Every day's a school day

Just when you think you've heard it all, a marketing campaign turns your head. During recent travels I:
  • Learned that Monday is "Redskins Day" at Washington, D.C.-area Papa John's pizzerias.
  • A day after every Redskins game, customers who buy a large cheese pizza get one free topping for each touchdown scored by the Redskins.
  • Saw how Flavor Restaurants in downtown Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, sold sandwiches and simultaneously sparked interest in the town's mayoral election.
  • Behind the restaurant counter, overhead, the staff had adorned a chalkboard with caricatures of the two leading mayoral candidates and details about the restaurant's mock election, which it called a "sandwich battle." Mayoral candidate Cecil Clarke was teamed up with a sandwich that includes mozzarella and Swiss cheese, Montreal smoked meat, bacon and spicy mustard. Candidate Rankin MacSween was teamed with a sandwich that contains basil, fresh mozzarella cheese, sun-dried tomato pesto, tomatoes, salt, pepper and olive oil. If you ordered either sandwich, it was delivered to your table with a little flag stuck on a toothpick adorned with the name of your favorite candidate. The staff kept a tally on the blackboard for all to see.
  • Learned about the 7-Eleven convenience store coffee cup poll.
  • In every presidential election since 2000, 7-Eleven has reportedly sold red and blue to-go coffee cups marked with the names of the major party candidates as well as unmarked cups for undecided voters. Although several scientific polls say the current presidential race is virtually a dead heat, the NBC-TV show "Today" reported earlier this month that Obama is winning the "7-Election" by a 60-40 margin. "Even though the poll bills itself as 'unabashedly unofficial and unscientific,' it has accurately predicted the winners since it began in 2000," Today reported.
  • Saw that commercialization apparently has no bounds.
  • TD Canada Trust, boasting that it "has been leading the comfortable banking revolution for more than 30 years," announced that some of its Canadian branch offices are now open on Sunday. *** If Mike Morris, chairman of American Electric Power Co., or E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State University, are spotted in a Victoria's Secret store, of course they could be shopping. But they might be doing serious research.
    Morris and Gee were recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Limited Brands, which owns -- among other things -- the chain of lingerie stores. Morris also is a director of The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Alcoa Inc. Gee, who was president of West Virginia University from 1981 to 1985, currently also is a director of Bob Evans Inc., the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Inc. and the National 4-H Council.
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