Archive for August 1st, 2010

Okay, I’ve heard of stores and producers tracking purchases to see who’s buying what (What do you think those grocery store member’s cards are for?), but to plant a GPS tracking device in detergent so the manufacturer’s ad agency can follow you home is going a bit far:

Unilever’s Omo detergent is adding an unusual ingredient to its two-pound detergent box in Brazil: a GPS device that allows its promotions agency Bullet to track shoppers and follow them to their front doors.

Starting next week, consumers who buy one of the GPS-implanted detergent boxes will be surprised at home, given a pocket video camera as a prize and invited to bring their families to enjoy a day of Unilever-sponsored outdoor fun. The promotion, called Try Something New With Omo, is in keeping with the brand’s international “Dirt is Good” positioning that encourages parents to let their kids have a good time even if they get dirty.


Fernando Figueiredo, Bullet’s president, said the GPS device is activated when a shopper removes the detergent carton from the supermarket shelf. Fifty Omo boxes implanted with GPS devices have been scattered around Brazil, and Mr. Figueiredo has teams in 35 Brazilian cities ready to leap into action when a box is activated. The nearest team can reach the shopper’s home “within hours or days,” and if they’re really close by, “they may get to your house as soon as you do,” he said.

Once there, the teams have portable equipment that lets them go floor by floor in apartment buildings until they find the correct unit, he said.

Brazil has a very high crime rate; can you imagine how a woman going home from the market will feel if she notices she’s being followed, or there’s an unexpected knock at the door from someone claiming to be there to give her a prize?

Why do I have a feeling this will end in tears?

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Three shows I follow have been renewed, and it’s a case of “two out of three ain’t bad, but that third one…”

First, TNT’s The Closer was renewed for season seven. While I think the show’s sixth season has been weak so far (three episodes in), I like it overall, the cast is very good, and it’s produced some great dramedy in the past. It was worth renewing.

In Plain Sight is one of my favorite shows, with great characters, stories, and dialog. Another dramedy*, I just think it’s one of the best-written programs on television, but doesn’t get the attention it deserves. In fact, season 3, which I haven’t seen yet, since I follow the series on DVD, revealed declining ratings and the danger of cancellation. So, I was happy and surprised to see it renewed not just for one, but two seasons. Let’s hope it regains its audience and justifies USA’s faith.

Here’s an earlier review I did of In Plain Sight.

Meanwhile, the “huh?” of the subject comes from the announcement of TNT’s renewal, after only three episodes, of Rizzoli & Isles, which I reviewed a little over a week ago. Since writing that, I watched the third episode, “Sympathy for the Devil;”  while it was an improvement, that’s only because the abysmal second episode set such a low bar. I can only think that TNT has great faith in the show in spite of its declining ratings, or the stars must have compromising photos of the network execs.

*(I’m detecting a pattern in my tastes… 🙂 )

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