Monday, 30 June 2008

Marketing Mania

So, right across South East Asia "Diet" Coke has been abolished and replaced with "Coca Cola Light". Sara Jessica Parker is flogging it to death and everyone's happy. So, why then is it still called "Diet Coke" here? Surely the word 'diet' has been discredited so much in the last few years that it's no longer a viable naming option.

Of course Wikipedia knows all,

* In the United States and Canada, the soft drink is called Diet Coke.
* In most of Europe, the drink is marketed as Coca-Cola Light, but often referred to as Cola or Cola Light. Coca-Cola has tried to discourage the use of these generic terms, and commercials refer only to "Coke Light" or "Coca-Cola Light."
* In French-speaking Canada it is called Coke Di├Ęte.
* In Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic it is called Diet Coca-Cola.
* In Italy, the name Diet Coke was used until the early 1990s.
* In Mexico, Central, South America and most of the Caribbean it is called Coca-Cola Light.
* In many English-influenced non-English markets e.g. Chile and Israel, it is called Diet Coca-Cola. That was also the case in Scandinavia and Japan although the name Diet Coke was also used until it was changed recently to Coca-Cola Light.
* In Japan it has been called No Calorie Coca-Cola since April 2007.
* In India it is called Diet Coca-Cola. After much campaigning against Coca-Cola in India, Coca-Cola still sells well in Chennai and other cities.

Of course, it's all clear now - their marketing department here are sucking up to the Americans.

P.S - What the fark is Coca-Cola C2? Sounds more like a plastic explosive than a soft drink.

Tune Watch

Why wait for the end of the year to find out what you should be listening to now? In no particular order we present six of the tracks to have watched out for in the first half of the year - or December last year if you want to be pedantic.

Neon Neon - Michael Douglas

Lethal Bizzle - The Come Up

Elbow - The Fix

Ida Maria - Stella

The Hollows - Why

REM - Supernatural Superserious

Your suggestions on anything I might have missed in the comments please...

Master of Disaster

Anyone else see Robert Mugabe's election 'acceptance' speech? The old crunt is so crooked that he not only had to read the lot off a few pieces of paper (as, obviously an autocue would blow the budget so late in the financial year) but when he got to the bit about faithfully upholding the office he struggled through it as if even he didn't believe it. Twat.

Friday, 27 June 2008

International Security Advisor

Hi punters, I'm back. Did you miss me? Of course not, because you probably hadn't even noticed I'd left.

Anyway, after a hot run through South East Asia with absolutely no objectionable goods strapped to my lower intestine I'd like to give the run down of the following customs and immigration angles.

Darwin (leaving) - Four fat blokes and a woman all with moustaches. Absolutely no idea what was going on

Singapore (arriving) - For a country that is exceedingly keen on necking people for bring drugs in they're also exceedingly lax in actually checking if you have any. Once you get past immigration and collect your bag there are, as always doors for "Something To Declare" and "Nothing To Declare". Once you walk out of the Nothing to Declare one you're out of the terminal and have gotten away with it scot free. No thought of a sniffer dog? No putting the heat on just a little bit? No, they've got absolutely no interest whatsoever. Hillariously airlines still wait until the seatbelt sign has gone and landing has commenced before they remind you that carrying gear leads to a death sentence.

Singapore (leaving) - Even going out on a bus they showed far more urgency for departing passengers than they did arriving ones. Loss of the pissy white piece of paper they give you upon arrival will lead to interrogations and near misses of your bus.

Malaysia (arriving) - No interest whatsoever. Sure it was a bus station, but still they could afford to put some excitement into the process. Once more as long as you didn't crack up you could quite easily walk in the door with an AK-47 and 12 pounds of heroin. Barlow and Chambers my arse.

Malaysia (departing) - Even less interest. We were ten minutes late for our flight and they couldn't have been any more helpful in just letting us wander straight past the counter with nothing but a stamp.

Thailand (arriving) - More what you'd expect. A few guys with machine guns and a dog here or there. They want to give you the impression that they're really keen to bang you away in a roach infested prison for a few years.

Thailand (departing) - Relatively pissweak. No real interest other than just stamping the passport and sending you on your merry way.

Darwin (arriving) - Hello Guantanomo Bay! I'm all for national security and border protection but this might have been just a little bit over the top. Firstly they opened one counter for Australian passport holders (80% of the flight) and three for everyone else. Cue a bit of "bloody foreigners" sentiment amongst the tolerant waiting Aussies.

Then once we got past there we were bailed up by the first customs officer for a bit of an informal chat. Where have you been, what have you do done, are you up to anything even slightly dodgy etc.. As I had a shitload of pirated CD's in my bag I was moderately concerned at the last statement, but soon realised they couldn't give a toss. Downstairs and we were immediately bailed up by the next customs officer for the same drill. "No sir, I do not have 30,000 ecstasy tablets inserted in any unmentionable orifice - may I go now?" Yes you may, about five metres before you get the same routine AGAIN. They weren't even pretending to be subtle about it now. Then the Quarantine guy did the same and went through my bags. Well, opened it and had a look in anyway. Everyone else seemed to be going through an X-Ray machine but after he'd had a cursory glance inside he waved me on. I even offered to X-Ray it but there was no interest. Remember, if you're up to something dubious in Darwin make sure you declare some pissy wooden picture frame so that you can get away with all your other scams.

I suppose they've got a point. If you were going to come back with something dodgy on you you'd probably think that Darwin would be a safer bet for getting away with it than Melbourne or Sydney. They had pretty much everything that you'd get in the 'big city' except for the sniffer dogs. Keep this in mind if you're "up to something" kids.

DISCLAIMER: TSP does not encourage you to be "up to anything" anywhere. When we travel to Bali we shop at Denpasar Boogie Boards - where you get 10% more every time.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

International Correspondant

Greetings from a beach somewhere in South East Asia. Well, not actually on the beach - but hand me a computer that I can connect to the net to from a deckchair and I'm in - upon my return (23rd?) I promise* a full and frank TSP revival! Get into it.

* Non-core