Six Jolts of Sheer Delight
Inside bottom right was a genuine 1921 crossword puzzle with a QR Code that you can scan with your smartphone to get the answers.
The back page was given over to a full-page ad for the series with Steve Buscemi and his girl in the center surrounded by all the gloriously sinister characters that make each episode a mini-masterpiece.
In my opinion, Boardwalk Empire ranks in the pantheon of great current TV entertainment right up there with Foyle’s War and Downton Abbey. Steve Buscemi is so extraordinary that I feel privileged to be able to watch him. And, as I said to my wife Peggy, I lust after his wardrobe.
In short, if you’re going to promote a product or service, think about something that is a grabber—totally unexpected, utterly involving and fun!
Sheer Delight No. 3—Parade
In that same Philadelphia Inquirer was my favorite Sunday extra—Parade magazine. In terms editorial content, Parade is dreadful—with upbeat, suck-up stories that make even the most interesting celebrities as exciting as melted vanilla ice cream.
However, like TV Guide in the 60s and 70s, Parade is my private gauge of the health of the direct marketing business. When the economy is flush and consumers have money, the publication is positively alive with off-the-page ads from Bradford Exchange, Lenox, Hamilton Collection and Ashton Drake offering such tchotchkes as Jackie’s pearls, Diana’s and Kate’s engagement ring, China elves, angels and imps, Christmas tree decorations, Easter bunnies, bunny slippers and the myriad kitsch of Thomas Kinkade.
In this lousy economy, Parade has been woefully thin—sometimes as small as 12 and 16 pages. What advertising it carried were depressing full-page announcements from big pharma followed by a full page of sans serif mousetype warning us of possible blindness, impotence, rectal bleeding, skin rashes, fainting spells and death.