Thursday, April 30, 2009

Addendum/Correction/Post Padding

First, the correction: Right Guard is no longer a P&G product - they divested it when they bought Gillette. I'd forgotten.

Now, to add in a theme of mine (and annoy my folks - heh), as those of you who read this blog are aware, I'm a motorsports fan. In particular, I like NASCAR (the other stuff I'll watch but it's the stock cars I'm into). Unlike most, though, I have drivers I like but no loyal-to-the-end favorite - and I also have no loyalty to their brands, either. So you won't see me walking around in a DuPont jacket (like my son does) or wearing a Mountain Dew AMP hat (like Junior Nation does).

But I do have a couple of drivers I like more than the other. In particular, I've always liked Tony Stewart - he's got a temper, he's kind of a schlubby-looking guy, and he'll drive the wheels off anything he gets into. Drives really old-school. But his old team was sponsored by a company that annoys me (Home Depot) and his owner was a sanctimonious born-again douchebag (Gibbs Racing). Then Tony left to form his own team, picked a number that was a tribute to one of the all-time great drivers (14), and all seemed lined up to finally embrace a driver's team. But then he wound up with Office Depot and Old Spice as his primary sponsors. Well, Office Depot is so far behind Staples it's a joke (I do all my business at Staples - and Office Depot just pulled out of my region for the second time in a decade), and Old Spice is a P&G brand. So much for the #14 t-shirt - neither of those are brands I would want to promote!

Still root for Smoke on the racetrack, though.

Not to mention that by explaining all this I've padded my April post count to a whopping three. Yow!

In the news

P&G profits are down... at least part of that is because of us, so I'm proud.

More seriously with that thought - we don't boycott them entirely (even though that's my wife's ex-employer) but ever since she got her notice almost a year ago we've generally tried to buy the alternative/generic product in any category where we'd otherwise be buying a P&G product. What's amazing is just how many product categories they are in - it's really tough to avoid their brands.

The biggest thing for us was replacing Tide, Cascade, and Bounty paper towels with the Costco-branded alternatives. Even if P&G manufactures those for Costco (which I don't believe they do), they should make less money that way. On the other hand, I'm still using Right Guard and Gillette shaving cream. One does not grow a full beard for that sort of principle!

I know better than to think that we actually make any difference at all like that. But it's the gesture more than the reality that matters sometimes. I still haven't bought a Boston Herald since they ran the picture on the cover of a dying Victoria Snelgrove in 2004. I didn't read it often and they really don't care about my avoidance, but it matters to me and that's all that counts.

Monday, April 20, 2009

First real sign of spring

I went to the MIT Flea yesterday. That's when spring really starts. Everything else is just a warmup.