- Rolex: Teaching the Art of Swiss Watchmaking. (Might this be saying Rolex is in need of a few apprentices?)
- American Idol
- BBC Gardening
Overall, the entire Audi web site is excellent. However, The Distillery will today focus only on Audi’s Q7 Globe automobile. It comes with a V-12 engine and plenty of ground clearance. Supposedly, this is a car for anywhere on the planet. (Does anyone remember when Audi made decidedly boring cars?)
If the automobile is even half as impressive as the Audi Q7 Globe micro-site, it is quite the car. Its web site does almost everything extremely well. It is engaging, interactive, has a virtual human host, different bandwidths, sound on/off, and even offers a downloadable freebie via a video clip of the site’s theme song by Carla Vallet.
Yes, the people at Audi and its advertising agency worked very hard at making this one of the best examples of online advertising for a specific product that The Distillery has seen to date. Explore around and enjoy. Kudos galore to Audi and its Q7 Globe. (Oh, and while you are there, also have a look at the Audi Videocast. It includes footage from motor shows and vehicles other than the Q7.)
Is it real or is it Memorex? That was the ultimate music recording question asked by consumers approximately 25 years ago. It is still a well-known line from a memorable series of commercials–and is still in use by Memorex today. That, my friends, is called staying power.
But what about new technologies? That tag line was originally used in the days of magnetic cassette tapes–and when the original was easily distinguished from the copy. What about HDTVs, CDs, and lasers? It appears Memorex finds the line still useful and applicable as it introduces its HD-DVD and Blu-ray video technologies to a newer generation.
Yes, it is a boring presentation, isn’t it? And remember, Blu-ray is in a struggle for its life against at least one competing format. It is another VHS vs. Betamax struggle where the best technology may not win again. Betamax was beat by better marketing and not a superior technology. It appears Memorex and Blu-ray are doomed to repeat history with an online presentation surely to be viewed by very few, which inspires absolutely zero passion about the technology, and ultimately about which consumers could likely care no less.
Okay, so I’m actually looking for a new cell phone after having the present one for five years. One brand I saw compatible with my carrier was Pantech, which is new to me. So, what about its online advertising? I decided that would determine if Pantech would be among my evoked set at purchase time. So, in search of a cell phone . . .
The Distillery instead found RAIN’s first Chinese M/V with Pantech. Also found is one soulful Japanese crooner and a superb dancer. I’ve read mixed reviews about Pantech’s phones, but this promotional music video is absolutely superb. And, how often do you get to select either simplified or traditional Chinese as your subtitles? (Anyone having luck getting into the Chinese version of the site? Although the video is perfectly clean and wholesome, maybe it’s still being “sanitized” by the Chinese government.)
Folks, this one really works. I’m almost ready to diss all the mixed reviews for Pantech cell phones simply because I’m listening to a well-chosen and very pleasant soundtrack right now. Michael Jackson, you may have brought us the moonwalk, but The Distillery is forecasting RAIN. (And yes, that logo below is just the way it was found. Anyone else notice an “E” missing?)
By the way, those interested might also wish to have a gander at the Pantech’s Russian “Your Phone is Too Fat” microsite. Isn’t it becoming a wonderfully small world?
SanDisk first really caught my attention a few weeks ago after I bought one of its very well-designed U3 flash drives. In one of those all too rare times, SanDisk got the obvious right. They eliminated that little cap which frequently gets lost and supposedly attaches to your keyring. Instead, the USB connector simply slides back into its own case. Egad, Brain! Brilliant!
However, today The Distillery brings you the SanDisk Sansa e280 MP3 player. And quite frankly, never being one to jump on bandwagons, I very much prefer it to any iPod I’ve seen. And then there’s that something about buying music from only one seller who allows that music to be played on only one player — theirs.
However, with the recent cracking of Microsoft’s DRM anti-copying protocol, you may well be able to remove that protection and play your music in any player or computer you wish. Just download FairUse4WM 1.1 at Betanews.com and use it on your collection before Microsoft can get back to being Big Brother.
Home page: SanDisk
One day soon, The Distillery will give ArtsPass.com the closer look it deserves, but do not let the insufficient attention stem your own curiosity to explore. ArtsPass bills itself as The Leading Online Arts and Entertainment Video on Demand Network. Let’s start with this 34-minute interview with Ringmaster Chuck Wagner and Boss Clown Scott O’Donnell of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. You will find out why the world’s most famous three-ring circus now has only a single ring for the entire show.
The Distillery strongly suggests that you browse through the ArtsPass Library, where your kids will find the animated Adventures of Stowaway, the kitty cat. That’s only for starters. You will also discover videos ranging in subject from Mary Cassatt, the American painter, to inner-city farmers. Enjoy.
Home page: ArtsPass
You probably have not heard Jonathan Biss playing the piano. (Go ahead and click on the link. He is indeed a superb pianist. Given it’s classical piano, you may not even have to close your office door.) However, as a winner of the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, he may one day be a household name. (In households that listen to classical music, that is.) And although the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award web site has not yet caught up with its more recent winners, you may still enjoy several video clips offering closer personal looks at the 2004 award winners.
Home page: Borletti-Buitoni Trust
I know what your first thought was when you saw the post’s title. Shame! You will find no girls gone wild in this posting, but you will discover some interesting music. Anyone signed by Verve has to have something going for them.
It’s not easy to fully categorize the Brazilian Girls’ music, but maybe that’s why The Distillery likes it. There is even the surprise of some songs in French and which are pleasant, even if the lead singer of the Brazilian Girls is no Edit Piaf. And, The Distillery likes the Brazilian Girls for their online videos.
Moonshine. It’s a tradition even in my family. Or at least it was until my Uncle Chester died, the family’s supplier. (And, the world’s greatest deer hunter.) But why is The Distillery bringing up stump hole liquor? Because in some respects, it’s the daddy of most Dodge SRT high-performance vehicles, including the Dodge Viper SRT10 Roadster. Remember, it was here in North Carolina that high-performance stock cars and moonshine went hand-in-hand.
Also found is the Viper V10-powered SRT RAM Regular Cab pickup truck. A top speed of over 154 mph in a production pickup truck and 0-60 mph in only a few tenths over five seconds?! One can get around the ranch pretty quickly in that — if it actually ever sees a ranch. The Distillery is guessing these will be bought not for work, but for play. Owners may well assume that the gods and goddesses forbid any dirt ever getting on that “work truck.”
But don’t stop there, the entire Drive SRT site is filled with videos, including one of the 21st century version of the classic Dodge Charger, the SRT8. (Note: It’s not any faster than the pickup truck!) However, any car which can stop in only 110 feet from a speed of 60 mph is much more than just a road rocket. It’s a car that can get you out of trouble just as quickly as it can get you into trouble. You could even get lucky and win one.
But what’s up with the music at Dodge Drive SRT? Given the MSRPs of these vehicles, The Distillery is assuming the site’s lame rap music targets pimps and drug dealers. On the other hand, elsewhere at the site a completely different style of music is found. Is Dodge confused about its target audience(s)? Or, is it making the classic mistake of using the shotgun approach in attempting to target all possible buyers?
Even my Uncle Chester knew better than that, and I’m certain he didn’t even finish high school. When a large covey of quail was flushed, he didn’t just randomly shoot into the covey hoping to hit one. He took deliberate and deadly aim at every single one we would have for dinner that evening. Maybe Dodge should come on down to North Carolina for some marketing and moonshine lessons.
There is cluelessness and then there’s cluelessness. Both can be found running rampant at TomJones.com, the web site of the 1960s singer who often had women throwing their bras and panties onto the stage during his performances. You would think the singer’s web site was a circus with all the hoops through which one must jump in order to fully access the site. (Maybe he’s signed by SONY, the recording label that infamously and clandestinely installed a rootkit onto its customers’ computers.)
First, I had to provide my e-mail address and select a password. That’s a bit much when trying to attract visitors, but The Distillery can certainly understand collecting marketing research and customer data. However, did that allow full entry? No, it did not.
From there I was directed to another page where I had to provide my name, e-mail address again, and other demographic information. I also had to be careful and opt out of any mailing lists. I then had to check my Inbox for a confirmation missive. It arrived with three essential bits of information needed to enter the site — Membership ID, Activation Code, and a Check Code. But after entering all of that, I then received an error message. It seems Mr. Jones is a big fan of pop-ups. (Someone stop the pain, please.)
My goodness, even the FBI didn’t require that much personal information for my security clearances! And no, that is not the way to make someone very likely going out of their way and looking for the site feel the least bit welcome. But, Mr. Tom Jones is a throw-back, a product of the Sixties. I’m certain he’s still not at all comfortable with that new-fangled thing over in the corner called a ‘puter.
That said, and although the site is extremely well-stocked with Tom Jones stuff (e.g., videos, songs, photos, forums, downloads), The Distillery cannot recommend it. Instead, the suggestion to avoid the site entirely is The Distillery’s current position — at least until Tom Jones thinks “It’s Not Unusual” to grant fans easy access and also not require unnecessary personal information.
It’s not about you controlling the user’s experience, Mr. Jones, but the user controlling his/her own experience. Duh! There’s cluelessness and then there is stupidity. The latter far more greatly applies than the former at TomJones.com.
Home page: Tom Jones
Bob Dylan referred to [John] Trudell’s spoken word/rock and roll album AKA Graffiti Man as the ‘best album of 1995.’ Northwest Native activist Janet McCloud referred to Trudell as .. one of the greatest poets of all time.” Kris Kristoferson referred to him as “a lone wolf.” Not only a profound orator, he is a significant political figure in the more recent history of the Indian people’s movement.
“Crazy Horse, we hear what you say. One earth, one mother…. One does not sell the earth…. How do we sell our mother?” ~John Trudell, Crazy Horse
Who is John Trudell? You may not know who he is, but in addition to the persons mentioned above, Angelina Jolie knows him well enough to be the executive producer of his recent recording of Native American music, Bone Days, featuring cuts such as Crazy Horse. Jackson Browne knows him to the extent that he has produced many of Trudell’s other recordings. He is also friends with Sam Shepard, Val Kilmer, and Wilma Mankiller (former tribal chief of my other nation, the Cherokee Nation). In other words, how is it possible that you do not know of him?
John Trudell also has a movie, Trudell the Movie. Broaden your American culture horizons and take a few moments to view the trailer. (Look for Watch Trailer in the lower-right of your screen.) Also click on Multimedia for additional film clips, some of which did not make it into the final cut, and a few clips of his music.
In fact, you will find the song, Crazy Horse, in its entirety there. It contains a line that reminds me of a question posed by one of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda. In his The Book of Questions, Neruda asks, “Does smoke talk to the clouds?”
Addendum: John Trudell is a great songwriter. After you have listened, each of his songs at the movie’s web site can be culled from your Temporary Internet Files folder as full-length MP3s.