A Comma Misconception
Deep in the bowels of the Bodleian Library at The University of Oxford sits a dusty old tome recounting the secret history of the Oxford comma. To no one’s surprise who opens it, it’s a tale of quibbling editors and journalism students with unmerited senses of superiority.
It begins in a 1915 Oxford dorm with the first recorded argument over the Oxford comma, the contents of which are basically repeated verbatim in every Oxford comma argument thereafter. The debate started when roommates Aldous Huxley and J. R. R. Tolkien were writing home to their parents that they needed money for “pizza, booze[,] and rubbers."
Huxley, a telecomm major and staunch AP Stylebook defender, threw his dog-eared copy at Tolkien, citing the oft-referenced punctuation section, which recommends against the extra comma. The radical, drug-using women's studies major Tolkien, however, was all for it and retorted that this was the same guide that still spelled it “e-mail” and the same guide that suggested the capital of West Virginia be written “Charleston, W. Va.” He then showed Huxley this cartoon that he thought proved his point while also being “totally hilarious."
Why the Braves Are Still America's Team: A Lesson in Brand Integrity
Across the nation, trucks are delivering cases of franks, guys are boning up on pitching rotations and spouses are breathing a collective sigh of dread for the beginning of the most glorious time of the year: baseball season. With 162+ games of slow, smoldering Americana ahead of us, nowhere is the excitement for the return of the boys of summer stronger than it is right here in Atlanta for our beloved Bravos.
Of course, there’s no shortage of Braves caps or Chief Noc-A-Homa shirts at any given time of the year in our office or anywhere around the A, but what about in Gulfport, Mississippi? That’s where my grandparents live, and I remember as a kid watching Braves games at their house with my grandfather, a professed Braves fan.
What about Nashville? Greenville? No other team, with the possible exception of the Red Sox in New England, has dominated a region of the U.S. like the Braves have done in the Southeast. There’s a reason that, despite an average payroll and only one championship to its name, the Atlanta Braves more than any other organization have come to be known as America’s Team, and it has more than a little bit to do with brand integrity.
Coca-Cola & Happiness: A Love Story
Millennia from now, an alien archaeologist will sift through the sepulchral remains of Earth’s greatest cities, from Jakarta to Istanbul to New York, and see the same red and white banner emblazoned on the sides of buildings, in gas station windows and on tractor trailers. He will have no choice but to assume the people of Earth lived and died united under a single world government—an empire, as benevolent as it was far-reaching, intent on bringing happiness to its citizens. And, in a way, he’d be right. More than any government or religion, Coca-Cola is the world’s biggest empire.
Warren Buffett, the largest stakeholder in the company, put it best: it’s the most powerful brand in the world, universally liked, moderately priced and per capita consumption goes up almost every year in almost every country. There’s no other product like it. It is indeed staggering to consider that, while the world’s best brands are technological, industrial or business (IBM, Microsoft, Google, GE), a beverage company tops them all.
So, imagine you have the most powerful brand in history, your name is recognized in every language, you have a product that not only doesn’t need to change but can’t, and your target market is planet Earth. You can pretty much just coast, right?
For Coke, the quest for brand power is never over, and, after over a century of dominance, there isn’t a single entity in the world more powerful. In fact, the only things bigger than Coke are universal, abstract concepts like hope and love and happiness—oh wait. Coke cornered the market on that, too.
Holiday Ad Classics To Get You Ready for Cyber Monday
They say that the holidays, particularly Christmas, have become all about commercialism, but we say that it's really all about the commercials. Here is a list of some fantastic Christmas and holiday ads to warm the heart and make you jolly. As ubiquitous as Best Holiday Ad lists are, so are the ads themselves. It just wouldn't be the holidays without either one, so enjoy!
Taking the High Road, One Scoop at a Time
Keith Schroeder sat in his car, contemplating his integrity, his happiness, his life as a hotel chef. At a time when business was most profitable, he had been forced to make cuts. Not usually one to talk to himself, Schroeder nevertheless relented out loud, “I have to find a way to take the high road.” At that very moment, his radio, like a Greek chorus mocking the one melodramatic moment he had ever allowed himself, began to play “High Road” by Broken Bells; and in that moment, High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet was conceived.