Old Spice Guy Now Shilling For Israeli Beer in Most Genius Commercial Ever

Maccabee, an Israeli beer, isn’t exactly known for being, well, flavorful. To that end, the company that brews it decided that the way to sell more beers was not to re-formulate the taste. No, that would be too simple.

Instead, they decided to hire the Old Spice Guy (aka former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa) to question what exactly it means to “taste,” with sweeping images of families, souffles, and was there an eagle in there? I’m not sure.

It really is 1/3 marketing genius, and 2/3 Chewbacca Defense.



Lululemon Part 2: CEO Says The Only Testing Method Is ‘Put the Pants On and Bend Over’

The lululemon yoga pants saga is now really starting to get weird. Lucky for us, lululemon held its fourth quarter FY2012 earnings call today, just a few days after announcing that due to a manufacturing error its famous yoga pants are essentially see-through.

CEO Christine Day used the opportunity to address some of the concerns from financial analysts, stressing that the company was taking its customer’s concerns seriously and doing everything it could to address the issue. Specifically, she said that the company is “working with [its] suppliers to do some additional testing of any old stock” that it has, before too many see-through pairs of pants hit store shelves.

That’s all very well and good, I suppose. Company sees a problem, company fixes a problem. Sam Poser, an analyst at Sterne, Agee, & Leach, got to the crux of the matter though with his question:

Secondly, I guess the question is this I understand that you don’t’ understand how this exactly happened, but I guess the question is how did it get to where it would shipping without somebody trying on a pair of pants, would you like the first batch to make sure that this wasn’t an issue, and stopping it before it got so out of control and then what is going to be sort of do you see as the incremental cost of adding the different people, the new QA and so on and so forth at the different factories and so on to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.

CEO Christine Day responded (bolding mine):

The truth of the matter is that the only way that you can actually test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over. So, just putting the pants on themselves doesn’t solve the problem. So because it passed all of the basic metric tests and the hand feel is relatively the same. So, it was very difficult for the factories to isolate the issue and it wasn’t until we got into the store and started putting it on people that we could actually see the issue.

That’s right, the only method the company has for testing for what has amounted to the largest recall in its history, is to have women put the pants on and bend over.

It brings up fantastical connotations of legions of factory workers lining up, bending over, and then a Women’s Bottoms Inspector General lines up and… you get the idea. It also brings up some questions- does Lululemon plan on introducing new quality testing techniques for its luon pants? What kind of methods are being introduced? If there are no new standards that are to be introduced, how does the company plan on doing what I presume is the large-scale testing necessary for evaluating the scope of the issue? What are the industry accepted standards for this type of testing?

So I e-mailed Lululemon to find out. Their response:

We do not have information beyond what was discussed on the call at this time.

I called Sam Poser to see if he had any idea what lululemon was doing, since they could not comment further. His response was that they messed up.

Except he didn’t say “messed.”



LuLu Lemon Yoga Pants Too Yoga Pantsy, Company Says

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Yoga pants, known the world over for making young men say things like “yooogaaaa paaaaants,” and “YOGA PANTS,” are often worn for stretching exercises, like yoga, and often not worn for stretching exercises, like exhibitionism.

Unfortunately, a batch seems to have gone out where you can now see too much bottom, in these pants in which you show off your bottom, which is leading to shortages, droughts, and mass panic:

lululemon athletica inc. (Nasdaq: LULU) notified guests that we expect a shortage in our supply of black Luon pants and crops.

We have determined that certain shipments of product received from our factories and available in store from March 1, 2013 do not meet our technical specifications. The items affected are certain styles of women’s bottoms in our signature black Luon fabric. The ingredients, weight and longevity qualities of the pants remain the same but the coverage does not, resulting in a level of sheerness in some of our women’s black Luon bottoms that falls short of our very high standards.

Let’s just notice that they specify that it is “certain styles of women’s bottoms” that are affected, which is a bit ambiguous, rather than a more specific “certain styles of women’s pants.”

Hmmm, yes. Interesting word choice.


Read the press release over at TheStreet.com

Photo credit: lulemon athletica on Flickr

Mississippi Sticks It To The Man, Passes Anti-Bloomberg Bill

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Mississippi is a state commonly known for voting for candidates like recently departed governor Haley Barbour, also known as That Politician Guy From O Brother Where Art Thou, No Not The One With The Dwarf, The Other One Who Likes To Sing Old Timey Songs About Sunshine, so it’s not really known as the home of anarchists everywhere.

That being said, they just saw the rich man with that New York sense of humor (wink, nudge, Jew) going around wanting be all healthy and such, and dang nabbit there’s no way they’re gonna let some guy in New York who has zero jurisdiction in Mississippi tell people in Mississippi what to do! So they’re passing a law known as the “Anti-Bloomberg Bill” prohibiting people from gently encouraging other people not to be fat.

It would ban communities from requiring restaurants to post calorie counts on menus or limit portion sizes, as Mayor Bloomberg tried to do with his proposed ban on large sodas.  Also forbidden: any local rule banning toys from being distributed with kids’ meals.

The governor is expected to sign it.

In what must be a totally unrelated story, Mississippi is officially the most obese state in the nation.


Read more at the NY Daily News.

Photo credit: Flickr user Fhardseen

Popped Collars Are Back, WSJ Proudly Reports



Dspite reporting on all things Wall Street, and thus most things Frat Bro, the Wall Street Journal has just discovered the trend of upturned collars.

Don’t panic: This doesn’t mean a full-on return of the 1980s preppy look indelibly associated with the popped collar. The modern upturned collar is a nonchalant flourish meant to give an outfit a little flair.

Yes, don’t panic! The proverbial “popped collar,” which most people who play lacrosse have been sporting since at least 2004 on their pink Lacoste shirt, just gives some more pieces of flair. Thanks, WSJ, for explaining that.

But hey, in other news, the dollar is back! America is also back! America!


Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

Republicans Can’t Find A Black Guy

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Oooooo boy. The GOP just can’t get itself together can it? At this year’s annual conservative policy conference known as CPAC, where there are no gays allowed!, Slate correspondent David Weigel thought to take a picture of the lovely little backdrop against which notable luminaries will be speaking. There, on the backdrop, is Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms, clip art of a black guy, Phyllis Schlafly… Wait. Clip art of a black guy?

A seven-panel display, paying tribute to decades of conservatism and conservative heroes. Strangely missing from the display: Any black conservatives. From the left, in my pic below [ed.- above], you can see (first panel) William F. Buckley, Phyllis Schlafly, and Ron Paul supporter; and (second panel) former American Conservative Union President David Keene, above… clip art. That’s clip art of a smiling black guy talking to an Asian woman.

C’mon GOP! I’m sure you can get one person in a slightly darker shade than “cream.” What about this lady?

Also, underneath the heading “America’s Future,” it’s all images of dead people. That’s deep, GOP.


Read more at Slate.

Photo Credit: David Weigel/Slate



Bad Touch: Iranian President In Trouble For Consoling Grieving Mother

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, commonly known for not being nice, is now in trouble for being too nice.

Ahmadinejad was photographed touching hands and cheeks with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s mother after he died last week, consoling her over what must be a terrible loss.  This did not sit well with the clerics, as the New York Times reports:

To Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s critics in the West, the image of him clasping hands with the grief-stricken mother of Hugo Chávez at her son’s funeral last week in Caracas might have seemed like a rare glimpse of a firebrand politician’s softer side. But the clerics who rule Iran saw something very different: proof that the Islamic Republic’s official representative had flouted that nation’s absolute ban on physical contact between unrelated men and women.

Unfortunately for even the president of the country, physical contact between the sexes is illegal unless the woman is drowning or is in need of medical attention.  Death to Ahmadinejad then, I suppose.

Perhaps the most grievous crime that he committed, however, is not the physical contact, but rather the emotional one.  Mohammad Taghi Rahbar, the Friday prayer leader in Isfahan, sternly told the Mehr news service (via The Week)

Hugging or expressing emotions is improper for the dignity of the president of a country like the Islamic Republic of Iran.


I have been told that Iran is usually full of warm and friendly people. Just saying.


Photo Credit: Miraflores Palace