Saturday, May 16, 2009
Sales Of Dr. Pepper Are Up
As you know, if you've been a reader of this blog, I'm taking the weekends off. So today - Saturday, May 16, 2009 - is an off day. I woke up a little after 11. After my usual breakfast of coffee, oatmeal, almonds and a banana, I checked the mail. No, I didn't receive a Social Security check for my dead grandma (or for my cat either). Yesterday I alerted my readers to be on the lookout for stimulus checks for dead people that were sent out by the government by mistake. Times are tough, and we can all use a stimulus check...Even dead people. Anyway, my fax machine is out of ink, my computer printer is broken, and my toaster only works on one side. I'm happy to report, however, that my new Sansui TV is working great. In other news, I just returned from Office Depot to buy a new printer. Unfortunately, the Canon ip1800 printer is no longer being made. The ink, however, is not in short supply. In fact, I have about $50 worth of ink in my closet, but no printer to put it in. Now I'm working in reverse, looking for a printer that works with my ink. This may not be the best way to shop, but these aren't ordinary times. I don't want to throw away $50 worth of ink, especially when the printer cost me $49.99. But that was a year-and-a-half ago. George Bush was in office. I was making five figures a year. My bank was making a profit. My printer was working! Today, instead of buying a printer, I came home with a case of Dr. Pepper. The product placement of Dr. Pepper on the television remake of "90210" is working. I couldn't stop myself. But advertising these days isn't that simple. According to Martin Lindstrom, a marketing expert and author of the book "Buyology," many adds are not only innefective, but have a sort of reverse effect. Health warnings in bold letters on cigarette packs may actually trigger something in the brain that makes them desirable. And Ford spent $26 million to sponsor the most popular show on TV, "American Idol," yet most people got upset that it interrupted their show and now have a negative image of Ford - $26 million down the drain. On the upside, Dr. Pepper is seeing an increase in sales. I don't even watch "90210", but my close friends do. There's a new study that's getting a lot of attention lately. It shows that happiness can spread like the flu. For example, when a friend becomes happier, we have a 15% probability of being happier. Surprisingly, when a friend of a friend becomes happier, we become happier, even if we don't know the third person directly. This study of social networks can also be applied to other things in life, like smoking and obesity. If your friend is fat, you are more likely to be fat. This explains my out-of-character actions at the supermarket. I now drink Dr. Pepper, and it's spreading. Watch out Coke.