In the News

Solar Eclipse 2017: An Insider’s Perspective

Unlike some of my friends, I didn’t spent my night/day at a camping site in Madras, Oregon, strings of lights scalloped across airy tents, a smush of Milky Way in the clear sky above. I also didn’t wake up at 5 a.m., don a “Total Eclipse of the Heart” tee and hike a mountain in Washington to view an astronomical phenomenon not seen by American eyeballs since Feb. 26, 1979. 

Instead, I got up, walked my dog and worked inside for most of the day. (Minus the 10 minutes I spent hate-tapping my iPhone screen, trying to get it to focus for a somewhat-not-blurry shot of the sun.) 

From my hazy view on a marketing mountain, #SolarEclipse2017 wasn’t an event but an opportunity ….

Dunkin’ Donuts had to show us how to make a pinhole projector.

Denny’s renamed a pancake a “mooncake” just to be relevant.

Mitsubishi released a new car called the Eclipse …

… And Taylor Swift posted a snake-like thing on her suspiciously bare social media accounts that may be a cryptic message about the release of her new single.

The corporate collective seemed to understand that something extraordinary would happen on Aug. 21 and wanted their piece of manufactured nostalgia. Although it’s hardly surprising big business would find a wormhole way to commercialize one of the universe’s most impressive spectacles … with branded spectacles you can win for FREE.  

Ironic then that the brand eclipsing all others in its originality was MoonPie, a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based baked goods company that’s been selling marshmallow sandwiches since 1917. MoonPie (or the creatives who helm the Twitter account) threw some hilarious shade at confectionary giant, Hostess Snacks, when the latter company tried to lay claim to being the “official snack cake” of the eclipse: 

Hostess tried to come back with a culinary truce, but MoonPie was all, nah bruh.

And, for those who want to see what a real photo celebrating the solar eclipse in all its celestial beauty should look like, check out this effort from a crew that scaled the heights of Smith Rock State Park:

Of course the whole trip was sponsored by Columbia Sportswear but with an outcome this stunning, do we even care? I’m loath to write it but maybe sometimes, if there’s an Earth-shatteringly profound outcome at stake, the marketing guck can get eclipsed by what it might cause a few bright minds to create.

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