Monday, April 25, 2005

Dan and Dave

Let me start this with an admission.

Until 5 minutes ago I couldn't spell "Reebok". To be even more honest, I will probably forget it again in my sleep tonight. Tomorrow morning, I will most likely return to the blissful ignorance I awoke with today.

Reebok. I tried Rebocx, Reebox and Reboxx. I am not sure I have ever heard anyone say Reebok, actually. I think I always hear people say Reeboks. The whole plural thing threw me off.

To help me, and you (if you need help) remember the correct spelling, I have found this little system.


At first glance this sounded like profoundly stupid advice. I am having trouble remembering ONE word, why would adding an extra SIX make it easier. Still, If I didn't try new things every once in a while, I would not know the joy of listening to a Justin Timberlake while roller-skating in my bathtub.

Let us try:



Remember, eat everything because of Karl. Sure, it makes no sense, but perhaps it can help me remember.

Maybe I could remember by adding a little back story to the phrase "Remember, eat everything because of Karl":

(Written by Guy Hutchinson. Based in part on the Reebok corporation.)
Karl was a jerk.
He was the guy who would come to your house and use the last piece of toilet paper and then not replace the roll with a new one.

He would double park, even in the fullest of parking lots.

If you offered him a piece of gum, he would take the whole pack.

Worst of all, Karl ate all the leftovers in the fridge.

He didn't care whose house or even WHO'S FRIDGE. Once he even ate some leftover crumbs that were in William "The Fridge" Perry's chest hair.

One day Karl came to Fred Flintstones house. Fred had a leftover bronto rib in the fridge and a slice of dinoberry pie. Karl ate it. Fred was sad, he had wanted to eat that stuff himself.

So Fred did two things. First, he promised himself that, from that day on, he would always say "Remember, eat everything because of Karl". He would tell this to anyone that would listen.

Second, after work the next day he would wait in the bushes by Karl’s house. When Karl came home he would bludgeon him to death with a shovel.

William Perry still mourns.


So, perhaps, that stupid story will help us all remember not to eat other people's food. Oh wait, that's not right. What was that supposed to help us remember?

I'm sure it will come to me later.

Anyway, back in 1992 America had two great decathletes, Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson. I'm not sure what a decathlete is, but I am willing to bet it is BETTER than just an athlete.

Dan and Dave had a lot going for them as they headed to the Olympics in Barcelona. They were photogenic, co-favorites to win the gold and they were FREAKIN' DECATHLETES!!!

So, the sneaker company Reeboxx came up with a brilliant idea, they would make a series of ads highlighting both athletes and their sneakers.

The ads showed Dan and Dave's friends and family, each saying who they thought would win. The ads succeeded in generating tremendous buzz for the two, who previously were unknown outside of track and field circles. The ads ran for 8 months leading up to the U.S. Olympic Trials. All eyes were on Dan and Dave and everyone had a favorite.

Picking a favorite was not easy, however, since the two were almost evenly matched. They had competed against each other in three competitions, where Dave held a three-to-two lead over Dan. Still, Dan had a higher "best score" in the event.

Five weeks before the Olympics, the U.S. Olympic Trials were held. In a HUGE upset, Dan flubbed the pole vault and five failed to qualify. That was it, Dan packed his bags and went home to watch Dave win the gold.

Rebocks changed the marketing campaign. In the new ads, rather than hold his head in shame, Dan emerged as Dave's biggest cheerleader - cheering his former rival to a gold medal.

Then Dave finished third.

THIRD! Not first, not second... THIRD!!!!

It was actually a successful campaign for Reebox as they sold a lot of sneakers and generated a huge amount of hype.

Dan and Dave have fallen into obscurity. In fact, if you look on the web for info on "Dan and Dave" you will more likely find stuff about Dan and Dave the Magicians, Dan and Dave's Pizza and Grinders and Dan Rather crying on Dave Letterman's show.

I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

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