Hip Hop & Liquor: An Affair to Remember

Ever since Busta Rhymes’ 2003 hit Pass the Courvoisier, Part II caused a notable jump in Courvoisier sales, liquor product placement has become pervasive part of hip hop music.

The beginnings of artists’ mentioning liquor brands in their music was relatively innocent, purely motivated by artistic choice rather than financial gain. According to Courvoisier, there was no agreement with Busta Rhymes to have their brand mentioned in the song. But the resulting 20-30% sales increase was hard for liquor companies to ignore. Since then, liquor companies have made a habit of making endorsement deals with hip hop artists. The artists appear in commercials, the liquor appears in music videos and the product names are mentioned in songs.

It’s interesting how mutually beneficial the relationship appears to be. The artists help the liquor companies to sell more product. The artists get paid to promote. And we buy these songs up like hotcakes. (Anyone remember this?) The public doesn’t seem at all turned off by the fact that its favorite songs feature advertisements. Not just ads on before and after it plays on the radio, but during the song. And it’s only growing.

According to a report released by PQ Media, while overall product placement decreased between 2008 and 2009, “the money spent on product placement in recorded music grew 8 percent.”

The hip hop industry’s embrace of brand promotion in its music doesn’t come completely out of left field. True, the music is at the core of hip hop. But the industry is becoming increasingly entrepreneurial. For many hip hop moguls— who have become their own brand— it’s all about diversification. For some, music is their least lucrative venture.

Rapper Jay-Z’s business ventures, when he’s not busy tending to a pregnant Beyoncé, have included: co-owner of the 40/40 Club; investor in Carol’s Daughter, a beauty line; part-owner of the New Jersey Nets; investor in real estate ventures such as J Hotels; co-founder of Rocawear clothing line; co-brand director for Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser Select, among others.

Perhaps even more interesting are the theories of why hip hop music is so compatible with the liquor industry. According to Abram Sauer in the article “Can Hip Hop Cash In?,” it has to do with individual nature of hip hop music and its musicians. Unlike the country and rock genres, a vast majority of hip hop artists perform under an individual name, rather than that of a group or band. Due to this individual nature of “I-ness,” hip hop has become the “most ideal musical format for the genuine personal endorsement of any idea, experience or commodity.”

Gil Kaufman’s article, “Push the Courvoisier,” offers another take. Kaufman’s article cites Lucian James, founder of the brand strategy company LucJam, as stating, “Hip-hop is about the here and now, whereas rock and pop songs tend to be more about eternal themes of love and hate. A lot of current culture is about the things we want and own.”

The question for the music fan is: Are these artists compromising their artistic integrity by being paid to mention brands in their music?

The line between music and merchandise is becoming increasingly blurred. While we can decide not to support an artist who’s raked in a cool million for uttering “Grey Goose” on a track, it’s difficult to avoid it entirely. Product placement is popping up more and more, and only the future will tell what businesses will cook up next.

Ludwig never played us like this.

 

(Photo found here.)

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Public Relations’ Public Relations Problem

It’s ironic that the field of public relations has a public relations issue. You’d think that an industry filled with so many specialists concerned with reputation, image and communication would have the public convinced they are doing God’s work.

Not so.

Public relations is suffering an image crisis and is in need of some serious rebranding. As Stuart Elliott discusses in his article, “Redefining Public Relations in the Age of Social Media,” public relations is just now receiving a revamped definition that is long overdue.

The Public Relations Society of America is heading the effort to redefine “public relations,” a term that was last updated in 1982. It’s safe to say that some major changes have transformed the field since then.

For one, the social media revolution. As Elliott states, social media has transformed the way public relations professionals communicate with the public. Once, the communication was top-down and monological. Now, thanks to such platforms as Twitter and Facebook, such communication is typically two-way conversation.

“Public relations” needs a new definition to fit with new methods of communication, that’s for sure. But the industry’s rebranding shouldn’t be considered complete just because a shiny new definition has been introduced. Those in the industry need to dig a little deeper into what public relations is here for, and what it should take to be considered a public relations professional.

Misconceptions and vagueness surround public relations, making it difficult for the public to trust it and take it seriously as a profession.

As stated in the Elliott’s article, Dan Tisch, chairman of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, acknowledges that the industry “has, at times, had an image problem, which flows from the fact that people quite often view public relations as ‘spin.'”

This is one of those times.

Especially after the BP public relations debacle, the field of public relations isn’t quite out of the doghouse with the public. Like a suspicious lipstick stain on the collar of the industry, that incident (besides being a horrible crisis) has left the public with some serious sentiment of distrust.

For BP, “better late than never” didn’t work out in its favor, and the crisis “management” appeared sloppy and ingenuine. But BP wasn’t the only one hurt in the fallout. It also seemed to badly portray the industry that executed the communication. It left public relations professionals looking superfluous, inept and unnecessary.

It seems that the industry is finally looking inward at its own crisis of reputation.

I believe that now is a better time than ever to establish methods of becoming a “certified public relations professional.” Tisch states that among those working in the public relations industry, “only roughly 10 percent or fewer are actually members of professional associations, subject to standards of practice and codes of ethics.” Without the accountability of certification, it seems difficult to distinguish which are practicing ethics and professionalism, and who aren’t.

It’s time that all who want to be called a “public relations professional” are subjected to standards of certification and held to a standard of practice. The BP incident was a bad apple. It’s time the industry gives the public a reason to trust that there’s accountability in ensuring one bad apple hasn’t spoiled the bunch.

 

(Photo found here.)

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Wine: Beauty is in the Eye of the Sipper?

The wine industry may be having an identity crisis. I came across two articles recently, on either end of a very hot debate: Should we drink cheap wine?

When drinking cheap, do you pay less because it’s a low quality product? Or have we been erroneously convinced that low price and high quality are mutually exclusive?

Brian Palmer’s article “Drink Cheap Wine” cites some very interesting changes in the pricing of wine in recent decades. In 1995, 59 percent of wine purchased in the US was sold for under $3. By 2006, it was down to 29 percent. During this period in which wine consumption was increasing rapidly, so was the market share of higher priced wine, with wines over $14 more than quadrupling their share.

Palmer goes on to explain that recent studies have revealed that “our appreciation of a wine depends on how much we think it costs.” Such studies reproduce what Ernest Gallo (who helped popularize wine among Americans) experimented with casually: people will favor wines they are told cost more…even if the products are exactly the same.

Furthermore, Palmer refers to the “piles of studies” that show that the average wine sipper can’t distinguish between cheap and expensive wines in a blind taste test. According to Palmer, it’s the elite connoisseurs with trained palates who have designated which traits entitle a bottle to more money. Traits that us regular folks likely won’t notice, and won’t necessarily find desirable.

Palmer asserts that if you can break yourself of the “psychological quirk” of equating high price with high quality, “you’ll save a small fortune.”

But don’t go buying out Trader Joes’ supply of $2.99 Charles Shaw just yet. Jon Bonné offers a counterargument to Palmer’s claims in a conspicuously titled article, “The False Promise of Cheap Wine.” Bonné asserts that cheap wine is just that, cheap. The reason why Charles Shaw is able to keep its “Two Buck Chuck” moniker is because its makers cut costly quality and substitute cheap shortcuts.

These shortcuts include such additives as “Mega Purple” (sounds gross, right?) which darkens the color of red wine, gives a sweeter finish and makes an inconsistent product taste more uniform. The practice of adding Mega Purple makes a product more akin to soda than wine.

Bonné calls out Palmer’s article specifically, stating, “And that, ultimately, is what the ‘Drink Cheap Wine’ brigade is advocating: industrial wine that is the equivalent of a Big Mac or Velveeta.” Bonné states that we are buying more expensive wines, not because of manipulation by the wine industry, but because Americans’ tastes for wine has matured.

So which is it? I say somewhere in the middle.

Palmer makes a good point in his article by questioning whether “good” has any objective meaning. I’ve had good and bad experiences with both cheap and expensive wines alike.

While I may have to sift a bit through the world of cheap wine to find one I want to buy again, a cheap bottle be just as likely to cater to my preferences as an expensive bottle.

Of course I expect expensive wine to deliver a high quality experience more frequently than cheap wine. But will paying $25 and beyond guarantee that I will actually like it? Is it worth it to shell out more money for an expensive bottle, when there’s a cheaper bottle I like just fine?

While I don’t want to be drinking Mega Purple, affordable wine isn’t all terrible. Especially not to my novice palate. I’ll continue to make cheap selections cautiously. And I’ll continue to buy whichever wines are pleasing to my unique taste preferences, cheap or expensive.

But I don’t think I’ll ever shun cheap wine entirely, à la Bonné. I may gamble and lose on cheap wine, but at least I’ll have bet a small wager.

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Lessons from the Sandusky Situation

What can one say about the Penn State situation that hasn’t already been said? It’s atrocious. I heard one ESPN analyst call it a “sex scandal” which made me cringe. “Sex” implies consent. This is something else. I’m still trying to think of a word that fits, so for now I’m sticking with “situation”.

The clumsy handing of crisis management is just bad icing on the top of a very bad cake. While it seems as though nothing could make it better, appropriate measures could have been taken to not make it worse. Evidently, Penn State hasn’t been following crisis management protocol effectively, and it’s snowballing into bad on top of bad, on top of bad.

Penn State just enlisted PR/marketing agency Ketchum for crisis management on Nov. 6, the day after Sandusky was arrested. It seems that Penn State waited until the last possible second to come to terms with the fact that they’re in a state of crisis. Enlisting an agency prior to the current media storm — perhaps earlier this year when several senior-level administrators were subpoenaed about the matter — would have only helped to alleviate the current chaos panic they’re now subjected to.

“Better late than never” may not hold true in the case of Penn State. Since enlisting Ketchum happened so late in the game, no opportunity to save face should be wasted.

The most glaringly wasted opportunity is Sandusky’s interview with Bob Costas. If possible, Penn State should have encouraged Sandusky to consult with crisis management practitioners prior to the interview, to avoid coming off as badly as he did. He may not be employed by the university, but they’re in this together (albeit an adversarial arrangement). Any time he’s further ruining his image, he’s doing no favors for Penn State’s.

Rick Kelly wrote recently that if Sandusky & Co. wanted to take the route of establishing a perception of innocence, their approach was way off base. Kelly writes, “To pull it off, however, the accused must be prepared, show some emotion and energy, employ unequivocal denials and express some sympathy toward victims.” Clearly he could not manage to do this on his own, so some serious coaching was necessary.

True, America had formed its opinion of Sandusky before the interview had even begun. But the interview could’ve been a way to portray Sandusky as more human, less monster. But no, Sandusky instead portrayed himself exactly as everyone expected. Perhaps worse. Emotionless, without remorse. Apathetic. It was agonizing to watch him unsuccessfully attempt to convince viewers that this was all some big misunderstanding. Also, he completely ruined the term “horseplay” for me, forever.

While the court of law will ultimately determine Sandusky’s fate, the court of public opinion matters too, especially for Penn State. While Sandusky’s conscience may be coping just fine, Penn State has some serious work to do to avoid losing control of their brand’s reputation. They should have recognized the potential for crisis months earlier, and should have acted immediately. Whether they like it or not, their name is synonymous with Sandusky’s for the time being. They, along with Ketchum, need to go above and beyond to avoid allowing their brand to crumble along with Sandusky.

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Veganism: A Celebrity, Inc. Production

What would you expect to get out of a $24 lunch? To indulge yourself with crab cakes and a glass of wine? A wagyu burger? Duck?

At Pure Food and Wine in New York, your $24 dish would consist of kelp, bok choy, mushrooms, cashews and sauce. You might leave a little dismayed and likely still hungry. But you may have rubbed elbows with Bill Clinton, Tom Brady and Alec Baldwin. Welcome to veganism.

The Vegetarian Resource Group reports that there has been a “marked increase” in veganism over the last decade. And it’s likely to rise. To what do they attribute its success? Well, for one: trendiness.

Celebrity endorsers, including Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, have transformed the image of who the vegan is, and with it transformed the public’s perception of veganism. What the Old Spice guy did for Old Spice, Bill Clinton, et al. have done for veganism.

Vegan chef Tal Ronnen, who has worked for Winfrey and Portia de Rossi, remarks, “I have never seen such a shift…It’s not hippies preaching peace and love…You have a crossover of mainstream business people and good-looking celebrities.”

Sarma Melngailis, the owner of Pure, echoes the same sentiment: “We’ve moved away from that crunchy image. You won’t see that here.”

Ok. So we’ve established veganism is now cool. This might cause some to flock to the lifestyle, in the same way some converted to Kabbalah because Madonnna started sporting the religion’s signature red string bracelet.

And thanks to trendy restaurants like Pure, we’ve also now established that it can be appetizing as well. As Ronnen states, “It’s no longer seen as a diet of hummus and alfalfa sprouts on some really dry healthy bread.” But, does a scrumptious vegan meal come at a premium? One that’s unrealistic for many Americans? Not every American, working full-time for an average salary to support a family of five, can afford a $24 plate of kelp and bok choy.

Portia de Rossi has become a champion of veganism, convincing her wife, Ellen DeGeneres, to convert. In fact, chef Tal Ronnen catered their wedding. The couple has even invested in a vegan restaurant chain, and all of the cooking segments on DeGeneres’ show are vegan.

But when faced with the argument that the price of the vegan lifestyle may deter some, de Rossi cites “foods like beans and rice” as affordable staples, an alternative that I assume many (including myself) don’t find particularly appealing. Her counterargument is nearly insulting. While she is employing vegan chefs to construct gourmet meals, it’s as if she expects average Americans to welcome veganism with open arms, fully accepting that it comes at the cost of enjoyment. At least try to convince us, Portia.

Champions of veganism would more successfully gain converts by communicating the health benefits of the lifestyle, while teaching how it can be delicious and affordable as well.

De Rossi goes on to state, “The more we can demystify the word ‘vegan,’ the better.” The celebrity demystification campaign has been successful in some ways. It’s not for “uncool hippies with no taste buds” anymore. Veganism is now the lifestyle of the rich and beautiful.

But if they want to Americans to really see it as a viable option, they ought to “demystify” the image of veganism as being a lifestyle exclusively for the elite.

 

(Photo by u8mealive found here.)

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Restaurant chains: Putting your money where their mouth is?

Chick-Fil-A was recently voted the third most beloved restaurant chain in the U.S. However, in 2009, the chain’s charitable foundation donated nearly $2 million to organizations with anti-gay agendas including: Marriage & Family Legacy Fund ($994,199), National Christian Foundation ($240,000) and Focus on the Family ($12,500). While the president, Dan Cathy, stated, “We’re not anti-anybody,” it seems the chain has put its money where its mouth is.  But being that their money comes from us, how should we react?

I’ve seen the bumper stickers that read: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,” and I’ve thought it was a little, I don’t know… extreme. Seems like kind of a downer to remind every person that tailgates you that they should be pissed about something. But in some cases the phrase can be a helpful reminder that holds true.

Granted, I don’t know all the legal intricacies of corporate donations, but I’m pretty sure Chick-Fil-A isn’t doing anything wrong…legally. But are we being taken advantage of, even just a bit? Perhaps.

For one, they may be profiting from the fact that Americans view fast food like zombies view brains.

America has a bit of a love affair with food. Fast food. Fat food. Ok, we’re pretty much addicts. No, that’s not hyperbole, folks. One study shows that “high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin.” (And I thought my affair with Kettle Chips was ignited by true love…) So perhaps our judgment when it comes to fast food is a bit skewed. We want our fix. Now. The price at which it comes…well, maybe we just don’t care.

I haven’t found any evidence that Chick-Fil-A’s profits have been hurt by backlash from their anti-gay donations. But somehow, sadly, I doubt much of a dent will occur. Americans love fast food. It seems we turn a blind eye to the calories, fat content, animal by-products and supported agendas, all for the love of greasy deliciousness.

If I lost you at accusing Chick-Fil-A of taking advantage of our nation of addicts, at the very least, may we agree that they’re using our ignorance to their advantage?

In our society there’s a lot of funneling of money going on, we know this. But it just doesn’t seem to be a concept that enters our minds when it comes to the realm of fast food. We prefer to assume that what’s in front of us is a simple, greasy and delicious chicken sandwich with zero social implications. It’s easier that way, I’ll admit it. It’s fast food. You don’t want to have to stop and think about the strings that are attached.

By buying a quick, lovely chicken sandwich you may be voting with your dollars to support a cause you hadn’t intended to. Our society would likely benefit from pausing for a moment to think about where exactly our money is going. We should hold restaurant chains accountable for where they’re putting our money. Even if that means leaving our cravings for a Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich unsatisfied.

So, should we be outraged? Maybe so.

 

(Photo by bigevil600 found here.)

Lessons Learned at A Wine & Food Affair

I spent this past weekend in Sonoma, California attending A Wine & Food Affair. During the makeshift family reunion for my oenophile bunch of relatives, we covered about 20 wineries, tasting wines and an appetizer-sized dish from each. I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area. Being that my focus is public relations, I kept an eye (albeit a tad tipsy at times) on how each winery approached it.

Here are a couple things I picked up along the way, from the guest’s point of view. Some may seem a bit obvious to some of you. But it was enlightening to experience how a winery treats guests, and in turn, how it affected me. Here goes…

1. Social media matters: “It’s 2011 Dawn, who doesn’t care about social media at this point?” Oh you savvy bunch. But I was actually surprised how prevalent it really is. I hadn’t expected it from smaller wineries. Yet, upon some quick research on Twitter and Facebook, I came to find that even some small places are well-established in the social media scene.

I noticed some larger wineries placing their Twitter handles and Facebook addresses at the forefront, in font as large as the name of the place itself.

Dwindling are the days of relying on visitors to provide their email addresses in a guestbook for one-sided communication. Wineries are fully embracing social media.

2. Authenticity matters: This wine festival is illuminating because an array of wineries participate: big, small, commercial, family-owned. One thing I immediately noticed about each winery was how exactly its product was presented.  How available was the owner/winemaker? Or was it just some anonymous staff person silently pouring? As a potential customer, I really appreciated the wineries that had the winemaker at the door, greeting guests, able to answer specific questions about the process of bringing their product to the bottle.

It wasn’t a nameless, faceless product anymore, it was one that was made by someone who cared enough to come talk to me about it. Now that was impressive.

3. Personality counts too: One critical factor that I found determined how I walked away feeling about a winery was yes, the wine, but also the personality. Some of these guys really knew how to engage the visitor. There were the sons at Battaglini who joked and made you feel like part of the family. There was Bob at Carol Shelton Winery whose energy made each guest excited to be there.

There was the hilarious owner at Holdredge whom, upon my request to describe some wines for me, he eloquently stated: “Zinfandel is like Pamela Anderson in a tight leather jacket, like ‘here I am’.” If that kind of description doesn’t make you want to buy wine, I don’t know what will.

And it pays off for the winemaker. I found that some in our group were as likely to buy from someone who stood out, as likely as we were to buy a product that stood out.

4. Smart wineries cater to the customer: This one is kind of similar to the last two. But I have two wineries in mind, on opposite sides of the spectrum. One being a small winery, Frick, located near the house my family stayed in. My family was impressed by the uniqueness and quality of the Frick wines we tasted last year. My father had emailed the owner before our trip and he actually opened up shop on a normally closed day, for a special tasting for us.

On the other side of the spectrum is director Francis Ford Coppola’s winery. Hey, I loved The Godfather just as much as the next Chianti-sipping, Marinara-slurping girl. But his winery… it was suggested by one family member but quickly shot down by groans, the consensus being that it’s “the Disneyland of wineries.” At Coppola, I don’t think they’re jumping to make it a personal experience for you… unless you come to him on the day of his daughter’s wedding, that is.

5. Wineries know their audience: I spoke to one of the owners of Hart’s Desire winery, and he told me that even their wine labels are designed to be pleasing to the eye of their target audience. He’s used the work of a female artist who created images of women for the wine labels. Why? Because women account for the majority of wine sales in the U.S. According to owner John Hart, their rationale is based on the process of a product appealing “From eye, to heart, to hand.”

 

Correction: A Wine & Food Affair takes place in Northern Sonoma County, not the town of Sonoma.

Thanks, William Allen! (http://www.simplehedonisms.com/)

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Friends don’t let friends Facebook drunk

University of Oregon’s newspaper, Oregon Daily Emerald, recently published a story about a study revealing that college students who post content that shows “problem drinking” behavior on Facebook are more likely to be at risk of having a drinking problem. Researchers at University of Wisconsin- Madison and University of Washington studied a year’s worth of Facebook posts by over 300 undergraduate students at their respective schools. The owners of these monitored profiles then completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.

The study found that of those whose posts referred to drunk driving, blacking out and drinking alone, 58 percent met the clinical definition for at-risk problem drinking. The study goes on to state that, “38 percent of those students who displayed alcohol in pictures or status updates were at risk of problem drinking behaviors.”

“Well, duhh.” People who drink heavily, and often, will be more apt to post about it. Seems obvious, but it did cause me to pause for a moment and think about my own Facebook profile, as well as my peers’.

For many Facebook users, visiting someone’s profile and being bombarded with drunken status updates and full-on photo albums of them halfway in the bag pretty much puts them immediately into the “party girl/boy” category. So, being that I’m at the end of my college experience and becoming more and more career-minded (and career-frantic) I wonder how the character presented on my own Facebook profile may affect how potential employers view me.

While I tend to keep my status updates relatively free of Snooki-isms (i.e. “Going to get tanked tonight. Weeeeeeeee!”) I will admit there might possibly be photographic evidence of my sophomore-year-self knocking back some Busch Lights, and such.

Especially in the public relations field, social networking is a resource to be harnessed. In a personal context, social networking allows us to self-brand. Privacy settings increase our ability to filter what content is viewed by which people, thus further allowing us to control the image we project. So why sabotage ourselves?

Those Busch Light memories might have to be quietly taken from my profile, and saved onto a personal hard drive.

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There’s something about the Mc Rib…

Just what is it about the McRib? Somehow, without even trying, I am aware of its presence, aware of the hype surrounding each of its comebacks. I hadn’t even realized the McRib’s buzz as a PR ploy until my (biology major) roommate said: “Whoa, the McRib…that’s some good public relations going on.”

There’s no question, the sandwich has a cult following. There’s an online “McRib Locator” where visitors can submit “McRib sightings.” There’s even an unofficial “McRib Watch” Twitter account. People love this dang sandwich. But whyyy?

It doesn’t seem to be superior taste, as McDonald’s actually pulled it from its regular menu because of lagging sales after its introduction in 1982. Looking at the McRib objectively, it’s not all that appealing. It’s become kind of a punchline among some folk, as its culinary reputation is…questionable. With a list of 70 ingredients, including one that’s found in gym mats, the appeal of the McRib just seems…bizarre.

The key is the “For a limited time only” allure. According to Meredith Melnick, in her article “McRib Fanatics and the Amazing Power of Limited Availability,” retailers know that this concept makes us spend irrationally. The limited availability sales pitch isn’t rooted in quality, utility or desirability: things that we want in a sane state of mind. Instead, retailers bank on the human characteristic of hating to miss out on something.

Apparently we’re suckers for an elusive lover and McDonald’s is profiting from it. Oh…Do you find it odd that I’m comparing a processed meat sandwich to a lover? Well, I’ve got news for you…

“Sort of in the same way that some people are attracted to bad boys (or girls) who won’t commit, the elusiveness of the McRib is part of its appeal.” -Brad Tuttle, Moneyland

“You don’t know when it will appear. It’s the girl who you are in love with who has always been a tease to you.” -Ryan Dixon, Once drove 10 hours to buy a McRib

Paging Dr. Freud!

 

(Photo by alexallied found here.)

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Is there such thing as too much publicity?

Watching food television is something of a hobby of mine. I want to watch it being cooked, being eaten and being served. A friend of mine is a fan of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. The host is a bit too gimmicky and bowling-shirted for my taste, yet I watch anyway. I’ve made a game of decoding all of his “mm-mmming” and ridiculous catchphrases to figure out how he really feels about the food he’s sampling. He can’t love everything, right?

Sometimes it seems too obvious that the dish just isn’t doing it for him. He seems to resort back to one of his stockroom compliments, exclaiming them a little too emphatically to be taken seriously. Or sometimes the food just looks unappetizing. Who’s going to be convinced by that?

Everyone.

After their episode has aired, some restaurant owners have experienced the “Curse of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.” Apparently being on TV gives restaurants a Hollywood glimmer that is irresistible to patrons. So much so, the flocks can be too much for the restaurant to sustain, or it even changes the character of the establishment. Many restaurants seen on shows such as DD&D are hang-out spots well-loved by locals. And when the masses are lining up along the block, it can change what was once loved about the place.

In Hadley Tomicki’s article about the impact of television appearances on restaurants, one owner stated that while their business saw an increase, “Now we’re one of those destination places that people come to from all around. So [after the show], at first some of the regulars realized that they couldn’t come to their favorite place on a Friday or Saturday anymore.”

While it seems clear that restaurant appearances result in increased business for restaurants, the residual effects can be tough to weigh. For some struggling establishments, hordes of patrons would be welcomed with open arms. For others, it could hurt what was once an intimate relationship with locals.

Thanks for the dilemma, Guy Fieri.

(Photo by EdwinP found here.)

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