Doing Everything Advertising Tells You
MIKE PESCA, host:
You know historians, and this is sort of not popular way to look at history - these days. But historians - kind of divide or look at turning points in history - you know, important events - usually battles or elections where everything could be separated to a before and after.
I'm kind of that way with the bacon salt - like, my life is a little different before bacon salt, now, after bacon salt. Add Ian Chillag is here and Laura's here, and Tricia's here - you had a lot of the bacon salt.
IAN CHILLAG: Yeah.
PESCA: You've handled the bacon salt.
CHILLAG: Yeah, and that was...
PESCA: How did that change your life?
CHILLAG: Well, I was surprised. Actually I - you know, I thought it would make things taste like bacon. It's surprisingly difficult to remove bacon salt once you've brought it into your life. I had a - I had some vigorous washing of my hands last night to get the smell off - and I still, there was still a soapy bacon environment in my house. It's pretty gross, yeah.
PESCA: Could you - do you wash it with just regular soap and water?
CHILLAG: Well had I had lava - you know, gritty soap (unintelligible).
PESCA: I was thinking maybe you could actually scrub.
TRICIA MCKINNEY: How much product placement are we going to do on this show?
PESCA: You could scrub the bacon - actual bacon onto your skin, and it could perhaps counteract the effects of the bacon salt.
PESCA: And how those properties work.
CHILLAG: In the end.
PESCA: Stickiness is a web concept - should be called, bacon saltiness from now on.
LAURA CONOWAY: No.
PESCA: OK, Succinct. Tricia McKinney - your life after bacon. How'd it change you?
MCKINNEY: Not really changed my life in any way. I'm kind of still dealing with the aftertaste, I have to admit.
PESCA: Yeah. I thought we all like it - persistent.
MCKINNEY: I liked it.
PESCA: OK. Oh, we were just with the guys.
CHILLAG: Too much of a good thing. That's what I learned from bacon salt.
PESCA: All right.
CONOWAY: But it's persistent Tricia, the taste is persistent?
MCKINNEY: It's persistent. I have it right now.
PESCA: Let us now remember fondly the bacon salt era, but put it behind us. Let us move into a new era - an era where we talk to our web editor, Laura Conoway, and her multitudinous friends in our On the Site segment. Sometimes we have some music for that, and there it is.
(Soundbite of music)
PESCA: Hello Laura. What have you brought for us today?
CONOWAY: Today I just want to say the Facebook newsletter is going out. You still have time to join inside the group.
PESCA: You mean it's like - it's either in or out? It's on its way out?
CONOWAY: It's going out in the mail.
PESCA: Whose letter's going out?
CONOWAY: To 995 inboxes', today. We are about to cross the 1000 mark. If you want to sign up for our Facebook group you can do that at npr.org/bbpfacebook - the thing goes out around two o'clock. So, sign up - you'll get it.
JEANNE BARON: Wait, can I say something?
BARON: That's considered bacon. Because if you sign up for something.
MCKINNEY: If it's going to your inbox it's not spam, it's bacon?
CONOWAY: You won't need that bacon salt. We're going to send you some actual bacon.
CONOWAY: We had a thread yesterday about the end of neckties. I just always thought that guys suffered in them. I think they look hot in them, but they seem to suffer in them. I was amazed by them.
PESCA: You mean - they look warm, they're body...
MCKINNEY: Hot, with one T.
CONOWAY: I think they look.
PESCA: Oh - You're thinking of Paris Hilton.
CONOWAY: I think they are attractive.
MCKINNEY: Oh - with two T's. OK.
PESCA: I couldn't tell.
CONOWAY: Well, it was very interesting to see some of what the people said about suffering in neck ties. One person wrote, "I believe ties were put on this earth to remind men of Adam's fall from grace," said, Mathew Scallan (ph).
PESCA: That could be the mark of Cain right there.
CONOWAY: And another person says, "When I wear them my head starts to feel all hot, and bloated, think Mr. Mackey from, "South Park." " That's from Ron Barrow (ph).
CHILLAG: You know I never learned to tie a tie properly - I've never, it's always crooked. And I try and cover it up by kind of pulling the collar down, but it's always tilted.
PESCA: I'm going to tell tale out of school - I do some sports coverage, and NBA superstar Zac Randolph who stands seven foot tall has a guy tie his tie before the game. And afterwards, he just slips it on and knots it up.
CHILLAG: Is this the tie - Oh, OK. He's not the tier - doesn't have to reach up.
PESCA: He doesn't have a food taster.
PESCA: No. If he ties the tie - the tie stays in his locker, then he knots it up - post fact.
MCKINNEY: So Ian, I hear you have something of a quest?
CHILLAG: Yes. Last week, I was drinking a beer from Brooklyn brewery - a little more product placement. And it said on the bottle, Come to our breweries - Saturday between 12:00 and 5:00. And I looked at it, and I said to my girlfriend, Nora, Nora we should go to the Brooklyn brewery - you know, between 12:00 and 5:00, on Saturday. And I immediately thought Oh my God, what if I did everything that packaging and advertising told me to do. What would my life be like? And so, I'm going to try that for a week starting right now.
There are going to be some limits on this, because I don't want to have to go overseas. And one thing I saw soon after the beer bottle told me to visit an historic Tuscan villa. So I'm limited to 10 dollars a day and I don't want anyone to get hurt, emotionally or physically.
CONOWAY: Is there any packaging that tells you to hurt other people? Well I just think - like...
PESCA: Well, Do the Dew can be interpreted - to you know...
CHILLAG: OK. A lot of their stuff can be - a lot of it's very vague, and that's the stuff I'm interested in. Like just do it. I don't know what, but...
PESCA: Depending on what it was - like, what if there is an annoying guy on the side walk next to you. What does just do it mean? Context is a lot of it.
PESCA: This is awesome, and what form will your reporting on this take?
CHILLAG: Well, I'm going to kind of keep a journal of it on the blog from time to time over the next week, and then we can kind of debrief on the radio once it's all over.
PESCA: Are you basically guaranteed to give us all internet viruses - just giving click here.
CHILLAG: Yeah. Well, that I think gets into no one gets hurt. And so - you know, we need a firewall arrangement.
CONOWAY: I've got one first to start for you right here. Come to Starbucks for a free new song, daily - product placement.
MCKINNEY: Wait I brought one. I have this hanging up in my cubicle, and so you have to do what says. You have to hop on down.
(Soundbite of laughter)
MCKINNEY: To bunny town. It's in your heart, Ian.
CHILLAG: Yeah, how do I do this? I can hop - definitely. But where is bunny town?
MCKINNEY: In your heart. No, it's actually on TV. So I think you can just the remote.
PESCA: Wait, are you advocating a cardiac arrhythmia, for Ian?
MCKINNEY: You have to hope while you use the remote, I think.
CHILLAG: Yeah, definitely do some hopping.
PESCA: We shouldn't tell too many people about this, because they'll just inundate you with the suggestions.
CHILLAG: You know what - I invite everyone in the web world and on here on the show to make this as difficult and horrible for me as possible.
(Soundbite of laughter)
MCKINNEY: Oh man.
PESCA: He's thrown down the gauntlet.
MCKINNEY: You do not know what you're asking for.
MCKINNEY: Serving suggestions.
PESCA: All right and that's a great stunt or a piece of journalism as it were and that is also it for this hour of the BPP. We're online always at npr.org/bryanpark - I'm Mike Pesca and this was the Bryant Park Project from NPR News, and will continue to be.