Throw 'em a lifeline
The following item comes from the ``you won't see this one again'' department:
In June 2001-during all the whoopla surrounding the Firestone tire recall-some tire manufacturers launched ad campaigns stressing the safety of their tires.
Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) kicked off its effort with a full-page ad in USA Today accompanied by a picture mimicking a ``Lifesaver'' roll of candy. Only Conti's had ``LifeSafer'' on the label and tires inside the wrapper.
Apparently, Nabisco Inc., maker of Lifesavers, didn't appreciate the cleverness or humor in Conti's ad. At CTNA's recent dealer meeting in Hawaii, Jim Mayfield, director of marketing, acknowledged that ``Nabisco wasn't very happy with us'' over what looked suspiciously like trademark infringement.
``We promised we wouldn't do it again,'' he added sheepishly.
Nekkid for the world to see
It's a bit of a different approach, but some feminists may be offended by Mini USA's efforts to reach some young male potential car buyers of its hot new Mini Cooper S.
The firm bought a centerfold ad in the June issue of Playboy magazine featuring the vehicle shot in various ``poses'' by a Playboy photographer and accompanied by a mock profile similar to the type filled out by other centerfold models. For example: weight-2,678 pounds; and ``turn-ons''-hairpin- and S-turns and traffic circles.
As TB recently reported, different versions of the 2003 Mini will be wearing either Goodyear or Pirelli run-flat tires. No word, though, on what state of undress the tires were in for the Playboy ads.
`Dude, where's my car?'
In honor of the recent Academy Awards extravaganza in Tinseltown, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) conducted a fun survey about movies that featured cars-hot and otherwise.
SEMA asked ``if you felt as if you were starring in a cool car movie while driving your vehicle.''
The envelope, please...the results:
* 49 percent of the respondents felt they were starring in ``The Fast and the Furious,'' last year's tuner car/street racing flick which, by the way, will have a sequel-probably guaranteeing more great-looking cars and stupid plot twists.
* 25 percent thought they were pretty slick in ``Gone in 60 Seconds,'' the Nick Cage glam car heist movie.
* 14 percent believed they were starring in the '60s classic ``American Graffiti,'' which catapulted Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams and others into the spotlight. (Ron ``Opie'' Howard already was sort of a star.)
* Then there were the 7 percent who felt their wheels were relegating them to a starring role in ``The Beverly Hillbillies'' (as Buddy Ebsen might holler, ``Who-oo-ee doggies.)
* Only 5 percent felt they were the top dudes in ``Wayne's World''-though they didn't specify whether they drove the cool GTO convertible or the not-so-cool Pacer.
Alas, no one mentioned the forgettable '60s TV show ``My Mother the Car.'' (Are we dating ourselves?)
* * *
Daffynition-In a Reader's Digest list of new, alternative meanings for existing words, it described ``oyster'' as one who intersperses his or her speech with Yiddish expressions.
Gimme one of dem `710 caps'
As the story goes, a guy was in the local auto parts store picking up some stuff when a lady came in and asked for a ``seven ten cap.''
He and the other guys hanging around looked at each other and said, ``What's a seven ten cap?''
She said, ``You know, it's right on the engine. Mine got lost somehow and I need a new one.''
``What kind of a car is it on?'' they asked.
The parts guy behind the counter is thinking maybe she's got an old Datsun Seven Ten, but no, she told him it's a Buick.
``OK lady, how big is it?'' he asked.
She makes a circle with her hands about 3-1/2 inches in diameter.
``What does it do?'' the guys in the store asked.
She replied, ``I don't know, but it's always been there.''
One of the guys gave her a note pad and asked her if she could draw a picture of it. So she makes a circle about 3-1/2 inches in diameter and in the center she writes 710.
The counter guys are looking at it upside down as she writes it...and they just fall down laughing hysterically.
In case you haven't caught on, turn this page upside-down and check out the above circle.
No offense intended, but ya think she might have been a blonde?g