Sold out – Empty shelves are common

02/26/2011

I don’t know about you but at least I grew up at a time where empty shelves in grocery stores were long gone. Of course, there were my grand parents who told me about the care packages and the food stamps they’d used after WWII. But that was a long time ago – I supposed. But it seems I was wrong all those years. ‘Cause since I’ve been living in New York I see empty shelves in grocery store regularly. Every other week if you’d like so.

As many other New Yorkers I still take my bi-weekly trips down to 14th street to get some affordable groceries at Trader Joes. You can get some decent stuff there: For instance cheese that’s less then 9 Dollars. Which would be the regular price in many other stores within Manhattan. But you have to have the luck of the draw while stopping by at the American version of ‘Aldi‘. Cause if you are to late you’ll literally face empty shelves. And they are not empty because the service guy’s are lacy to fill them up again. They are sold out. Gone for the day. I took some pix there a little while ago just to convince you completely. Did you get these creepy goes-pumps already?

Maybe this matter of fact leads to the conclusion that to live in a capitalistic society that’s out of control is as bad as to live in one which had to deal with the aftermath of a cruel dictatorship. Just a thought.

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Soup-er Bowl #45

02/05/2011

It is one of the biggest sports events in the world with over 150 million expected viewers in 2011: The Super Bowl. A giant American tradition since 1967 when the first Super Bowl was played. Which had only 50 million viewers at the time. Meanwhile you’d need the entire population of Germany and France watching the same event to cover the current audience. But just to get this huge number a little bit more tangible: I’d estimate that more than 98 percent of those viewers don’t understand anything about the rules. Which narrows the audience down to the inhabitants of Berlin let’s say. ‘Cause most of the viewers just stick in front of the screen waiting anxiously of the guy with the white shoes. What’s his name – “Waterboy“, right. And honestly: I’m one of them. Cause the entire scenery looks more like a movie set to me. As a European I’m still not sure if this bowl thing truly is sports since they use radios to refine the games strategy while playing. Or is that because all those Americans can’t remember the purpose of the game after the first 15 minutes and someone has to tell them what to do? Just a guess.

Anyway, this soup bowl event is an interesting thing nevertheless. And that’s because it comes with these commercial breaks. And that’s when the 150 million viewers are on the same page again. Why? Clear cut: Everybody knows naturally something about consumption. And that’s why every year the rate of a 30-second spot mounts up insanely. When the Super Bowl started in 1967 the average fee to air a commercial was $42K. This year its $3 million even. But remember – you’ll reach 150 consume professionals at once. That means we are talking about a $20 cost per mille, which is almost the same amount you’d pay for an average newsletter campaign. But this only as a side kick for all of you who need to convince a client to put on a spot for the Super Bowl rather than to blow off another email blast.

I think I’ll have to change my name now since I made it official and compared the holy Super Bowl with email marketing campaigns for soup suppliers. Don’t judge me Americans, I’m a poor German lost in the futuristic surrounding of the new world. Radios, tz, tz, tz.