January 28, 2005

Go Speed Mixer! Go Speed Mixer! Go Speed Mixer Go!

For the NASCAR fan who loves to cook:

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Posted by Doug at 10:05 AM | Comments (3)

January 24, 2005

Pay For Play

The venerable Gray Lady knows a hungry market when she sees one. The New York Times will now accept paid wedding announcements in its print edition. My biggest question upon reading this article? If reading the exisiting announcements in the "Weddings/Celebrations" section is such a popular Sunday morning bloodsport, how will readers respond to people who pay $48 per line to be included? I'm also wondering about the thought process that would lead someone to decide to pay for an announcement rather than leave it up to the editorial gods at Sunday Styles.

(Via R. Thanks.)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Times is recruiting new advertising dollars from a happy, and lucrative, source: Couples seeking the distinction of a wedding announcement in the newspaper's coveted style section.

The New York Times Co. on Friday said it would publish paid announcements of engagements, weddings, anniversaries and partnerships on dedicated advertising pages within its weekly Sunday Styles section.

The venture opens up a new avenue for spouses to declare their matrimony to society, with photographs, at $48 per printed line.

Sunday Styles features for free the wedding announcements of a select few couples from an array of weekly submissions. A longer "Vows" column details ceremonies, and romantic histories, deemed particularly noteworthy.

"We are pleased to offer a guarantee that your big day will be mentioned in The New York Times," said Jyll Holzman, senior vice president of advertising, in a statement. The company did not say what impact the new advertising may have on revenue.

The News York Times already accepts paid placements for death notices, in addition to newsworthy obituaries reported by the paper. Last year, the newspaper began to offer paid wedding announcements on an Internet site (http://www.nytimes.com/weddingsdirectory) at $20 per placement.

But let no one confuse the advertised announcements with those chosen by editorial staff. A banner atop the Web site for paid listings reads: "The New York Times is not involved in the selection or production of these announcements."

Posted by Doug at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2005

Going Once, Going Twice...Married!

Will Donald Trump be the new Star Jones? No, he's not marrying someone of ambiguous sexuality, but he is open to having just about every detail of his wedding sponsored or donated by companies looking to score a little free publicity in the pages of InStyle and People or on Access Hollywood.

Today's New York Times has the inside scoop on celebrity weddings and the lucrative sponsorship deals brokered between soon-to-be newlyweds and service providers. Among the sponsors of recent weddings: Juicy Couture, which provided "complimentary personalized sweatpants" for Britney Spears's wedding party and Graf, who gave Mr. Trump a $1.5 million ring for half price. (Doesn't the Donald know he could have received the same deal on 47th Street?)

The most curious sponsorship mentioned in the article is, it probably goes without saying, related to Star Jones's wedding. Here's what the Times has to say:

In at least one case the benefit was negligible. Encore Studios, of Clifton, N.J., designed invitations free for Ms. Jones and received a plug on [The View] in September, but the company has observed no noticeable bounce in business.

I don't have an MBA, but let me offer my hypothesis as to why Encore Studios hasn't benefitted from associating itself with Star.

If I pick up a copy of InStyle and see a picture of Kevin Federline wearing, let's say, Diesel jeans at his bachelor party and I'm the type of person who looks to celebrities for fashion tips, I can walk into any department store or mall and find a pair of Diesel jeans. If a lot of people act as I do, Diesel and the stores that sell Diesel see an uptick in sales. But if I am watching The View and hear Star going on and on about her wedding invitations, I can go to any printer and ask to have mine done in the style of Ms. Jones's. I don't need to order them directly from Encore Studios. Most people don't place a value on the brand of wedding invitations - quick, name one wedding invitation stationery company - but rather care more about the type of paper, lettering and other style-based qualities that can be copied by just about any printer.

It just goes to show you how crass those who seek to profit from their wedding can be.

Posted by Doug at 10:48 AM | Comments (1)

January 12, 2005

Stag & Groom Article

My latest "Groom's Diary" is in the current issue of Stag & Groom magazine. My contribution centers on a trip to Bloomingdale's L and I took shortly after getting engaged. If you're in London, you can pick up a copy of the magazine at your local newsstand.

Posted by Doug at 11:07 AM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2005

Who Are the Ad Geniuses Who Came Up With This One?

Given that New York commuters are subject to an endless barrage of announcements asking us to be on alert for suspicious behaviour or abandoned packages and to, you know, say something if we see something, placing this ad in a position where it will be seen by thousands of straphangers each day before they board their trains is, in a post 9/11 world, not the most sensitive of marketing decisions.

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Taken via my new camera phone, subway photo ban be damned!

Full disclosure: although I work for a rival network, the circumstances of my employment bore no influence on my initial reaction upon seeing the ad above.

Posted by Doug at 09:07 PM | Comments (8)

January 05, 2005

L Was More Impressed By the Size of My CD Collection

As a former single person, I know how hard it can be to meet people in the big city. For you single guys looking for help - or at least a quick hook up with women of questionable ethics and priorities - why not try fake ATM receipts showing a huge available balance?

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From the website's description:

Pick up women or men quickly at bars, dances, social events. After you write your number on this receipt (conveniently folded in your wallet), hand it to the member of opposite sex and watch how fast they call you! When she sees the SIZE of your bank balance, she'll be digging YOUR "gold" in no time! Even has the typical black bars on back of the receipt for added authenticity!

What's funny to me is the effort made in the product description to be gender neutral in the first two sentences before the "who-are-we-kidding" nature of the third.

Posted by Doug at 11:53 AM | Comments (1)