The Consumer Category
We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.
SUCH a joy to be back among you, especially given the egregious state of blogging these days. I can but do my best, permitting you a glimpse of Arcati’s ancient soul which bubbles with spite and acuity and long memory, though I dress it all up in a sage’s garb and vocabulary of daunting endowment. Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, I shall be publishing a naked Prince Harry artwork – by a former mayor (only the best on Arcati). But before that exciting controversy, I wish to do what we all do these days – and offer you my ass.
Read the rest of this entry »
IN a story on how hotdogs are making a comeback to the street of London, the Evening Standard’s Danny Buckland speaks with the founder of a company called Bubbledogs, the eatery that “led the way with its breakthrough restaurant in Charlotte Street, which now attracts queues for tables”.
He speaks with Sandia Chang, who opened Bubbledogs:
“I think a lot of people were surprised because the last time they experienced hot dogs it was not very nice processed food. But we use 110 per cent beef or pork and it is a world away from the hot dogs of old. I think hot dogs will get even more popular and there will be more restaurants serving them.”
SENSE About Science is “a charitable trust that equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in public discussion”. Science matters. Government quote it when they want to control what you teach, eats and watch.
There are dangers in politicising science.
SAB sees “leading scientists, toxicologists and dieticians debunk common chemical misconceptions.” They’ve produced these posters about what we eat.
VIFIT is the dairy drink from Dutch company Friesland Campina that, if this advert is to be believed, will turn women who look at it into strippers and men who drink it off sex.
DID you watch the film 12 Years A Slave and think ‘ nice threads, dude’?
You did. Because someone at Sainsbury’s heard your mind whirring and started offering shoppers the chance to dress like a black slave in the American deep south. You don’t need to be black to get the look. Sure it helps. But we don’t doubt that Sainsbury’s sensitive shop assistants at its Heyford Hill, Oxford, branch can direct you to boot polish section.
AS early as the 1920s, art historian and junior doctor Hans Prinzhorn recognized the talent in his patients at the Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic, and began collecting their works. The world-renowned Prinzhorn Collection at Heidelberg’s University Hospital now contains over 5,000 drawings, oil paintings, wood carvings and textile works.
ONCE upon a time, Guinness was gut fuhrer Nazi boys and girls. The drinks brand marketed the black brew to the black shirts with the slogan:
“Es ist Zeit für ein Guinneß!”
‘WE Go To The Gallery’ is artist Miriam Elia’s twist on Ladybird children’s books Peter & Jane.
IT’S a generally accepted bit of health woo that there are good animal fats and bad ones. The nice tasty kind, lard, beef dripping and so on are very bad for you: cause a heart attack as soon as you look at them. There’s also the good ones, like from fish, seal and whale blubber, known as Omega 3 fatty acids. These must be good for you because they taste like crap.
And thus we get thousands of people waxing rich on flogging us fish pills to protect our hearts.
There’s even some sciency bits behind this. For researchers did declare that Inuit (aka Eskimos to us less than PC types) had low levels of heart disease because they ate all that fish and whale blubber.
FEMININE hygiene adverts prior to the late 1960s basically depicted menstruation as a shameful curse, a sickening burden upon womankind. By the time the Baby Boomers started needing these products en masse, a revolution in feminine hygiene was underway. There was still a sense of shame in these adverts, but now it was all about offering new features (i.e. “It’s flushable!). While this may not be the most appealing topic you’ve ever read about, the advertising is still rather interesting and even a little humorous. Take a look at a few examples.
“Gotta Get This Tampon Out Of Sight!” - Pursettes
This tale of woe recounts the abominable shame experienced by a cheerleader when her purse hits the ground spilling out (gasp!) tampons. What should she do? Transferring to another school is such a hassle. Luckily, her friend has Pursettes which keep her shameful secret hidden under wraps. “Just call them the tote tampons.”
“That’s why so many women just like you are switching to it.” - Playtex Self-Adjusting Tampons
I love how this is supposed to be an empowering advertisement, yet it totally undermines itself by its list of stereotypically feminine careers. It’s attempting to illustrate that the Modern Woman has modern needs, and Playtex is just the product to keep up with the changing times. Yet, the various groups of women they list are downright hilarious: “Secretaries, Nurses, Stewardess, The Lady Next Door (WTF?), College Girls, Models, Housewives”. They left out waitresses and strippers.
“Dear Mother Nature: Drop Dead!” - Kotex
The last line reads: “At least you have to worry about your voice changing.” This is a consolation of the sorriest sort. Nearly a lifetime of menstruation versus a month or two of crackly vocal cords…. Hmmmm – which is worse? On a side note: the lens diameter-to-face ratio of those glasses is the largest I have ever seen. Simply breathtaking.
“It stayed in place, even when I was jumping streams.” - Stayfree Maxi Pads
That’s a bold woman – her first day with Stayfree Maxi Pads and she’s sticking her ass directly in his face? Just a thought: maybe he goes up the hill first. The ad ends with “Too bad he forgot to pack the lunch”. Maybe he didn’t forget – he just lost his appetite.
“If you’re old enough to pick your clothes, you’re old enough to pick your sanitary napkin.” - Modess
Advertisers aren’t stupid. They knew the Baby Boomers represented the largest population bubble in the history of the United States. Subsequently, ad agencies were scrambling to produce advertising geared toward this gargantuan money pot. The Modess advert above heavily features the new hippie chic whilst highlighting how grossly antiquated the older generation is. Do you want to buy your sanitary napkins based on the opinion of your crusty archaic mother who seems so hopelessly out of place amongst counter-culture swag? I didn’t think so.
“Whee! They’re Flushable, Too!” - New Freedom Kotex
Yet another advert marketed directly to Boomer youth. Truth be told, there actually was a lot to be excited about. If you’re familiar with the previous generations’ feminine hygiene equipment, you’ll know there was cause for celebration. That stuff was a bulky mess; it had barely improved from the Paleolithic days of using rolled grass and roots. It consisted of various rigging using straps and belts in conjunction with giant swaths of absorbent linens. You can see why a flushable inconspicuous napkin would be a godsend.
“It’s perfect for beginners like us!”Petal Soft Tampax
Petal Soft Tampax
This ad comes from a 1986 issue of 16 Magazine, about a year after Tampax broke the ultimate taboo on American television: It used the word “period”. Specifically the TV ad said, “It will change the way you feel about your period.”
When questioned about their startling expletive, the Tampax ad agency responded beautifully:
It’s a natural evolution. Over the past five years everyone has gotten more straightforward. It just doesn’t make sense any longer to show a woman in a long white dress, drifting through a field of wildflowers, saying something like, ‘It makes me feel fresh.’
THERE’S only a finite number of ways you can arrange a canvas. Naturally, there’s going to be some patterns that emerge, and certain motifs will be copied and repeated to oblivion within the pop art landscape. An artful conception will suddenly be mimicked on comic book covers to movie posters to paperbacks to album covers, and it will continue for decades.
TO London Zoo’s Gorilla Kingdom on May 6, where actors and visitors for the zoo’s silent cinema night have attracted the attention of Kumbuka (pictured above planning another night of debauchery).
ZSL London Zoo’s ‘Silent Cinema’ experience runs for five nights only, kicking off with ‘90s classic Jumanji on Tuesday 6 May and rounding up with childhood-favourite, The Jungle Book, on Saturday 10 May.
Giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘silent picture’, all guests will be wearing headphones to watch the film, making sure the animals still get their beauty sleep.
Mixing the silverbacks with the silver screen, movie-goers will be completely immersed in the sights, sounds and scents of the animal kingdom, exploring one of the Zoo’s incredible exhibits before each screening…
PHILIPPE Petit Is talking to the New York Times about his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime. It begins: “Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity.”Is talking to the New York Times about his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime. It begins: “Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity.”
Most books on creativity are written by an author who references all the great creators of humanity — very often Einstein, the Beatles. They’re not drawing from themselves, and these books are usually in the self-help department. And very often, at the end of a chapter, they have an exercise for you to do. I don’t frown upon them; let’s be frank, I hate them.
On his wire-walking:
…two years ago in Washington Square Park. I put a little rope between two trees, and I improvised. If a leaf fell from a tree, I’d stop juggling and play with the leaf. I went to my prop bag and got a little bandage and stuck the leaf back on the tree. People loved it.
THIS isn’t, perhaps, entirely the wisest public complaint that a restauranteur or hotelier has ever made. The whine is that people are turning up and insisting that they’re very important reviewers on Tripadvisor. Therefore, give me a deal:
Hotels and restaurants are being targeted by ‘blackmailers’ who demand free meals and stays in exchange for not writing bad reviews on TripAdvisor, hospitality chiefs have warned.
The fraudsters are telling staff they will post bad comments on the review site if they don’t get better service, free food or upgrades.
Restaurant, hotel and B&B owners across the UK have reported a huge rise in the number of customers who use TripAdvisor as a threat.
THE beautiful thing about hard liquor advertising is that it is rarely nuanced or boring. It opts for the ham fisted approach, beating consumers over the head with brazen sexual tactics. After all, they’re not selling sofa pillows here, folks. They’re selling booze, and that means things may get interesting…
The “Two Fingers is all it takes” campaign begs the question – all it takes to do what? Considering we’re talking about tequila, I assume it isn’t “improve your golf swing”.
It would have been interesting if the adverts finished their tagline with a bit of truthfulness, such as “Two Fingers is all it takes…. to impair your judgment and make terrible, life-changing mistakes.”
“I never even thought of burning my bra until I discovered Smirnoff.”
I don’t even get this. Is she saying she didn’t believe in Women’s Lib until she starting drinking cheap vodka? I guess I can relate. I didn’t believe in Global Warming until I started huffing gasoline. (That was a joke, for those whose feathers are ruffled.)
Was this advert inspired by the abusive relationship of Ike & Tina? This just makes me uncomfortable. If only this was a Pam Grier film, she’d knock that glass to the floor saying, “You didn’t say ‘please’, bitch!”
They don’t have a sense of humor at airport security like they once did. You do this nowadays and, instead of a laugh, you’ll get tasered and pepper sprayed. If they’re feeling particularly jovial, they may even throw in a thorough cavity search and a trip to exotic Guantanamo for free.
The “sex sells” approach has always been a key marketing strategy for alcohol. A clever tag line is great, but nothing beats a pair of boobs in a booze advert.
Although, sometimes some thinly veiled sexual innuendo does the trick even better…
There’s definitely something phallic going on here. It’s as if Sigmund Freud himself was in charge of the Smirnoff account.
Translated literally: “Your secretary will have sex with you, if you have lots of Cossack Vodka on hand.”
Presenting hard liquor as a gateway to otherwise impossible sexual relations was a common marketing strategy. A perfect example is the following advert featuring a young Ali McGraw.
The text is spectacular:
“Never go to a bachelor’s pad alone… Especially if she has roommates. Bachelor gals get nervous when an available male walks in, empty handed. But come up with a bottle of White Horse and – thank – you’re welcome, Good Guy! It’s the Scotch with the taste even roommates can’t argue about: either they like it or they love it. So you end up with a roomful of purring girls, Good Guys all. Works in a pad. Works in a pub. Because – the Good Guys are always on the White Horse.”
Quite literally, this bottle of Scotch will act as a pheromone, luring hordes of “purring” babes to your bachelor pad so you can have sex with them- all of them.
Lest you imagine the “sex sells booze” approach was strictly a Western thing, this advert clears up any misconception. Asian advertisers were wise to the selling power of a chick in a silver bikini living in an empty gin bottle. You might say Japanese were the greatest experts of them all.
Then again, the Japanese also made insanely stupid ads like this one, completely undermining my previous statement. Of course, when it comes to booze adverts, the Japanese by no means have a monopoly on stupidity….
What the-? This is how I image the Madison Avenue brainstorming session went for this one:
Ad Exec: “Okay, boys. We need to sell some vodka. Let’s hear the ideas.”
Jim:“I think we should go with a smoking hot babe wearing a tiny bikini, holding a bottle of vodka while splayed out on a bearskin rug.”
Fred:”I think we should go with a homely couple inexplicably taping a plastic bag to a stuffed penguin.”
Ad Exec: “Genius, Fred! Genius!”
Jim: (appears hopelessly confused then mumbles incoherently walking away)
Her shirt reads “It’s Real”. I suppose it’s better than “They’re Fake”, but still not the greatest thing to emblazon across a female’s breasts. She already looks a little tipsy, so she probably doesn’t care.
These Boodle ads from 1982 used the “always proper” British Gin as a slang for sex. I wish they had gone a bit further with it. For example, “Is it proper to boodle a complete stranger?” Or even better, “Is it proper to boodle a circus clown while tripping on bath salts?”
“Have you these features? [A] Eyes deep set in soft flesh… characteristic of an appreciative type. [B] Ears lying close to the head… characteristic of a type with good taste.”
I guess we can deduce that those of you with protruding eyes and big ears have terrible taste. You can’t argue with genetics.
IN the 1970s, someone thought it a good idea of build an igloo-shaped hotel 20 miles from the town of Cantwell, Alaska Cantwell.
No-one came to stay. The place had no planning permission. It was used for business, though, as a gift shop and garage.
You can buy it.
TERRIBLE Tattoos presents the Miley Cyrus chicken twerk tongue tat:
EVERYONE outside of the music industry knows that people who illegally download also buy music. For example, Person A buys a lot of vinyl, but also illegally downloads a load of stuff he wouldn’t normally buy, like that song they hear on the radio now and then.
Some people will ravage a torrent and then go buy various albums from it in a try-before-you-buy way. Others will solely nick music, but whaddayagonnado? Those people, years ago, would’ve only ever recorded friends albums onto blank tapes anyway.
A new report goes one further – music and movie pirates behave completely differently. Turns out those who illegally download films are far more likely to pay for legitimate copies as well.
DID you know the chicken on Pizza Express salads and pizzas is halal? You did? The Sun didn’t. But it just found out:
The facts come thicker than the Polish waitress’s Caesar dressing:
- All chicken killed in line with Islamic law
— No mention of it on restaurant’s menus
— Staff will only tell customers if they ask