Why we writers ask about links.

Students are directed to the bulk gift card page after deciding it’s a good idea to buy their teacher a bottle of booze. So much for the starving student.

So far, this is a good idea.

Here’s a surprise link for the LCBO

The headline made sense: Buy your teacher booze!

But the banner links to the “bulk gift card” page on the LCBO site where students can “Select from the following card designs and enter the number of card(s) you wish to purchase”.

When I was a starving student, I didn’t have a budget to bribe my profs in bulk and cover the shipping fees on custom gift cards.

Maybe things have changed. I should have been a teacher.

Hire a writer who is going to ask about links and fulfillment. Hire John the Writer.

Texas gets a gold star for creativity

Brilliant marketing idea of the dumbest thing you’ve ever seen?

If you’ve seen the film “Idiocracy” you know that Luke Wilson plays a man who emerges from a time capsule to find that the gene pool has been deteriorating over 500 years and he is now the smartest man on earth. He is seen as a genius because he halts the practice of watering plants with Brawndo (Gatorade). The “idiots” in charge of the world believe that Brawndo must be good for crops because it contains electrolytes. Enough said.

View the clip below, then read on to see how one Texas town is allegedly getting more children to drink water.

Now, in Texas, the local authorities have decided to add sugar to the town’s drinking water. Here’s how CBC’s This is That blog covered the story.

Talon is small town located in Pecos County, Texas. When town officials realized that drinking-water consumption by residents was well below the national average, they decided take action and three months ago began adding sugar to their water supply to make drinking it more desirable. According to Hester Griggs, the Commissioner of Utilities for Talon, they are adding roughly “4 tablespoons of sugar for every 8 oz. cup of water.” Earlier today, Pat Kelly spoke with Mr. Griggs to find out how residents are responding to this initiative.*

So, loyal readers (both of you), is this an obvious marketing solution to a real problem? Remember, the people of Talon also shower in this water and put it on their lawns. Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in Texas.

I hope you enjoyed this off-topic exploration. Please comment.

*This is That is not a real news source. Ellisism apologizes for perpetuating this hoax. But it’s pretty funny.


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Sometimes it hurts

After paying 42% tax my whole life, I feel like I own one of these red & white beauties.

Yesterday, I left a client lunch, which I paid for with after-tax dollars, which included HST and a lot of liquor tax. On my way home, I noticed this Canada Post delivery truck.

Here’s what hurts: Our taxes pay for Canada Post and Police Services but who pays for the THREE parking tickets tucked under this guy’s windshield wiper. WE DO!.

We’re paying the cops to ticket the mail trucks that we pay for and then we pay for the ticket. Can this be efficient?

End of rant. Thanks for listening.


One man’s tragedy is another’s content

What’s really fascinating about this infinitely watchable footage is the reaction of the camera crew as they make no effort to help the victim or contact the police. They are only concerned with gathering content for You Tube. Since the crash is minor, and we all like to see rich idiots crash their toys, I’m glad they caught it.

Participatory pop news

If you don’t want to vote for your favourite singer/dancer/cake maker, or vote someone off the island, or vote for the latest top whoever, and you prefer that your journalism passes through an editorial filter or two before it wastes your time, like a Shit Cats Say video or a run-on sentence, you might dig this send-up on participatory journalism brought to us from the good folks at the BBC.

It’s all in the wording

I got sucked in by some promotional copy, so I checked out the office furniture on sale this week. Here’s a great little line, hidden in a waterfall of bullet points.

  • Made in Canada
  • Includes one Executive Desk item # 744922, one Hutch for Credenza item # 744924, one Credenza item # 817015, two Pedestal item # 744928, one Bridge item # 744926, one Keyboard Shelf and CPU Platform item # 744931
  • 66-3/4″H x 71-1/8″W x 92-3/8″D
  • Chocolate finish
  • Ready-to-Assemble
  • 10-year manufacturer limited warranty

“Ready to Assemble”? How is this a benefit?

It comes in a million parts and takes a weekend to build. Worse – what unassembled item isn’t ready to assemble, unless it comes without all of the parts?

This is so crappy it’s brilliant. I love it. But I’ll stick with the assembled desk and bar fridge that I have now.

Funny. But not. But kinda funny.

I’m posting this because it’s kinda funny. But at the same time, it’s not. But it kind of is.

It’s not funny because I think there’s nothing more important than an informed, passionate client. I’ve worked with some great ones. They’ve elevated my game. A great client can make up for any short-comings on the agency team. That said, this is kinda funny.

Zenyatta, yadda, yadda

It's a horse, of course.

Zenyatta is the big girl who kicked ass in the boys’ club. She was 19-0 heading into this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup and a celebrity on par with many B-listers. Her fan base is fiercely loyal and compared to all of the let-down spokesmen from the human sports world, she looks like a smart brand’s dream.

Although she failed to clinch her final race, she will be assured a place in history and hopefully a few product endorsements.

Here are a few reasons to give your slimy quarterbacks and golfers the boot and hook up with an athlete you and your brand can count on.

She’s famous

She has a Facebook “Girl Power fanpage. She has a fan wiki where you can buy Zenyatta merchandise. She’s been referred to as a feminist icon and some guy named Richard Dyer took the time to write this:  “Star images are always extensive, multimedia, intertextual,” and the proliferation of digital tools and online social platforms enables fan co-creation of stars.” Does this turkey know that he’s writing about a six-year-old horse?

So called veteran turf writer Steve Haskin says, “Zenyatta transcends mere racehorse-ness because of her diva-like presence and prima ballerina moves, her uncanny showmanship and ability to take on human traits.”

She’s even been compared to Lady Gaga. “Both are stars with niche, femininely gendered fandoms; both are symbols of female empowerment; both are subjects of passionate debate; both have fandoms that believe their stars, and thus the fans themselves, occupy marginal social and cultural roles; both are Other yet one of us; both are becoming-human and becoming-animal.  Although relatively few people have heard of her, Zenyatta matters.”

There will be no sex scandals

Zenyatta’s sex life will be a clinically supervised series of affairs with the Who’s Who of the stud world. Her lovers will all come from big money, have homes in the country and well-documented pedigree. And she’s a horse. She can’t really sneak out and bang the nanny, so to speak.

There will be no wreckage

Zenyatta will never total her SUV or drive her sports car into a flower shop because she is a horse. She can’t drive. That’s part of her “racehorse-ness” (as the veteran turf writers say). Interestingly, her trainer does allow a pint of Guinness a day. But she still can’t drive. She’s still a horse.

There will be no embarrassing flashes

Paparazzi will never get a 100K photo of Zenyatta exposing her privates, smoking a joint or hanging out on the deck of a yacht with someone else’s man. She’ll put on a few pounds in retirement but no one will care. Sooner or later, there will be shots of her baby bump and speculation about the success of her offspring but it won’t get worse than that.

It’s sad state of affairs when human friend horse on Facebook but it’s sadder that we can’t rely on human heroes to set examples for the kids and show some respect for the brands that make them millionaires.

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Ellisism. It’s about sleeps.

According to the brilliant and talented Elliott Smith, “It’s not about hours, it’s about sleeps.”

One 16 hour day is not the same as two, eight-hour days. No matter how fast technology gets, the creative part of the human brain needs time to form connections between problems and solutions. Most really great ideas come while walking the dog, watching the weather channel at the gym or keeping one eye on the kids.

Good clients build this time in their schedules. Great ones build it into the revision process, understanding that the only draft that matters is the one the customer sees.

Ellisism. Meagan Fox versus the Estwing hammer.

Ellisism rarely takes aim at individuals but this seemed like a fun idea. I read in a bloid that Meagan Fox was called “dumb as a hammer”. Why a hammer? I thought. Then, I thought, it might be fun to compare to the Meagan Fox brand to my favourite, top-of-the-line Estwing framing hammer. Brand showdown.

The Estwing framing hammer. Handsome in blue and yellow.

Dependablility  The Estwing has lasted eight years and survived a half dozen renovations with no deterioration in performance. Meagan? Transformers 1. Slutty horror flick. Transformers 2. Poof!

Looks The Estwing is timeless and has a clear advantage over its competitors. The blue and yellow branding is handsome and distinct. Meagan is hot now but in few years, without the make-up, who knows.

Versatility The Estwing wins hands down. Meagan is a one-trick pony. But the hammer also pulls nails. 

Weigh in. Join the debate.

Meagan Fox or the Estwing hammer?

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