NVC the 0508 Edition: Garlic Fries, Dolby, Cracker Jack, Cucumber Day and a Black Cat


Attention-getting seemed to be the theme of the eye-catching stories we saw over the last two weeks. Lots of “wait… what?” moments with a pinch of overkill. See for yourself below.

> Garlic Fries at McD’s?

McDonalds Gilroy Garlic Fires

Not just for ballparks anymore…

To start, super viral went the news that McDonald’s is doing a test run of garlic fries at four South Bay McDonald’s locations. Made to order, the fries are tossed with a “puree mix” of chopped Gilroy garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, parsley and salt.

If all goes well, the fries will be available at nearly 250 McDonald’s locations in the Bay Area, as of August.

We’re thinking seagulls in San Francisco will become very confused it this menu item “takes off.”

ATT-Seagull Garlic Fries

For years, they’ve been showing up at the ballpark in the late innings of Giant games to nosh on the garlic fries the fans leave behind.

Hitchcock’s 1963 classic, “The Birds,” was shot in nearby Bodega Bay. Just thinking…

> Dolby Goes Corporate?

High Five with Dolby Voice

It surprised us to learn that audio pioneer Dolby has quietly been using its audio-enhancing expertise on a new line of Internet-based voice conferencing equipment (apparently for the past five years… Go fig!). The San Francisco Chronicle story mentioned the $1,600 Dolby Conference Phone with Dolby Voice, not only improves the quality of audio far beyond the normal static-filled teleconference, but has also has the capability to separate the sound of voices to let people outside the room distinguish who is speaking, as well as their locations within the meeting room.

That’s pretty cool. Our Tommie, of course, wants to know how they are doing it. You can read about Dolby’s deal with High-Five, a provider of the world’s most usable in-room video conferencing solutions, here.

Cucumbers have a Day?

Hendrick's Gin Cucumber Day

An invention of Hendrick’s Gin.

Another “go fig” for us was the full page ad in The New York Times touting “Cucumber Day.”

Welcome to Hendrick’s Gin’s rather whimsical takeover of this year’s Cucumber Season — 44 spectacular days of observances, events and botanically-inspired aerial transport, laddering up to the official June 14 holiday.

Hendrick’s Gin is a brand of gin produced by William Grant & Sons in Girvan, Scotland, and launched in 1999.

Cucumber beverages?? Really? This is a promotion we’ll be watching to see if it takes off.

Cracker Jack without the Prize Inside?

The Cracker Jack as we know it.

The Cracker Jack as we know it.

Back to the ballpark for this story. According to multiple sources, Cracker Jack will no longer have a physical toy in the box, opting instead for a prize sticker with a QR code that can be scanned to play one of four mobile games.


QR Prize

Per Haston Lewis, senior director of marketing at Frito-Lay:

“The new Prize Inside allows families to enjoy their favorite baseball moments through a new one-of-a-kind mobile experience. With this redesign and new mobile game experience, the Cracker Jack brand embraces a modernized, young-at-heart attitude while keeping that treasured feeling of childhood wistfulness.”

He seems fairly confident. We feel he’s mucking with tradition. Next stocking stuffers will be replaced with QR codes making for a lonely fireplace mantel. Read more here and here.

HBO Silicon Valley – Selling What??


We were shaking our collective heads when when watched this week’s episode of Silicon Valley where Pied Piper’s new CEO, Action Jack Barker explains that the product isn’t the algorithm, but the stock.

“Whatever raises the value of that stock is what we’ll sell.”

Yikes! And pretty much, par for the course. Recaps available here and here.

Of course, our minds went to the South Park Underpants Gnome episode. The gnome characters and their underpants collection represent the ordinary business activity of capitalism that takes place on a regular basis in front of everyone, but is seldom noticed by society.

Song of the Week

To close out, we’ve selected Janet Jackson’s “Black Cat” as the song of the week. Why?

Well you probably know we watch a bit of hockey and the breaking news was the black cat that showed up at SAP arena before a game.

The rally cat.

The rally cat.

We figured Ms. Jackson’s song was appropriate.

Lyrics include:

Black cat nine lives
Short days long nights
Livin’ on the edge
Not afraid to die
Heart beat real strong
But not for long
Better watch your step
Or you’re gonna die…

That’s a wrap for this double-NVC. Thanks for reading and, as always #SCMF.

—The Gang

Another take on “Black Cat.”

Bonus Content: May the Fourth Be with You – Star Wars Day…


One of the "4th" promos.

One of the “4th” promos.


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