It’s that time of year when we get caught up with stuff. Between Black Friday deals and the holiday shopping season, the marketing engines are all revved up and every single ‘must-have’ item is out there for us to buy and have. Here is some ‘stuff’ that caught my attention this week.
1. GoldieBlox, the absolute most popular and talked about toy on the market right now, is generating all kinds of attention. They make building blocks targeted at girls, with the tag line ‘Toys for Future Inventors’ (i.e. toys for smart girls). Everyone loves the concept, but it’s their marketing video that has converted parents and kids into fans everywhere (with over 8 million YouTube hits on their original video). But as of two days ago, they have been making new headlines. They’re now in a legal battle with the Beastie Boys over the rights to the theme song in the video, (which has since been removed). According to this article by tech blogger Felix Salmon, these Silicon Valley Goldie girls might not be playing by the rules. There could be another lesson here for girls. Don’t try to rewrite all the rules—learn how to play in the sandbox first. Below is the original commercial with the Beastie Boys song ‘Girls’.
2. How about that new can’t-live-without UV toothbrush sanitizer? Despite the hefty claim that it will keep your mouth 99.9% free of germs, bacteria and disease (and they can prove that?), it’s tough to understand why—unless we’re dropping our toothbrushes in the toilet? Toothbrushes have been around since as early as the 600’s (in China) and the first mass-produced models were available in Europe in 1780. I hate to get in the way of progress, but I do wonder about our germaphobe culture. These are disposable $2 items, after all. You should change your toothbrush after you have a cold. That much I know. Maybe this handy toothbrush bobble stand is a better alternative—so your toothbrush doesn’t land where it’s not supposed to.
3. I do like this multi-purpose water bottle. It’s a great gift idea for the gym rat in your life or to put in your own stocking. I found them at Target, and nobody paid me to say that. I found them all by myself.
4. I didn’t find these Canadian-made bullet proof vests at Target, but I did read about them recently in The Globe and Mail. They are exactly what they sound like—three piece suits made to shield businessmen from getting shot to death. It’s all very James Bond. But it begs the question, is there a market for this product (unless you’re a spy or a drug king pin)? The article quotes businessmen who travel frequently to dangerous parts of the world (Africa, Columbia) and worry about returning home safely. The technology to produce these suits is amazing. The fact that they are in demand, not so much.
5. Finally, the big Mack Toffee Holiday Boxes from Nestle are back. It’s actually exciting on so many levels. They’re delicious, they bring you back to your childhood, they can be used in so many recipes and they are only available in Canada. That’s pretty cool. American’s are crossing the border to purchase this chewy and creamy toffee sensation. I love that. And look how much Sarah loves it—she can’t wait to make us her mother-in-law’s famous toffee drops (which you can find on the back of the box).
Have a great week.
Movember, real superheroes, funny parenting videos, holiday advertising and chocolate—that’s what caught my attention this week.
1. I’m not going to pretend I like all the facial hair that comes with Movember, but I do applaud the participants and the success of the campaign. The truth is, moustaches are clearly the new pink. Look around, not only are humans sporting them, but the new symbol for the ‘stash’ is everywhere—on mugs, napkins, t-shirts and even jewelry. Indeed, moustaches are a party theme, popping up in photo booths everywhere. That’s what inspired our Food Editor Jan Scott to create this amazing moustache cake. She promised me it’s easy to make, so I thought it was a good share. Go Movember.
2. No matter how popular the ’stash gets, it will never be bigger than Batman. Here’s a heart-warming story about how Make-a-Wish Foundation helped transform San Francisco into Gotham City for a 5-year-old boy who just completed treatment for leukemia. This real-life superhero rode in the Batmobile, saved civilians from disasters, (a robbery, a damsel in distress), received a key to the city and more. More than 11,000 volunteers participated in the city-wide charade for this cancer survivor. This is an amazing story that helps restore your faith in humanity.
3. In lighter news, here is a video that all parents will love. Enjoy—I think it’s the funniest video I have seen on parenting, ever.
4. Another video I thought was worth sharing is this ad for John Lewis, a UK-based retailer. There are few ads that tell a story, can move you to tears and entertain you. This is one of them. It’s also completely unapologetic about their marketing message. This is good advertising.
5. Finally, I tested out a new PC product recently that surprised and delighted my taste buds. The new PC Sea Salt & Toffee Chocolate Squares are just a tiny bit addictive. Consider yourself warned.
Have a good week.
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