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Obama Discounts, Specials and Sales

I walk past a restaurant/bar on my way to and from Farragut North and yesterday was no exception. As it was President's Day I took special notice of a sign that's been hanging in this establishment's window for the last two months. It announces a special drink: the Obama Crown Cocktail, featuring Crown Royal whiskey.

So many places have jumped on the Obama bandwagon that it almost doesn't warrant mention. Ikea had its "Change" campaign, linking Obama's fresh political wind with the need for a new sofa. The new Pepsi logo looks like the Obama logo. Souvenir vendors have stocked up on T-shirts, bobbleheads and other assorted Barackobilia.

But what I'm curious about this morning is: Should they? Is there something a bit untoward about trying to shift merchandise by wrapping it in the mantle of Obama? The Ty company already got beat up for, in quick succession: naming two of its dolls "Malia" and "Sasha" and saying they were inspired by the Obama girls; saying the dolls were not inspired by the Obamas; changing the names; and now retiring the dolls.

(An aside: Ty is one of the creepiest companies around. Back when I edited KidsPost I attended ToyFair in New York. Media were not allowed in the Ty booth, which was prowled by security guards. Riding high on its Beanie Baby success the company didn't need the media--why should it when it could go straight to the cerebral cortexes of its two core audiences: 6-year-old girls and multiple-cat-owning 35-year-old single women? I detected a malevolence swirling around the Ty booth before I was chased out. I'm never surprised by the odd things that company does.)

I don't remember George W. Bush being referenced in cocktails or plush toys when he took office eight years ago. Of course, Obama's election was more historic and thus more bankable in marketing terms.

Perhaps we're just seeing remnants of the Obama inaugural tidal wave. Perhaps the attempts to connect commercially with the new president will fade as Obama settles into the grinding routine of his job. Thoughts?

And finally: I wonder if anyone ever made a Royal Crown Crown Royal cocktail. You could sip it while listening to CCR.

By John Kelly  |  February 17, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
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I understand that this town is full of democrats who really do think Obama is the second coming (it is not just hyperbole). But there are republicans in the city and they also shop and spend money. I wonder why these businesses would flash Obama everywhere thus risk losing potential customers.

Posted by: tounces | February 17, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Your comments about Ty remind me of the 70s(?) rumor that Procter and Gamble were part of a Satanic conspiracy, because the moon and stars were on their logo. Except that in Ty's case, it appears that their really is malevolence involved, like a Stephen King plot.

I think Royal Crown (an AMERICAN? drink) probably is more often mixed with Jack Daniels than Crown Royal. Or as the country song goes, "An RC Cola and a moon pie."

Posted by: reddragon1 | February 17, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, PS, bobble-heads should somehow be incorporated into the Primay Sweepstakes. For example, you are not allowed to license a bobble-head of yourself until AFTER Iowa and New Hampshire, and if you don't finish in the top three in one of them, you have to wait til after Super Tuesday. At which point, if you place in the top three in three or more states, you are REQUIRED to license a bobble-head, or lose your eligibility.

Posted by: reddragon1 | February 17, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

My dad has a Doc Nix bobblehead (he's the pep band director at Mason).
One day one of my brother's friends came over and said "Awesome, you have a pimp bobblehead!" I've never met Doc Nix, but I think he would be proud. : )

Posted by: dragnchic9 | February 18, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse


At least your other poster can spell.

Posted by: reddragon1 | February 18, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

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