Archive for August, 2009

Home of the frigid jerk

Posted on August 31st, 2009 9 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, a few Torontonians got all sorts of feminine undergarments bunched up in their crevices when they learned that Coors had mentioned Toronto in one of their ads in B.C. “Colder than most people from Toronto”, was the exact phrase.

I wouldn’t have even mentioned it because the whole thing barely warranted it. What, like thirty to forty people complained? TCL gets that many visitors in a month, easy!

However, on my standard route this afternoon I found another one of their ads:

no ... YOU got poked! YOU GOT POKED!!

I read it. Then again. Then one more time.

I still don’t get it.

I mean, I like to think I’m kinda hip when it comes to this social media stuff. I may never have become a Facebook addict because I found it to be a cheap high, I never did have much use for MySpace because I already have my space, and while YouTube has been an endless source of painful (in so many ways!) hilarity, I can only digest it in twenty minutes sittings. But I digest (YES!! FINALLY GOT TO USE IT!!). I do it to stay with it. Like I said, hip. *thumbs up*

So this Coors ad … what the heck is it supposed to mean? Is it a reference to an online chat room where someone pokes you to get your attention? With a beer? I’m just not stoned enough to appreciate that, I guess.

My next thought was troubling; did someone just imply inserting a cold beer into my anus?! And what about the option for ladies?! — Hopefully that was not the message.

Could it be that someone has just physically poked you, with a beer? Does that make the beer more appealing in some way? Maybe has it touched a variety of sweaty spots during the poke and is now ringed with savoury body salts? Not with my beer, thank you kindly.

It just seems like the Coors people are having some trouble getting their message across. Look here:

no, just too early for christmas. sorry.

So what’s so bad about this? On the surface, nothing. You have a beer that’s so cold that it’s been frozen to the bus shelter. The whole thing has, in fact, become a giant ice box. The image of a super-cooled beverage was probably intended to convey how you’d just turn to a chunk of solid ice the moment that baby hit your lips – it’s that cold.

The first problem is that it’s a lie. A visual lie, I mean. You walk into that shelter on a sweltering day and it’s not a bit cooler than it is outside. In situations like that, the “ice” becomes “condensation” from the heat, trapping the sheltered travellers in a sweltering sauna! Or at least it seems that way.

The second problem is that it’s it’s such an extreme image, all I can think of is the pain of anything ice cold hitting the back of my throat on a hot day. Some people get brain freeze, I get this; either way, I don’t want anything that cold to drink. A voice box that can be shattered with the tap of a hammer is not refreshing to me, I don’t care how many calories it has.

Finally, you got the snow on top. That’s Toronto for a good chunk of the year; summer is when most people try to forget about it.

The message was supposed to be Coors: cold and refreshing, but to me it came across as Coors: deceptive, painful, and upsetting.

I don’t even have anything against Coors. Not a beer I care for but I’d give it a hand if it fell in the street. You know, live and let live sorta thing. Besides, other beer companies have subscribed to strange advertising ideas too. Take this Stella Artois ad, for example:

barely refreshing

The weird square in the middle is an UpCode tag. What you’re supposed to do is to download the UpCode application to your mobile phone. When you run it, it uses your webcam (at a very low resolution) to scan the code in, like the UPC scanner at supermarkets, and it opens up the web page it reads in. An automatic, no-type web address, if you will.

If you’re bored, you can read the UpCode from the photo above (the large size works better) on your own phone; just tilt it a bit to flatten the square in your display.

Anyhow, the whole thing seems like a long diversion, doesn’t it? And what does it link to?

error in forward slash indeed!

Hopefully they’ve fixed it by the time you’re reading this, but you’d think they’d get their act together considering the poster is, like, out there.

They could’ve used that spot in the ad for a nice-looking model doing enticing things with a beer bottle. Instead, it sports an ill-conceived brick.

I believe in the modern interweb lingo, this is called advertising FAIL. (sorry, not sure if I’m supposed to italicize that)

At least Coors got the part about Torontonians being frigid jerks right.

yeah, hugs of hatred!

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

He yells at her to stop, she revs her engine!!

Posted on August 28th, 2009 9 Comments

The Copper people are doing their thing in the neighbourhood again:

copper's gonna git you!

Exciting scene with some woman getting pulled over by the cop. As he gets out of the squad car, she continues to roll. He yells at her to stop, she revs her engine!! … well, I won’t spoil it for you. But as I write this, the wind is picking up, possibly in anticipation of the interesting weather planned for tonight. Those prop trash bags on the lawn are keeping more than one crew member entertained; they’re filled with styrofoam or something similarly light, and they’re not tethered to anything. Flying, Valkyrian garbage! It’s happening all over again!

:D Not really.

The only things flying around the city these days are rain, knives and performers.

Dear reader, more artisans from Buskerfest (loud link!) for your entertainment. And, ah, if you wanna show your appreciation with a small donation, that would be great. Preferably bills:

like a giant tom hanks

Remember the Australian-region guy? He does actually do something. But not before my foot had fallen asleep waiting for him to stop flapping his gums and do it already:

alright ... he *did* have fire

And then this guy did a variation on it. He actually took the pains to point out that, unlike that guy over there, he wasn’t being supported by anyone:

yeah, i said that guy over there

And finally, the item that I so egregiously omitted yesterday, the human beatbox video. To retain the live spirit of the performance, and because I’m lazy, I didn’t edit the video at all.

<a href=""><img src="" alt="Get Adobe Flash player" /></a>

Doesn’t that just take the cake?

Well, I’m all buskered out. But those folks are doing it all weekend. And why not? After this it’s back to Dundas Square or subway stations, so they might as well rake in as much as they can.

God’s speed, little buskers.

And to you, dear reader, a fair and pleasant weekend.

Filed under: B Sides, Pictures

Out there on the streets

Posted on August 27th, 2009 1 Comment

It’s been quite a busy day at the TCL city desk today.

To begin with, a bunch of personalities from my wake-up radio station were axed, en masse, this afternoon. I’ve only ever heard promos for the Motts’ show and I accidentally tuned into a Michael Coren repeat one night. Didn’t care for it. And Jacqui Delaney I found to be as awkwardly appended to my daily dose of waking petulance, the Bill Carroll Show, as the spelling of her name, and this clause. Plus, she was kind of abrasive.

But I wish them all well. It’s not always easy out there on the streets.

Take the Carties, for example. Almost everyone agreed that the concept was great; let’s have some alternatives out there on the streets instead of just the ubiquitous hot dog stand. The city clenched their butt cheeks extra hard on the requirements and only eight finalists (out of twelve entries), were accepted into the program. They had to pay a ridiculous sum for the carts which were sold, and branded, by the city. The vendors also had to wear city-issue uniforms. Oh, and the city told them where they would go and conduct their business. Some locations were great. Some, not so much.

There were also suggestions that the city might want to, you know, have a chat with existing street vendors to see how they do things. Kinda pick the brains of some of the people who have done this day in, day out, for decades.

the louder the bark, the hotter the dog!

Yeah … no, they didn’t do that.

I once bought a samosa from one of the a la Cart guys. His little shack was impeccably clean, almost too much so. He probably had the city’s sanitation inspectors living in his colon. The food was okay, nothing too exciting; proper City-Hall, middle-of-the-road flavour. And what’s this about handling every little thing with a pair of gloves on? With street meat, you get a dollar-store serviette (as dainty as the word implies), holding up a propane-soaked bun which is cradling a hastily warmed specimen of “dog” of some sort. “Hot” it most certainly is not. No latex glove, that’s for sure.

It’s almost inevitable then that the Carties would start dropping off, isn’t it?


But Buskerfest helped me forget all about it! The name says it all; a street carnival filled with buskers. Open guitar cases, hats, plastic cups, and other collection receptacles abounded.

One of the performers flew in from overseas. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say somewhere in the region of Australia:

he almost lost his balance there for a moment. that is all.

Strangely, this is as exciting as it got. At least for me. In the ten minutes or so that I stood there, the routine seemed to go nowhere. Those knives never saw any action. I still don’t know why those people were lying there. I waited, I applauded; tried to cheer him on. Nada.

Oh well.

Elsewhere, some of the buskers had so much polish, they were like some kinda disco machines:

where do you think the disco ball is, baby?

It may not be to everyone’s liking, but everyone’s gotta make a living somehow. Even the very tall and gangly:

nah, the kids weren't scared of him at all

The evening ended with a rousing human beatbox, but that video is still being transjiggamafied. I hope this will suffice until then:


Filed under: B Sides, Pictures