Fabio on a piano will sell this deodorant

Last week, one of my social media classes talked about the concept of “going viral.”  One of the best examples was all about this guy:

No doubt, a very successful ad campaign that completely exploded on YouTube.  It’s funny and memorable and has made a star out of Isaiah Mustafa (aka the man your man could smell like).  There’s no way Old Spice can reach this level of viral success again; they also have to retire this ad campaign before it outlasts its welcome and becomes a failed TV sitcom.

In that spirit…there’s this now:

I’m left with the feeling of “is this real life?” I can’t tell if it’s going to be a successful campaign or not, but the comments suggest no one was begging for a new Old Spice guy.  Still, I spent the past ten minutes Googling Old Spice, and I still kind of can’t get over the way Fabio says “Old spices.”  Or, you know, anything.

Fabio modeling for the cover of his own book

Also, I once caught my 79-year-old office mate reading this book. Note Fabio is the author AND the cover model.

What do you think?  Is this the definition of trying to hard?  Is it funny anyway?  How old is Fabio and does he even have a last name?

In which I write about important things, like shoes

Yesterday morning, my barista said to me, “Your dress reminds me of my curtains!”  She tried to clarify that she meant the floral pattern looked like her favorite new curtains that she just made herself, but is there any way to hear this without immediately picturing Carol Burnett? I think I even checked my shoulders for curtain rods.

(skip to 3:22 for the fashion show)

I decided to take this as a compliment (or at the very least, an insult worth sharing with the internet), but it did make me think about my personal style.  Let me be the first to admit I’m no fashionista.  I do wear dresses almost every day of the summer because I live in Minnesota, and for nine months out of the year I have to wear all my clothing at once just to survive.  Sometimes I add a cardigan because, like actual fashionista Zooey Deschanel, I believe you can never have too many cardigans.*  I would be wearing my hair in a side-pony right now even if the look hadn’t made a comeback.  My style literally has not changed since I was four years old.

Rachel at four

Some looks are timeless.

Apparently the only thing that’s changed about my look in the past two decades is the footwear.  Excuse the (possibly boys’) flip-flops above, because current me loves shoes almost as much as I love the Minnesota Vikings.**  I’ve written before about my inherent brand loyalty, and while I don’t have a favorite shoe designer, I do love one store above the rest: DSW.



It really isn’t that hard to sell shoes to a shoe-lover like myself, but what really sold me on DSW was the rewards program.  I’ve actually remembered to check my mailbox every day this week because I’m expecting a $10-off coupon.  The store occasionally emails me about web specials; I don’t usually buy shoes online, but I DO usually find something on the website that I will then drive ten miles to find in person.  They also give away shoes through Twitter on Fridays.  I have yet to win, but this in itself is a reason to have a Twitter account.

And just in case writing about how much I like shoes has made you think I might have some fashion sense, this once happened.  Forget fashion sense, I’m still waiting on my common sense to kick in.

*She said this in Lucky.  I can’t find the article online because it’s over a year old — it’s been that long since I’ve read a fashion magazine.
**Which is a whole lot, despite how girly this post has become.

Target Market

“I made a trip to Target and spent a ton of money on “stuff” and I literally can’t tell you what cost so much–the Velveeta? The shower curtain? Before you knew it, I spent $80.” – My friend Sabrina

I go to Target about once a week, for just about everything.  Food, clothes, apartment necessities, entertainment.  Where else can you get batteries, balloons, bike helmets and blueberries all at once?

Target Logo

It calls to me.

Actually…as it turns out…lots of places.  Some of them closer to where I live, or cheaper.  But just like my coffee loyalties lie with Caribou, Target is the only “modern general store” for me.

Part of it has to do with the fact that I live in Minnesota — even though it’s a large corporation, Target is still a huge part of our local economy, as the cover story from this month’s Minnesota Business points out.  Another part has to do with the stellar brand image.  You know the one I mean.

Rookie of the Year DVD

Worth it.

What gets me more is the marketing within the store.  I can go in and aim for one thing (for instance: a black cardigan) and come out an hour later with a whole bunch of totally different things (for instance: three sets of curtains, four wash cloths, a double feature DVD of The Sandlot and Rookie of the Year, and a three pound bag of Laffy Taffy.).  The signs, sales, and artwork always lead me astray from my original path.

In that way, Target is like the internet: you go online to look for one thing, and a dozen other things pop up or catch your interest instead.  Did you manage to get through this whole blog post without clicking on one of the hyperlinks?  Have you ever walked into a Target store and come out with only the things on your list?  How do you do that?

My fifteen minutes of @Caribou_Coffee fame

I make a pretty decent cup of coffee.  From what I remember, anyway — I haven’t made more than one or two cups at home in the past month.  Instead, first thing every morning, I walk down the street to Caribou Coffee.  The baristas are the first people I see every day, and they know my usual — a medium dark roast with room.  I’m not getting anything fancy (at that hour, anyway), and although it’s a short hike from my place to Caribou, I literally cut through the parking lot of another coffee shop to get there.

I recognize how crazy that sounds.  So what keeps me going back to Caribou day after day?

My name on a Caribou cup

At the top, the cup reads: "Trivia nights with friends, Rachel P." You are in the presence of coffee royalty. Also this smoothie tasted better than it photographed.

Adding to my general addiction to coffee, Caribou does a great job with marketing.  Their slogan is catchy: “Life is short. Stay awake for it.”  Their Facebook and Twitter accounts keep me up to date on sales and events.  The website, like the store itself, includes a trivia section and a section for suggestions.  And the new frequency cards were call-the-family newsworthy.

If I sound like a poster child for Caribou Coffee, it’s only because I am.  A few months ago, Caribou started a “What do you stay awake for?” campaign, and my submission is featured on the large cold cups.  The day I got an email saying my name would appear on “millions of cups” was one of the best of my life, at least until the frequency cards arrived.

Do I just love the product so much I couldn’t help but participate in their marketing campaign?  Or is their marketing campaign so good, I just couldn’t help but want to participate?  I honestly think it’s a little of both.  I don’t mind hitting the “like” button for a product I actually love, and I don’t mind a daily bit of marketing if it comes with a bit of fun.  And a bit of caffeine.