how often the Chancellor of the Exchequer says “prudent,” or the number of sips taken from their glass of gin. The longest Budget speech, given on 12 th May 1853 by William Gladstone of the Liberal Party, clocks in at a staggering four hours and forty-five minutes, the equivalent of standing up to read, out loud, the entirety of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” then reading first ten pages again. Towards the end, Gladstone apologised