Current Events News

Taco Bell and the age of fun

After last night, I could write in-depth analysis of each commercial that aired (or I could send you guys over to Slate’s amazing coverage over here) or I could instead mention Oreo’s blazing fast response to the mid game electrical blackout (but then again, Buzzfeed got the scoop on the post with about the same speed that it was originally posted at here). Instead of re-praising the best of the best, like the Budweiser commercial that seriously made me tear up a little and then realize I was about to cry over a beer commercial, to the lowest of the low (can GoDaddy just go away now? please?), I’ve chosen one commerical that I thought was hilarious but has been received with mixed reviews and has been easily overshadowed by the Dodge Ram ad, which to me seemed more like an awesome powerpoint than a multi-million production: The Taco Bell “Viva Young” ad.

I’ve mentioned before how I’m a big fan of advertising that goes against the grain, like the Anti-Olympic tote bags I blogged about last year, so I’m fond of this commercial for many reasons. If you take a second to look over this year’s commercials, and most years before it, you’ll see a huge emphasis placed on youth and beauty (see this year’s Calvin Klein commercial, which must have been awkward for all the father-daughter combinations enjoying the game together) and if you do happen to see the older generation they are often imparting wisdom upon the rest of us (such as the Dodge Ram commercial). In the Taco Bell commercial, they aren’t waiting for their grandchildren to show up to share a Coke: they are sneaking out windows and partying it up like any rebellious teenager in every coming of age movie. It’s hilarious without mocking old age and, if anything, it pokes fun at what my fellow millennials and I consider to be a great night out. It’s all soundtracked to a Spanish version of Fun.’s 2012 anthem, “We are Young” which only adds to the level of unexpected, but welcomed, absurdity.

After years of Chihuahua’s selling us tacos, Taco Bell has started to explore what more they could offer instead of almost offensive south of the border jokes. They’ve feature popular music, customer tweets and pictures in their ads in 2012 and have kicked off 2013 with it’s hysterical salute to old age. Taco Bell doesn’t need you to be a farmer, or a horse trainer, or even a guy with washboard abs, they just want you to have fun.

So how does this all tie back to promotional products? The takeaways are this: enjoy yourself. Laughter is a powerful thing, it makes you stick in your consumers minds. How do I know this? Well I just spent an entire blog praising Taco Bell and to be completely honest: I don’t even like their food.

Merchandising Assistant

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Preparing for Frankenstorm

Aside from a tornado that hit the center of the city about four years ago, we don’t really get a lot of extreme weather events here in Atlanta. However, that’s not true for other parts of the country. I’m originally from the DC area and my Facebook page is littered with status updates about Frankenstorm.


Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video
Read more about Frankenstorm

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[Trending] Promotional Charging Devices released 12 Mini Trends To Run With Now, which consists of 12 “mini” consumer and business trends to keep on your radar.  The one that popped out to me was #7: Juice Jitters, “extended battery life and charging options that are the holy grail for anyone addicted to an online lifestyle”.  It seems like almost everyone today feels the need to be connected 24/7.  All that connectivity really wears on your battery life, especially when you’re traveling.


Trend Watching featured a handbag by fashion designer, Richard Nicoli and Vodafone UK that can power a mobile phone while on the move.  After the bag is charged (via power outlet), it carries up to two days worth of extra battery!  They didn’t say how much it costs, but it reminded me of some of our new charging products and promotional cell phone accessories that have just been released.

See more innovative charging devices

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Promotional Products at the National Conventions

Both political parties had their respective National Conventions recently.  The Democrats just finished up their Charlotte convention last night and the Republicans held theirs in Tampa last week.  Besides having the privilege of hearing many political speeches live and writing about them, members of the media also receive a bag of official promotional products.

Convention Ballons

Creative Commons License photo credit: NewsHour
Read more about Promotional Products at the Conventions.

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Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child!

Google Doodle Julia Child

Julia Child passed away in 2004, but if she was still alive, today would have been her 100th birthday. I’ll admit, most of my Julia Child knowledge comes from the movie Julie and Julia but I think most people are at least a little bit familiar with the woman who taught French cooking to America (even if it was from a movie that came out over 40 years later).

Read more about Julia Child.

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Happy Birthday Jerry! Let’s don our tie-dye!

People remember where they were when big events occurred.  I know where I was when I learned that Princess Diana died (in my friends car, a day or two before I went to college for my senior year), I know where I was when 9/11 happened (in DC at work, scary!) and I even remember where I was on August 9, 1995.  I was in London visiting a friend and we heard the sad news of Jerry Garcia’s passing.


Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Zooomabooma
Read more about Jerry Garcia!

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The Olympics: Associating a Memory with a Tangible Product

There’s something great about years ending in an even number. No, it’s not because I have some form of OCD; it’s because those years are Olympic years! Though it’s still a month away, I have to say, I’m pretty excited about the London Olympics.

This is me as a mascot. It kind of looks like me, if I was blue and had one eye. Oh and if I played tennis. The tennis part might be more of a stretch than anything, really.

Olympic Mascot
Read more about the Summer Olympics

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Starbucks Supports Made in the USA Promotional Products

Image source: American Mug and Stein

Last week I read an NPR article about how Starbucks is supporting an Ohio-based mug maker, American Mug and Stein instead of purchasing their mugs overseas.  It really made me happy to hear that a company of Starbucks’ stature is buying USA made promotional items and making a huge difference to a small town pottery business and the city of East Liverpool, Ohio.

American Mug and Stein was on the verge of shutting down, when unexpectedly they received their largest order to date from Starbucks.

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Posted by Admin in Current Events News, Product Placement in the Media, 0 comments