Now, I certainly am not one to criticize poor marketing choices or bad grammar or inaccurate wording … Okay, who am I kidding? I love doing that. But Younger Daughter and husband John Pitts are the champs at spotting those details that make you wonder what somebody was thinking. Such as this poster advertising Dairy Queen’s $5 lunch special — or, as JP pointed out, the “Five-dollar-bucks” special. Because that’s what it says. Probably, JP conjectured, the marketing coordinator presented a “Five Bucks” campaign to the DQ vice presidents in the corporate meeting room and one of the bosses said “We need a dollar sign there” and the marketing coordinator could either argue or agree and so we get a “five dollar bucks” message that is both confusing AND redundant. And now I want a sundae.
This sign continues to crack me up every time I drive by it — which is pretty much twice a day. I have two questions: 1) Since this billboard still is up in May yet advertises a March special, can customers still take advantage of the offer? And perhaps more importantly, 2) exactly what constitutes an “area?” Is it measured by square inch? By proximity? If I have a little tattoo on, say, my ankle but then a big ol’ one on my back, does that count? And who are these people pictured, anyway? Why are they so insanely happy? And gorgeous? Does hair and-or tattoo removal do this to you? If so, perhaps I should get a tattoo and then sign up for its demise. I just need a second area.
Have I told y’all that I’ve got a new job? Well, I use the term “job” loosely because it’s really just fun that I get paid for. And I’m using the phrase “get paid for” loosely, too. I’m the new marketing director for a local arts association that oversees an art museum and a renovated historic theatre. It’s part-time — only a few hours a week — and of course it’s non-profit, so you can see that this is not the path to great personal wealth and riches. Of the money kind, at least. Because in terms of great personal satisfaction, this job rocks. The staff offices are in the museum, so we’re surrounded by creativity, talent and general wonderfulness every day. And the folks on the staff are exactly the type of people you want to work with: Dedicated, enthusiastic, generous and fun. Plus, I get to do what I love doing: Write. My prime responsibility is writing press releases and public service announcements and getting the word out about our exhibits, theatrical productions, concerts, workshops, tours, openings, etc. I’ve been building a media-contact list, talking to artists and newspaper and magazine folks and generally learning my way around the art world — which, by the way, is a fascinating place. Fascinating. One thing I’ve been thrilled to discover is that my work clothes from two years ago when I “retired” from fulltime newspaper-newsroom room still fit — but only because all those low-waisted skirts I borrowed from my daughters now sort of hang out around my waist since there seems to be some sort of impediment in my middle zone. But it’s OK, since I now have some spare cash I can put toward a new wardrobe the electric bill. (Oh, hi, Dear Husband! I didn’t see you reading here.) Read more about tackling a new job in my latest newspaper column. And Younger Daughter sent me off to my new job in style the other morning with broiled fresh peaches served with a dollop of creamy Greek yogurt. Oh, yum.
Rarely has a retail promise been fulfilled so promptly. The blue Curel Itch Defense bottle, on the left, announces that the new Curel is coming soon and urges us to look for it. We don’t have to look far, because right beside the old bottle is the new version, which as far as I can tell is “new” only because 1) it’s in a white bottle, 2) it’s in a bigger bottle and 3) it costs more. Husband and I were in Wal-Mart recently and he’s the one who spotted this. The side-by-side displays were the same for other Curel lotions, such as the Intensive and the Nourishing flavors. But here’s the thing: The old blue bottle also proclaims its newness — see that yellow oval above the “C” in “Curel”? I don’t know how long the blue bottles have been in production, but I do know it’s been long enough for the newness to have worn off. But apparently the white bottle is newer and in a year or so we probably will have another newer still. And in all fairness, the Curel Web site does say that the new bottles have a new formula, one with “Advanced Ceramide Therapy” that helps skin stay strong and moisturized — although the old bottles still are featured on the Web site. So we’ll see. This whole thing sort of reminds me of the Great Apple-Juice Switcheroo of years ago, when the kids were little and I bought apple juice by the ton. My favorite store always had quart bottles at 89 cents until the day when it advertised new “special” pricing: Four quart bottles for $5! A bargain!!!
Name that store! Here is your chance to have a hand in a new business opening up in Sheffield, Alabama — and your chance to help a friend of mine. My talented and creative friend Susan and her talented and creative daughter-in-law, Freda, are opening a furniture and home-decor consignment shop. They can’t decide on a name for it and need y’all’s thoughts. Here are the two choices they’re considering: Repeat Street and Upscale Resale. They like them both equally and so are sort of stuck in the middle. Or maybe you’ve got something better. They’re open to all suggestions. What do you think? They want as many ideas as they can get so please poll your friends and pass this along so they can get lots of input. Vote here in the comments or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday night– and then, of course, you’ve got to plan a trip to Sheffield to see their shop. Knowing them, it will be fabulous.
Update: Looks as if Upscale Resale is winning. Thanks to all for your help! Susan and Freda don’t need to make a decision until Wednesday night, so there’s still time to chime in if you’d like.
Update No. 2: Upscale Resale it is! I think cyber-voting is the way to go now when it comes to naming new businesses. Anybody else got something that needs naming???