Recently Maker’s Mark announced it would be watering down and cutting the alcohol content of its famous libation from 45% to 42% in an order to extend current supplies to meet global demand. It turned out it’s not so easy to make decisions like that in the this day and age – regardless of supply and demand concerns.
This is another example of how the brand experience is shifting in today’s hyper connected, social world. Gone are the days where a brand can make autonomous and discreet decisions about their own business based on market demand and conditions. We are now in an era where consumers own brands in ways they never have before. Not only is the huge groundswell that all those voices can bring to bear on a brand unprecedented – but the SPEED at which those voices can undo business decisions is even more impressive and mind boggling.
Makers Mark not only conceded it was a bad decision to water down their 60 year old formula, they also conceded that they don’t own their brand – that their consumers do. And that’s even bigger news.
Those that know me well know that I have a long standing disdain (fury, really) for the new ‘safety’ measures the TSA requires us to follow when traveling on airplanes. You know, no more shampoo or hairspray than what a 3 oz bottle will hold. And no more than a 1 quart bag full of those tiny 3 oz bottles or we’re in an unregulated safety nightmare!! And if you don’t know – and your $300 Creme de la Mer face lotion is in a 4 oz container in your carry-on, well… you know what happens next.
Waste. Total and utter waste. Trash cans in airports across the land brimming to the top with perfectly harmless liquids that will enter the landfill. And for no more ‘safety’ than if you were able to bring your Suave Extra-Super-Hold hairspray on board to help you style your hair when you land in Chicago. Seriously. Time and time again – we have seen reports of people who purposefully try (and succeed!) in bringing knives, shivs, prison shanks and other potentially harmful items on flights. All the time. In a reality where far more deaths are caused by guns (Aurora, anyone?) you can still get them almost anywhere without much effort – anytime. But Suave on a plane? Well, Suave might kill people.
This issue was raised for me again this past weekend in a different way – at an EDM (electronic dance music for the novices – like me) show in Santa Monica. Apparently these shows are known for rampant drug use and security takes drastic measures to make the environment ‘safe.’ Such as making me throw out my $30 lipstick case because it wasn’t sealed. Apparently in the past – maybe lipstick cases have been a vehicle to smuggle some sort of drugs in? Must be – and now I am in dire need of a trip to the Mac store while a perfectly good lipstick is on its way to the Puente Hills Landfill.
The problem with this is – there was still a room full of hundreds of people who were on drugs. Some of them might have taken them before they came in (shocker!). Some of them maybe put them in let’s say…a pocket. Their shoe. Maybe a sock. In their bra? Or in a myriad of other places security wasn’t even checking. They were basically only looking in purses and wallets, patting pockets – and that’s it. Asking people to throw away innocuous and random items for no real reason at all. And there was likely little to no increase in our ‘safety’ because of it. In fact, there was a guy who sparked up a joint right next to me during the show. Good thing he didn’t try to smuggle that in with a lipstick case!
So, for the greater good, we can add my lipstick to the tip of the trash mountain that also contains hundreds of thousands of unopened bottles of water, hairspray, shampoo, shaving cream and god forbid – Creme de la Mer face lotion – that enters our landfills every month in the name of ‘safety.’
What a waste.
Today New York City became the first city to ban the sale of large size soft drinks. Awesome! We’re all going to be healthy and skinny now! Right?
Probably not. And all this really does is make something that should be a personal judgment or choice into something government is telling citizens it can’t do. I think it is an alarming trend. Instead of focusing on the way we grow and distribute food – we’re legally limiting personal choice. We should be asking why.
In a world where industrialized agriculture is doing damage in ways we never even dreamed possible, instead of taking measures to improve the way we farm, grow, slaughter and deliver our food to the masses – we’re just saying you can buy the same old crap, just in smaller amounts. What a waste. And what’s the point?
So next time you’re in New York City – I hope you don’t need your soda fix.
Citizenship. Not only an immigration status but a behavior. A way of operating in society. A word for a person’s rights, privileges and responsibility to that society.
One of the most basic, simple and fundamental rights of citizenship has always been the right (and some would say responsibility) to vote. Until now. A disturbing movement to make it more and more difficult to vote at the polls seems to be making its way through many of the critical swing states this election. The most stringent of which has been passed in Pennsylvania – the very seat of the birth of this nation.
The problem with this? It doesn’t help with voter fraud almost at all, and “voter fraud” is a non-existent, red herring issue. If we really wanted to combat voter fraud – we would probably be better served to focus on absentee ballots. Although I don’t think we should do that either. What these laws focus on is disenfranchising voters that are usually overwhelmingly Democrat. And that should be criminal.
Why are we disenfranchising voters and rigging elections in swing states? Why are the parties not simply standing on their platform, vision and proposed policies for our nation? State your beliefs and let the country vote with the platform they most believe will bring us a better day and a better country.
We’ve lost our way here. The founding fathers are definitely rolling in their graves. And we as a people need to stand up and demand better. We don’t need to agree – but winning at all costs and by any means necessary shouldn’t be the new normal. Candidates should win or lose based on their politics and leadership – not by rigging the game.
Let’s demand a fair fight. And may the best man win.
What does pro-life really look like? Providing help and services to those AFTER they are born. Healthcare. Daycare. Food stamps if needed.
Please don’t legislate that a human exists once cells start to divide while simultaneously denying resources and access to the things that will keep that baby well cared for if the parents are unable or even unwilling.
That is irresponsible. If you’re in for one, you need to be in for both.
Orthodox Jewish people don’t believe people should eat pork – but they don’t try to legislate against it.
Personal trainers don’t believe people should be fat – but they don’t try to legislate against it.
Teetotallers don’t think people should drink alcohol – and if they tried to legislate against it they’d be laughed out of Washington.
You get the point…
Why, then, is it ok for a woman’s uterus to be legislated? For a person’s marital status to be legislated? Why can’t we all have our own values, honor them, live by them – but let others live by their own as well? Why can’t we maintain mutual respect for each other instead of trying to control each other. Who is to say that on another planet, maybe in a parallel universe – male/female matrimony isn’t an “abomination?”
It’s all relative folks. We should love and accept each other. If it isn’t hurting you personally – consider butting out.
While I don’t mind having God in our churches – I definitely don’t want God in our government. Anywhere.
Bill Clinton also gave a great speech at the 2012 DNC. I’d love to give a top 10 to him as well, but he’s got a #1 instead:
“Nobody’s right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day. …knowing we’re never going to be right all the time but hoping we’re right twice a day.”
Ok, and one more. #1 1/2: “When times are tough… what works in the real world is cooperation.”
Miss you Bill. Really miss you.
My favorite things about Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2012 DNC Convention:
- The dress
- Stevie Wonder
- The personal anecdotes
- The love
- The humor
- The positivity
- The dignity
- The honesty
- The poignancy
- The words patience, wisdom, courage and grace
Yes Michelle. This is the long game. Glad you and your husband are in it with us – even if we don’t always agree.
For those that have read my post about my previous half marathon, you might wonder why I would ever sign up to put myself thru that again. Glutton for punishment I guess, but here I am training for the next race – the LA Rock N’ Roll Half.
After almost a month away from exercising at all (on the road for work and vacation) I came back this week with not-so-much-of-a-vengeance. My first run back was a 4 miler that was fairly brutal followed by a 6 miler today that I was not only NOT looking forward to, but it was a self fulfilling prophecy of exercise brutality!
I wanted to skip today because I knew I’d suck. And I’ve noticed sometimes I stop myself from going out because I am afraid I won’t be able to cover the distance or clock the pace I think I should be. Today, I thought I’d come in at a 12+ minute mile and the thought wasn’t welcome. And sure enough when I went out I had to let myself stop several times and walk a bit. But the surprise? My pace WAS 12:06 and it was ok. I still covered my 6 miles and right now, my pace doesn’t matter. I’ll get back there. The important part for me is in defying that voice that says I can’t do it the way I want and getting out there anyway.
What is that little voice saying to you that stops you from doing what you want, need or should be doing?