Ad Jerseum 3: Corona “This Island Jersey”

“Bundle up!” not cheery. pissed. have to walk outside in 19 degree weather. shovel. scoop. toss. shovel. brush snow off car. get into car. residual snow falls onto seat. sit down, ass gets wet. turn car on. crank up defroster. get out of car. scrape ice off windshield. spray de-icer on windshield. begin to drive even though glass still fogged up. “Can’t be late for work!” obviously not smiling. roll down window. more snow falls into car. stick head out so I can see where I’m going. wonder why I don’t live here:


Believe it or not, I’ve been trying to track down a picture of this awesome billboard for a long time, but to no avail, until now. A few years back while on a train ride to New York City, I saw the same billboard as pictured above in Newark and thought it was one of the coolest beer ads ever. Corona ads have always taken a different approach from other beer brands. I praise Corona’s ad campaigns for making abundantly clear that they are a different breed than your average brew. This is cerveza. Sure, it’s easy to sell beer to frat boys. Bud, Miller Lite and Coors Light ads, all seem to say “I’m a masculine guy who loves sports and sexy women who love sports, now let’s get wasted!” Listen up, I’m not giving Corona props just because they were brazen enough to feature the Garden State in one of their ads, but they actually do present themselves in a more sophisticated light.

The regional aspect of this billboard accomplished more than what an average ad could. Back on that train ride, I took a glimpse of the billboard for a fleeting second but the image stuck with me. Momentarily, my mind was whisked away to the alluring, mysterious, and deserted island of New Jersey where beer runs from bathroom faucets and the warm ocean water is blue and the sand is soft and white. This visual only works for a few seconds until I abruptly flashback to what I actually have to deal with on a daily basis. In the winter, I wait about a minute and a half for my faucet water to become luke warm, so let me verify that no beer comes out. Then of course, our ocean water is usually frigid, which is more scary than refreshing even on sweltering days, and it’s dirty, nay, probably contaminated. The sand? Fuggedaboutit. Broken shells, cigarette butts, garbage, mashed up jellyfish, crab carcasses, used condoms; It’s all displayed for you like an unexpected putrid potpourri. You thought a vacation at the Jersey Shore was supposed to be all fried Oreos and Snookie? Ha. It’s a tough call but I’m going to say that Corona’s imaginary Jersey Island is intensely more appealing. I can envision myself right now relaxing on the beach, with my feet massaged into the soft white sand and the only thing I might have to defog is my sunglasses.
*A big thanks goes out to Michael William Sullivan for taking this perfect shot of the Corona Billboard. I’ve gone to several lengths to get a hold of this ad directly from Corona and the ad agency who created it, but neither were helpful.  It would seem that presenting an ad on a blog could only mean free advertising for the product, right? Maybe next time when The Sexy Armpit knocks on their door they’ll give up the goods. Check out all of Michael William Sullivan’s excellent photography here at his Deviant Art page.

Doritos: The Quest for a Better Flavor!

When I’m in the snack aisle, I never pass up a new flavor of Doritos. It’s a wonder how a shiny bag of tortilla chips can give me tunnel vision. I dread making trips to the grocery store so I welcome any glimpse of a product never before seen by my eyes. If it’s a new character that has it’s own fruit snack or a new kids cereal, either way I usually get all wrapped up in the moment.

After stockpiling boxes of Wheatables, my latest obsession, I was stopped in my tracks like I was in quicksand (or quickmud if you’ve seen Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!) I scanned the shelves of chips and came to a mysterious black bag. This was a variety of Doritos that I’ve never seen before. The front of the bag read “The Quest: Guessing the Flavor is just the Beginning.” As soon as I got home I had to rip into the bag. I couldn’t help myself. Every time I buy something new at the store I feel like I wish I could just open up my stomach and put the stuff inside rather than having to go through all the work of chewing and swallowing. Sometimes all those steps waste valuable time.

After the official first sniff, I threw the first chip in my mouth. They had a fairly sweet, but semi-radioactive odor. When the chip first hit my mouth I thought they were trying to replicate the taste I get in my mouth when I drive on the N.J Turnpike, which is pretty much what raw sewage and toxic chemicals would taste like. I’m exaggerating a little bit of course, but they didn’t taste good at all. What did I do? Did I throw the entire bag away? Heck no, I did what we all do…I kept shoveling them down even though they sucked ass. I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to be a Spicy Lime chip, which in my mind is completely off the wall. I’m a huge fan of Lime Gatorade Rain but it stops there. Perhaps a lime in my Gin and Tonic but anything further than that is unnecessary. Bud Light Lime? C’mon! Nowadays it seems everything but my toothpaste is lime flavored. I can’t say I enjoy my Dorito chips with a dusting of Lime powder. Not a fan. I blame Corona for putting Limes over big time.

This whole gimmick reminded me of last year when Doritos came out with a mystery flavor that tasted like Cheeseburgers in a similar black bag. What the heck are they thinking? You’re supposed to wager a guess at their site Snack Strong Productions. Come to think of it, I don’t even know if they announced that the last flavor was actually Cheeseburger but it sure as hell tasted like it. (Ok..I just checked Wikipedia, and I WAS F’n RIGHT!) Why should we have to guess the shitty flavor their food flavoring geniuses came up with if they don’t even plan on giving us the answer. I wasted time logging onto their lame site to play the game but I couldn’t figure it out. Then again, contrary to popular belief, I have a life. Rather than sitting there trying to type in random flavor guesses I opted to write an entry about how crappy the mystery flavor was. Now that’s productive! Are they too scared to come up with a definitive flavor and put it out on shelves? Is it just me or were there better Dorito flavors in the ’80s? I’m sure these silly “guess the flavor” limited editions will last as long as the Salsa Rio flavor. RIP Salsa Rio! I Miss you!

Illustrious Art Found at Hooters?

At the risk of sounding like a frat boy, I admit I’ve been to Hooters many times. It’s never on the list of “places I want to go” but to appease my best friend I go with him. We order a pitcher of Bud Light and usually check out whatever Yankees or Giants game is on depending on the season. Even with the girls walking around in tight little orange spandex shorts and low cut white tops I’m honestly not paying much attention to them.

Besides savoring the hops in my beer, (yeah right) I do something probably no man does while at Hooters. I look at the pictures on the wall! That’s right I said it! If you’ve ever gone to T.G.I Friday’s or Applebee’s, you may have found yourself looking at the junk they have scattered on the walls. I never really noticed the photos on the walls at Hooters until this visit. We sat down at a table and it wasn’t until possibly 20 minutes into our visit that my eyes bulged out of my sockets like Roger Rabbit. I couldn’t believe that I was sitting to the right of the greatest picture that Hooters has ever taken or will ever be taken in the future. This is a picture that doesn’t only belong on the wall to the Hooters we were in, it belongs in EVERY Hooters location in North America. They need to enclose it in an airtight glass vault in the middle of every Hooters for all to witness and pay their respects to. This picture warrants a dedicated spot in the Smithsonian.
OK, well you may not think so but I did…

It was a photo of the one and only Rob Van Winkle a.k.a Vanilla Ice with a host of Hooters girls from the early ’90s. I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to be in the same presence as this picture instead of the nowhere near as good “Kathy Ireland Meets the Hooters Girls” and “Dan Marino Meets The Hooters Girls.” Glad I didn’t have to suffer an hour through looking at those worthless photos! They can burn as far as I’m concerned because all other Hooters pictures pale in comparison. There’s an unparalleled amount of class in showcasing a photo of Vanilla Ice with a bunch of Hooters girls. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel is hack work compared to this masterpiece.