Yogurt & the 14-day Activia Challenge

I’m not sure if it was the money back guarantee or the fact that I was sick and tired of an upset belly on a daily basis, I tried the Activia 14 day Challenge. What did I have to lose ya know, especially since a 4-pack was on sale for $1.99 at Wegmans at the time.

Strawberry Activia

As most of you know, I just started writing professionally for Weight Lost Plans and as part of this week’s news assignment I decided to do a little research on probiotics and all their hype. First it’s important to understand that yogurt is made by introducing non-harmful bacteria into milk. All yogurts contain the starter cultures Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. It’s significant to also note that between these two bacterial, there are a number of strains, and studies show that all of these strains are associated with reducing diarrhea, which means yogurt on it’s own is naturally good for your digestive system. Recently though, several manufacturers of yogurt — and other products — are beginning to add extra probiotic strains to their products in the hopes of providing extra health benefits and improved marketability.

According to a Johns Hopkins health Alert, Dannon Activia was the first yogurt to market itself as “probiotic,” meaning that it has added live bacterial cultures. The added bacterial that it contains is called Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010, otherwise known as Bifidus Regularis, a proprietary strain trademarked by Dannon. The interesting thing about this strain is that it has been shown to survive the trip through the digestive tract and reach the colon intact.

And so it began for me – almost a month ago I began the challenge. At first I didn’t really notice much, but about 3 days in I realized that I ended the day with no cramps or bloating as I normally have. By the weekend I totally forgot my mid morning yogurt snack and by Sunday my belly was noticeably rumble-ly. HUH! Back to focus on Monday and through the next weekend, I was hooked. This yogurt was really doing the trick and to this day I’m still eating it. Marketing ploy or not, the 14-day Activia Challege worked for me!

I love Joan Holloway

Last night John and I watched the finale of MadMen, Season 3. We always end up watching the Sunday episode after it’s aired, so inevitably we hear comments about the episode on Monday morning (via twitter, facebook, and just general discussion.)

This episode WAS worth all the hype everyone was making over it. Not only was I glued to John’s new and very manly entertainment center (yes, it’s really amazing) it was funny! There were a few choice lines by Roger Sterling that really made me howl, more so than any other episode.

But now comes the waiting game, and I hate waiting. I want to know what happens with Sterling Cooper Draper Price NOW! *Sigh*, but in due time. I have been wondering what will happen with each of the characters. Who will be on the show, who’s off and what happens with Betty! Brian Moylan posted an interesting story yesterday outlining his idea of who’ll be back for the next season.

If nobody else, I want need Joan Harris (aka Holloway) to return. To be honest, I don’t even care if Don Draper HIMSELF returns. Joan is my all-time favorite character. I was so sad when she left Sterling Cooper. I was just about ready to throw the whole series out the window until she appeared in Episode 8 when Peter drops by the Bonwit Teller department store with Mrs. Lawrence’s dress and discovers that Joan has taken a supervisor’s job there.

Joan looking amazing at Bonwit Teller, as usual.
Joan looking amazing at Bonwit Teller, as usual.

There are many reasons why I love Joan, but here are my top 10:

1. She’s absolutely gorgeous.

2. She cultivates her curves.

3. She makes decisions and doesn’t think twice about them.

4. She never succumbs to male pressure (only when she can get pleasure out of it).

5. She’s got style:
“Try to stay away from pattern prints. Stick with solid colors. Your mother wears pattern prints, not you.”

6. She understands effective branding:
“Men like it when you smoke their brand. It makes them feel like you have something in common. Nothing is steamier than red gloss wrapped around your man’s favorite smoke. But when out with girls always smoke Pall Malls, Marlboros are for tramps.”

7. She’s blunt.
“Roger, if you had your way, I would be stranded in some paperweight with my legs stuck in the air.”

8. She offers great advice.
“Go home, take a paper bag, cut some eyeholes out of it. Put it over your head, get undressed and look at yourself in the mirror. Really evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses are. And be honest.”

9. She’s realistic.
“He may act like he wants a secretary, but most of the time they’re looking for something between a mother and a waitress.”

10. There’s no other Joan.

The Most Interesting Man in the World is ironic.

… and his tagline: Stay thirsty my friends. Wow, what a guy. I want to know him, don’t you?

So, how is it possible that the most interesting man in the world was created by an agency with the least interesting website in the world? That’s the ironic part. The agency that created the sweet ditty of a spot above is Euro RSCG Worldwide. Intrigued once I found their name linked to the commercial, I went to the Euro RSCG website. Not only is it in flash, but it has sound and has absolutely no call to action upon arrival (unless you consider the note in the upper right-hand corner a lame attempt). I digress, this post was really supposed to highlight the hilariousness of this fabulous commercial and not to knock on the agency that created. I just had to say, I did expect better.

Excellent use of Slang

jetBlue’s recent campaign to attract all the muckety-muck bigwigs is absolutely hilarous. I thoroughly enjoy the style of the writing. Actually, it kind of feels a little onion-ish which is probably why I like it so much. Here’s a brief snip-bit:

“We understand it’s not easy being a high flyer these days. The CFO is picking apart your expense reports. Congress is mad about your bonus. And you can’t even hop on a private jet to the Cayman Islands without freaking out the shareholders.”

This is my favorite of the three videos featured on the Welcome Bigwigs website. Totally awesome!! Thanks for the link ACheek!

This Whole “G” Thing

A couple of Monday nights ago I was indulging in some “tube” time with the cats and watching my boyfriend Jack Bauer on 24. I normally get up during the commercials, but Sirloin was sitting on my lap and I didn’t want to disturb her so I stuck it out. I’m glad I did because it presented me with today’s post. What the HECK is this Gatorade “G” thing and why are there creepy dudes wearing masks dancing to a voice over of lil Wayne?

Does anyone else find the end of this commercial slightly horrifying and have you ever heard of the JabbaWockeeZ? I’m either completely out of the know (unlikely) or there are a bunch of other people sitting in their living rooms thinking the same exact thing I did that night.

Either way I got sucked in enough to do a little research on this whole new “G” thing. According to Gatorade:

Gatorade G is the same scientifically formulated Gatorade Thirst Quencher that has provided advanced hydration and performance benefits to athletes and active people for more than 40 years. Gatorade Thirst Quencher has a new attitude, and we put the letter “G” front and center on our packaging, along with our iconic bolt. G represents the heart, hustle, and soul of athleticism – and is a badge of pride for anyone who sweats, no matter where they’re active.

So it’s the same exact drink. It’s the same scientifically formulated advanced hydration beverage and they admit it, but here’s the catch: It’s good advertising. Why? Because it sucked me in, to the point where I’m actually buying more Gatorade and drinking one right now! In fact, I was so sucked into the creepy dancing weirdos that I spent my free time looking up this information then blogging and twittering about it.

I think we can all learn something from Gatorade’s new ad. Illusion sells and it’s time to stop reinventing the wheel. As a consumer, when we think something’s different or new we try it. We might even trick ourselves into believing it’s different, or better, when really all that’s new is the packaging and sales approach. Kudos to Gatorade. They clearly get the idea: perception is reality.

Throwin’ it Back to the Kool Aid Guy (#14)

Oh yeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh the Kool Aid Guy! The commercials were absolutely ridiculous yet terrifying. A giant talking pitcher of fruit punch would come smashing through the wall screaming “OH YEEEEAAAAAH” and the kids would drink out of him! They loved him!

When I was little I thought Kool Aid was heaven in a cup. It was pure sugary goodness in any flavor you like. The packets were available in a rainbow of colors, and I usually chose according to color. My mom absolutely hated Kool Aid. She didn’t make it very much, “There’s too much sugar in it and it will rot your teeth out,” was her usual reason. So when we got Kool Aid it was usually at a friend’s house, but Mom always knew. We’d come home with a “Kool Aid smile” which is that horrible pink line it always made right above your top lip. Mom would just shake her head and remind us how our teeth were going to rot away and fall out. Mom was always good at scaring us into believing her.

So in case you don’t recall here’s a quick video of the Kool Aid Guy on Family Guy. It’s random yet hilarious!

So in the event you’re at the grocery store tonight or this weekend, swing by the juice isle. Take a walk down Kool Aid memory late and wave at the Kool Aid Guy who’s on the packet of the sugary delight. Keep walking though, that stuff will rot your teeth out!

Super Bowl Trivia Day #4

Let’s face it. The Super Bowl wouldn’t be such a popular event if it weren’t for the “entertainment factor.” Now, to some this may mean getting a glimpse of Janet Jackson’s boob, for others it means watching the commercials as closely as they watch the game.

Trivia or not, getting ad space during the Super Bowl is no small sale item. A mere 3 mil for a half-minute spot comes to about $100,000 a second (and I’d suggest reading that again purely for shock value). As I need not point out, these are tough economic times, which makes 3 mil no small figure to digest. This causes me to wonder. Will brands that indulge in this year’s Super Bowl media consumption ultimately turn off consumers long before they have a chance to push their product with a 30 second spot? Probably so, especially if the advertiser’s company happens to be pink-slipping the average Americans who can no longer afford to buy their brand name chips, dips, beers and cell phones. Thankfully, the numb nuts at GM got it right. They’ve decided not to spend 3 mil on ad space this year. I wonder if that’s because their private jets ate up the advertising budget or if they feel guilty since American’s tax dollars are currently bailing out their sorry asses?

And I’m off my soap box… my bad.

Back to the trivia. Here are four of the most noteworthy (according to Innerspaeth) Super Bowl commercials starting in 1973 when Noxzema “creamed” Joe Nameth’s face.

Second, in 1980 Coca-Cola turned Steelers defensive lineman “Mean Joe Greene” into a softy.

Third and probably most legendary is the famous introduction of “The Macintosh” by Apple in 1984.

“Nothin’ but net” aired in 1993 as Michael Jordan and Larry Bird play a game of HORSE to see which would win the Burger from McDonalds.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen these commercials. Yet another excellent addition to the Super Bowl Trivia latter…