Archive for May, 2008

I’m lovin’ the fact that McDonald’s is acting like this idea of chicken for breakfast is their own!
About two weeks ago, McDonald’s Corporation introduced their brand new, exciting, revolutionary, non-conformist, out-of-the-box menu items: the chicken biscuit and chicken sandwich! I can’t believe it. I’ve never, ever thought about having chicken for breakfast, or even in a sandwich. I’m so glad their new ad campaign has really embraced this “Let’s Hear it for Non-conformity!” idea.
Well hold on. Chick-Fil-A Executives are probably wondering the same thing I am: Didn’t Chick-Fil-A introduce these yummy chicken biscuits in 1984? Tiger Lily.
Now I know that some could argue that McDonald’s revolutionized fast-food chicken. They introduced the chicken “McNuget” in the 1950’s and then rolled it up in a tortilla about two years ago and had an instant success: the Snack Wrap. But for them to claim the chicken biscuit and chicken sandwich as their own is totally ludicrous. They didn’t even put their own twist on the sandwich. The biscuit is sans condiments, butter only. And the sandwich has butter and pickles only. How original.
McDonald’s executives are simply following the trends. And following the money. According to the analysts who watch this stuff, Americans are eating more chicken because of its perceived healthiness and its versatility. (This is also Tiger Lilyish in nature.) First, we think that this new fried chicken sandwich of only 420 calories is healthier than the good old cheeseburger. Oh, and it is! It will save us from an extra 20 calories. Secondly, we like chicken better than beef because we’re bored with beef. Chicken can be rolled into a tortilla, minced up and congealed into a nugget and even diced for a salad.

In fact, this trend to chicken isn’t new, McDonald’s has been moving in this direction for over five years. The last big burger roll out was in 2001: the Big N’ Tasty. But since 2003, they have added something chicken to their menu every year.
So come on. “Let’s hear it for non-conformity.” Why don’t they just say, “Think outside the bun!”? Oh, wait.

Maybe it’s just because I like to cheer for the underdog, or maybe it’s because I adore their cleaver marketing campaign with the cows. But I think that McDonald’s shouldn’t use the tagline, “Let’s hear it for non-conformity” because that’s exactly what they’re doing: conforming. They’re stealing the chicken biscuit!
Please, when you get hungry for breakfast tomorrow and you plan to drive through for a little fried chicken, don’t conform, go to Chic-Fil-A.

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My apologies to my friend Sarah who nominated Ms. Lindsay Lohan for a Tiger Lily weeks ago when the trail was still hot. Or at least the mink coat she was wearing was hot. It seems that Lindsay has expensive tastes on a rehab-drained budget. But stealing? Really? Enough said. Tiger Lily.

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Now this is rich! JC Penney and Sephora have joined forces to bring the Sephora brand of beauty into JC Penney stores. No, I take that back. This is not rich, this is so cheap. My market place of beauty, my plethora of fragrance, my haven of skin care and hair products has been contaminated by the stench of Jaque Penne. Thus, I now award Sephora and JC Penney their very own Tiger Lilies.

The last time I remember being excited about anything “JC Penney” was the Christmas catalogue I thumbed through as a kid in 1984. With my red marker in hand, I couldn’t wait to circle all the toys that I thought Santa might bring. But as an adult, the JC Penney brand doesn’t exactly bring forth that good “butterfly effect.” Instead, it actually induces the Ashton Kutcher type of “Butterfly Effect” and if you haven’t seen the movie, trust me, Ashton didn’t like the way this one made him feel.

Now, I’ve tried to be objective. I’ve tried to sort through some “Worthington” and “Arizona Jean Company” threads. But it’s just not my bag. Maybe I’d rather a snooty salesperson ignore me at an expensive boutique than search for the one JC Penney salesperson that is taking her lunch break at 3:15. It’s just not a place of style.
But Sephora. Oh, Sephora. Now there’s a brand with style. It’s an oasis of beauty in the hustle and bustle of the retail world. It’s a clean, fresh, hip pink-and-black haven of refreshment where you can sample any type of makeup or perfume that you could ever think of. Customers enter and hope prevails. A hope that you will finally find the concealer that will cover your sun-spot, a hope that you will smell that perfect scent your neighbor always wears, the hope that they will actually have the Nar’s lipstick. It’s that butterfly effect that you once had for the JC Penney catalogue. Sephora even sounds like euphoria. All women love it.

Now enter your local JC Penney and you will see how this union of style and Arizona Jean Company is such a “Tiger Lily.” I had to go see for myself. Had this really happened? Had they really put a Sephora in my local, Stack-and-Rack, Baby’s R Us! laden shopping center? Sadly, yes. And although it was as clean and fresh as the first Sephora I discovered in London, it was such an imitation. It was a fourth of the size of a normal Sephora and only carried the lower-end brands. When I inquired with the (very helpful and nice actually) sales lady, she told me that they did not carry the “Nors” (this is how she pronounced it) lipstick.
Disaster. I don’t know if the style of Sephora is strong enough to overcome these new surroundings. Maybe there’s a reason that JC Penney’s old tag line, “It’s All Inside” resonated with me so much. Because maybe it should all stay inside.

But maybe Sephora will allow it’s style to ooze through our local JC Pennies. After all, isn’t that exactly what the brand needs? Their new tag line, “Every Day Matters” is exactly right. Every day that they are still in business, they have the opportunity to infuse the store with style. In 2006, they partnered with Sephora. In 2008, Ralph Lauren himself launched his “American Living” brand that is now in stores nationwide. Maybe that hopeful feeling that every woman gets when she enters a Sephora will become characteristic of JC Penney.

Here’s to hoping. Congrats JC Penney/Sephora on your Tiger Lilies.

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