Because you can't handle the truth. We live in an odd world these days, and no day goes by without something contradictory happening. Or double standards occurring. The sheer lunacy of it all. Pointed out to you by yours truly. Enter the LoongTao!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ad Court Is In Session

(Disclaimer: While all of my past posts have been brutal, because it was always cut & dry, this one is a little different. It deals with the explosion of the internet and it's effect on how businesses do business, and how they are viewed. I've heard both sides, and have dropped the hammer. You may disagree, but I've already heard the arguments, and disagree with yours, as well. That's what it's all about. Just like I know my word is not law (only Chuck Norris has that distinction), it also means your word is not law either. And to assume it is, well, you're barking up the wrong tree. If you are so close-minded as to think yours is correct, unchallenged, almighty bottomline truth, you've lost touch. You've forgotten the freedom of opposing views when it comes to issues that are controversial, that subside in the grey area, something that was once something, but now could be viewed as something else, while still retaining that original something. Keep in mind, the first paragraph was my only topic, which opened up a Pandora's Box, which you'll see what follows immediately after.

Ever wonder why theaters tell you you can't bring in outside food? Sure, they tell you it's because they sell food there, too. Now, I guess you could argue that while yes, they have a point, but technically-speaking, their concessions aren't their primary business; the movie itself is. They sell concessions to make money. Is that there business? No. Yes, they're in business to make money. But they didn't open a concession stand. They opened a theater. Somewhere along the way, the movie studios gained more clout, and commanded more from the box office. The theaters lost money. Now, I'm not sure if they started selling concessions as a way to compensate for the lost revenue to the studios, or as an incentive to the movie-goer to patronize their establishment. But the bottom line here is that their business is movies, and the concession sales help finance the theater.

Now I've talked with several people on this, who seem to disagree. If you take McDonald's food into a Carl's Jr., yes, you can't do that, because Carl's Jr. is in the business of selling food, and McDonald's is a competitor. I was given an example of Google. Some say Google's business is as a search engine. Some say it is an advertising company. I could take the high road and say it all depends on what business you're talking about. But that wouldn't be me. From what I've heard, it all depends on who's doing the talking. If you're all about the money, and it's all about the dollar, I can see how every damn company out there could be considered an advertising company, so to speak. That's tunnelvision, my friends.

Google's product/service is a search engine, yes. They sell advertising, yes. No, they don't sell the search engine aspect. It is free to the consumer. This is why they have to sell advertising. This doesn't make them advertisers. The ones advertising are the advertisers. They provide a free service but as a secondary business, which is required to survive, is the selling of advertising. If their business is advertising, who's maintaining the site?

Another analogy used was the television industry. Good example. TV shows are produced. High ratings get high dollars for the ads during those shows. Low ratings cause less income and the shows are cancelled. But I doubt that's what it was all about in the beginning when they started.

The truth is, all of these industries' businesses are the the product/service they provide. Unfortunately, depending on that product or service, they need revenue to support it, so advertising is implemented. Somewhere down the line people have gotten greedy, and, subsequently, have decided to do it backwards with one thing in mind: money. So, the goal here is to make money but you have to figure out a product or service to provide for which to sell advertising, because advertising is the way you want to make your money. In that particular case, then yes, your business is advertising. Or is it? If your business is advertising, who and where are you advertising? See? You're selling advertising but your business is your product or service.

For all those out there that think Google wanted to derive their income from ad revenue and created a search engine to do it, fine. I think you're in the minority. I think they created a search engine because they thought they could create a better search engine, and were technically more savvy in what they were doing, and had some nifty extras attached to make them stand out. But to do so, they needed revenue. Enter advertising. It's a given in the internet world we now live in.

Here's another example: wrestling. WWE was cancelled off of Spike TV. At the time, WWE sold their own advertising. Now they're on USA. But USA sells their own advertising, so WWE lost 10 million in annual ad revenue. So what do they do, they step up production on their website, and advertise their site during televised broadcasts to increase site viewership Viewership increased, which brought in more ad revenue. So, while yes, their goal was to increase income from advertising to compensate for the loss by switching to USA, there business is still wrestling.
Overall, I think those who subscribe to the ad theory have lost track of the true meaning of the word business, and have allowed the almighty dollar to cloud their judgement as what we do as a business and what we do to support that business. Of course, one could blame the internet for changing how businesses are viewed. Is their business their product/service, or advertising, simply because there income comes from advertising? I think now, with the change in atmosphere and environment brought on by the internet, when you ask a company what their business is, they will have to cover both bases; "my business is air guitar, but my income is derived from advertising."

See what I mean?

There IS a difference.

I rest my case.

Chris Penn: We Hardly Knew Ye

I was saddened to hear about Chris Penn. Definitely under-rated. I've read many of the reports that came out after. Unfortunately, many were touting him as "Sean's younger brother". Too bad. Sure Sean's had his spotlight. But his roles are few and far between, especially now that he's also a director.

But just the same, they're the same bloodline. So it was pretty-much a given that Chris would have it tougher because of the older brother. I know. My brother was in the same boat through childhood and part of adulthood.

Nonetheless, he played his as well as any leading actor. I found myself preferring him to Sean on many occasions. Although I haven't seen several of his films, I liked what he did during the Tarantino years (Reservoir Dogs, True Romance).

Some of the reports listed his finest works, while others were quick to point out the dregs. I myself found it surprising that his work in Best Of The Best parts one and two, were never mentioned. The first one was excellent in it's portrayal of the tragedy of competition and the subsequent outcome, which, to this day, I still get teary at the end, and I've seen it at least 50 times. Chris played a brash cowboy sterotype who had a conflict with the lead actor, Philip Rhee, but by the end, mutual respect. It's about a competition between the Americans and the Koreans. And Philip Rhee's older brother was killed in the last competition. So you know where that's going. An excellent movie that I highly recommend.

Best Of The Best II is a shell of the first one. It's cheesy with the gladiator stuff and Wayne Newton comes off smarmy as ever. But for all the martial arts action in it, I love it. Philip Rhee, son of Simon Rhee, a grandmaster in Tae Kwon Do, not to be confused with the godfather of TKD, Jhoon Rhee, is a master himself. Unfortunately, Chris played the sacraficial lamb, to set up the revenge factor for Philip Rhee. It's still one of my favorites, even though I fast-forward to the Coliseum segments.

(BOTB III - even less martial arts, not very good acting by Philip, and a controversial story line, racism/neo-nazism, was a real turnoff. Oh, one more thing. Eric Roberts stars in all 3, as a friend and team member to Philip Rhee. Eric still can't act. So you'd have to filter him out.)

Rest in peace, Chris. We'll miss you.