Oh, the things you find in the Valentine’s Day section of the local Rite Aid while waiting for a prescription refill... Burning questions: * When did Rite-Aid break into the “naughty” novelties business?
* And when, exactly, did bondage become all the rage among the preschooler set?
Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it, and online shopping site Zazzle.com is casting a wide net for customers. They’re rolled out a new line of Valentine’s cards aimed at Geeks who like someone, but not enough to commit to using the “L” word. The cards, seen HERE, have an innocuous message that basically says, “I like you, but that’s as far as I’ll go.” All together now: “Awwwww.”
As predicted, with Christmas still a warm memory for most, marketers are already pushing hard to get their Valentine’s Day items front and center. First one to hit our inbox comes courtesy of Beerables.net, "The Accessory Store for the Beer Enthusiast," they tell us. And what do they think will be the Perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Why, “Two-Liter Glass Drinking Boots imported from Germany just in time for Valentine's Day gift-giving. Perfect for toasting your love, the distinctive Glass Drinking Boot is a great addition to anyone's collection.” ‘Cause nothing says “Love” like, “Ahhh, [Belch!!]”
Yes, our inbox is stuffed with all sorts of Christmas marketing ideas, but this one really popped out. It’s from the Terra Cotta Inn, a “clothing optional” resort in Palm Springs, Calif. Their pitch is that you’ll hang out (Sorry. YOU try writing this straight.) at their nudist resort by day, then get dressed and go holiday shopping at night at the nearby “Desert Hills Premium Outlets discount shopping mall in Cabazon, Calif.” Yuh. Maybe not. For folks braver than us, see what you’re missing at their site, Sunny Fun.com (And for a cheap thrill, you can expand some of the pictures. Which we discovered while doing RESEARCH.)
Not surprisingly, the day after Thanksgiving is “National Flossing Day” (Although, admittedly, we didn’t know that), and the good folks at the National Flossing Council have asked fast-feeder McDonald’s to give out individual packets of dental floss with its meals that day. “By offering floss, we hope McDonald's will set a new dental health standard for restaurants across the U.S.," Dr. Armand Lione, president of the NFC, said in a statement. There’s no word on whether McDonald’s will comply with the request, which is just as well. Do you wanna be sitting there while the guy next to you waxes his molars? Yeah, us neither. Also: The National Flossing Council?! Who knew?
Man, you write about one or two Holiday items, and it becomes open season on your inbox. First up today is a pitch from EyeSoundz Entertainment, pushing a special DVD called the Magic of Christmas Video. It’s a 70-minute long visual presentation featuring “dancing poinsettias, Santa at work, flying candy canes, shimmering snow globes, Christmas light shows, ornamented trees and more, choreographed to 24 Christmas music classics such as ‘Jingle Bells,’ ‘Silent Night,’ ‘Carol of The Bells,’ ‘Oh, Christmas Tree’ and ‘Deck The Halls.’” Nice. The idea is you put it on as background eye-candy during a party or at your store. There’s a couple of samples at their Web site, but be forewarned; It’s kinda mesmerizing. Plus, you’ll have one of those tunes in your head ALL DAY!
For those who observe Chanukah, there’s something for you as well. An L.A. company is marketing MenorahMate, which they hope will become “the new tabletop tradition.” It’s a silver, brushed-silk vinyl surface mat designed to catch dripping wax from a menorah. They claim the traditional method of putting a piece of tinfoil under the candelabra can scratch a tabletop. Theirs is backed with soft material, and also has the advantage of the three Chanukah blessings imprinted on it. Not bad, but at $14.99 we think we’d just reach for the Reynolds Wrap and tear off a piece. Because, as noted in previous postings, we’re cheap.
Having grown up in a rather strict Irish-Catholic household, December 25th to us always meant Christmas. Only. But in these new times, everyone should be accommodated in their beliefs and traditions, so there might well be a place for the Order of Saint Nick line of greeting cards. Available at Order of St. Nick.com, the company “serves a diverse customer base, including atheists, agnostics, wiccans, pagans, goths and many others who celebrate the holidays in an alternative fashion.” And of course we just HAD to stop by and see what they were selling, including these offerings from the “Goth” line: “Vampire Santa Christmas Cards”; “Zombie Christmas Cards”; and our favorite, “Severed Foot in Stocking Christmas Cards.” (Yes, really.) And ignore that whirring sound; that’s just Mom spinning in her grave.
Hey, guess what’s new for holiday decorating this coming Christmas season? Mangos, that’s what! At least that’s what the marketers at the National Mango Board would have us believe. In a release out today, they note some trendy decorating ideas: “Instead of the typical holly this year, simply pair mango and garlands to create a beautiful centerpiece for the family meal. Also, a few different sized clear vases filled with your favorite mango variety would be an eye-catching and modern twist for the holidays.” They also suggest: “Kids can help deck the table with mangos—and enjoy them as a sweet snack when it's time to put the decorations away.” Maybe, but ya know, “Deck the halls with boughs of Mangos…” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. We’ll pass.
And we mean that in the best way. Confectioner the Ferrero Company is inviting fans to feel what it might be like to be inside one of their creations. It all takes place in New York Nov. 16 at the kickoff to the Food Network's New York City Wine and Food Festival, at a place called The Waterfront on 11th Avenue. Check it out: “As guests enter the Ferrero booth, they pass through two flanking, clear columns filled with Ferrero Rondnoir dark chocolates. Once inside, they set foot on a moving, reactive, deep red, hologram floor that gives the impression of being inside the dark chocolate cream center. The back wall of the booth features a collage of textures reflecting the personality and contents of each piece of Ferrero Rondnoir dark chocolate.” And, of course, there’ll be free samples. We are SO going to be there.