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Just Desserts

Just Desserts

Be True to Your Brew

A 67-year-old Chicago area man plans to spend eternity in true-brew style, reports the Associated Press. He has had a custom-made casket constructed for himself that looks like a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, his favorite brew. Good thing he wasn't so fond of boil-in-a-bag soups.

Can this be a marketing coup for the Pabst Brewing Co.? After all, how many products command loyalty through eternity?

Lord knows, Pabst could use some marketing oomph. Once one of the country's foremost brewers, it began losing market share after World War II and pretty much had its clock cleaned by competitors that embraced mass merchandising and product diversification in the 70s and 80s. Heck, Pabst doesn't even do its own brewing anymore — that job is now licensed out to Miller.

On the other hand, being associated with death is probably not a great marketing move unless you're an undertaker or a hangman. In fact, since the beer can casket guy is reportedly about 280 lbs. despite being only 5'9”, Pabst may want to stay as far from any association with his mortality as possible. No telling how much of that extra tonnage is a legacy of his taste for Pabst.

Our unsolicited advice to the marketing folks at Pabst: let this story rest in peace.

Black, the New Blue

South Korea has many interesting traditions, but perhaps none stranger than “Black Day,” April 14th. Coming two months after Valentine's Day, it is a day in which the lovelorn traditionally dress in black and commiserate over bowls of black food, typically noodles topped with a black bean paste sauce. We're not sure how that is supposed to make you feel better, but perhaps that isn't the point.

Black Day has become perhaps the most successful of South Korea's marketer-manufactured romance-related holidays, which fall successively on the 14th of each month and are associated with different colors.

For example, there is White Day (March 14th), when guys are supposed to give gifts to their gals, returning the favor of Valentine's Day, when women traditionally give gifts to men in South Korea.

Then there is Green Day — August 14th — when couples are supposed to drink cheap liquor (typically sold in green bottles in South Korea) and wander the woods together. Inexplicably, Green Day has not caught on, except perhaps among romantically inclined hobos.

Black Day, on the other hand, has spurred the imaginations of the country's marketers, reports Reuters. They've trotted out a bevy of themed events ranging from speed dating over sushi blackened with squid ink, to a speed eating competition (of black noodles, of course) for those who purchase single movie tickets. Needless to say, Black Day is also available as a theme meal idea for American foodservice directors with some imagination and a large population of lovelorn diners.

Belt Tightening at LAPD

The Los Angeles Police Dept. has reportedly become the first in the country to hire a full-time diet coach for its officers and recruits, reports the Associated Press. The challenge for Registered Dietitian Rana Parker is to convince cops on duty to forego those fast food meals and c-store stops in favor of energy bars, fruit and PB&J sandwiches.

And for the LAPD, any success at reining in waistlines would represent not just an image boost, but potential cost savings as well, on uniform material and police cruiser suspensions.

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