Stay Tuned/Care For a Beverage

From Eccentric Flower


stay tuned

Care For a Beverage?
17 May 1998

After putting together various unrelated items this week I wanted to say something about, to my great surprise, I found they were related after all.

Hence the All-Beverage Edition of Stay Tuned.

Have you heard Veryfine's juice ads on the radio yet? Maybe not. The juices are based here in Massachusetts, so we may be getting them first. They make good juices in rather unassuming packaging. They've been around for a long time, and once upon a time they were king of the juice market. But the juice market as a whole is losing ground to all these weird-ass sodas and gimmicky drinks. Veryfine, a small company with a small budget, has decided that rather than shoot the cash on a handful of big TV ads, they'll make a lot of little radio ads and billboards.

The first radio ad has Tom Poston talking in relaxed, rural tones about sending some cases of Veryfine to "those Russians up on that space station," and also throwing in some fix-it supplies like duct tape. The ad is amusing. There are only two problems: Mir is old news, and Poston is no Tom Bodett.

Meanwhile, while Veryfine is trying to call attention to its small-company quality and down-home nature, Pete's Brewing Company, maker of fine beers, is taking more or less the opposite tack.

Although Pete's started as a tiny brand, it's growing like a weed ... but it still has a reputation as a "craft beer," a specialty item for beer snobs. My take on it is a little more cynical: People like me who realize that there is good beer being made in America already know about Pete's ... but the legions of Budweiser drinkers out there have yet to be enlightened.

Anyway, thus we have the Pete's ad I saw on the side of a bus the other day: "Is it wrong to chug a craft beer?"

Clever enough, I suppose, yet still sad.

Snapple is having an interesting contest - the "Win Nothing Fast" contest. The odds are excellent. Nearly everyone wins, and the few people who don't win get lovely consolation prizes.

In short, yes, it's a contest described in reverse. The bottle caps which do not actually result in prizes being given to contestants - which is to say, most of them - say "Nothing To Lose" inside them. A co-worker of mine loves it - he plays it and wins nearly every day.

A much less entertaining contest is the Pepsi "Pop Culture" contest. In order to win, you must collect a series of bottle caps spelling out one of several trite phrases presumably beloved to the young disaffected, such as "Been there, done that" and "Don't go there." Believe it or not, those are the least weary of the phrases. I've actually heard people under the age of twenty use those two. The rest of them may have been hip when the execs who thought this one up were in high school.

But then, the objective of a promotion like this isn't to be hip, right? It's to be anti-hip. Doesn't that generation resent being targeted so baldly? Or do they even notice? Sorry, just feeling prematurely old for a minute there.

I was willing to cut Pepsi a little slack since its recent TV commercials (especially the ones for Mountain Dew) have been a lot of fun. But in general I am unable to overlook that the gulf between Pepsi's corporate leaders and its intended customers is a huge, nearly unbridgeable one.

Besides, I still can't stand their soda, and I haven't forgiven them for the KFC Taco Huts.

Our final beverage item for today is for entertainment purposes only. You may recall that a couple of weeks back I mentioned the cryptic ads for Chivas De Danu. Here's the woman from the ad. No, I didn't steal a sign from the subway and somehow scan it; I found her in one of those damned postcard racks that seem to have popped up outside the bathrooms of every half-trendy restaurant in town.


A few weeks later, a hapless Stay Tuned staffer had the poor taste to purchase an issue of Details, and the identity of the goddess Danu was revealed: Gillian Anderson.


No, not really ... but if I see one more woman in silver face paint this month, I'm calling it a trend.

Other Business

Godzilla is a girl. There. I said it.

No, seriously, does anyone but me think it's strange that a couple of weeks ago Entertainment Weekly was being really coy, saying there was some mystery about Godzilla's sex that they weren't allowed to reveal ... but in their article this week, they came right out and said it?

On the other hand, a TV ad tonight had Matthew Broderick doing a color test with an eyedropper of something, and exclaiming in surprise, "He's pregnant!" So clearly the cat's out of the bag with or without EW's help.


I just know someone's going to ask me what the caption in the Chivas postcard says, so I'll just have done: "Your tongue grows heavy from foul and fizzy brews. Partake of me and your tongue will become loose and free to mingle with other tongues." Those pink things over her head are tongues. The subway ads didn't have those.

and now back to our program

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