Getting a Retail Workout, Avoiding Your Own

Getting a Retail Workout, Avoiding Your Own Clone, Bonding With Nature, Etc.
A boom in sales of fitness clothing portends a fit-and-trim America, right? Not right—unless shopping has become an aerobic activity. A study by Chicago-based Mintel finds less than 30 percent of such apparel was bought for “exercise purposes,” with the rest being used simply as casual wear.

Sources going off the record? Reporters getting drunk? Such occurrences are unknown, of course, in the advertising business and the publications that cover it. But the political world is less refined, suggests an ad for a Boston bar-and-restaurant adjacent to the Massachusetts State House. Another ad for The 21st Amendment (via Boston-based Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos) asks, “What would government be without beer?” The pointed rejoinder: “Have you seen C-Span?”

Along with all the moral objections to cloning, here’s a practical one: The world is already full of people with whom you wouldn’t care to hang out. Your clone would simply be one more of these, finds a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics survey. It posed the question, “If you were cloned, do you think you would enjoy spending time with that copy of yourself?” Just 17 percent of respondents said they would; 71 percent said they would not. Whatever their opinion on that issue, 29 percent said they think it’s very likely that “somewhere in the world a human has already been secretly cloned.”

Why face an economic recession with a recessive chin? According to HealthScoutNews, more men are seeking an edge in a tough job market by getting executive chins. “A small but increasing number of American men are fighting the ‘chinless wonder’ stereotype by having plastic surgeons sculpt confidence and business success via chin implants and neck liposuction,” says the online report. It cites the American Society of Plastic Surgeons as saying chin implants rose 33 percent in 2000. Men who pay for a new chin tend to want the cleft variety.

When people fail to smile, don’t assume they’re glum. They may just not like the looks of their smiles. In a reader poll by Biography magazine, 60 percent of respondents said they’re “satisfied” with their smiles. The other 40 percent said they’re not. But they might be someday. Nearly half (48 percent) said they plan to have cosmetic dentistry “in the future.” Of these, a majority (57 percent) would opt for whitening first; 25 percent would start with straightening.

It’s 3:35 p.m. Do you know where your creative director is? In a meeting, most likely. In a survey by The Creative Group of Menlo Park, Calif., advertising and marketing executives reported sitting through an average of 11 meetings per week. And not short meetings, either. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said these sessions drag on for one to two hours, while 45 percent said they typically last 30 minutes to an hour.

Hoping for a dinner invitation? You’ll have better luck if you move to Indonesia. In a study by Roper Starch Worldwide, Indonesia had the highestincidence of guests being hosted for a sit-down meal, at 6.1 in the month prior to polling. The runner-up was Turkey (5.4 times per month), followed by Egypt (4.6), India (3.9) and Saudi Arabia (3.8). The U.S. stood 20th among the 32 nations surveyed, at 1.8 per month. Canada was even less hospitable (1.6), and Japan ranked last (0.9).

If you’re unfamiliar with the natural world, a Seattle store named Second Bounce is ready to help. It’ll equip you with new and used outdoor gear so you can overcome that deficiency. Once you’ve become an habitué of the great outdoors, you may learn (as the ad at left suggests) the difference between mushrooms used by great chefs and those used by dead chefs. Another ad in the series, via Seattle’s Cole & Weber/Red Cell, shows a ram who (a caption tells us) “Finds it perfectly natural to have sex with sheep.”

Add this one to your Bad Trends file. A story by the Associated Press says public-health officials expect a sharp rise in the number of problem drinkers who live in nursing homes. Already, says the report, about10 to 20 percent of nursing-home residents fall into that category. As baby boomers start to populate such places, the number is likely to climb. Why the difference? Prohibition was a formative influence for current nursing-home residents, while boomers grew up amid permissive attitudes toward all sorts of substance abuse.

It’s always nice to see Flyover Country take a poke at the glamorous coasts. The Montana Film Office does a skillful job of it in a postcard ad promoting the state as a movie location. Another ad in the campaign (via Wendt Kochman of Great Falls) pairs a Big Sky sunset with the headline, “It’s just like Sunset Boulevard. Minus the boulevard.”