Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fireworks stand marketing 101

Here in the Midwest, we have a special tradition that pops up right around the month of June. I call it the "Makeshift Fireworks Stand Phenomenon." This is where you have some old dilapidated building (that was probably a condemned restaurant in the past) that gets turned into a fireworks stand overnight. The first thing that goes up is usually the biggest vinyl sign that one can purchase with the name of the store. 99.9% of the time, the name of the store is, "FIREWORKS." I'm not sure if this is a chain of fireworks stores or just the name that works, regardless of locale. With this particular location, one can assume that the fireworks are actually manufactured on location.

The next step in Fireworks marketing is to place American flags everywhere humanly possible. Nothing says, "your money is exploding" like American flags. Remember, lighting off bottle rockets during an all-day drinking binge is as patriotic as apple pie and Chevrolet.

Finally, a FIREWORKS store is not complete without a giant blow-up figure standing near the building--even better if it's mounted on top. If at all possible, this figure should be something patriotic like Uncle Sam or a Bald Eagle. However, if these All-American icons are not available, anything will do, as is the case with this store located just a few blocks from my office.

My guess is that these entrepreneurs got their Uncle Sam order in too late or simply picked up a great deal on this from the folks at No Limit Racing...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sunset Tan - A show about a real life tanning salon

When I watch TV, I have a bad habit of flipping through the channels and not really watching anything all the way through. There just aren't too many shows that catch my attention these days--and perhaps my attention span is just too short. Anyway, today I stumbled upon a show on E! (that's the entire name of the network) called, "Sunset Tan." This is a show about a tanning salon in Los Angeles and the people who work there. Let me repeat that again: this is a show about a tanning salon in Los Angeles and the people who work there.

I realize that budgets for TV are small these days and creativity is at an all-time low, but this is a show about a tanning salon in Los Angeles and the people who work there. I'm only sorry that I will never be able to get back the five minutes that I spent watching this show until I changed it to the next station.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

REAL variety on the radio

How many times have you heard countless radio stations brag about REAL variety on their station on to find that they play a carefully programmed list of songs just like everyone else. Well, if you want to hear variety on the airwaves, listen to a high-school station. Here in Indianapolis, we have WJEL-89.3 FM, which belongs to North Central High School. Where else can you hear Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville followed up by Christian contemporary tune (beside my personal iTunes player)?

Safe Travel on Interstates with Construction

During the a.m. commute through town (Indianapolis), I take I-70 and brave the massive construction project underway known as "Super 70". I take the reduced speed limit seriously. It can save a life--and it saves gas (an added bonus these days). Today, while going approximately 48 m.p.h. (limit is 45 in the work zone) I was passed by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department car that had to be going 60 with no lights or sirens. She (license plate number 4972) was in a hurry, I guess.

What kills me is that police cars routinely sit on the side of the road on I-70 just past I-465 waiting for speed violators. Nothing funny to say today, folks--just venting. Feel my pain.