Archive for March, 2011


Serena Williams Top Spin

A good ad agency knows what will offend the pretentious so it is not surprising that this Serena Williams ad for the video game Top Spin was considered “too risqué for television.” That television would be American TV and obviously not Trinidad and Tobago TV which is accustomed to showing all forms of gyrations without even breaking a sweat or receiving a complaint except that the video was too short, or the skirt too long.

The Top Spin ad, I suppose,stressed too much on  the behind the scenes attractions of tennis instead of the boring part of the game which is as bland as dry toast in prison.  I admire the ad agency not only for a well made video that holds the attention as much as anything on Playboy TV but in also understanding that to offend is sometimes necessary to succeed in a world where commercial success is usually driven by sex.

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Coca-Cola glass bottle

Coca-Cola Bottle - the shape that men prefer

There is something about the sight of the glass Coca-Cola bottle which makes men even more thirsty. Some say it’s the well-proportioned curves which drive the male brain into a state of fondness while others say it’s because many find pint-sized does matter.

Coca-Cola Girl - Trinidad and Tobago

Coca-Cola, the real thing plus the undisputed king of fizz and froth, also comes in the “massive” or 20 ounce bottle which is popular because it seems to never end despite countless sips and gulps. Unfortunately, to real cola men, the massive doesn’t have the same attraction as the curvy glass bottle and I think it’s for biological reasons. The problem with the initial massive-shaped bottle design was that it easily slipped if the hand was greasy from KFC, curry drippings or even excess doubles oil. This defect did not escape the Coco-Cola bottle engineers and after many years of intense research, came up with the patented Grip which to the non-bottle engineer seems to be just some mindless studs placed like an afterthought at the grippable portion of the bottle. The Coca-Cola marketing department claimed via several full-page ads that these studs afforded a better grip even to the novice guzzler with greasy hands.

Coca-Cola is the real thing and despite some other cola being sold at TT$2.00 in an attempt to gain more market share of the lucrative sugar water industry, Coke will survive because it is the shape, not the sugar, that shaped our minds.

 

 


Trinidad Carnival 2011 - Getting Ready

Trinidad Carnival 2011 Photos - click here!!!

It seems that the country is getting ready for Carnival 2011 with many taking advantage of the 20% off sale on books at RIK while others are flying out with precious foreign exchange to have a foreign holiday that is used to create an impression they have wealth in the minds of all those they could tell. Our beaches and bars are already flocked with real visitors, returning foreign-accent Trinis and disgruntled public servants. The climax of Trinidad Carnival is mas on the streets of mainly Port of Spain on Carnival Monday and Tuesday with the foreplay being the various competitions and fetes starting weeks before the actual event. When anybody ask me what I will be doing for Carnival this year, I say backing up. I will spend some time backing up my hard drives which is the curse of the digital torrent age. As for photographs, I say “hopefully” as the motivation is getting less and less every year but I will be in Port of Spain on Tuesday. However, I did include some never-before-seen photos for Carnival 2010 at mayarobeach.com in a new album. Click here to see.


Pleasure Unleashed at $1,000 a pop in Trinidad and Tobago

The old saying was “Carnival is colour and colour is Kodak” but all that has changed. Now, the new saying in Trinidad and Tobago is “Carnival is pleasure and pleasure is expensive.” Yes, pleasure has a price and sometimes it’s $1,000 per person in Maraval. To be fair, it is an all inclusive event meaning it’s all you can eat, all you can drink and all you can wine between the hours of 2 and 9. But the question is how much can one man or woman eat, drink and wine without getting sick or creating a bad impression in the minds of the ones who did not get too drunk to forget. Yesterday was the first time I had the opportunity to actually see expensive Carnival fete tickets so I had to take a photo and blog for the world to see. At these prices I was expecting the tickets to be the size of on iPad but unfortunately they were regulation size tickets or even smaller, probably in an attempt so as to maximize profits. I wonder if fete promoters pay taxes or if the police will be waiting for those fete-intoxicated drivers? On the positive side, these fetes do bring in foreign exchange as these two tickets were bought with a foreign credit card by a foreigner as I am sure many tickets to Carnival fetes were.

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The mood of a country

The culture of a country is not only found in the country’s  song, dance and shark and bake but also in the full-page ads in the newspapers. In studying the culture of a country most anthropologists and space aliens listen to the drums but  miss the real beat drummed out by ad agencies via full-page ads. Some say the newspaper headlines tell the story of a country but as this task of headline creation is usually given to the accountant or janitor at most daily newspapers, headlines can be misleading. Since the cost of one full-page color ad is almost equal to or more than the yearly salary of many workers and public servants in Trinidad and Tobago, it must never be taken lightly. These ads sometimes show, in a subtle way, who are the real power brokers in a country thus who are pulling the strings.

Since there is much to learn from full-page ads this blog decided to take some photos of some of these ads appearing in the daily newspapers over the last few days to document the Carnival season for 2011 and by extension, the mindset of our happy country.

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