Current Events

Girl’s Day


As we drove through Chinatown this past weekend, we saw preparations for the Chinese New Year’s celebrations. Many were carrying sprigs of cut plum blossoms which are just starting to bloom so we bought some to go with the Girl’s Day display which we set up each year around this time and keep up until the beginning of March.

Tyler took a small plum blossom branch to school today to explain to his class about the festival and his Japanese background. Taking him to school this morning, he said he was worried that the boys in the class would make fun of a kid carrying pink flowers to show-and-tell. Later, in line waiting to go into the class, he noticed that the girls liked he flowers so he warmed up to the idea.

That’s one way to get your company’s name out there. . .


The advertising world is buzzing with’s debut on the television advertising scene with their parody of the Janet Jackson wardrobe mishap from last year. Forrester’s Advertising analyst Jim Nail gives it the “Load the Cannon with Gerbils” award:

This ad confirms it: the dotcom bubble is back. An unknown internet company selling a service that 99.9% of the audience doesn’t need spends megabucks to run an ad that has nothing whatsoever to do with the aforementioned service. At least Cyberian Outpost (whose 1998 spot firing gerbils out of a cannon can be credited with much of the dotcom advertising mania) sold computer gear people were buying at the time.

So offended (and afraid of further FCC lawsuits one might add) were the grand pooh-bahs at the NFL and Fox that they pulled the second airing of the commercial that was supposed to run during the two minute warning. The jury’s still out on this but it appears that the media buzz alone surrounding the pulling of the second ad has kicked the media coverage of the ad campaign into high gear and paid off in brand awareness dollars alone.

Bob Garfield of USA Today (which ranks all the Super Bowl ads in its annual Ad Meter story) calls the ad a success,

It branded a business never before branded. It flipped the bird at the FCC and the NFL and it self-mockingly used blatant sexism to get its message across. Plus the lady had a big bosom.

So the message hit home and branded the company but will it bring business? Only time will tell but my guess is yes. Maybe not $2.4 million yes but the bump will be significant. Sport fans are a huge audience that is only starting to be recognized. Ask anyone at, DirecTV, XM or Sirius. Sports fans have money to spend on technology.

You can read more about the pre-game media coverage (and view the ad) here.


Alameda Antique Fair

On Sunday we went to see the Alameda Antique Fair which must be seen to be believed. There must be over 400 vendors spread out over the tarmac of the old naval airfield in Alamdeda. All sorts of weird and wonderful stuff, interesting people too.

Pictures here.