Fall Nostalgia

As the weather has been colder this week – both colder than usual for the time of year and colder in general signaling of the approach of Autumn – I’ve been in a very nostalgic state of mind.

I’m probably being aided and abetted in this trip with the start of 1st Grade for Raelyn and the movement of Owen into his new pre-school classroom, but whatever the reason, I’m enjoying the ride.

This morning while letting my mind wander over a cup of coffee and some Twitter-trolling I had a thought about the advertising agency, Jacobson Rost of Sheboygan, WI, where I interned one Summer twelve years ago.

I though about the agency’s proximity to Lake Michigan, the mild Wisconsin Summer and the cool breeze that blew in the early mornings when I went in.
I thought about my parents house with the detached garage and all the work they put in to renovating the interior (which ended up pretty stunning, if you’re reading this, Mom).
I thought about opening up a new browser tab and grabbing some Google street view pics to regale the readers of this blog.

Hence, pictures!

The Church @ Jacobson Rost
The Church @ Jacobson Rost
The main entrance to Jacobson Rost
The main entrance to Jacobson Rost
This is the back side of the main Jacobson Rost house.
This is the back side of the main Jacobson Rost house.

View Larger Map

In the above map, go West and then South to see the stills I captured.

My folks house in Sheboygan.
My folks house in Sheboygan.
Kinda skinny from the front.
Kinda skinny from the front.

View Larger Map

In the above map, go North on 4th Street to see the stills I captured.

It’s not the best quality, but something is in the air and I felt the need to share.

I don’t miss the early mornings – I got to the agency @ 7 and left at 12:30 or 1 to go to my factory job – but I miss that Summer a little bit. Sure, I was apart from Jenn and that toilet seat factory sucked hard (10-hour days, 4 times a week), but you can’t beat spending time by the Great Lakes in the Summertime. Plus, beer in Wisconsin was cheaper and more readily available than bottle water. 😉

I won’t make a cheese joke because it’s too easy, but the beer one wrote itself. Sorry.

Here’s hoping your happy thoughts are energized by the briskness of the air and the shining of the sun.

Oh, and FOOTBALL tomorrow!

Have a great weekend!

Newtons Aren’t Fruit and Cake (anymore)

While packing Raelyn’s lunch last night (she’s at YMCA day camp most of the Summer) I noticed a not-so-subtle branding change on the Fig Newtons packaging. Below is an artistic photo of the new wording, which reads: “Fruity Chewy Cookies”

Fig Newtons by turnthecity
Fig Newtons by turnthecity

Above: Fig Newtons by turnthecity

If you did any of your TV viewing during the 90’s, you’ll likely remember that Fig Newtons were being hocked thusly:

“A cookie is just a cookie, but a Newton is fruit and cake.”

Here’s an ad to refresh your memory. 4:48 mark:

Now I’m no nutritional anthropologist (thank you, Deb Duchon, Alton Brown and Good Eats) but I don’t think fig jam counts as fruit, nor that a baked crust counts as cake. More like pie.

Other, more learned scholars have made the point that Newtons are likely “squares” or “bars”, but I’ll leave that to you, gentle reader, to decide.

Whether or not the Newton is, in fact, “fruit and cake” or some kind of cookie or something else entirely shouldn’t actually matter. What matters is how quickly Nabisco has reversed course in their marketing and promotion.

Of course, I seem to be a couple of years late to both the new positioning AND mockery of the same. Still, I feel it’s my duty to point out the idiocy of changing course so dramatically.

But what do I know, right? Fig Newtons are still the only cookie/fruit-cake combo/bar/square on the market that either called Newton OR made of Fig. Their uniqueness of form, function and name seems to trump whatever marketing their laboring under currently.

I can’t help but draw the comparison to another food-stuff marketing catchphrase of the same era: Polaner All Fruit.

For those of you who don’t recall, much was made of the fact that as, you shouldn’t call Polaner All Fruit “Jelly” since it was better than all of that. It was, after all, “spreadable fruit” and not at all like lowly, common jelly.

Here’s the money shot of the spot:

So imagine if Polaner all of sudden relaunched calling themselves “Jelly” despite keeping the name All Fruit; wouldn’t make much sense, would it?

Granted, Newton is a nebulous descriptor not at all as recognizable or finite as “jelly” “fruit” or, more directly, “cookie” or “cake”‘. Still, the whole thing seems like a bait and switch to my younger, sweet-toothed mind.

A cookie, for all its benefits and joys, is just a cookie. A Newton – unique in all the snacking world – is fruit and cake.

Or at least it used to be.

Bonus linkage: Fruit and Cake (Fig Newton Song)

And, in the end, the Fig Newton you take, will always be fruit and cake (with apologies to The Beatles).


I’m going to indulge in my man-crush/obsession with Merlin Mann a little bit by linking to two of his related, prescient bits regarding community and the internet: via Twitter and one of his podcasts, Quotidian Public Radio.

Here’s a shot of Merlin’s wit, for those too lazy to click:

Merlin Mann's takedown of drive-by commentary on the internet. Also: FIRST!
Merlin Mann's takedown of drive-by commentary on the internet. Also: FIRST!

For whatever reason’s Merlin’s rapier wit (and it is sharp, you should follow him on twitter, read his blog or listen/watch his podcasts. Really funny guy) made me draw the following conclusion: Old Spice is stealing its ideas from porn.

You heard me right (technically you didn’t hear me, you read me): Old Spice and its centaur-centric ad campaign is taking its cues from a weird online fetish image manipulation/fanfic community.

I realize the campaign is old (I get that I’m not nearly “first” on this one), but I just saw it again in the paper or a magazine at the gym yesterday so it’s top-of-mind.

I don’t know why I’ve drawn this connection but such is the internet and also, apparently, the darker recesses of my mind.

It’s this kind of internet meme recycling that is simultaneously the lifeblood of the internet, the snipe-hunting goal of most “advertising” and the reason why non-digital-natives hate the online space.

Also, it’s a bit of a simulacrum for real creativity which it seems is actually a very scarce resource.

Anyhow, I’m going to get off my soapbox now. Feel free to be the first to leave a comment, but please don’t confuse me with Andrew Keen, I’m just feeling cranky today.

Just to heap some more praise on Merlin, here’s my SAT comparison:

Alton Brown::Food as Merlin Mann::Internet

He’s that good folks. I’d steal from him any day.

Enjoy your Good Friday and Easter/Passover weekend.