Trending: The Memphis Grizzlies

America now knows the Memphis Grizzlies are an NBA team

For only the 4th time in NBA history, an 8 seed had eliminated a 1 seed. In 1994, the Denver Nuggets stunned the Seattle SuperSonics, with the iconic final image of Dikembe Mutombo triumphantly clutching the ball above his head. The New York Knicks knocked out the Miami Heat in the lockout shortened 1998-99 season, en route to a surprising NBA Finals appearance. In 2007, buoyed by a raucous home crowd and a “We Believe” slogan, the Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks. And last night, the Memphis Grizzlies eliminated the suddenly old-looking San Antonio Spurs.

It is quite the accomplishment for a team that had been swept in its previous 3 playoff appearances. A team that had become used to crappy play, abysmal attendance, and low TV ratings. A team that despite having played in 2 countries (they started in Vancouver from 1995-2001 before moving to Memphis), remained totally anonymous and lacking an identity. Now, the Grizzlies have arrived.  Expect national TV games for the Grizzles next year. They next play another up-and-coming young team, the Oklahoma City Thunder (previously the Seattle SuperSonics). So hats off to the Memphis Grizzles. I have heard Beale Street in Memphis is a good time, but I bet it was extra fun last night.

Train in Vain: The Merciful End of “Hey Soul Sister”?

Yesterday, I heard a song I haven’t heard in months. But last summer, it was a song I heard almost every day, even though I wasn’t listening to mainstream radio. That tune was “Hey Soul Sister” by Train.

Let’s flash back to last year. Sometime in the winter, I started hearing something distinctive in stores and the dentist’s office. I didn’t know what it was but the “heyyyyy-eyyyy-eyyyyyy….tonight” (using the technique of stretching out a common word, think “umbrella-ella-ella”) stuck out. It was annoying for sure, but I was able to tune it out. It then showed up again in a commercial, and I still didn’t think much of it. Maybe corporate America needed a new “hey” refrain without the unfortunate child-diddling connotations. By late spring and summer, it was on seemingly every commercial break, with Samsung being the biggest offender.

I finally decided to look up what this obnoxious song was. I was quite surprised to see that it was by the band Train. They sucked back when I was in junior high! I thought they had been banished to obscurity with other terrible early 2000s yuppie rock abominations like Five for Fighting (remember that pussy “Superman” song that dominated radio after 9/11? You know, the one that made emo look like Pantera). While I wasn’t watching, “Hey Soul Sister” became a huge hit, peaking at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and eventually #3 on the year-end chart.

Predictably, the backlash over the song’s overuse started. Entertainment Weekly made its thoughts known in October, and an entire damn website was started to try to stop it. So is the song dead now? Maybe. I sure hope so. But summer’s coming up, and rest assured there will be another stupid song to bother us during commercials. I’m thinking something by the Black Eyed Peas.

Starbucks Dethrones The King and Smacks Down Wendy

Whenever I see or hear anything about Starbucks doing well, it reminds me a scene from an episode of The Simpsons.

This episode is from 1998, when Starbucks was growing at an astonishing rate. In the last few years, that growth has slowed, and many locations closed. But it now appears that Starbucks is on its way back up, passing Burger King and Wendy’s to become the 3rd highest earning restaurant chain in the United States.

Fun fact: The biggest city in the country without a Starbucks is Waltham, Massachusetts (population 60,000, also home to my alma mater Brandeis University). Many have bemoaned the expansion of Starbucks, stating that it is pushing independent coffeehouses out of business. Honestly, I don’t have much feeling about this, since I am not a coffee fan (let’s say it just isn’t my cup of tea) and I don’t have an emotional connection to a Central Perk. When I’ve been there in the past, I have usually just had a juice or water, and maybe a pastry if I’m feeling Rockefeller-esque. I view Starbucks’ move (both in earnings and in actual serving size) from a venti  to an even more imposing trenta with a shrug of the shoulders.

DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies: The Best Idea Ever

These guys remind me of JD and Turk from Scrubs.

It’s been a few months since the introduction of DiGiorno Pizza & Cookies, and honestly I’m stunned nobody had started it sooner. The Consumerist reports that Nestle’s recent purchase of DiGiorno from Kraft allowed this beautiful marriage to happen. Also new from DiGiorno is its Pizza & Wyngz box, complete with the obnoxious spelling that suggests regular wings are too uncool for the kiddies.

Looking at the consumer base of frozen pizza, two stand out for me. One is busy families with children. The other is drunk/stoned collegians. Being more familiar with one than the other (guess which one?) I can say it’s brilliant. As an aside, I’m surprised you don’t hear about more kitchen fires occurring in college apartments. College students are often intoxicated and thus forgetful, inexperienced in the kitchen, and living in hilariously crappy dwellings.

So how do Pizza & Cookies stack up? Kelley from The Impulsive Buy gives it a good, but not great rating. But at 2 AM on Saturday night, I’m thinking the rating goes up exponentially.

Introduction

Just thought I’d put a little intro here to start off. This is going to be a blog mainly about advertising and marketing. I’m going to put emphasis on commercials from the past and present that have made an impact on me. I will also write about general topics and trends in advertising/marketing fields. Of course, it is my blog, so I might also add any personal thoughts about sports, music, life, and love as they come to me. Basically, I’m thinking of this as an extension of my Facebook page…but I don’t want to be one of those morons clogging up your news feed. So here. Enjoy!

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