Gas station without pumps

2012 May 18

Remixing LEGO Ads

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 17:56
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I was recently pointed to a rather amusing site: The HTML5 Gendered LEGO Advertising Remixer.

This site uses HTML5 features to pair the video and the audio from different LEGO ads (3 from the LEGO friends series paired with 10 from the LEGO series aimed more at boys).

What makes the mashups amusing is not the extreme gendering of the commercials (though that is the point of whoever made the site), but of how well the wrong audio fits the action.  All the LEGO commercials seem to have the same structure.

I particularly liked the Alien Conquest sound track with the first Friends video.

2012 March 31

West End Studio Theatre summer program

Filed under: home school — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 21:54
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WEST Performing Arts ad for the "Academy at WEST" summer classes.

West End Studio Theatre has released their summer 2012 schedule.  They have 19 programs that they are running this summer.  Each program has a specified age or grade range (ages 4–7, grades 4–10, grades 7–12, ages 14–21, and so forth).  The age range, when all the programs are combined, is 4–21, and I know that they hit both ends.

My son usually does 2 or 3 programs with them each summer.  This year he is planning to do the Teen Conservatory Scene Study Intensive, which is lead by professional actors from Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the Hunger Games teen production.  He hasn’t decided about the other teen production yet, Beyond Xanadu, though there is a $100 discount if you register for both teen productions at the same time. He’s done the Shakespeare Santa Cruz Conservatory for the past 2 years, and it was quite different each time.  He’s expecting another quite different 2 weeks this summer.

I was pleased to see that WEST had taken a full-page color ad on the back page of the April edition of Growing Up in Santa Cruz, which is the issue that list local summer camps.  Although WEST has been growing rapidly mainly by word of mouth, I think that they have so much going on this summer that they may need the advertising to fill all their classes.

I’m wondering if the theater classes (which will take up at least 120 hours) can be included on his official transcript for his home-schooling through Alternative Family Education.

2011 October 24

Giant response to GM ad

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 19:27
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GM ran this incredibly insulting and anti-bicycle ad, insulting all the college students that they were attempting to drive further into debt.

Giant Bicycles made an ad in response that is a good answer.

(My apologies for the low quality of these images—I don’t have paper copies, and the people who scanned them and put them on the web did not bother to clean up their scans.)

I understand that GM got so much flak for their insensitive ad that they pulled the ad and apologized.



2011 June 11

Bicycles as advertising prop

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 09:02
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Marketplace from American Public Media did a short radio segment on bicycles yesterday.  Not bicycles as a commodity or as a vehicle, but as a marketing prop:

Advertising the Fornarnino Urban Beauty show. Image by designwallah:

Bicycles become trendy marketing tool.

In addition to Marketplace’s own slide show, There is a nice set of photos illustrating the trend by David Gartner (who has reserved all rights, so I did not copy them into this blog).

Now some people would think that I’d find it pleasing that bikes are so fashionable—after all, bikes have been my main transportation for 40 years, so attention from the fashion-makers should be a positive thing, right?


Bikes have come to connote coolness, urbanity, and romance, according to Sheron Davis. She’s a senior executive at the advertising firm BBDO. Even, she says, in places were bike lanes have faced criticism, everyone still loves bikes.

Davis says advertisers are trying to transfer the halo effect of biking to their own products. But she says all that marketing can also end up promoting biking, not just shoes or sofas.

Most of the shots in both photo collections are static bikes parked in shop windows.  The one that shows bikes being ridden is an ad that shows the riders helmetless, not watching where they are going, on a very wide sidewalk that has no pedestrians or other traffic.  So what they are promoting is not bicycling as transportation, but as sculpture.  Something to look at, not to use.

One sort of "bike sculpture" I approve of: bicycle parking post from the front of "The Bicycle Trip," one of the better bike shops in Santa Cruz.

Will this trend make any difference to bicycling as transportation? Maybe briefly, but not in a lasting way:

… next year, the retailers we spoke with said they’ll be off bikes, and on to the next big thing.

My hope is that the recent rise in bicycles for transportation and exercise is more lasting, and that cities don’t let the bike lanes and bike parking fall into decay.

2011 March 26

Local businesses to avoid

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 08:58
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I’ve been getting a lot of fake pingback spam on blog lately from local businesses.  I will go out of my way to avoid places that engage in such abusive, parasitic advertising, and I encourage you to do so also.  Since I’ve been blocking the fake pingbacks, you don’t know which businesses are doing it, so I’ll tell you, even though it does give them some free space:

  • Spokesman Bicycles:
    I haven’t shopped here in years, even though I usually love bicycle shops. Spokesman is the only bicycle shop I’ve been in where an employee teased me for wearing a bicycle helmet.  Other people who bicycle for transportation (and not fashion statement) have also reported getting rude service here over the years.  It does not surprise me that this bike shop would engage in sleazy advertising practices, as they seem to be completely out of touch with bicycling community, other than stunt riders.
    If you want a good bike shop in Santa Cruz, I recommend The Bicycle Trip on the Eastside and Sprockets on the Westside.
  • Ristorante Italiano:
    I’ve not eaten here, so I can’t comment about the food or service.  I understand that the business was recently sold and the new managers may simply be clueless about the advertising services they bought.  I’m inclined to cut them a little slack, but I’m certainly not going to eat there in the next year.
    If you want to eat Italian food in Santa Cruz, I recommend Ristorante Avanti.

Note: I received no compensation of any sort for the plugs for restaurants and bike shops.  I do not plan to do advertising (paid or not), but felt that I had to list an alternative to the businesses I was suggesting you avoid.

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