"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 2 October 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run CII


[oooh, my chance to tell a dumb joke: Immediately after Marv Albert pleaded quilty, he got a pink slip from NBC.]

While videogame developer

Acclaim recently announced with

purported dismay that tight

holiday-season shipping

schedules will prevent the

company from removing Marv

Albert's voice from its upcoming

title, Quarterback Club '98, we

can't help but think that this

excuse seems about as convincing

as the carnivorous

transvestite's hairpiece.

Indeed, what better marketing

coup in our current celebrity

crime culture? We predict the

game will be this year's Tickle

Me Elmo.


Or at least we hope so. After

losing two jobs and suffering

the ridicule of every journalist

and talk show host in the

country, Albert sounds

alarmingly despondent. Sure,

assault-and-battery as foreplay

should be confined to consenting

partners, but was it really

necessary for Albert to

abashedly promise to

"reconstruct his personal life"

simply because he likes rough

sex, wearing panties, and

participating in threesomes?

Maybe NBA role (and lingerie)

model Dennis Rodman can give the

fallen commentator some pointers

on self-esteem.


[Now he's wearing it. - tell it to your mamas, they'll love it.]

Like Albert, Dunkin' Donuts is

also in the midst of some

soul-searching. In a world where

plain bagels and flavored coffee

have replaced flavored donuts

and plain coffee as the standard

commuter breakfast, the

venerable chain's advertising

agency, Messner Vetere McNamee

Schmetterer/Euro RSCG (not a lot

of donut-eaters there, we'll

bet), has decided that it's time

for a Dunkin' Donuts image

overhaul. Thus, out goes the

beloved Fred the Baker and his

fifteen-year catch phrase "Time

to make the donuts," and in

comes a new round of less

cruller-centric advertising.

"Dunkin' Donuts as a brand is

evolving from a product point of

view," explains Messner Vetere's

Ron Berger, which we think is

adspeak for "Even though our

name is Dunkin' Donuts, and even

though we've actually got kind

of a unique product and a sense

of retro-authenticity in a

market that's oversaturated with

callow Starbucks clones, we're

going to spend US$40 million

over the next year telling

people that you can get boiled

bagels, goofy flavored coffees,

and trendy danish here too, just

like at every other cafe on the



[another joke, courtesy of my good friend enrico - Q: Have you heard about the new scientific study which discovered that a certain type of food decreases a woman's sex drive?]

As far as political brands go,

"Mondale" isn't one you

generally associate with

visionary leadership, and yet

last week Minnesota state

Senator Ted Mondale, son of

what's-his-name, reportedly

became the first politician to

purchase banner advertising on

the Web. While it's unlikely

that the votes Mondale may win

by advertising on Checks and

Balances, a site that boasts

"1,500 distinct users per

month," will have much impact on

whatever election he's running

in, we're certainly impressed by

his campaign savvy: Why pay for

lots of expensive TV advertising

when you get plenty of news

coverage simply by pulling yet

another first-on-the-Web stunt?


Springing for a much bigger

media buy was inveterate

man-of-God Billy Graham, who

purchased banners at a number of

local Web sites to publicize his

current series of Bay Area

appearances. While there's no

word yet on whether Graham's ads

are pulling any better than the

standard Intel and Microsoft

banners, we can't help but

wonder if a certain beleaguered

company is paying attention to

the preacher's performance.

Indeed, if Graham can convince

even a handful of Silicon

Valley's selfish

technocapitalists to Decide for

Christ, wouldn't a stint as Lead

Evangelist at Apple, which needs

more help now than Jesus ever

did, seem like an obvious

gambit? Or maybe it's already



[ A: It's called wedding cake.- hmmmm ]

The Catholic Church has yet to

purchase banners on the Web, but

that doesn't mean it doesn't

know the value of a persuasive

ad campaign, as this excerpt

from the handbook of the

Pontifical Council for Social

Communications demonstrates:

"Benevolent social institutions,

including those of a religious

nature, use advertising to

communicate their messages -

messages of faith, of

patriotism, of tolerance,

compassion and neighborly

service ... messages that

educate and motivate people in a

variety of beneficial ways."


In a recent attempt to motivate

potential sponsors to refrain

from advertising on ABC's new

hunky heretic priest drama, Nothing

Sacred, the Catholic League took

out a half-page ad in the 8

September issue of Advertising

Age to communicate the following

benevolent message: "A word to

the wise: take this campaign and

move your ad money to some other

show." Already such good works

are paying off; according to The

New York Times, Weight Watchers

International and American Isuzu

Motors, after receiving "a

tremendous amount of feedback

from the public," have both lost

faith in Nothing Sacred and are

pulling their ads from upcoming

episodes. Thanks for that

neighborly service, Catholic



But just make sure to lay off of

Marv Albert, OK?

courtesy of the Sucksters

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