19 Episode results for "Sarah Wyman"
Trailer: We're back!
"Let's face it. We are surrounded by brands. It starts when we're kids with bowls of fruit loops and PBS as with skippy smooth peanut butter. There's the smell the Plato fresh out of the CAN brands evoke emotions. Like when you smell something like your grandmothers makeup. You haven't smell you know since you're a kid when you'd see these things. It lit up memories and behind the brands. We think we know so well. There are stories people we don't. I went my girlfriend and I said Hey. Did you know that there really was this lady. The widow. Okay cow I think the Marlboro woman got a bad break. We can forget that when we think. About leg warmers in kind of funny eighties. Dance moves on brought to you by. We uncover those forgotten stories stories. Finally everyone is catching up to us. Was it the construction worker and it feels like the village people for Cigarettes Company. Make them look appealing appealling. We have emotional ties to spam for you. Sarah Wyman have been invited to join the Society for the restoration and preservation of red m. and M.'s. I'm Charlie airman and we are back starting February nineteenth. We got an all new season of brought to you by from business insider. Coming your way subscribe on Apple podcasts. Stitcher sure spotify or wherever you listen what fun we had.
Send us your "Product Misplacement" stories!
"Hey Charlie Herman here brought to you by his in-between seasons right now we're working on new episodes that will come out later this fall. Tall. Context of. Keller. Lake. One of those episodes is going to be all about you our listeners. You may have heard a segment in some of our stories that we call product displacement. It's where we hear from you about how brands have played unexpected role in your life choosing to eat fat Oreo was the first time. I. Consciously broke one of God's laws. It was swept hand nation. I started thinking of them as my sweatpants, brothers and sisters. We're looking for more product placement stories about rights of passage. Is there a brand that made you feel grownup maybe when you got married or had your first child, there's a brand that's now forever connected to those moments. Maybe you snuck up to the mall and got your ears Pierced Clare's about your parents permission or you and your dad drove the family Volkswagen across the country when you moved away to college we. Want to hear about it. If you have a story to share call, six, four, six, seven, six, eight, four, seven, seven, seven and leave a message or recorded voice memo and email it to us at B. T. Y. BE AT business insider dot com be sure to put product displacement in the subject line will listen to all of them and if your stories chosen, we may work with you to adapt for the podcast. For some inspiration here's a product placement story we aired last year. I'm Christie Salomon currently live in Denali National Park Alaska but I'm originally from Utah and the brand that had an effect on her life. It says scrubbing bubbles, the bathroom cleaner that's because her house growing up it was banned. Forbidden Christie told Producers Sarah Wyman that this became an issue when she was around six years old. It was spurred by the commercial. It was really fun was these bubbles it ran around the bathroom and we're going to give this bathroom to China which select I just wanted it just looks like so much fun and my mom was like put me in our House That's made by Dow Chemical. They meet Napalm during Vietnam. Let's go down the drain. We. Talk and I was like, oh? Okay. Not Knowing what any of that meant? The company began making depot. In nineteen, sixty five. I remember telling somebody at a grocery store. I must have purchased it or picked it up or my mom made me take it back. And I remember just handing it to somebody like namie napalm in. Vietnam. So I need to get comet instead. I have a very vivid memory handing this to like the poor guy at the grocery store that surprises with the hapless. Neither of you totally understanding why this bill. Even, in high school, I had a friend. He knows the Cubo that comes over to your house and earn high school and. said his aunt was an executive Dow chemical. I just like. Shot you`re Never. And my mom's like does she know what? She does her living A. got. Older, like my first apartment, you know my first house she I remember coming to my house and looking in my bathroom cupboards to see if I had to cover off. And I'm not GonNa lie I was about twenty five I bought scrubbing bubbles revolt. I wanted to see what these bubbles could do. And I used it Nagata in my eye. And it stung. Stunned for through his second while I rinse debt. But during those thirty seconds, all that could go through my head was I'm going to go blind. And I'm GonNa have to tell my mom. It's because scrubbing bubbles only. Would go through my head. In nineteen. ninety-seven Dow sold scrubbing bubbles to SC Johnson son. And I didn't know that until a few years ago. And At the time my mom was going through chemo. It didn't look good and I. was like mom please can I use scrubbing bubbles now? Like the war was forty years ago you. Can I please use scrubbing bubbles? And my mom, I she my Mama's Buddhist, and she strong belief that she would be reincarnated. She told me she would be reincarnated to something that would disturb my usage of scrubbing bubbles. But I can't not walk through a cleaning I'll. Work at the scrubbing bubbles staring at me. Like she's saying. It is. It's like she she got reincarnated as they can. Levels don't you dare take the. I think now. It's a matter of closeness to now that she's gone. Like 'cause I can't see a Kansas coming without thinking about my mom. Let's Cristea Solomon. The works really well. Try. A couple times. If your own product displacement story to share again, call six, four, six, seven, six, eight, four, seven, seven, seven, or record voice memo and send it to be t y be at business insider dot com. Again, the theme is rights of passage. So now we're GONNA be anxiously refreshing our inboxes waiting to hear your stories and then we'll be back later this fall with new episodes of the show. Thanks again for listening.
Insider Edge: The first questions to ask if you're laid off
"Hey Charlie Herman here, host of business insiders podcast brought to you by we know you listen to this is success for conversations with some of today's most inspiring leaders to hear stories about how they did it and what advice they have. For the next few weeks, we're leaning into that advice part and presenting conversations I'm having with corporate coaches and workplace experts. We call this series insider edge on the job. You can find more conversations like the one that's coming up at our website. Bitterly Ford. Slash insider edge some of the topics include how to nail a job interview over zoom or how mentorships can make the workplace less toxic. We think are really relevant to helping you find success at work again that's bitterly Ford. Slash insider edge there's also a link in the episode description. From business insider this is insider edge on the job on Charlie her. The coronavirus pandemic has hurt the economy shuttered businesses and lead to widespread layoffs, and if that's happened to, you know what it feels like. It's not only losing a paycheck but in some instances losing a sense of self Susan Pepper Corn is an executive and career coach who guides people through transitions and she told me there's a reason for that. We're losing not only the job will losing a community of people some of whom are friends We're losing, our income. In some cases we're losing health insurance and we're losing our identity. And all of these things happen at once and we have no control over it none whatsoever how do you counsel people in this? Age of anxiety. About the fact that they could lose their job at any point. Well, the way that I would before the corona virus, which means this that we are responsible for our own careers. No matter what. And that we have to be in control of our own careers because the days of companies and organizations taking care of us are long long gone. It sounds like you're saying you should be prepared at any moment. You could be let go. You always need to be thinking about what an except for you if you want have a career. Yeah that's what I am saying. That's a little I. Don't know. There's there's an element of how does that foster? Loyalty or you want to invest in a company if you're kind of thinking wow at any point, they could let me go. Well, it doesn't really foster loyalty, but loyalty can be built in different ways. It can be built in communities that you choose to build and that you choose to foster. And those communities can be built in an organization where you work, but it doesn't have to be slavish loyalty to the company itself to the company itself. Exactly. So if you know or you sense that there could be layoffs coming to your organization, how do you best prepare yourself Kanye? Yes, you can. You know what I find with people that I work with the single biggest regret that I hear about. Is that they did not keep their network refreshed because when you're working. You busy doing your job and you don't think that it's important to network. Especially, you know if you're working in, you have a family and there are other things that you doing outside of work and you've got a good job anything things are going fine. But the single biggest regret that people tell me about is that they didn't continue to network while they were working. It's sort of like having rainy day fund like always kind of being ready that something could go wrong. Yes. But it's more than that. I would say Charlie it's really about building relationships because when you call it a rainy day fund, it sounds a little. I don't know callous away. You know that you're building this fund just to have people there if you need them in case, something goes wrong but that's not really the goal of having a network. The goal of having a network is to give to that network as well as to take from that network. You started going through things that you can do to be prepared. If you think you're going to be laid off. Sure. So we talked about the network, keep a list of your accomplishments. Most people don't do this. You know most people go through the day in their week and they're like, okay, I did this I did that and then they're onto the next thing. But when you have to create a resume after you've been laid off and I've seen this hundreds of times. To, go back and think through a year ago two years ago five years ago is extremely difficult to remember back over periods of time. But if you keep a list on a daily and a weekly basis of things that you accomplished and I'm talking about where you've made an impact like an action that you took and what resulted from that action, a business result, it will be so much easier for you to construct that resume one, you need it and you know if you have a resume updated periodically and keep a fully fleshed out linked in profile. have. A good photograph. You know have an about section which a lot of people don't use even if you don't suspect that you're going to be laid off but just as a best practice to keep you brandon fresh. Then, if it happens, you'll be prepared and you're not scrambling. At the eleventh hour especially when you were in emotional crisis when you're in a state of what do I do in suddenly have to think I have to update my linked in profile and ready a description about myself. Especially when you're not feeling good about. What do you advise people that when they're in that moment? That they have just been told that they're being let go. How do they respond? What should they say which they do? Take a deep breath. You're going to be overwhelmed by emotion. Most people are some people cry. The reality is you are shell shocked, and so the best thing that you can do is to say nothing, and in fact, you can say to the employer When you're told that you would like to go home you don't recommend trying to negotiate there in the moment. Job. Because Ninety nine point nine percent of the time you can't do anything about it. Usually these are business driven decisions that have nothing to do with the performance of the person that it's happening to. Now especially now around the pandemic. The reasons for layoffs have nothing at all to do with the people being affected these a purely purely business decisions and I think that that's really important for the person being affected to remind themselves of because there's a lot of self-reproach nation that goes along with being laid off. It's sort of like what you hear when you're dating but this time it's true. It's not about you. It's about them. The company Susan says, there are still some things that you can do in this situation like asking your employer. If you can send out the announcement of your departure, you WanNa take control as much as possible of the messaging around your leaving. You also want to check to see if your manager will agree to be a reference for you. If you're next employer is looking for one, you don't want a written letter. Those are pretty much worthless. Susan has developed a checklist of steps to take. As soon as you've been laid off starting with unemployment insurance do qualify for unemployment unless you've been let go for cause. Let's say you know you've stolen money from the company. And you're being fired okay and I'm using the word fired deliver different than laid off. That's different than layoff then you're not eligible but under every other circumstance, if there's been downsizing if they've been a restructuring, you are eligible for unemployment and I want to add to that. Even, if you're going to receive severance, which in some cases, employees are eligible for if you get a lump sum severance package, you are still eligible to collect unemployment the day after your last day of an employment. What are other questions that you need to ask? If not right in the moment you've been laid off but very shortly afterwards. So you need to ask when you're going to receive your last paycheck. Are you going to get paid for unused vacation time? You need to ask if you're going to receive severance. Our companies required to provide severance no but you certainly can ask for it is negotiation possible either to get one or even to get more. Yes in both cases, especially if you're at a senior level. You need to ask if you're at a senior level, you need to ask about stock and stock options. The, other thing you need to be aware of is whether there is a non compete clause. Either in your employment contract or in your severance agreement. So if you have a severance agreement, don't just sign it. have an employment attorney. Look it over because you don't WanNa be Bounden restricted by a non compete clause, which could make it very difficult for you to get reemployed in the same industry. If you're negotiating for more money in the company, just won't provide to when you've been laid off what are other things you could try and negotiate for to help smooth the process of being like Oh. Okay. So that's a good question you could ask for career transition services. The Lingo in the industry is called outplacement services. So that's how HR People refer to it. Services provided by individuals or companies that help people with things like resumes. How to look for jobs so that is definitely something that can be asked for that is not necessarily offered unless someone will ask for it and what about healthcare what often happens with health care is that an employee will go on something called Cobra, which is a continuation of healthcare benefits but from the employees perspective, it's much more expensive than what they would have been paying in as an employee of the company. So what they should be asking for is a continuation of their health care plan for a period of time as it had existed previously. Okay, and then what about if you've been fortunate enough to have some sort of retirement account? What did you think about when you're laid off? Can you completely fund it? You know for the year if you're laid off before the end of the Hallandale year meaning if you're laid off in March, could you put in all the money replanning to put in your 401k to December at that point in March? Yes you can ask your employer is something that you can do. So that's one thing, and then you should talk to a financial advisor about what the specifics are about how long you have to rollover that 401k and whether you can keep it in your previous employers investment system. These are all specific things you can do. Once you've learned that you're being laid off and you're not going to have a job but part of being laid off as we've talked about his there's the emotional component to it. It's like you are going through five stages of grief and there's maybe out of six one embarrassment. So how do you prepare emotionally what advice do you give long-term going forward did just cope with the fact that you have been laid off from your job. I. Think the biggest thing that I would recommend is to resist self criticism. That's number one when something like this happens. Our minds are naturally going to go to what could I have done differently. What could I have done to prevent this from happening, pull yourself out of that, you know stop reliving it. Number two is really take action. So a lot of those things we were talking about Charlie. Apply for unemployment. Update your resume. Talk to your friends and family about what happened start to activate your network, refresh your linked in profile. Take stock of your finances, all these things will give you a sense of I'm in control I can do these things. Yes something happened to me that I didn't have control over, but these are things that I can do. To take back control over my own life and my own career. Susan. Thank you very much. You're welcome. Susan. Pepper corn is an executive career coach at positive workplace partners. Her article in the Harvard Business Review is titled Seven questions to raise immediately after you're laid off, we have a link at our website bit league forward, slash insider edge, and if you'd like to hear more episodes in our insider edge on the job series, you'll find that same website again, bitterly forward slash insider edge, and if there's an issue that having at work or topic, you'd like us to tackle. Let us know send an email to audio at insider dot com or even better recorded voice memo with your question, and then email that to us. We just might use it in an upcoming episode. Finally. If you enjoy this conversation, be sure to check out another great podcast from business insider called brought to you by it's about the brands you know and the stories you don't you can find it on apple podcasts Stitcher spotify or wherever you listen. Insider edge on the job is produced by Julia, Press and Sarah Women Music is from audio. Network. Sarah Wyman is our showrunner I'm Charlie Herman. Thanks for listening.
Gangs? At Disneyland?
"Hey, if you wanna know what Mark Zuckerberg is thinking or Hillary Clinton or Hollywood power players like shonda rhimes, you have to check out Recode decode CARA. Swisher is the co, founder and editor at large at Recode and her show Rico decode is home to in-depth interviews with tech immediately key players about their big ideas and how they're changing the world. Rico decode is a podcast that publishes every week on Mondays and Wednesdays with frequent bonus episodes on Saturdays, subscribe to Rico, decode on apple, podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you're listening. This episode is about Disney and Disneyland. And yet I have to give you a language warning. So it's that kind of Disney episode. You might spot them in the smoking section. At disneyland. Grown adults wearing matching denim jackets, big patches on the back. Like you might see on a motorcycle gang a little bit. A little bit, and then we'll decide where we want to go from there. They go by names like tomorrow, land, ravage, IRS golden skulls fountains of color nightmare crew. Sons of anarchy and the white rabbit's Disney down. There are lots of rumors about these groups that they take over whole rides that they get in fights sui-chung claiming gangster like tactics. Then we looked closer and we saw the Mickey Mouse hands on the skull goes. We found a lot of glitter and his Allison wonderland would say, things got curiouser and curiouser. From business insider in Stitcher. This household name. Brands, you know, stories, you doubt I'm Dan, Bob. Today, the gangs at Disneyland. It's not a game. There's there's nothing gang about it today. The social clubs at Disneyland that look kind of like gangs. Hundreds of Disney fans are in these groups, and it makes you wonder, why did grown adults dress up in vica vests to go to a theme park, stay with us. All right. Our producer Sarah Wyman is from southern California. She grew up not far from Disneyland close enough to go on field trips there in high school. So when we were looking for stories, if you months ago, we saw these headlines about gangs being reported in the news and I asked her to look into what was going on. So Sarah, what is going on? Okay. So here's the thing most people think of Disneyland as just being like for kids, but for as long as Disneyland has existed. There have also been adult fans of the park grownups with season passes who just love going to Disneyland and in twenty thirteen. Some of those fans started to get organized. They formed groups of like-minded disner DHS who wanted to hang out at the park together and they called their group's social clubs. Okay. So a lot of people, I mean, how big a deal is this? I mean, it started out way smaller than it is now like just a couple of clubs, but word spread really fast. Most other adult Disney fans started noticing these clubs around the park, seeing pictures of them on Facebook and Instagram, hearing about it from their friends and the social clubs took off like crazy. How crazy at this very moment. Dan, there are more than seventy registered clubs on the social clubs of Disneyland website. Some of these clubs have hundreds of people in them. They meet up in hang out in the park almost every day they ride rides, get food, walk around as a group, and then there's their outfits. So how did these we heard about these biker vests style? How do those vests as matching vests become part of the equation? Well, the social clips wanted to make themselves recognizable so they could easily spot one another around the park, and it was too hot to wear jackets, and they weren't entity shirts. So they settled on vests, and they really leaned into it like they got giant patches. Rockers is what they're called to. So on the backs. They came up with funny names for their clubs, like sons of anikin and the main street elite, and they re drew Disney characters to make them look, tougher edgier kind of bad ass. So basically if Walt Disney had had a biker gang aesthetic, this is what the whole place would look like. Exactly. And on some level, I think the social clubs knew that this was kind of a polarizing choice, but like they thought it was funny kind of harmlessly ironic to acquaint this very childish thing they were doing going to Disneyland with a bunch of adults to hang out with something that felt much more adults, much more hardcore. That was the point. Here's the problem though. Once the social clubs started to project that image, even if to them it was tongue in cheek. They started to attract some people who were actually into the motorcycle gang aesthetic, where at least more into that and the bigger the social clubs has got the more people started making their own clubs, the less control anyone had over who was joining the club's what those clubs stood for or what version of the community they were presenting to the outside world. And that's where the real problems started to give you an idea look at these headlines. Okay. One of them says, lawsuit, alleges mafia-like tactics aimed at Disneyland social club. The young tattooed obsessive fans roaming Disneyland and Disneyland. Social clubs, accused of behaving like outlaw, motorcycle gangs. Sarah is the story you found at all, like these headlines. I actually found a different story and like all good, Disney, fairy tales. It starts in a magic kingdom with a Princess of sorts with a big dream and some big problems. Her name is Roxy and she does not look like she's in a biker gang. My hair is brightly colored, and my go-to look is covered in glitter and hologram. I like walking cartoon character. Roxie is the president of a social club called the banging babes. Actually, she doesn't like being called the president president can be impeached. So instead she goes by HVAC of the bang babes head bitch and charge unless we're in Disneyland. And then it stands for head babe in charge. There's no official leadership structure for the whole social club community, but Roxy is kind of as close as it gets. She plans events. She handles media requests. She mediates conflicts between clubs. If you have a problem, you take it to Roxie. You need place to crash. You know, you need help with your car. You need anything. You've got it, you know. And sometimes it comes from your own club and sometimes it comes from other clubs. Your club is like your immediate family and your and the community is like your extended family. Every club has its own distinct personality Roxy club. The banking babes is an eclectic group like sneezy and sleepy or happy and grumpy. At first glance, it's not totally obvious what they have in common, but like Snow White and her seven dwarves the benching babes have formed their own Mary gang. Again, obviously, sparkling, add some rhinestones to it and making sure it's super extra and then I'll wear. That's Ashley. That's true. Then there's Lawrence professional makeup artists by day and drag Queen lily rose by night vision. When we come home from the park, I'm always like, okay, rhinestone check and Joe, I'm the, I'm the boring when I'm no. I always have actually like avocado chapel lurch. These people are rock sees family. She trusts the pixies to babysit her son, Ashley, who's a nurse has taken care of Roxy when she's been sick. Joe went through a break-up earlier this year and Lawrence and Ashley helped him get back out there and all the pixies have spent hours helping lily rose film and audition for the TV show. Repulse drag race, you know, you talk to social club members and they'll tell you that, you know, they felt like an outcast and they met their club, and now they have a family or they were alone. And you know, now they have best friends and but almost everyone in the social club scene was some kind of outcasts at some point. And then we found each other. I'll have really of the snow Snow White the Princess. But like most princesses Roxie is road to her happily, ever after to Disney wasn't an easy. Once upon a time in a faraway land of northern California Roxy grew up watching Disney movies and a lot of Disney princesses she had an evil stepparent. Well, evil might be a strong word, but that's what it felt like to hurt. When Roxy was six. She says her stepdad tried to make her sleep in an unfinished attic space. It was totally Cinderella though. You know, with the whole lake, stepmom walking around the addict type of thing, like making your live in the attic. I was like, okay, yeah, we're, we're Cinderella over here. But from that I took well, that means that I'm just going to be a Princess. He orders me around. Well, there's one thing they can't order, meet your stop dreaming. And perhaps someday Roxy started looking for ways to bring that Disney magic into her real life. So for as long literally, as long as I can remember, I've been playing in costumes and wigs and Lenny Thac honest up. When she was a teenager, she tried acting anything that I could do or anything that I could go to. That would let me dress up or put on a costume or stuff like that. And as an adult Roxie kept dressing up, she found new ways to perform different versions of herself, more confident versions. Like my eighteenth birthday, I went down to a strip club and was like, you wanna hire me. I'll make you a bunch of money versions that literally fought evil or at least people dressed up like evil. I was a wrestler after that, and I did like WWF style wrestling and then Roxy moved onto live action role playing loping and dungeons and dragons. She built alter egos in new universes. Roxy was feeling good about herself good about her life until those versions of herself weren't the ones she needed anymore by twenty fourteen Roxy and had a son Schuyler Schuyler had special needs Roxy. And scholars dad had split up and Roxy was getting tired of fighting evil. That's when she rediscovered Disneyland. When you walk into Disneyland, you're just you're transported and it's a different place in the real world problems aren't there anymore, and you can just go back to being a kid and for a few hours, you can just let go of everything else and have that childhood innocence and go on rides and eat junk food and just be in a place that is safe and. Magic. When he was designing Disneyland. Walt went to great lengths to keep the real world out like it's really hard to find a newspaper in Disneyland. There's nowhere to watch live sports either and in his most magical trick of all Walt built Disneyland. So you can't hear traffic when you're in there even though the park sits right next to a major freeway when so when you walk into Disneyland, you're just you're transported. Main street USA which stretches from the entrance turnstiles to the center of Disneyland is based on the neighborhood or Walt grew up in Marceline Missouri. It's the architectural equivalent of a barbershop quartet, quaint and old tiny. The buildings are different shades of bright, pastel with crisp white scalloped molding. It's the best version of his hometown that Walt could imagine. And so when you're walking up main street that nostalgia comes through your in a place that doesn't actually exist anywhere in America, but still feels recognizable and powerfully. Nostalgic Disneyland is a place where we can go and doesn't matter where we're from. You know, for Richard poor, if were you know, male or female, or whatever is a place where we can go. And we all feel like little kids. So in early twenty fourteen when Roxy I learned about these new Disneyland's social clubs, she decided to start her own. They call themselves the benching babes or the pixies for short Roxy says they're kind of like the sorority of the social club scene and Roxy as the founder of the benching babes became a little bit like the fairy godmother in Cinderella. You can't go to the bowl tonight. The ball open. I'm not call Shula. We'd have to hurry because even miracles take near. The bang babes are fabulous glamorous over the top, super colorful people. And if you don't like glitter, you should not be a member like any other self, respecting Disney social club. The battering babes were vests with customize rockers. Remember those are patches. You've got a top rocker, a bottom rocker, and that have words on them, and then the middle is tinker bell and it's like a bust. She's got Mickey ears on. She's got a big bow on her head. So it's very, you know, it's it's the kind of vested the bikers wear that like sons of anarchy, you know, that kind of thing. But a lot glitter Roxy moved from the bay area to southern California. So she could live closer to the park. She's only a five minute drive away from downtown Disney. She and the beggaring babes go to the park as. Often as they can and they dress up though to be clear, they're not dressed up as Disney characters, but as themselves the most colorful extravagant fantastical versions they can dream up Ashley. One of the pixies explains it's more than just a costume. Whether it be addressed a necklace. You can't go to the bowl without him a homes objects come to life state of blues. Coach, of course. It's not just a human. It's, you know, it's their optics. Are accessories turn into breathing things for us that does it, I guess, except for yes. Yes, the finishing touch and that you. I was like, I want to walk out of here looking like a drag Queen and I was to, I. Putting on the makeup and the outfits and you know the costumes, so to speak, it helps. And it does get you in character, I guess, is the best way to put it. You know, when I'm just me when I'm just on the couch in mom mode, that's different than Schuyler is my main priority. You know, my house, you know, stuff like that. I'm not sure that I could consistently be the same person that I am at Disneyland. If I wasn't done up. It's like a dream. Wonderful dream come true. Roxy had started to feel like the banking babes were her happily ever after. But like. I buffet this cat last. On a September afternoon last year. Roxie got a phone call, Jake called me, and he was like, you you, you have to hear what's going on. We're being sued. What do you mean we're being sued. I absolutely did not believe it. I actually kind of thought he was playing a prank on me like it was that ridiculous that I was just like, no, no. You're you're fucking with me. Turns out he wasn't on the stroke of twelve. The spell will be broken. Everything would be as it was before. That's coming up. This episode of household name is brought to you by American Express, see business differently, see big expenses as big opportunities, see no room to maneuver as room to keep growing. See, another problem is, how can we help see late nights as late nights, it is still business. Get the powerful backing of American Express. Don't do business without it. Learn more at American Express dot com. Slash c. business differently. That's American Express dot com. Slash c. business differently. 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Tweets guide crushing the five barriers to growth at net sweet dot com slash household. Now that's net sweet dot com slash household to download their free crushing the five barriers to growth guide today, net sweet dot com. Slash household. So we started this episode seeing what looked like biker gangs hanging out at Disneyland. Then we met Roxy and she's not at all what we expected. Her group is more of a family of Disney lovers who share this common bond together. And then there's this lawsuit that makes these groups sound very different than the impression we got from Roxy, Sarah, what is going on here to understand that we have to go back to that phone call Roxie got from this guy. My name is Jake fight. Jake tells Roxy that some guy from another social club is suing him plus a bunch of other social clubs and even Disneyland and big health insurer lawsuit, alleges things like defamation invasion of privacy conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. This is where those headlines came from about gangster like tactics. The lawsuit is still pending, but a lot of people in these groups will tell you they. I think the whole thing just comes down to one guy with a big grudge. What's important for our story though is what this lawsuit has done to image of the social clubs. So you haven't seen any evidence of what's in this lawsuit? No. But if you look at people like Jake, you can see why some people might not have the best first impression of some of these groups. He is a lot less glittery than Roxie and a lot less outwardly Disney, I guess you'd say I'm just your average white guy with a beard. You wouldn't think twice about it. We saw me on the street. It's like I have a closet full of sparkly Mickey years. I collect now that at all, Jake's the founder of another social club called the white rabbit's. That's an Alice in wonderland reference in case that wasn't obvious to Jake. Disney isn't important, but Disneyland is he and some of the other white rabbits even host a podcast, all about Disney's underbelly. The shows about Disneyland, but it doesn't sound at all like something of Disney would produce. Down the rabbit hole with idiots. Jake goes to the park with his buddies to feel like he's back in high school and like a bunch of rowdy high schoolers. There's sometimes a nuisance to other parkers, like Jake told me about this thing. They do call the ride takeover. Yeah, I think the most we ever had was about one hundred and seventy something in line, and there's a ride at Disneyland California venture, it's called soar and over the world. And it's this big. It's a whole bunch of clubs, everybody in their vests, and they all get on the same ride. So a whole roller coaster or hold room or every car on a ride is full of social type members beans? Absolutely nothing to anybody. You know, there's no real value in that, but to do it with a group of one hundred seventy of your friends just to say you did. It is a lot of fun, but it does mean something to other regular park goers who aren't in social clubs. Critics like Jason Petros. If you see one person invest their, like. They're like. Not to offend anybody, but the cockroaches where you see one, you know there's a bunch just right in the area and you'd have to wait a little bit. Jason is an adult Disneyland superfan. He spent a lot of time in the park in. He doesn't like the social clubs. He doesn't think gangs and he doesn't believe the online naysayers either. But when he sees the social clubs at Disneyland, he does find a lot of them intimidating. He doesn't like it when they crowd lines and big groups or when they act like they have some kind of special claim on the park, and he really doesn't like the leathery biker. Look that a lot of the clubs, where is that tough act mentality in a place that's literally designed for families to have fun together doing the same thing. It doesn't fit. It doesn't belong. It's not welcome. You know, they call Vesti's. This is Roxie again the the, they think it's like a derogatory term for a while. This dynamic, the critics in the park in the social clubs in the park. All that stayed in the. Park, but then so the article came out the article about the lawsuit. And of course, anyone that didn't like us already was thrilled with this article because they could use it as ammo. Now, the social clubs were under a bigger microscope. Roxy photo was included in the LA times article that initially unleashed this wave of media attention on the social clubs. She was quoted in story too. So when people started commenting on the article calling the social clubs names, she took it really personally, and we'll get into these like conversations with them and it's like, well, gee. Do you have a problem with us as people will? No, not really. Okay. We'll has anyone ever harmed you you know from our community? Oh, no, no, not really. Okay. Well, what what is the problem? Oh, will you guys look like gangsters you look like thugs or you, you know, and awesome to picture of my group and be like, really, we look like, thugs, are you serious? You know, like I was not aware that gangsters were so much glitter for Roxie. The reason the benching babes exist. The reason the social clubs exist is to remind people that there's magic in the world and for the battering babes that has everything to do with how they look and with how other people feel when they see them all dressed up. Roxy told me about a time. She was standing in line for the pirates of the Caribbean ride. She was wearing poofy ballgown skirt bedazzled from head to toe. All of a sudden, I feel this tug on my dress and look down and there. There's a little girl Schmidt's been like three years old standing next to me tugging my dress in looking at me and I was like, oh, Hello. And I'm looking around like where her parents, the girl was totally spellbound by Roxie. She was like, I'm ride with the Princess. So Roxie toba little girl's mom to move up next to her in line to ride the ride with her. This is how Roxie wants everyone to feel when they see her. She wants them to see a person who's bright, happy, fun and hopeful. She wants to see at Disney Princess rocks. He's been trying on different costumes, her whole life to make herself feel like she succeeding in that mission with bang babes with the social clubs. She feels like she's finally done it. So when people who don't know her look at her and say, she looks like a thug like a bully, like a criminal to Roxie. It feels like they're saying she's failed. But in the face of all, the criticism Roxie isn't shutting down the bang babes. She's deliberately growing it. She's recruiting new members. After the break Roxie takes the stand. If you're like me, the list of books you wanna read is never ending and feels like there's no time to read them all. Thankfully, our sponsor blankets has solved this problem once and for all blinking is the only app that takes thousands of the best-selling nonfiction books into stills them down to their most impactful elements. So you can read or listen to them and expand your knowledge all in under fifteen minutes anywhere. Anytime from your phone, you can check out blinks of books like tools of titans by Tim Ferriss the snowball Warren Buffett, and the business of life or get smart by Brian Tracy. You can read the blinks on the subway, listen in your car or while you're on a walk. And right now for a limited time, blinking has a special offer just for our audience, go to blinking dot com. Slash household to start your free seven day trial. That's blinking spelled b. l. i. n. k. s. t. Bo. Dot com slash household to start your free seven-day trial, blinking dot com. Slash household. We're back things going over here working here Roxy and the battering babes are Lawrence's house. Lawrence again is a professional makeup artist. So there's a reason why they liked to get dressed up here. So there's actually wishful. I, I usually do her makeup and a here, but I'm actually using a stick foundation. They're getting ready to go to Disneyland, but it's not just any old day trip to the park today. They're pulling out all the stops dressing to the nines, putting extra glitter on everything because today they're welcoming a new member into their family. I am wearing a blue and white polkadot like pinup style girl dress, and I'm wearing my black vest with lots of cute buttons. This is Becky. She's been hanging out with the banging babe since January since before the social clubs landed themselves in their PR crisis of sorts, and Becky doesn't know it. But today the bang. Babes are going to give her her patch. It's an initiation, a lot of clubs, column prospects, or the call him hang arounds or whatnot, and we don't. We call them pledges. Just like if you were to budget sorority and we have a hazing process. The process starts with an online application. It's twenty pages long, and it's got all kinds of questions on it. Not just the ones you'd expect if you were trying to join what is essentially Disneyland fan club, it doesn't matter who you are. How could be my mother? You have to fill out the application. If you make it past that screening, you're invited to spend some time with the battering babes. And this is where the real test begins. The hazing, it's brutal, but in the most Disney way possible. Our pledges will. They'll be the ones that have to go get a table. You know, if we're gonna have lunch or go stand in line for dole whip, which is a huge light punishment at Disneyland. Dole whip is this creamy pineapple flavored soft serve. You can buy at the park, the stuff as Colt following you can buy dole whip virtue like t shirts online to Disneyland. Super fans don't. Whip is as much a symbol of Disneyland as the Mickey ears people where around the park that dumb dole would line is so Maung all the time and it's in the sun and like, so that's one of our favorite ways of like hazing is, you know, we'll give the pledge a bunch of cash and be like, okay, you gotta go wait in line, and we're gonna go over here is in the shade, and you got to bring back ten dol- whips. And when the pledge comes back to the table, sweaty from standing in the sun juggling ten dol- whips and a little carton carrier, the benching babes are watching them intently. So one of the things we're looking for is people who aren't gonna turn really bitchy if they get cranky, if they get tired, if they get hot, if they get hungry, you'll they're not gonna snap at a little kid, or you know, or be rude to somebody in line. And we wanna make sure that we still can keep a smile on our face, and we still have that Disney spirit and that Disney magic becky's pledged test was a little more unconventional Roxy got married in August. Her dream venue became available really suddenly, and she had twelve days to plan her wedding. So allow the woodland creatures in classic Disney working sequence. The pixies stepped up. Lawrence made rock sees dress Joe in Ashley, decorated it and helped install lights under the skirt and Becky took over planning the reception. She was Lawrence's house every single day pouring over floor plans and making mood boards. Back at Lawrence's. The banger babes are almost ready to head to the park. Becky looks on as Lawrence Roxie, apply the final touches to their makeup and Joe and Ashley, make sure every last rhinestone is firmly glue gun into place on their vests at around three pm after more than four hours of getting ready. The pixies and Becky finally make their exit and pile into cars headed to the park. On the tram ride from the parking lot. The park Roxie explains that they won't patch anyone into the club unless they attend at least three battering, babe, get togethers. If they can't commit to that, she figures they probably don't wanna be in a social club anyway, Becky pipes up, ask, do weddings count. It could be a wedding. Right? The tramples up to downtown Disney on Disney grounds. You're transported into Disney. Roxie and lily rose lead the pixies through a big plaza where tourists are buying tickets and old timey music plays in the background, the bang babes strut, their stuff up to the turnstile heads are turning to women come up to Roxie. They've been admiring her hair from afar. Oh, thank you. Minute. Yeah. Thank you. You too. It's like the banking base like Roxie have this of magnetism between the sparkles and the rhinestones Roxie is literally shining. The pixies head into California adventure, which is the addition to the Disneyland park that opened in two thousand one. The rides are little wilder there. The feel is more Pixar, less classic Disney rights haunted mansion. Pretty serious. I can't be in stark contrast. They stop at snow Matarese outdoor restaurant tucked under grizzly falls, giant river rapid ride. You can smell the chlorine hanging in the air here. The rush of the big waterfall and every few minutes conversation is interrupted by the screams of a fresh raft full of passengers being launched over the precipice down. The big waterfall. The terrorists is basically empty except for a couple of dozen social club members from different clubs. The white rabbits are there in full force and scattered among their black and gold patches are the more colorful banger babes and fountain of color patches. Fine. Roxie knows everyone. And when she's finally finished saying Hello to all the familiar faces, she climbs onto a bench. Hey, can I haven't attention please? And they'll looked and there's Becky and she, you know, she's very attentive like especially as a pledge, you know. So she turns and she's looking at me with big eyes and she's so cute. And I said, a couple of things. And I was like, so Becky and her eyes just got so big. And she was like, what we decided that today we're gonna make Becky a pixie. You know, we gave her Patrick. She's like, no, no, my God, and it was just, it was so cute. She's at this giant smile on her face and she just like even later on the night, she was like a can't believe that that happened. It was so sweet and it was so cute. The pixies swarm Becky. They take pictures then a video to post on Instagram. Roxy SLA tallest standing in the middle of the photo with an arm around Becky, the rhinestones on her biker vest, catch the light and she's smiling proud, satisfied, smile. It's the kind of smile you might give if you were saying, I told you so biker gang my ass. And maybe that's not the kind of happy ending. You're used to seeing at the end of Disney movies, but it sure feels like one to Roxy. We want to hear from you. Do you have a burning question about a brand call our customer service line for the answers you've always wanted, or maybe you have a personal story about how a brand affected your life for better or worse. We want those stories to, here's how to get in touch, call us at seven, three one, three brands or Email us at household name at business insider dot com. That's seven, three one, three brands and household name at business insider dot com. And while you're at it, leave us review and rating on apple podcasts. It really helps people find the show. This episode was produced by Sarah Wyman who as a kid never watched the Disney movie with Amazon rackets, Amy Padilla and me we had help from Janaki Mehta, our editor is John Palmer sound design original music by Casey, Holford, and John Lord. The executive producers are Chris Bannon Laura mayor, Jenny rattle it and me special. Thanks this week to NF Issur pinker household name is a production of insider audio. Stitcher.
Crocs: From Punchline to Fashion Line
"If you're a parent or thinking of becoming one or maybe just wanna laugh at two new parents. There's a new podcast for you from our friends at Stitcher. It's called Josie and Johnny are having a baby with you. The show follows comedians Josie long, and Johnny Donahue through. They're not totally planned pregnancy as they try to prepare for the birth of their first child, they sit down with actors writers and attains who are also parents who helped them figure things out like John Hodgman. Jane, Marie Eugene Merman and Rachel Sklar listening. Subscribe to Josie and Johnny are having a baby with you in your podcast app. Right now. Hey down. Hey, Sarah, Saruman household name producer. I have a question for you. Yeah. Do you know who posts Maloney's? No. I mean like I think I heard his name in the third. But it's like one of those names where I can't tell you who he is what he does or why we're talking about. Okay. Well, he's kind of a rapper part songwriter part style. I con okay. Like here is a picture of him. Oh, man. That's suppose Malone. Yeah. What do you notice, man? Bun and face tattoos. Okay. Here's another picture of him. Okay. He looks like a rocker is about to smash Qatar. Yeah. And look a little closer weight. Is he wearing crocs? Oh, yes. Bright, white crocs. Why is that guy wearing crocs like to me crocs are what dad's wear when they walk the dog or maybe nurses, wearing a hospital. Why post Malone is wearing crocs is the only thing I've been able to think about for the past month of my life. That's where you've been. Yeah. I went down kind of a rabbit hole. It started with this phone call. Hello. Hi. This is Katherine right? Excellent. I thought maybe post Malone was the reason crocs were cool. But then I saw fashion models were wearing them two years earlier. And then it occurred to me ten years before that in two thousand seven weren't people already talking about crocs and how ugly they are clothing. I can hose down. So Sara, Sara you, okay. Dan, I have been living breathing eating crocs for the past month. Sara. I'm worried about you, Dan. It's okay. I know how crocs ended up on post Malone's feet in that photo. From business insider in Stitcher. This household name. France. You know, stories you doubt. I'm dan. Bob mcdonald? Donald. Today crops, there the shoe so uncool there apparently now cool so ugly their fashionable and we can't stop talking about them. But now run-ups all over America have gone crazy. Sarah Wyman is here to explain how crocs became popular twice. And I'll find out why post Malone is wearing them. Now. Stay with us. Okay. Sarah. So our question is how did crocs become so popular and fashionable that the ended up on post Malone's feet as he smashes a guitar. Yeah. And before we get tiny of that. We should probably say what they are for anyone living under a crock who. Yes, so crocs are like foamy clogs. Yeah, they're really brightly colored. They look really clunky. They've big holes punched into them sometimes people plug the holes with these things called with what are Gibbins there. These little charm, ornaments, you can decorate your rocks with this is why I've always thought crocs look more like toys than shoes they do and not necessarily in a good way. These are things you wear for you know, practical purposes, or because maybe you're trying to draw attention to your feet for some reason. Yeah, it's kind of shoe. I would be comfortable walking through a swamp in to you wear crocs exclusively. When walking my dog does post Malone have a dog. Nice. Try. We're not quite there yet. And before we get back to post Malone. I should mention that they're too big golden ages of the crock, and I'm going to start by talking about the first one which started around two thousand six okay. So two thousand six this is around the time the crock started to become a thing. Right. I think that's when I started to notice them. Yeah. The shoe technically been around since two thousand and two, but it was meant from the start to be practical shoe. So the people who were wearing it were like restaurant workers hospital employees fishermen, and they were wearing it as part of their work uniform. Also, I need to share this. Very excellent fact the first place the crock was ever sold was at a boat show in Florida in two thousand two the new they're there early market. I know it's like my favorite thing. And we're not the first people to call out the crock Florida connection like have you seen this in all skit about this? Okay. It's a parody of a local news story in Florida and his reporter is covering a sinkhole or something like that. And he's interviewing this couple. It's a beautiful woman played by Margot Robbie and her very unimpressive husband and the reporter keeps calling the husband out for just being like startlingly inadequate. Just pan down a little bit Rick. You'll see that there's bad and oh my God. Is wearing crocs and sucks. So crocs really are the punch line here. Yeah. And that joke works because of the first golden age of crocs back around two thousand six the shoe was starting to gain traction, and it was met with open hostility and for lots of people. The most infuriating part about this very ugly shoe was some people liked it. I love crocs you love cracks love is the the proper word is that grand Flanagan. It is Graham makes videos for business insider and his experience kind of represents what was happening with crocs during this period around two thousand six because for Graham crux were not about fashion. He liked them because they were practical and comfortable. His pair navy blue with white souls, helix them so much Dan that he wore them into the office and mmediately you hear this chorus of disgust from. Co-workers everyone just hurling insults shoe. I love. Shoes. No, you can wear them outside this week. No, no, you can their boat shoes. No. They're not the criticism. Making fun of them making fun of me. It got ugly. And despite all of that, I only was focusing on what I felt on my feet and instantly. I just felt like, wow, this is different. This isn't like any other shoe tried on before. What do you mean by that was loose yet? Get I felt supported the having the holes there felt it it they they they breathe differently than most shoes. And then they look different than than any other shoe. I've ever worn. The criticism sort of emboldened him made him double down on his initial reaction. He really liked these shoes. But then he took them home and showed them to his wife. That's when the real abuse began. No, she she wasn't. She was not happy. Really? She wouldn't have by them being in the home. No, she's not a fan. Understandably. I get it. They're they're weird looking. But I I said I'm keeping them I like them, and I'm going to keep him. And so the role it's pretty simple, you can only wear them around the house and to WalMart with his wife told him the only public place he could wear them with WalMart that feels kind of like I said ending a little bit. Yeah. And this type of anti crocs attitude is nothing new like in two thousand eight somebody started a website called. I hate crocs dot com were their videos of them. Destroying crocs in various ways, subtle like setting off, fireworks and crocks. And you know, of course, the crock is being mocked ruthlessly in movies and on TV anytime you see anyone wearing crops be aware. What does that mean upside and being blind? I've never seen you in crocs. You might put on it to applebees for the rest of your life such an idiot. I vaguely my crocks 'paparazzi start photographing celebrities wearing crocs were they trying to shame them. That was probably a part of it. And I've brought with me here. A deck of crocs. Biggest hits from the late two thousands starts off here in two thousand seven we have violent athletic. Ben Affleck daughter who. Yeah. I should note is a baby. Okay. I mean, I can see babies wearing these that makes sense to me. Yeah. It's a practical choice for a small child. Also in two thousand seven George W Bush. He was still president. And he's the those look terrible. Wearing baggy shorts and crocks. And he's still oh gosh. He has like a nice ankle high sock. Go to which I believe unless I'm mistaken bear the seal of the president of the United States. All right who else Adam Sandler, Steven Tyler Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Brooke Shields, all these celebrities are out in about incorrupt s-. So is all this attention turning into good business doing well as business they're doing great. And to give you some context like the first year they were on the market back in two thousand three the company made like one million dollars. But by two thousand seven they're making one billion dollars a year. So the fact that of lot of people are still calling them ugly is not hurting the company at all the opposite. The company is actually Leeming into that idea what they're branding. Like, they run this ad campaign in Vanity Fair with the line ugly is beautiful. Oh that smart. They're asking people to embrace the idea that being different is okay by wearing crocs. This is why marketing people get paid a lot of money, but in two thousand eight things come to almost screeching halt. Crock stock suddenly drops to almost one dollar a share down from seventy dollars just a year earlier the hit crock bottom. We so why why the sudden do back in two thousand six and two thousand seven crocs were selling faster than stores could restock them. So the company ramped up production like crazy. But then the two thousand eight financial crisis hit and stores had way more crocs than I knew what to do with God it. So this is a really bad time for the economy, and for the company, you would think that would be the end of crocs, it was really bad people stopped buying crocs almost overnight by two thousand eleven the chief executive was telling the guardian that he was getting calls to send back a million pairs of crocs, while a million pairs, the company closed factories in stores laid off two thousand workers. It got so bad that at one point. The company's auditor was like, I don't know if crocs is going to exist a year from now. So how do they come back? Again. How do they end up all these years later on post Malone's feet on a stage? Age in that photo, you were showing us at the beginning. So on the business seaside crocs manages to hang on. Because a new CEO comes on board in he cuts down their budget polls down production and closes stores. But the second golden age is so much bigger than that. That's when things really get interesting culture crocks and post Malone are about to collide vessels dramatic. Sounds dramatic. I'll get there after the break. If you're wondering if Siri and Alexa are listening to you like really listening to you. Or if hackers can watch you through your webcam. There is a new podcast for you. It's called Hackel. An original podcast from McAfee answers. A simple question is it Hackel. Cybercrime is all over the news and TV shows think mister robot and black mirror and cybercriminals are lurking maliciously in the shadows. But how worried should you really be can hackers actually infiltrate our daily lives with a couple of key strokes. Maybe it's three key strokes past episodes of Hackel. Have tested webcam. Smart. Speakers car key fobs, cams smart doorbells and more each week host Geoff Siskind invites white hat hackers to try and hack a different device or technology. In one episode Jeff was even trapped in an internet connective car wash when a show friendly hacker locks the doors. That sounds fun season. Three just launched. It will investigate whether VR headsets drones and more are Hackel. Hackel is like Mythbusters meets mister robot. The show has more than one and a half million downloads tons of high ratings from listeners. Listen subscribed to Hackel on all major podcast platforms. Like, apple podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you're listening right now. Hiring can be pretty time consuming. You posted job to several online job boards. Only to get tons of the wrong resumes. Then you have to sort through all those resumes, just to find a few people with the right skills and experience those job sites that overwhelm you with the wrong resumes. They're not smart. That's why you should do the smart thing and go to ZipRecruiter dot com slash household. Unlike other job sites, ZipRecruiter finds qualified candidates for you. It's powerful matching technology skins thousands of resumes to identify people with the right skills education and experience, then it actively invites them to apply to your job. So you can get qualified candidates fast. No wonder ZipRecruiter's rated number one by employers in the US this rating comes from hiring sites on trust pilot with over one thousand reviews and right now, my listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free at this exclusive web address ZipRecruiter dot com slash. Household if you love this show show, your support to it and ZipRecruiter by going to ZipRecruiter dot com slash H. O U S E H O L D. That's ZipRecruiter dot com slash household. Ziprecruiter, the smartest way to hire. We're back, and we're at the dawn of a new era crocs are about to become fashion. What? Yeah, I started looking for an explanation for this very confusing turn of events, and I found a fashionable person. My name is Amelia Petroca. And I am the fashion news writer for the cut at New York. Maxime Amelia's job is to be up on what's happening with style and trends like I talked to her the day after the Golden Globes had happened and she'd been up the night before watching the awards in scrutinizing. Everyone's looks on the red carpet. I assume no one works at the Golden Globes last night just checking you know, they didn't. But if they did I don't think I would have been like floored. We so when did it become normal to seek crocs on a red carpet. It's twenty sixteen London fashion week Scottish designer Christopher Kane is presenting his collection and some of his models are wearing crocs, and they're not just any crocs. Here's a picture. What what am I looking? They're they're crocs that much. I'm certain of. But they have this weird kind of marble texture imprinted on them. What what is on the top of these crocs? Those are those are Christopher Kane jit's. Wow. Yeah. They're they're kind of GIO looking like shiny crystals. So what was the reaction when people saw this on a runway? So I asked Amelia about this. And I tried to play it cool. But I don't totally get these shoes. They are. I mean, we can they are kind of ugly that oh these. We got to leave him even pausing. I don't I don't know if I would call these ugly if they were maybe like a different color. These are particularly like nice to me. They're soothing they're kind of Brown. I'm also seeing that he did like leopard-print with like pompoms, which I would totally wear. I would totally really's right now. Right outta here. Wow. So Melia really likes these fashionable people like these and the rest of the world the rest of the world is divided. Lots of people are scandalised by. It was scandalised crux have no place on a runway. This isn't fashion. A travesty. I think it's sort of the job of the critic to hear everyone's uproar and say, wait a minute. Like, this is actually kind of great and fabulous. Some you know, maybe we should all be wearing crocs again that has to be great for crocs. Right. Like like, what's this even crosses idea? Did they approach Christopher Kane? And they're like, hey wanna make some crocs. No the other way around. It was Christopher teens idea. And this isn't even his last crop collection. He keeps coming out with new lines. New styles of crocs. Yeah. And he isn't the only one like a year later. Have you heard of Balenciaga vaguely? Okay, there another like luxury high fashion house. That's why it's bigly. And they release their own version of the crock at another fashion week in two thousand seventeen so here, it is it's six inches tall a platform shoe who my God that looks so wrong. It looks like Fisher Price high heels gates gigantic, and it has a lot of where they call it again. Bits bits on what's called him blitz. And the shoe is bright pink like six inches of solid bubble. Gimme crock fashion writers like Amelia are big fans. I was actually in a store in Los Angeles. And the Valencia Olga platform pink crock was on display, and I'd ever actually like touched one in person, and I sort of like gasped like ran over and picked it up, and it was like lighter than I thought. And there's something about it's like size and its color, and it's sort of like, plastic sheen. The I don't know I I like wanted to take just one and like put it on a shelf in my room or something like that. It's like a funny sculpture. But did she want to put it on her foot? That is so not the point, Dan, I don't get fashion. But now, the crock isn't just a shoe anymore. It's been elevated to a whole new. Evil because it's a platform. Sue, all right. I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear you say that. I should also say while all of this is happening. Something else is going on behind the scenes a new fashion trend is emerging called norm core what is normal for. So it's been around since two thousand fourteen and it's gaining momentum throughout this period. And basically northport describes the style that isn't style people wearing unbranded sweatshirts blending in with the masses looking comfortable and almost unidentifiable. So is this like lack of fashion is fashion. Yeah. And the reason crocs work as fashion during this period is because they're not trying to does that make sense. Yeah. I guess it's like the reputation for not being fashionable is what's making them actually fashionable here. Yeah. So in a way, the second golden age of crocs is only possible because of the first golden age because we all have the chance as. Society to freak out about crocs being ugly for a little while. So this was kind of destiny and that brings us to present day to post Malone, right? So everything we just went over was pre post Malone now, we're post Malone and soon to be postponed Malone something like that. So post Malone style builds off of norm core a little bit. I've seen it described as sleaze core. Sleaze core that one I have not heard of. Yeah. It has elements borrowed from norm court, but sleazy are exactly it's a lot of like loose-fitting, really, comfortable looking clothing. But then just kind of grungy and post Molin stylist. Kathryn Hahn makes sure he stocked on crocs specifically we would buy him crocs, then I got really into buying jit's picking out which Gibb it's who would like like, oh the alien and the smiley face, and we would buy Gibbes spell his name. But you know, we just had so much fun with the Gibbes Catherine thinks. Her job a little bit. Like a costume designer post Malone is a character in her job is to reflect who he is through what he's wearing. So you're saying that post Malone is across it's kind of become a symbol for him. Yeah. The crock is like his attitude distilled. I mean, he's just the kind of guy like he can literally put anything on and it works. You know, it's his personnel. Like, he just he's competent. And he just oh, whatever he's in. He owns it. And so I feel like that has so much to do with style. And you know, people that are competent and are comfortable in their own skin can kind of like, wear whatever and make it work. And so earlier this year crocs reached out to him. And they were like do you want to make a crock with us? So it looks like crocs is finally gotten wiser and they're like, oh, hey, maybe we should talk to these people who like our product. Yeah. And this is really smart collaboration. Crocs released a limited edition post Malone style. L in early November, and it sold out within minutes, and then a month later, they released another which also sold out immediately. I tried to buy the I went online I set my alert, you know, I really tried. And I could not get a pair. We Catherine couldn't get a pair isn't she post Malone stylus, right? She ended up getting a pair of both designs as a gift from postpones record company later, but those weren't even her first crocs like she told me she'd already bought a couple of pairs since she first started working for post Malone who inspired her. Yeah. She has a black pair and pink pair, and she really likes them the she feel like she can pull them off. Well, I wore them to work a few. My co workers were like what are like, I don't know about that. But we'll see. I'm kind of amazed even she's not sure if they're the right look. Yeah. It's funny because crocs have come so far since their debut at that, Florida. Boat show in two thousand two like literal models are wearing these shoes. People who know things about fashion people like Emilia, and Catherine they're interested in them. It's like crocs are cool. But at the same time sounds like this people still aren't totally sold on them as actual footwear, like our Amelia and Catherine actually wearing crocs in their daily lives. Yeah. In a weird way. It's like the crock skipped a step like people who don't really care about fashion are wearing them because they're comfortable that's been going on forever. And now people at the very pinnacle of fashion are wearing them because they're art art, but the section of people in between like ranging from people like me, and you who are not trendsetters. Hey, I know what blunt yoga is now. But also people like Amelia and Catherine who care about trends, but don't dress like they're walking down a runway every day are golden age is yet to come. Maybe next year one can hope. But in the meantime, that's how this happened. That's how post Malone ended up wearing crocs. All right. Well, we answered that question. But I remember something from early on in this episode where you mentioned eating crux. Oh, yeah. I can explain. All right. Hold on a minute. We have to do some ads, and then I have to hear about this. The best investment. We can make is in ourselves. 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So I looked this up, and I want to say, first and foremost no-one should eat their crocs, please don't don't ever we want to be very very clear about this crocs are not edible. But technically, they are nontoxic. What do you get? So crocs are made of a material called cross light which is patented by crocks and kind of plastic polymer called ethylene vinyl acetate or EV a for short. And while it's definitely. Not a good idea to Chow down on EBay. You would have to eat like a lot of it for it to actually hurt you. How do you know? All this. I talked to an expert, I'm gunner Lundberg. And I was eighteen years old when I decided to eat my crock. Gunnar had heard some of the same rumors that Amy heard about crocs. But like if you found yourself on a camping trip gone horribly wrong. Like, let's say a buried all of your food. You could eat your crocs as a last resort. And for some reason he thought they might be made out of corn. What act for what it's worth that is not true. But all of this inspires gunner to start doing some research for his school paper. And like me he reads about cross light. He learns that cracks are not edible in any traditional sense of the word. And he sees the words nontoxic. And so at that point, I figured, you know, I've come this far I've already pitched the idea I might as well. Chaste? So talk us through this. Like, what was the process it sounded a lot like making pasta, actually like he filled? The pot with water at a dash of salt in a little extra virgin olive oil. And then he boiled across for forty minutes 'cause I figured you know, if you're in a survival situation, you're not gonna have a grill or an oven. So you kind of you know, the myth was always that you could boil them down into to something other than the solid shoe. So in the water, they got a lot softer. And I remember they were kind of getting a little gooey like you could really like fold the shoe into weirder shapes. But it wasn't breaking part in any sort of way after forty minutes. It's time that he took a bite. Yeah. He he cut off like a nickel sized piece of crock and put it in his mouth it basically tasted like. Aplastic mouse guard it was chewy, but it didn't really break apart. Did he swallow it? He sure did does he have any regrets? Governor has no regrets. There's been some talk bandying about our team about whether somebody on our team should eat a crock for this episode. And I want your professional opinion. Should I eat a crock? Yes, I would do it. So guys last night. I went home. I texted my friend Jenny to come over with audio recorder, and I ate across you're kidding. Oh, no. Okay. So we've boiled the crock it's Amish kitchen table, I have it plated nicely on a plate with some survey. Data have the biggest knife. I could find in my house and. Gonna eat this. That is the sound of knife meeting residents. Oh my God. It sounds like a dog toy. About about to fight in my body. Your body. I cannot emphasize enough how difficult this is to cut. I feel like we've shaped the last forty minutes have achieved nothing just kind of cut like frozen butter. It's like, it's a completely rock rock. Okay. Almost Saad my way through the streets. All right going in my mouth gosh. She's taking the bite. Oh, my God looks chewy. Not great. I'm going to try again. Facial expression is not coming apart my mouth, it tastes really bad. Like, it's difficult. The English language does not have enough words to describe how bad this tastes swallowed swallowed it. I swallowed Jenny. Do you feel sitting in your throat or did it go down? Yeah. It's still fully in my office. Drink some water. I have to call. So this is even eating it. You swallowed across I ate a crock. You can't take that away from me. Oh my God. Did you chew it? Yes. So I chewed it. It did not taste like plastic. Like, I feel like like all of us have tasted what plastic tastes like before. You know, like if you've ever had a thermometer in your mouth or used a straw. And this was not like that. It. It was like it had like a juicy Clinton. Like like when I put it in my mouth. Yeah. What I put it in my mouth and bit into it. There was like a flavor explosion a good flavor explosion. Absolutely not like the opposite of good flavor explosion. I have never eaten something before that. I felt so sure I should not eat based on how it tasted. Honestly, the second the second. That flavor came out like the second that ducked out from under the Saracho. It was like my Asaf is was just like. Nope. Don't like I'm not I'm not interested in being part of this. So you're saying it's edible in the sense that you can put in your mouth and swallow is not edible in the sense that you should eat it. No. And if the myth is that if you're out camping in a berry, all your food, and all you have left as a crock that you can survive on crock until you get help. I'd like to go on the record is firmly debunking that I could barely handle very small bite. Let alone an entire crock. So bottom line gunner said he had no regrets. We have to ask you the same question. So why man to have any regrets? About eating the scrawl. I'm not gonna lie to you guys. I have some regrets do your. Yeah. For some reason. I like I really thought that I was going to feel good after eating this crock. Like like, I think I thought that it was like a funny thing to do. And the novelty of it would be enough that after I'd eaten it I feel like some kind of kick out of it like I'd feel proud of myself for actually doing it. And I just like the only thing I felt for hours after eating it was just like like nervousness that something was going to happen. I was just hyper aware of all of my bodily functions. I was like is this normal is the crock. How will I know if I'm getting toxic shock syndrome? Do you feel like you've grown as a person from this experience? I would say that the experience was not all it was cracked up to be. Producer and eater. Sarah Wyman who has consumed a crock. So you don't have to please down and ever has lived a tell the tale. Thank you and Amy Padilla. Thanks. Thanks. Hey, if you like the show, and what more come hang out with us on Twitter and Facebook this week of bunch of you posted in our Facebook group about how you found the show and some of the brands you're thinking about these days, we loved reading your responses Elizabeth posted that she and her husband were incur sow and saw KFC advertising Christmas meals, and they couldn't stop laughing anti told us he thinks a lot about the brand tofurkey. He says, he's a loyalist. Anthony, maybe we'll do an episode on that someday, Josh says, Sam's Club changed his life. Tell us more Josh on Twitter. I'm at damn Bobkov, a listener they're named Rene as a comic artist. She heard the preview of today's episode and said, she felt a little self conscious because crocs are such a staple in her wardrobe that she has multiple self-portraits where she's wearing them the crocs in the picture. She shared we're black with a rainbow soul. It was a cool drawing and Simon hurt our segment about genera side last week. That's when companies brand name goes generic. He says genera side, maybe bad for companies. But he thinks it's good for consumers. He writes velcro is a much more useful word than hook and loop fasteners, regardless of the manufacturer. Anyway, we love to hear from you to get in on the fun. Follow me on Twitter at Bobkov search on Facebook for our household name podcast group. Find us on friendster and my space and don't forget to give us five stars wherever you're listening and leave us a review we're reading all of them, by the way, you can listen to new episodes of household name ad free on Stitcher premium for a free month trial, go to Stitcher premium dot com and use promo code household that Stitcher premium dot com, promo code household. That producers have household name our Sarah Wyman, Amy Padilla and me, we heard some Kruk clips and come. -tary from real time with Bill Maher the daily show dead pool the dictator and the office special. Thanks this week to Jennifer Siegel Animas records sound design original music by Casey Holford, and John Delore. The executive producers are Chris Bannon Kenny rattle it and me household. Name is a production of insider audio. Stitcher. Hello. I'm Jason comedian and writer and all of that stuff. And I'm a whole lot of nothing Jonny Donohoe. I'm also a comedian also an actor on. I'm calling fun. You'll I defer tens of this is our podcast, and it's called Josie Johnny a having a baby with you. And if you don't toe from the till we are about to have a child really are and wicketless we really we have a whole host of questions that we're trying to ask like, how are we going to pay for this thing is he to problem if you lose it how we going to work around this thing, we're asking lots of famous people who happen to will ready. Be parents to help us these questions and mole. JC Johnny having a baby review is out now, and you can hear it on Stitcher on Pupo Kossovo wherever you get your pa- costs only job in the beginning is seated and change and hold TV change in holds. But you need to sleep as well. Tony that door.
35: You've got Enron mail!
"Imagine you're working for a big company by say number seven on the fortune five hundred list. Oh. And it's around the year two thousand there's no Facebook, no g mail. We're not thinking that much about privacy, and then the company you work for goes bust in spectacular fashion. What was the corporate fraud cases since shock waves across Houston and the entire country. The fall of Enron congressional hearings begin this morning in the Enron investigation, and then some regulator in Washington releases your work emails, all of them. So all of a sudden, a lot of things in your life, just became public, like July twenty eighth nineteen nineteen nine one forty two pm attached are the above. Referenced documents hard copies will follow, but also some perhaps less routine business dealings subject re Dirk star further insulate the cold group, and you from any claim that Enron misused. The information. I suggest that you transfer the information to me, and I will hold it for safe. Keeping and some cliche. Bad workplace behavior. No subject. I'm heading to New Orleans this weekend to do some partying. No Europa just slots in the quarter and let's not forget the classic nineties chain emails, hope you're having a pleasant first week of nineteen ninety nine thought it would four with this on top twenty two signs. You've had too much of the nineties, twenty Twenty-two cleaning up the dining area means there were even some exchanges with co workers that really shouldn't have been in your work in box. No subject. Let me know when you're leaving. I'll be leaving probably in about thirty to forty five minutes. Lock me out. I'll give you a big kiss, but I won't more. I'll give you all you want. The emails. You just heard read by actors are real Eames. They're just a few of the hundreds of thousand sent around the year two thousand by some of Enron's highest ranking employees. And when these emails became public for the first time, there was a database of thousands of real Email sent by real people that was available to the public and researchers and at least one podcast host, but these emails aren't just curiosity. They're not just a time capsule. I bet something you used today with touched by these emails, they've become a huge part of all of our lives. From business insider and Stitcher this household. Name. Brands, you know, stories you down time damn cough. Donald. Enron collapsed because of greed corruption and fraud. But the emails Enron employees sent and received of had an astounding afterlife. They were used to create Siri in developed spam, filtering, and artificial intelligence. They've helped us understand gender empower, but it, what cost what happens when so much of our technology is based on the writings of some fallen energy, tycoons, and should the emails have been released in the first place state with us. These days Enron is pretty much shorthand for corporate scandal. But back in the nineties Enron was an energy trading company based in Houston. It bought sold and traded natural gas and electricity. And also apparently pulp and paper, but the thing and run is really famous for is how it collapsed. In two thousand one it was the biggest bankruptcy ever at that point, it looks suspicious because the company was telling everyone it was profitable and successful if out of nowhere, it went bust, the SEC investigated prosecutors pound a number of top executives went to prison for fraud. Guilty verdicts in the biggest case of corporate fraud in history. Lawyers for Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay through around complicated notions about margin calls and short-selling. But the reason we have access to thousands of Enron's emails is because of something else, something and run did in California. California became one of the first states to deregulate its energy markets in the mid nineties, the idea was to introduce market, forces and competition, lower prices and such and run had lobbied hard for this. And then after deregulation came into play mysteriously California started experiencing serious, energy, shortages, and whenever that happened Enron and some other companies just coincidentally raked in a whole bunch of cash. The worst one was physical withholding. So you just say, I'm not gonna run my plant Tamar. Pat would was an energy regulator with Firkh the Federal Energy Regulatory commission. It was his job to help investigate this now. No one was dumb enough to say, I'm not going to run it. So I can make money off of scarcity price. But that's what happens. I mean when you don't run your PowerPoint, which they were obligated to do would says, power suppliers, would overplay maintenance issues. Graduate problem. So they could shut down their plants. What kind of smart engineers gonna actually go question that? I mean you really got had to get people into out throwing figure all this out there were other tricks and run with by powering California move into Nevada. And then sell it back at a profit and run was making Bank. But by the second half of two thousand the tricks turned into a full on energy crisis electricity prices in California shot up eight hundred percent at one point there were rolling blackouts affecting more than a million people. Now, Pat would is a free markets guy. He was all for deregulating California's energy market. But what Enron did with that freedom is not what he had in mind when he was promoting free markets. I'm a big passionate defender of competition, but boy, I'm ruthless against people who you know, want to edit up. So I investigated and Ron and the market manipulators and through the investigation got tons of documents like these memos describing in detail how Enron plan to manipulate the California markets to make lots of money, and they're really pretty shocking. I mean for one who loves competition markets. Just kind of made me nauseated because I thought, man, this is this the enterprise that I helped create was this house of cards? I mean this is this is ridiculous. So walked down the hall show to mother three Commissioners, I should, you know, I got a problem with this during the investigation hat would infer mostly focused on the memo's. But it also gotten a whole lot of emails from Enron was huge. It was thousands of remember. It's terabytes or whatever the word after terrorists, but it was huge. So what were you finding in these emails that you wanted people to see, you know, ninety five percent of more about nothing? We were interested in, but there were it's hard to read. I mean, it was huge amounts emails, so the other question was there might be something that somebody finds here from reviewing this stuff that we might have missed. I had to decide what to do with all this data in two thousand three pet would was pissed about what Enron had done. So we kept thinking about transparency, just put it all out there and let the public see what the company did, but I'm sure behind the scenes, it must have been a hard decision to decide whether to release all these emails, while this personal information and irrelevant honest, I will tell you honestly, Dan. But that issue did not was not front and center, as much as I as much as it would be today, for example. So Pat would in the for commissioners, made a fateful decision. They just dumped the entire Email archive on the internet all the Enron emails about gas trading and meeting, scheduling and also the divorces and affairs and talk of parties. It was all there. I've heard different versions of what happened next. Some people say the emails were cleaned up that someone went through and got rid of social security numbers. And Bank account info and stuff like that. Other people say and run employees were actually given a chance to go through and flag things. They thought should be redacted, but either way pet would emit Firkh didn't try that hard to clean the emails up and then after they were public he just kind of forgot about the emails until I call it a few weeks ago. And so what did you think would happen when you put all these emails out in the world? Never dreamed. I mean when you told me when we talk last week when you told me what's going on? I mean I can't tell you how much I've been looking at on, on the web since you pointed me in that direction. There's so much on the web about this information, and I had no idea what would come abyss. The emails took on a life of their own far beyond anyone at Enron, or for could've imagined artificial intelligence voice assistance. Counter-terrorism software all have roots in the Enron emails. How did that happen? That's in a minute. In a minute. If you've ever looked for a job, you know, finding work is a lot of work. What if you had your own personal recruiter to help you find a better job now? Ziprecruiter's technology can do that for you. Just download the ZipRecruiter job search app. Let it know what kind of jobs. You're interested in and its technology starts doing the work the ZipRecruiter app. Find jobs you'll like and put your profile in front of employers who may be looking for someone like you if an employer likes your profile ZipRecruiter, let's, you know, so if you're interested in the job, you can apply. No wonder ZipRecruiter is the number one rated job, search app and based on a third party survey. Seven out of ten people who found a new job on ZipRecruiter increase their salaries. Download the free ZipRecruiter job search app today and let the power of technology work for you. Don't wait the sooner you download the free, ZipRecruiter job search app, the sooner it can help you find a better job. Robin Hood is an investing app that lets you buy and sell stocks ETF's options in cryptos, all commission free. Well, other brokerages charge up to ten dollars for every trade. Robinhood doesn't charge any commission fees, so you can trade stocks and keep all of your profits. Plus, there's no account minimum deposit needed to get started. So you can start investing at any level. The simple intuitive design of Robin Hood and makes investing easy for newcomers and experts alike view, easy to understand charts and market data and place a trade in just four taps on your smartphone. You can also use stock collections such as one hundred most popular with Robin Hood. You can learn how to invest in the market as you build your portfolio. Discover new stocks track your favorite companies and get custom notifications for price movements. So you never miss the right moment to invest, Robin Hood is giving listeners of household name of free stock like apple Ford or sprint to help you. Build your portfolio. Sign up at household dot Robin, Hood dot com. We're back after I released the Enron emails back in two thousand three I just kind of sat there even though they were public. No one was really reading them because they were mess. Like imagine you log into your Email. You need to find one specific message except there's no search function. You can't organize by date or sender or subject line. There's spam everywhere. That's what the Enron emails were like. And there were like half a million of them. But this is where the Enron Email strange afterlife begins. I some academics bought the emails from Firkh, it became known as the Enron corpus corpus by the way, is my new favorite word. The Enron corpus cost ten grand, then the researchers got to work cleaning it up, paring it down in organizing into something that could be cataloged and searched and studied. And then they went wild. They wrote papers ran experiments invented whole new areas of research like network. Science men's PG Lambertson. And I'm an assistant professor in the communication department at UCLA my research focuses on social networks in collaboration, we called PJ Lambertson, because he was actually, our producer, Sarah, Wyman, professor. Yeah. And that is a first day of class. I will never forget what happened. It was just so cool, like, we all came in on the board. He had projected a network that was made up of the Enron emails. And so what we're looking at is a bunch of dots. Basically arranged in a pattern and every dot represents an Email address in the corpus and you can tell so much about Enron just from looking at this map, Dan. Like what some of the dots are bigger than other dots which means that they're getting more emails. So are those the powerful people? Yeah. And you can also tell like some people are getting way more emails than they're sending which is also. Kind of indicative of them being more important, maybe, but then the really cool thing like the reason I still remember this class for years after the fact is that if you like take a step back and just look at the entire network. You see something that's really interesting. The so the way the map is organized, you can see projects because, you know, like people at work will Email back and forth, when they're working on something like we did with this episode. Exactly. But the thing is at Enron. They were not making podcasts to some people were actually doing some really sketchy illegal things. And on this map, you can actually visually see the difference like the projects that were totally above board and fine look completely different from the ones that were shady. I guess the way I would describe it if you look at the network where people are talking about, like illicit or illegal project. It looks like a really tight ball with a few little spikes. Sticking out of it. And so what showing is that, like, for those illegal projects that the communication is really concentrated among core of individuals, and they're not sharing that information or dispersing information about that project with other parts of the organization. And this is the best part because a computer has identified this, it's like a magic trick. The computer just has all of the data that's in the corpus that like in and of itself, doesn't really make any sense to anyone. And it just looks like a huge mess, but then once you run an algorithm on that data. It's like shining a black light on all of the corruption that was happening at Enron. Like you can just see it laid out bare in front of you in this network. Yes, this is clearly very useful to people for a lot of things. And there is so much, cool stuff that's happening with this technology. Like people are using it to predict how viruses spread through populations because the soft. Where can identify the people within a group who are most likely to spread something to the rest of the group, fast? So like the guy who's going around shaking, lots of people's hands will like show up in this hour them. Right. But maybe one of the most interesting applications of this technology is that it's actually being used to identify terrorist cells. So like if you have phone records from a group of people, you can run these algorithms on those phone records, and they can detect these kind of abnormal patterns of communication, and you can see where the terrorist cells are okay, so the technology, we developed using emails from Enron is now being used to fight terror. Yeah. It's being used for all kinds of stuff. The Enron emails have been huge opportunity for researchers like Sarah's professor. They're publicly available. There's no copyright. Researchers can swap them between institutions because no one owns them. But they've also been this really big deal for any research technology that involves the language because these emails this corpus is a rare example of unfiltered uncensored, totally organic human communication. So the bankruptcy of Enron was released. Wonderful, stroke of luck for researchers interested in conversation. This is Owen Rambo. He works at an artificial intelligence company called elemental cognition used to teach a Columbia. He's been a part of lots of different research projects involving the Enron emails and a lot of them involve using the corpus to train computers to understand human language. It's unique. There's nothing quite like it. And it's real. You know, these are real people conversing not in order to create data for linguists, but in order to achieve their goals, whatever it was. You know, some work related goal or just tell each other jokes, or whatever before the Enron. Emails researchers like Rambo mostly had to work with stilted conversations or text from old newspapers when typically examples that people are students are brought into a lab and play a game against each other and engage in conversation as part of the game playing. So they're real conversations, but they're very limited. And they're not naturally occurring. But these Enron emails were what people really say. To one another, especially when they don't think anyone is reading over their shoulder, and they've taught Rambo and computers, a lot about how humans communicate like based on syntax and word choice. You can predict if an Email sender, male or female, boss, or an underlying bosses right shorter, emails male bosses tend to write direct emails like give me the report by Monday, female bosses tend to say things like would you be able to finish the report by Monday, I can say something like it's haunting here, and it can either be speech to inform you of fact or it can be a speech to request of you that you turn on the air conditioning. It is hot in here. I'm sorry. Actually. Okay. These are the kinds of problems that caused bugs in artificial intelligence machines, aren't great at interpreting nuance or tone or intent, they need practice in the Enron corpus is like one giant perfect training ground for developing those skills. It's helped train spam filters. Hey, the Enron emails had a lot of spam. We can connect you to the world's rich and famous capture the attention of millionare's, a unique market emails played a role in the development of Siri. Google reportedly used them when it was developing smart composing, g mail if you've used g mail in the last year or so you'll know what I'm talking about this. Is that thing where predicts what it thinks you want to say next, sometimes it's actually really helpful. But early versions had this bad habit of suggesting the phrase I love you a little too often. If you're a researcher, you could spend hours, sifting organizing, studying these emails and come to think of them purely as data and then you might come across one like this twenty six two thousand one seven twenty three PM no subject. So you're looking for a one night, stand after all, whoever wrote that Email, probably didn't want it to have a long legacy. Did you feel any ethical qualms using the Enron emails? I relied on the process having worked the process being that people are given the chance to withdraw emails. This said I had my doubts. Because in one releases the very first Email, you saw was very personal Email, which probably the sender didn't receiver more likely didn't want spread out. A few years ago, Owen, Rambo was on a train in Texas. He and his husband were sitting in the dining car. And we started talking to the people were added to our table, and we're from Houston, and it was working Enron day in and day out. So I just said, oh, did you work for Enron just like that? And the guy said, yes, it was kind of, like meeting a celebrity. This guy was one of the hundred and fifty in the corpus and there was such a fascinating, weird coincidence. And it reminded me that this corpus which, you know, we give to our computers and run through algorithms and reduced numbers and correlations. There really are real people at the other end, you can meet them an Amtrak trains, and Texas. And we then gossiped a little bit about other people who are mentioned run, corpus who sort of almost seemed like people, I know. So much of what we know about the world and how it works with somehow learned through this corpus so much of our technology was developed using the corporates, but Rambo is right. These aren't just data points. These aren't just emails. They're real people at one energy company at one period of time, right before it went bust that raises all sorts of red flags. That's in a minute. Terro is the largest car-sharing marketplace in the world available across the US Canada, the UK and Germany, with over ten million users worldwide terro has the widest selection of cars available so you can choose the right car for whatever occasion, often at a lower cost than rental car companies, whether it's a pickup truck for moving day or flashy convertible for a weekend away. Find the perfect car for your next adventure on touro. Or if you're in the market for a new car book, the car entourage, you can see what it's actually like to live with for a couple of days. Hop on the tarot app or website. Find in book, the car, you want, then meet the host, and they'll hand over the keys, choose from multiple protection plans for each trip, which include up to one million dollars in liability insurance through Liberty Mutual, download the Toronto app. That's T. You are on the app store or Google play. Or visit Toronto dot com. Get twenty five dollars off your. First trip when you sign up with the promo code household at checkout. Terms apply. There are two really obvious ethical issues with using the Enron emails for anything. First of all, the people who wrote them to not sign up to be part of an academic study. They did not give researchers or robots permission to comb through all of their old conversations, and we'll get to that. But first, there's another problem here. The bias of the people writing the emails could become the bias of AI system. That's trained on them. Amanda Levin, douse key teaches it and why you in studies how bias creeps into technology and she's worried that a ton of our art official intelligence is based, at least in part on the emails written by one hundred and fifty people, an energy company that went bust because of fraud. First of all, they're not geographically Representative a lot of those emails from people based in the Houston office. It's not going to be Representative in terms of corporate culture because it was a Houston based oil and gas company, and because it's one hundred fifty senior executives at this company, you're not going to have the. Kind of gender or racial, diversity that you might expect a different sort of company. And if you're looking for evidence of this bias, you don't have to look any further than the emails themselves like there's this one Email chain, where someone sends an article about Bill Clinton's dog buddy, getting hit by a car. The Enron official writes back that is a shame for the dog. I'm very happy about Clinton's grief, their emails about taking on the world. Wildlife Fund subject WW. Remember, this is the group that publicly announced that Enron has gotten away with murder for years. And we are going to get them. These are the emails, underpinning, a lot of artifice intelligence if there are misogynistic jokes, or shows of power in particular emails, those same implicit bias can become encoded in the AI, that's trained on corpus computer scientists tend to put this another way they call it garbage in garbage out, so who wrote this stuff. I wanted to talk to someone who worked at Enron at the time. Time who actually wrote some of these emails, all the names are there, and I found that a lot of them list and run as a former employer on their linked in profiles. So I started calling. And I hit a lot of dead ends. We're sorry you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service. If you searching though, I met someone else who was obsessed with the emails, a guy named Sam LeVine. He's an artist and educator, who has used the Enron emails in his own work as art deals with these questions. It forces people like me to really think about why reading through the corpus makes us feel so uncomfortable. So one of my favorite series of most rated from the archive is between two people who were married, and they both worked at Enron and they're going through a divorce because she cheated on him. I think and you can like read their whole sort of correspondence. And like what do you see in these emails, you, it's like I saw you today from a distance and like I thought about what we used to have. And I I'm so sorry. And I hope we can be friends again. One day, you know, and, you know, stuff like that you feel you're watching your relationship disintegrate. Yeah. Yeah. It's also something you shouldn't read really, you know, invasive. Yeah. I mean, there's something like, I feel kind of dirty reading these emails, even though it's so long ago it's been public for so long. And yet it feels like am I just voyeur here, it is very voyeuristic? I tried to reach that couple Sam LeVine was talking about to ask them how they felt but I got a voicemail. Hi, Bob cough, calling from business insider, in New York. Eventually I reached the guy by Email. He said he's not angry about his emails being released, but he didn't want to do an interview. Sam levine. The artist has been living with these emails for a few years now along with his colleague of brain. He used the emails as the basis of an experimental art project. Our project is called the good life. And in the good life, you get the opportunity to receive all of the emails from the Enron archive director, inbox in the order, that they were originally sent and with the appropriate amount of time between each Email, apparently, a few hundred people have signed up to get their actual inboxes clogged with old Enron. Emails Levin, even did it himself to have this on your main Email account. It's like not filtered or anything. No, no. So I read every single one. How many do you spend a day on this? Not that long because like a lot of really short, you know. So it doesn't take that long three dollars them and. It's a really interesting experience. I think because it's sort of like a lot of times, you'll see the Email come in and it'll be like meeting room ten fifteen minutes, and you're like, oh, oh, no. I've missed a meeting. I didn't know about that meeting, and you'll about the oh, right right this Halford nineteen ninety nine actually, it's okay. I didn't actually have to go to that music, ironically, or perhaps fittingly some of the Enron emails, get caught in the Wien spam filters. How'd you feel about your emails, getting caught in spam filters that might have been trained on the very emails that you were trying to send? I think it's really nice. I worked. I think it's great. I still wanted to know how it felt to be someone who's emails were released in the corpus whose every word at Enron is now parson dissected by researchers without their consent. Eventually someone picked up. Hello. Hi Mitchell, Taylor. Yes. Hi Tambov cough from business insider in New York. How are you? Good. How are you? Good. Thank you. So I'm calling you for an interesting reason, Mitch Taylor was a managing director at and Ron, he's also the guy Owen Rambo Ren into on a train a few years back when Rambo I had to jog as memory. Oh, what's his last name? Rambo. R. M. B O W. I remember this now. Okay. So I had him on the phone. This was my big shot. I wanted to know how he felt when all these emails were dumped on the web back in two thousand three. Yeah. No, you some privacy advocates have come to our offense. But at that point being within run, there's no one coming defense. No one don't gave shift that point that they were. They, we were the evil empire. Everyone's happy for any bad things that happened to Enron people. So he told me that there was so much news about Enron so much bad press about Enron back then that the Email dumped didn't really register. It was just another thing that happened. I've read some of Mitch Taylor's emails, by the way, most of them sound like working mills subject, re project Greenwich update. Thanks for the update with regard to further interference from the P, C N and the comment that the P C N must approve each Jenner. You get the idea. I don't think I've ever gone and looked at which ones they had I certainly didn't have a mistress. I didn't have any criminal stuff going on now. Whether I passed along. Inappropriate joke. I, I may have I tend to be rather sarcastic at times emails that aspect of it never come back to. To bite me in any way, at least that I've seen or that I'm aware of, when I first heard about this story. I remember thinking, how weird and cool, it is that the emails from Enron of all companies have been so important in our lives that the company died, but the emails live on, but the more dug into it the weirder started to feel about the corpus I really shouldn't be able to read about strangers divorces and affairs. I shouldn't have access to someone's daycare, scheduling, even if it happened to decades ago, but on the other hand, I use Siri I like when g mail suggests what I was going to say. So I don't have to type it out. I think it's nice that some real good. And some real human progress came out of the Enron collapse. But at what cost I really wanted to know what pet would think about all this, now after all, he's the guy who released them in the first place back when he was a regulator, and he told me he's lost sleepover. It was hard because I go, you know, it was just. The impact on. And now that I've been through privacy breaches on own just man. I was a huge accomplish. And doing that a lot of people him women, the town where I now live. There's probably about of people whose privacy is was impacting significantly by what I did who live in my area code. He said that, if he could do it over again, he'd probably released a lot of the emails, but would have taken much more care to scrub out the personal stuff to protect the people in there who were just collateral damage. What would you say to them? I'm sorry. You know, if you didn't do anything wrong, you probably don't have anything to be ashamed of. And if you did something wrong, dammit. I gotcha. But for all those people in the middle who just had a normal expectation of privacy of just kind of their personal affairs or not personal their business fares, and how they would be viewed, you know, I think that's you know, I wouldn't want that. Doing to others as you've had them doing to you. I wouldn't probably want that done to me like that. All right. We're not done yet because we have some late breaking developments as we were reporting, this piece, let's cue the uncut music. We haven't done one of these in a while, as you may know, uncut is the segment where we bring back things that got cut from the episode but we can't stop thinking about. And so I brought Sarah Wyman Hello, and Jenny -sego high producers of our show because I have to tell them the story that is that I think is not. So I hope they agree. So I couldn't stop thinking about something Mitch Taylor told me when we were talking, and Mitch Taylor was the guy who was in the Enron emails. Hey, not. No. I can't imagine he'd ever talked to you. But along this line of more interesting angle. Maybe what Andy Fastow is doing. So remember, any Fastow was Enron CFO. He's the guy who actually designed and carried out a lot of the ways that and run hid losses from investors. He actually spent five years in prison out in twenty eleven and miss. Taylor told me that he ran into Fastow one day in Texas. And they were right. Right. Literally, they've run into each other. And he was to prized to hear what Fastow is up to now. And I have to say, I was surprised to brings our story full circle because Andy Fastow is involved in a company that's all about Email. What the irony? Dan? Thanks for having me on your show. My name is Andy fast. Oh, I'm the former CFO of Enron Corp on the day before deadline this interview falls into my laugh, and so I thought who better to ask about this, then Andy Fastow, so this is his story any Fastow gets out of prison in twenty eleven and since then he's been on a kind of apology tour. I consider myself, one of the people most responsible for Enron's failure ashamed and embarrassed about my role, and I believe, what I did was wrong on ethical and legal and for those harmed by my actions of Enron. I apologize while he was so candid. I mean, I think this is sincere but he's also been trying to rehabilitate his image. And as part of that, for the last few years, he's been giving talks all over the world. And these talks are two groups of accountants. One time it was to group of fraud examiners and in two thousand sixteen I was giving a talk in Amsterdam. And after my talk, I was approached by two of the founders of king core. Wait, what's king Corp? Yes. So keen Corp, is this start up from the Netherlands and back when fast I was giving this talk, it was developing software that actually scans employee emails. I do not know how I feel about that. Go on. And so the software is supposed to analyze the mood of companies employee's. They say their whole argument here is that, you know, you, you give your employees survey might be like everything's great. But in reality, they're feeling stressed and tense. And they're not really telling you what's really going on and spying on them by reading their Email, will definitely help with the stress, too. I mean. Two robot reading the emails but yeah, I hear you. And so it was working on this art official intelligence software that would look for subtle changes in tone in word choice that might signal stress or tension inside the company, which they say is often a sign of risk to the company. And so if you were developing E mail scanning software. What might you use to test it? I don't know. Maybe gosh, the. That makes sense you are correct. And so that's what they did. And to the developers, it seemed like the software was working when they scan the Enron emails from the year, two thousand you could actually see the steady increase in tension as you might expect things started to go sour at Enron. But the developers looked a little more closely, and they saw something that was really strange. There was this spike innings -iety way earlier in nineteen ninety nine and they couldn't find any reason for it at the time they were concerned that maybe there was a problem with the algorithm. It turns out the rhythm was spot on the developers that gun to Fastow's talk, and they've gone up to him after the talk because they wanted to ask him what was happening behind the scenes in those days in nineteen ninety nine so, like Hello. Why was everyone so stressed out at Enron? Ninety nine and the problem was they couldn't explain why this happened. And I looked at it, and I asked them the dates of this movement and the data and these dates corresponded, exactly to the approval of the structured finance deal that I put in place that I was responsible for that ultimately became the focus of the Wall Street Journal, and the SEC thirty months later. Yeah. And you know what he says, is at the time he wasn't stressed about this. He thought he was doing the right thing, the board approved it unanimously. So you would think they're like totally behind this. But the software had identified that a lot of people who knew about this arrangement where feeling tense about it, even if they weren't saying, so publicly. Wow. So sort of the technology picked up that something was about to go awry, respect. Well, and so the company, keen Corp had their answer the software was working, but Andy Fastow hearing all this, and he's getting really excited about this software because he believes if it had existed in nineteen ninety nine. And if Enron had used it the way things turned out might have been different had seen this data from king Corp, the next day this data that said the top hundred fifty people in the company thinks this is a terrible decision but they're not. Telling you I believe the board would have reconsidered their decision and history would have been very different if they have reconsidered that the session because then there would have been no Wall Street Journal article about this deal. The Wall Street Journal articles triggered the SEC investigation history would have been much different. If this tool had been available, the nineteen ninety nine but couldn't they also just like not broken the law street would have been different. Right. Was point is that they thought what they were doing was sort of? Okay, maybe it just looked bad. Like Jeff skilling who was the c o and the president at the time, said that the biggest risk, he thought was what he called Wall Street Journal risk, meaning like it's bad for the reputation it looked shady, but they didn't necessarily think they were breaking the law. So they known that all of their employees were super stressed out about this and unhappy. They might have had like a like a sanity check and been like, oh, maybe we shouldn't. That's what Andy Fastow thinks in twenty nineteen now in nineteen ninety nine even if there were software telling you this. I don't know if I'm convinced that they would be like actually on second thought people feeling kind of stressed about this. Maybe we should completely change our business plans. This is what Andy believes. And like I think he's sincere that he's trying to write some of his wrongs and his way one way he does this is that he actually gets involved with this company, king Corp. We'd are you serious? Yeah. Yes, I invested in the company when I saw what the software can do. I'm committed to using the time I have to try to prevent other Enron's from happening, and I should also say that he's a consultant for keen Corp, and I found that really interesting and I wanted to know how he feels about his life, taking this unexpected turn. What do you think about the fact that in the late nineties and early two thousand you wrote a whole bunch of emails like a lot of people did? And then those emails go onto used by researchers and people in technology, and then it kind of comes full circle. And now you know, those emails that you wrote or having the second life. And now you're working with. Those emails again. Well I hadn't really thought about that. But look, I can't change the legacy. I was part of it Enron. I wish I could. But I can't. But if anything good can come out of that legacy, I wanna be part of something good. That comes out of it. And I really think he believes that this software. And working with this company is some kind of redemption. Now, I don't know if I want some software using my emails like some kind of mood ring, and even Fastow said that a first he thought it was a little minority report, and I can imagine, also having Fastow, as like your consultant and a sort of spokesperson might turn some companies off, it seems like a weird choice, but I also can't think of a more fitting ending to the story than end Fastow's emails being his legacy in this other way. This episode was produced by a bunch of people who had Email addresses, in the early two thousands like music, munchkin zero seven at Yahoo dot com. The dual a Comcast dot net and loved the swim at Verizon dot net. That's Sarah Wyman aim to do. What Jennifer Siegel and there's also me I think it was critical. I it will dot com for their. Speaking of Email, if you're not now frayed of Email, we love hearing from you by Email. You can write to us at household. Name at insider dot com or share your thoughts in our Facebook group because there's never ever been a privacy issue. They're just search for household name podcast. And we have a new issue of our newsletter coming out this week. Subscribe at the link in our show notes. And while you're there, you can also leave us a five star review and a comment on apple podcasts. Especial thanks to Jessica Lieber, who's piece in the MIT technology review actually inspired this episode William Antonelli, Anthony buffo, Adam Burke, hausky Tyler chin. Clayton dire. Rich Villani alley Guerra Brett Jordan Christian win. Orissa Palmer, Elissa pow, and grace Weinstein. Where are fine actors reading the Enron emails, sound design original music by Casey? Holford John galore, our editor is John Palmer. These active producers are Chris, Bannon and me. A household name is production of insider audio. Stitcher.
40: The Marlboro Woman
"Before we start this episode I wanted to minute and tell you about business insider prime. It's like business insider but goes even deeper taking you behind the scenes of companies like Lincoln and salesforce. So you can see what's really happening. It's more than just headlines and breaking news it's about the culture and the decisions that drive the news checkup these stories and more by joining at read be I slash podcast. It's easy to do once again. That's read dot by slash podcast. Smoking kills. I know that you know that. In case we forget cigarette boxes had big warning slapped on them to remind us that smoking is bad for your health. So that's presented a challenge for tobacco companies. Which are severely limited in how they market cigarettes especially when it comes to kids which is a good thing. I'm looking at you. Joe Camel yet. Despite the restrictions and health warnings one cigarette has so saturated our collective subconscious that even if you have never ever been tempted to smoke just hearing the name brings an image to mind Marlboro now. And then no matter who he is or what he does. A man's gotta get away by himself. He's brutally all American cowboy lives off the land and thins for himself. You don't see many wild stallions anymore. Personally I never saw these ads growing up. Because after nineteen seventy one cigarette ads were banned on television and radio but I still know them because that cowboy became synonymous with the brand. He's a strapping frontiers. Men with a weather beaten face galloping on his horse across the plains or he's fishing or hurting animals and in the background you hear that soaring music composed by Elmer Bernstein for the classic Western the magnificent seven come to where the Labour helm to Marlboro country. Listen Thunder of the her sky. The whisperers tumbleweed rolling by that cigarettes. He's got in his mouth. The cigarette he made famous that cigarette. It was actually designed for women from business insider. This is brought to you by rans. You know stories. You don't I'm Charlie. Mcdonald's cigarette we associate with the Macho loaner cowboy at the frontier was originally made for women. How did it make the move from the well? Manicured hands of socialites. Too Rough Palace fingers and the Marlboro Man. And how did Marlboro go from a no name? Brand to the number one selling cigarettes in America wild horses didn't hurt. Stay with us before the Marlboro Man. Before the Marlboro woman. Even women didn't really smoke. In fact in some places. It was even illegal to help me tell that story. I wrote Aria Bendix into the studio with me. I'm already so on. It gets toasted here as well too. So cool cool. So why don't we start? Warriors a reporter at business insider. Who's covered the history of smoking and Marlborough? Why don't we start at the turn of the century? What was the association between women and smoking so there was a strong negative association between women and smoking. It was not something that polite woman did. There was a lot of societal disapproval. That was definitely the big thing but there was also a few legal attempts to sort of prohibit women from smoking in public in nineteen. Oh four there was a woman who was actually turned in by her husband for smoking in the presence of her children and she faced thirty days of jail. Time for that and then a few years later There's actually a short-lived ban in New York City that prohibited women from smoking in public. So it really was. Smoking was really seen as not a thing. That a lady. Oh well raised woman would do woman of good moral standing. So then what changed? So what changed was World War One inside the White House. President Woodrow Wilson compared with advisors then signed the proclamation of war against Germany and that was really when women started to take on up. Actually enter the workforce for the first time and take on jobs that were traditionally says he'd with men behind every man or the woman at American women were daintily mightily and they also changed their appearance to reflect that so women started to have shorter hair started to wear pants and then they also started to pick up cigarettes by one thousand. Nine hundred thousand American women had won the right to vote but even within the Feminist Movement for some smoking was taboo. Some of the activists for women's rights actually went to great lengths to distance themselves from women who smoked Lucy. Page Gaston for example was a vocal opponent of smoking and drinking alcohol. She wasn't trying to ally herself with women who were redefining femininity. Instead she wanted to empower women who embodied the old Victorian ideals of womanhood who would use their vote to advocate for temperance and respectability and enforce their high moral standards on the broader population. So where does the story of Marlboro Start? So it starts with Philip Morris which used to be British Tobacco Company in the One thousand nine hundred twenty s they really wanted to get a stronger foothold in the US market so they came up with the idea of the Marlboro Brand and in nineteen twenty four. The introduced it as a cigarette brand for women. Nineteen twenty four was a really tough time for a newcomer to be making a play for the US cigarette market at all. Never Mind Marketing to women. That's because it was already pretty locked down by four big tobacco companies. Actually there used to be one gigantic company a monopoly until the US Supreme Court and a bunch of trust. Busting Congressman. Put a stop to that in the nineteen teens. Anyway by the Nineteen Twenties Marlboro. Was this small fish making its debut and upon full of. I'm just GONNA go with this great white sharks so it set its sights on the other. Small fish in the cigarette pond women and since suffragettes Lucy Page Gaston. Were not going to light up anytime soon. Marlboro had to find a way to make smoking socially acceptable for women. It had to make cigarettes. Which many saw as symbols of vulgarity and promiscuity actually feminine by Victorian Standards So one of the first advertisements that they came out with was this quote unquote mild as May campaign may like the month of May delicate breezy dainty elegant for find polite. And there's something amazing about how Marlboro. Sins that message through these ads. Like if you look at them. The women picture aren't even smoking but it almost doesn't because they look so glamorous every one of them sort of had like this dark lib this perfectly quaffed hair. The secret was sort of daintily hanging off their fingertips looking a little bit seductive but it was also somewhat reminiscent of the Victorian ideals of Amenity. That sort of caring us into the nineteen twenties. You see this sort of stereotype of a lady. A very elegant woman that marble woman is basically like the Modern Day Portland of instagram influence. Our I mean everything that women sort of wanted and aspire to be mild is may was everything. A woman could want in a cigarette. The ads made it look like an essential accessory as natural a woman's hand as the lipstick on her lips. There was a lot of concern that women's lipstick would actually get at the end of their cigarette. So what they did was actually create a grease proof tip that would prevent that and it would keep your lipstick looking nice while you were smoking after that. They also introduced a red rim around the cigarette and that was meant to disguise the lipstick itself. We are miles away from the Marlboro Man. Here that even his Marlboro and its parent company. Philip Morris continued to work on making it cigarette look appealing to women. It had a bigger obstacle to tackle. Most women did not know how to smoke. So Philip Morris sponsored. A lecture series that toured the country and taught women the basics. It hit ladies clubs charm. School's department stores and nurses lounges covering etiquette had opened the packages avoid lipstick smears and prevent fires. Oh my God and slowly but surely marbles efforts started to make inroads so the advertisements are resonating with women Marlboros. Getting letters from women thanking them for the ADS. More women are starting to pick up smoking. But it's actually not doing much for the brand itself. It was pretty much failing as a business they were capturing a miniscule portion of the cigarette market at that time turns out. Marlboro. Wasn't the only cigarette company on the block with the bright idea of advertising to women in fact the American Tobacco Company one of the four giants which used to have a monopoly on cigarettes. It wanted to get women to smoke. Just as badly as Marlboro did and its main brand. Lucky strike was a much bigger name than Marlboro. The president of the American Tobacco Company poured about one point five billion dollars in today's dollars into advertisements in the first decade of the lucky advertisements. So they were funneling money into the brand and that sort of reflected in that sales they were sort of catering to everyone and they saw the same opportunity. Marble did that. They weren't actually targeted advertisements to half of the population which was women so they put out a lot of the same messaging. That Marlboro did a lot of that. Same like feminine ideals of Beauty. They weren't a woman's cigarette brand but they certainly began catering their advertisements to women but nineteen twenty nine both companies had been running ads featuring women for years. Marlboro had even gone so far as to show a woman in one of the advertisements. Actually smoking a cigarette. Just holding it seductively. But even that wasn't enough so to break through the negative by surrounding women in cigarettes once and for all the American Tobacco Company launched another offensive. And this one would below the politics of women's smoking wide. Open the president of the American Tobacco Company calls up this Guy Edward Brenes and he's now known as the father of Public Relations and he was actually fun fact. The nephew Sigmund Freud and so- Bernez comes up with this idea to stage a protest in New York City he recruits all. These debutantes who sort of look like the everyday woman but they're also super elegant and he gets them to basically marched through the streets of New York on the Easter Day parade carrying lit cigarettes in their hand and he called the the torches of freedom so cigarettes were known as the torches of freedom the Easter parade. One of the most important events on New York City's social calendar. Women were there to be seen. They were the newest fashions. Their boldest hats and stranded down Fifth Avenue. Like it was a runway. It was such a cultural touchstone. The American composer Irving Berlin even wrote a song about it and it became the basis for a nineteen thirty three. Judy Garland Fred astaire movie new the grandest Bala Anyway crashing. This event was a big deal and the torches of freedom the woman marching down Fifth Avenue in their finery carrying lit cigarettes. That image caught fire. It was a huge news story and it sort of kicked off the idea of women smoking in public really. Yeah I mean I see it as sort of the fulcrum to change the social tied women in other cities as well not just New York City but now San Francisco and Detroit. Were now taking the streets and smoking their cigarettes or torches a free. They had their own torches. Afraid of this was the moment. Cigarette companies had been waiting for by marching with torches of freedom in hand the debutante's in New York City gave other women permission to smoke boldly and publicly to and his public. Smoking became more accepted. Hollywood hopped on the bandwagon by showing actress. Smoking on the silver screen. I think of the film now. Voyager in nineteen forty two. I wish I understood you since we just met this morning. How could you possibly Bette Davis with her lit cigarette in her hand? She was known for smoking. Both on and offscreen but in that film the cigarette was really a strong plot device. Really I mean it was the way for her to leave her family home. It was the way to introduce her to her. Amanda interest in the film. She leaves the family home. And becomes independent smoking's really connected to freedom and independence absolutely. Yes and then at the end of the film. No spoilers have to solve a question among the two main characters and they were like okay. Shall we solve it over a cigarette? And that's what they do have a cigarette. It's a point of romantic connection conflict resolution freedom. We see that also in one thousand nine hundred four with film to have and have not with Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. There's a fantastic scene in that movie. Where bogart walks into the room. He turns around he sees because standing in the doorway. Anybody get them at. She asked him for a match and he throws it at her and she lights up all seductively in the doorway and then throws a match over her shoulder and walks out. Thanks super sexy but also has a lot of agency in that scene. So women are smoking in movies really. Glamorous celebrities are smoking it's becoming more socially acceptable Marlboro has been targeting women for several years. Now how are they doing? Their sales? Were STILL PRETTY DISMAL? In nineteen fifty four. They had only captured about a quarter of one percent of the market so it was pretty embarrassing for them and then something dramatic happens just one year later. They're sales shoot up by more than three thousand percent. What happened the Marlboro Man Happened? That's after the break If you're enjoying the story then you should really check out. Business Insider Prime Prime examines. What drives some of today's most talked about? Companies we work Goldman Sachs Airbnb it features stories about the people making headlines. Ray Dolly O. Sachin Adela Elon. Musk if you're like me and you love stories that give you that behind the scenes. Feel like you're there in the room where the decisions are being made. Well that's would be I. Prime is like you can get instant access to all these stories and more by joining today. Just go to read dot Pi Slash podcast and tried out for just one dollar for the first month or choose an annual membership and get a special discount on the price check it out at read dot bi slash podcast. We're back over. The course of the nineteen twenties and thirties cigarette advertising and one really bold publicity stunt totally reverse the public's perception of women's smoking but Marlboro still wasn't selling cigarettes. That is until nineteen fifty five when in the span of just one year Marlboro Sales. Suddenly shot up by over three thousand percent. What happened so science happened? In the nineteen fifties. There was a host of research scientific article after scientific article coming out saying that smoking actually was linked to lung cancer. Men SURPRISE SURPRISE. Experiments with mice are being conducted in several universities. Scientists suspect that second constituents in the smoke may cause cancer in the respiratory tract especially in the lungs of smokers. Designs wasn't definitive at that time so in the same article in the same paper there might be one scientists saying that smoking was bad for you to be considerable agreement about the effect of smoking upon the human organism and another saying that they couldn't reach a definitive conclusion. Research in this area is relatively new. So how did the public respond? There was widespread panic among men because all of a sudden they realized that something that they were doing every single day could be killing them. I mean it's like learning that your toothpaste could be killing you by the late. Nineteen fifties tobacco shares on the stock market. We're taking hit cigarette. Companies started to worry that public concerns about smoking would outlast. The new cycle that the studies linking cigarettes and cancer couldn't just be tapped away like so many cigarette ashes. The cigarette companies responded by launching a quote UNQUOTE HEALTHIER CIGARETTE. Which was the filtered cigarette because the belief that filtered would be healthier for people who had suck out the bad chemicals harmful substances like tar nicotine was sort of get filtered out. You'd have a much pure product at the end of it and is that actually the case. That's absolutely not the case. The science is complicated but filtered cigarettes have also been linked to lung cancer. So they're no get out of jail. Free Card. Filtered cigarettes had been on the market for years but at this point in the early fifties they made up just a tiny fraction of it only three percent. It would have never occurred to most men to pick up a filtered tip cigarette as a way of getting around the whole lung cancer thing. But that's exactly how some cigarette companies started selling them tape. Campus despise can't with the micronized Milkman is smoked by more scientists more educated than any other cigarettes they marketed. These cigarettes is just what the doctor ordered. The first truly new smoking advanced over forty years. This big push to tell people. They were healthy off leading filter cigarettes Kent Filters Best. That makes good sense to smoke. Can't and good smoking for Marlborough? All this chaos presented an interesting opportunity remember. It had been languishing at the bottom of the cigarette market for years failing even to dominate the women sector so in the news about smoking and lung cancer head. Mario didn't have much to lose by pivoting to filtered cigarettes or other brand worry about staying true to their image and holding onto marketshare Marlboro was free to cut itself loose from its old brand and try and stay at a new niche in the big leagues. But I had to work through one big problem. Filtered cigarettes were seen as sort of Sissy cigarettes and certainly men didn't wanNA smoke them because filter cigarettes were associated with women for me. The thought was that Mike. Filtering out some of the bad stuff. Filtered cigarettes lost some of the raw gritty cigarette flavor. They were weaker and thus fit for women who couldn't handle the full force of a good smoke fitness. Now if Marlboro wanted to sell filtered cigarettes to men it would need to fight this perception and even worse. It had just the last thirty years. Branding itself as a lady's Cigarette. So they knew they needed to distance themselves from the idea of their brand being a feminine one so they went the exact opposite. They introduced the defining campaign of their brand. Donde the Martha Mine. Who SMOKES MARLBORO CIGARETTES? In nineteen fifty four Marlborough launched its brand new filtered cigarette and Helming the rebrand was the Leo Burnett Agency. These days. You might know it by its power hitting roster of mascots Tony the Tiger Woods Berry doboy there will be future episodes anyway. The new Mara cigarette needed to be smoked by a manly man. The kind of guy who wouldn't compromise on flavor who was the picture of Health and invincibility so Leo Burnett Focus grouped a couple of different options. They started with the one. We know best today. Which is the cowboy but they also tried to few others Really Really Macho is They wanted to see what would resonate with the public. Was it pro? Golfers or football player is one of the most spectacular runners and pro football us at your own style in running John and Marlborough Shirt. Style and smoking wasn't the navy man. Was it the construction worker and it feels like the village people of the data for cigarettes so one of the first commercials we see. Is this everyday? Joe Sort of tinkering over his vehicle to work on my car it apart and put it back together. So we see the cigarette dangling from his mouth but it's not really focused on the product we don't hear discussion about these are mild cigarettes and they won't hurt your throat and no it's like this dude can fix his own car and he happens to smoke a cigarette always. I work together. I mean it's sort of this idea of rugged individualism that if you smoke Marlboros. You can do anything on your own. You don't need government you don't need science you know. You're just a healthy dude. So when does the cowboy which seems to kind of hit him? Is that come into play? So the cowboy was definitely the most popular archetype that they tested. and it was one of the first ideas that they came up with to begin with you the music who rolls the plane's on horseback with a cigarette in his hand yeses cowboy hat. He's usually pretty jacked Tan Skin a little sweaty herding cattle herding cattle. A mountain while the music of the magnificent seven is playing in the background. Yeah he's like a Hollywood western figure. The early marble men were actors but by the late nineteen sixties. They'd all been replaced by real cowboys. The ads felt offensive because they were built around. What Marlborough and Leo Burnett called Real working in? This man likes tennis hungry. Horses men have an show from Marlborough and that image was so powerful that even when cigarette ads were banned from TV and Radio Nineteen seventy-one the image of the Marlboro man was so successful that it translated into print advertisements as well. I think I remember some ads. That are literally just a beautiful photo of the countryside or of mountains and it would just say Marlboro country and no cigarette anywhere in the ad at all. Yeah I mean. They were really simple advertisements but they were brilliant. Because every time you saw this figure you sort of knew who it was. And how successful was the campaign by Nineteen seventy-two Marlboro? Was the number one cigarette brand in the world so it really skyrocketed the brand to a new height. Why do you think this campaign struck such a chord with American men? I think men saw themselves in the Marlborough Man but I also think men wanted to be the Marlboro man. I mean at that time. This was everything that masculinity was supposed to be. I mean he was handsome he was early. He was self sufficient. He was a rugged individualist but he was also a little bit of that anti-government sentiment. He didn't need anybody he could sort of figure things out on his own. He didn't need to rely on anyone. I think that was a really attractive sentiment. Especially when you go into the sixties and seventies the Marlboro man campaign harness the same values the brand had been playing with in the nineteen twenties and thirties. Independence smokers taking back. Their rights and `having their own way in life. But the huge difference between the Marlboro man and the Marlboro woman for him is that his ads actually worked. They turned Marlboro into a household name. They sold cigarettes by the billions and for Aria. There's something frustrating about that. I think the Marlboro woman got a bad break. I mean people really forgot about her in history but she was an important part of setting the stage for the Marlboro Man. Later on I mean I think this idea of transcending Social Moore's of striking it out on your own of achieving autonomy that you hadn't previously had that mean that was the Marlboro woman and that's where I think it's important to recognize that the Marlboro woman did sort of allow them to test out whether the idea of liberation autonomy whether that worked in the American market and it did it just didn't work well enough until they introduced to the image of the Marlborough man has permeated or culture to such an extent that all these years later we still publish news articles when former marble men dive just a few months ago are a wrote a story for business insider when Robert Morris the first rancher to play the role passed away and even though Marlboros is long past only fourteen percent of adults in the US smoke these days the Marlboro Man is still omnipresent in American culture. There is billboards longest running number one song of all time. Old Town road even beat d'esposito me come on and then a personal favorite of mine because there isn't episode of Seinfeld for everything. There's a time that Kramer gets his face photoshop onto it looks a lot like Marlboro man. Billboard no money we get out there in the middle of Times Square. It's Kramer's face superimposed. On a twenty foot tall cowboy and of course like all culturally relevant brands. The Marlboro man has been lambasted by John. Oliver present to you. The new face of Marlboro Jeff Disease Lung in a cowboy. It's amazing to me that we're still talking about the Marlboro Man. That this brand has found a way to stay a part of the conversation. Even when it's sales are up and this more than even selling cigarettes is what Marlborough has always excelled at the legacies. I mean this is sort of like the paradigm of good advertising. It's capitalizing on social trends recognizing where the culture is going and being able to get their first. And that's what Margaret really did but wait. There's more after the break. I learned how smoking made the color. Green cool a cigarette companies are promoting vaping and I share a little secret of my own. It's brought to you by uncut and we're back and joining me in the studio. Is Aria Bendix? Hello I'm here and producers Sarah Wyman also here and Julia press present very often when we make these episodes we come across nuggets of information. That are remarkable or funny or surprising. But they don't make it into the final cut of the episode. Has They're distracting. They're really interesting and we can't help ourselves. We just have to share these stories in a segment that we like to call uncut and up first Sarah Julia. You have some information about lucky strike cigarettes we do and honestly there was so much wacky backstory about lucky strike. We absolutely could have made a full episode about just not alone. Yeah we actually met half to one. But in the spirit of uncut. We're limiting ourselves to just two stories right now so I up a little bit. More context about this torches of freedom parade because really barely scratched the surface in the episode. Am Hoping you didn't tell me. They walk down the street holding the torch above their head. The cigarette about their head like it was the statue of Liberty. Truly only half of it so the place to start is with this Guy Edward Brenes who just as a reminder father of Public Relations Sigmund Freud's nephew so after he decides that he's GonNa Turn The New York City Easter parade on Fifth Avenue into this huge publicity. Stunt BERNEZ STARTS SCOUTING FOR DEBUTANTES TO HAWK the cigarettes. He sends a memo to his friend who works at Vogue and asks her to help him. Assemble a list of thirty eligible women who are out in society and then on Good Friday before Easter Sunday. They all meet up at Bernez office. And they're distributed out packs of lucky strike cigarettes so then when Easter Sunday rolls around. They bring those packs of cigarettes. The party favors from the Good Friday meeting to a bunch of pre-selected churches on Easter parade route. And then one by one they joined the parade with these torches of lit a la the Statue of Liberty as you've observed Charlie and it crashed. Basically the Easter break to do this in the hilarious part is there. Were actually that many of them? Like as team had reached out to thirty debutantes but not everyone wanted to participate so even though this was photographed and written about in the press and went on to like have this huge ripple effect on how people saw women smoking in public it was like thirteen gals out taking a walk on a Sunday. Okay and all this craziness brings us to lucky. Strike story number two in. Which if you ask me. Marinez really outdoes himself. So in nineteen thirty four just a couple of years after the torches of freedom the president of the American Tobacco Company. So this guy who's obsessed with selling like strikes to anyone he can. He gets this idea in his head. That women aren't buying lucky strikes because of the color green the color green. What is lucky? Strike have to do with the color? Green the packaging is green. And they're worried that the packs of lucky strike cigarettes just would clash with women's outfits. Super Knees remembers being called into the President's office and the president basically tells him like go forth make Green Cool and Bernez writes. This was the beginning of a fascinating six-month activity for me to make green the fashionable color. So he hits the ground running he starts sponsoring fundraising balls where the invitees are all asked to wear green gowns and of course they're fed. Green food got green beans asparagus with Pistachio Moose. Doesn't love green beans Mussa. They even bringing artists since I colleges to talk about the psychological implications of the color green in the history of green and art. They're pitching these big fashion houses on the colored green encouraging the decree collections for fall. But are gonNA use the color and this is all to get women to like the color green so when they see a pack of lucky strikes though think. I want that to look. They're trying to make the lucky strike. Pack the perfect accessory to every outfit right like no look is one cigarettes and the other. So did it work. Maybe I mean. People were definitely wearing green in the nineteen thirties when military style became popular. But IT'S UNCLEAR. How much of that actually had to do with his whole campaign to make green the color of the day so that's a tour of lucky strikes in their attempt to get women to smoke but I got a story. Actually that's GonNa make you a little green with envy if I may say boy. So this is a story of picks up after the success of the Marlborough Man. So we're getting into the nineteen eighty s and the nineteen ninety S. And as Aria told US Marlboro has become the dominant brand when it comes to cigarettes but there are two issues at start to happen. The first is that Mars are actually kind of expensive. The cost about a dollar more than generic cigarettes. So my gosh and if you're a chain smoker that's adding that ends up to a lot of money if you're smoking a pack a day and for the first time really. Smokers start turning to these lower price cigarettes. So they've got an issue there with the price and then they also have the problem with the fact that we're going into the eighties and nineties and there is a decline in smoking in nineteen sixty five about forty two percent of people smoked and by Nineteen ninety-three. It was around twenty five percent so they had to responses. The first was that they cut prices. That was really dramatic and the second was that they created a program that lasted for many years. That was called the Marlborough Adventure team and I know a lot about it because I was a member. Uber part of the Marlboro Adventure team. Sort of a man yourself i. Yeah maybe Confession time yes did smoke for many years throughout most of the ninety s and my brand was Marlborough Lights. And I'm happy to say I quit in Nineteen Ninety nine twenty years ago but the marble adventure team. Was this thing that you could get swag in return for sending in UPC codes on the sides of packages. That's the Barcode on the side of a cigarette box. So it Kinda. Swag we talking here Charlie. So if you collected say about one hundred miles you could get a baseball cap with Marlboro on it. And by the way do the math. That is twenty packs of cigarettes But some of the other things were even higher price. There was a cast iron skillet to there was a cowboy hat. There was a barbecue set. There was a tense. There are all these things that are kind of connected to again the Marlboro Man. The outdoors so did you get anything with your miles I did. I got a lot actually small. I I got the Marlboro Barn Code. I'm I'm ninety nine percent. Sure I got that. I don't I don't have that one anymore to wear when you went and brush exactly green very manly khaki color if I recall I. I got a very durable duffel bag which I still have with me somewhere And I also got a Swiss Army. Watch which is still working to this day. It just needs a new battery every so often in a new watchband It's kept time quite well and quite happy with it. But this this whole program these promotions. It's really a way for Marlboro to try and find new audiences as they can't do television and radio ads anymore. And they're playing the cat and mouse game in the nineteen nineties regulators. Who are trying to crack down on the type of ads that the companies are doing. And at the same time Marlboro is trying to increase sales. And it's working. There's also something so delightful though about the thought that like even though the Marlboro Man. Is this solitary gruff cowboy. You Charlie can be a Marlboro Bro. You know like national squad. That's what you get to be part of it. I mean not only. Are you smoking a cigarette and may be intellectually? There's something connecting in there. But you can then start collecting the gear that the Marlboro man would have even if at the time I was living in Washington. Dc In a basement apartment. But I too had the Marlboro watching the Marlboro Duffel bag. I mean this is a cute program but it's also kind of scary because it's basically rewarding the amount of boxes that your purchase. It's it's rewarding the amount of cigarettes you smoke. It is yet no it. It was a way of encouraging you to smoke but Aria. It's your turn now and you came with a story to tell us as well. I believe so. Come on bring it home. Okay so I write a lot about chemicals and toxins and how those toxins are actually winding up in our household items so nicotine obviously qualify as one of those toxins. And if the Marlboro story reminded you of vaping you would not be alone actually the FDA and the American Cancer Society have both expressed concerns about the fact. That vapes come in these fun. Flavors like creme Brulee and mint and bubblegum and. There's some concern that those flavors are designed to attract younger smokers specifically teenagers in fact many of these e cigarette flavors are actually being banned by the FDA. There's also another concern experts on cigarette. Advertising pointed out the vaping may be portrayed as a healthier alternative to smoking and they're seeing parallels between the way. Smoking was portrayed in advertising in the nineteen fifties and the way vaping is being portrayed in advertising today so this is just another example of advertising swaying us in a certain direction so playing off of people's fears about their own health and presenting a new narrative and now we're latching onto that again and almost advertising getting ahead of something before we have definitive information. Yea absolutely I mean justice. The marble man appeared a time when the science wasn't actually conclusive about smoking being related to lung cancer. The vape is being presented. Now at a time when we're really not sure about its health effects are a thank you very much. Thank you guys an Sarah Wyman. Julia press thank you. Well thank you so there you have it or I episode of Twenty Twenty. And we're really excited about it because we've got a lot more episodes coming in the weeks ahead from stories about the. Red Scare. No not that one of the time. The band was announced. Everybody wanted to know whether red m. and M.'s cause cancer to the woman who changed forever. How we celebrate special occasions. She goes from being unknown in the business world to a month later everybody knowing in Europe. Who Madame Clicquot is the widow? Klay Coa and don't forget we love hearing from you your thoughts about this episode or earlier ones your connections to well known brands or which brands you want us to check out. You can join our facebook group brought to you by podcast or email us. Our whole team gets very excited when we get emails from you. The address is brought to you by ADT INSIDER DOT com. This episode was produced by Julia. Press and Sarah Wyman with reporting from Aria Index. Our editor was Caroline Newbold special. Thanks this week to Robert Jack. Ler and the Stanford research into the impact tobacco advertising. And if you wanted just like revel in ridiculousness you should just spend a few minutes. Listening to these commercials from the fifties and sixties they are excited behold and listen to we have a link on our website and on the facebook page. Sound Design is by Bill Moss and the music is from audio network. Casey Holford and John Laura composed our theme. Sarah Wyman is our show runner. Brought to you by is a production of insider audio. You'll like them Winston cigarettes Mister Flintstone. Goes they really got template? You Bet your life. Winston tastes good like cigarettes should.
59: The Pepski Generation
"This episode is brought to you by mastercard glasnost in russian it literally means openness and if you were around in the mid nineteen eighties i was. You would have heard this word a lot. Because it was the name of a famous soviet policy that meant more government transparency. It was the kind of thing you'd hear everywhere from the news to saturday night. Lives weakened update glasnost which is russian way of saying. Welcome back sorry about the frostbite. But somewhere i did not expect to see. Glass nose was in a super bowl ad for pepsi in the ad a russian kid in jeans and a flannel shirt bangs his head to the music while his dad tries to read the paper at the kitchen table he says noise noise but toward then cut to a group of teens in red square. A guy pulls up on a motorbike not very long ago. America introduced to the soviet union. Next a kid carrying a stereo skateboards pastor group. Busa wearing women and wanted may be jessica incidence. A lot of refreshing changes have taken place ever since head banging flannel shirt kid pulls on his leather jacket and heads out. The door is uptight. Russian dad puts down the paper and rolls his eyes kids pepsi. A generation hit the whole thing was filmed in moscow with about twenty soviet actors. All speaking russian according to a pepsi spokesperson at the time this was only the second ad ever for an american product to be filmed in the soviet union and the ad was called. Glass knows from business insider. This is brought to you by brand no stories. You don't. I'm charlie hermit mcdonald's in the late nineteen eighties when u s and soviet leaders. And only just started meeting. About opening trade relations. Well pepsi was way ahead of them. For decades one pepsi exec had been flying back and forth between the us and the ussr meeting with foreign trade ministers politicians and regular russians. His name was dawn kindle and he negotiated a series of ground-breaking deals to make pepsi. The american consumer product available in the soviet union deals involving volkswagen submarines and even a small fleet of warships at one point kindle. The ceo of pepsi would say to the us national security adviser. We're disarming the soviet union faster than you are producer. Sarah wyman has the story stay with us. Don kendell passed away at the age of ninety nine last september. I couldn't interview him for the story. So everything i know about him. I've learned from other people like his son. Don junior spoke to him shortly before his dad died. I guess the easiest way. The best way to describe him as a force of nature he's an alpha and he's silverback and when he walked into a room you know people people took notice and mike white. He's the former ceo of pepsico international. He worked with don kimball for years and wrote a biography about him. Don't use to tell me. He had enough wine in his wine. Cellar drink until he was one hundred and five and he intended to drink at all getting to know dawn as his friends and family. Call him getting to know him. This way has been kind of her fact because the man is a legend. You name an important historical figure from the twentieth century. And there is a photo of them. Hanging out with doc margaret thatcher. Pope john paul. The second at-large sadat gerald ford louis armstrong. He and satchmo weeks and weeks and weeks together. Traveling through african for example. He was very close with leo tolstoy's grandson who had emigrated to america. He got to know mikhail baryshnikov when baryshnikov defected in our family lord. There's still some debate about whether he helped him to fact. This is a who talked his way into rooms with presidents and prime ministers richard. Nixon played the piano at his wedding. When nixon opened relations with china dad was the one to deliver the message to shangqiu check in taiwan. Saying that no matter what things as things may seem We will not forget our friend. The stories i've heard about done are the kind that deserve to be told and retold around the fire or at a bar. Because don is like the paul bunyan of american business every story about him is wilder than the one. You just heard like. There's the time he was shot at by planes. While swimming in a hotel pool in lebanon or being run out of you know having to flee baghdad when hailed the king don kendall wise in short in american business folk hero of the twentieth century and the trajectory of his life would have made a lot more sense if he'd been a kennedy somebody born into a rich and powerful family on the east coast. But that is not where don story starts. He was born in nineteen twenty one on a dairy farm. In s- quim washington farmers work hard but dairy farmers work very hard because the cows milk twice a day and they were milking by hand. So my father's hands for example are these events still like ninety nine. He has these incredibly strong hands and that was developed over the years just for milking cows in high school family legend has it don wanted to play football. Apparently his dad told him yeah. Sure you can play football but only as long as your home in time to milk the cows so in order to get back home from football practice he would miss the bus so he had you know. Go to school early in the morning. After milking cows go to school all day do the football practice and then run home in order to get home in time to milk the cows by the time don was in college the us had entered world war. Two mike white his friend and colleague says don finish three semesters at western kentucky state college then over his christmas break he decided to drop out in the list and he was going to be a pilot in the navy. I've never flown before. So he went and took flying lessons in any told me the story of him. Kind of flying. Underneath and looping the bridge and it. You weren't supposed to do that. I said well that's quite essential is a little bit of a wise guy. I think after the war. Don dot an entry level job working on a bottling line at a pepsi cola plant but he was such a charismatic guy. Such a salesman at heart that before long. That is exactly what his job turned into in his first nine years at pepsi-cola don was promoted six times for modeling to sales to assistant national sales manager to vice president in charge of marketing for the entire company in nineteen fifty seven. He was promoted a seventh time. The age of thirty six he became the president of pepsi-cola international expanding internationally was away. That pepsi was growing and they had to look for markets that weren't occupied by coca cola in a dominant way range. Patty coca cola have expanded to europe as a result of world war two and had the us army essentially brought coke with it. Wherever it went and so pepsi was never going to be a powerhouse. In london paris rome dawn early on when he began running international realized that he was going to have to make his mark in emerging markets. And in some ways. These were back then. Poorer countries or countries with alternative economic systems like the soviet union. When dawn started heading up the international business pepsi was sold in sixty countries within six years. He would almost double that number for decades. There was one country on tried and failed to break into over and over again. The soviet union became like his white whale. He get close enough to see it just within his reach and then something would interfere at the last minute. The first time this happened was in nineteen fifty-nine. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. It's really a great pleasure. Wonderful to be here. This video is from two thousand. Ten don is giving a speech at an awards dinner for the foreign policy association. Of course when you're eighty nine years old. It's nice to be anywhere. And he launches into a story you can tell he's mentioned many times before because if you listen closely to what he's saying he breezes past. Some extraordinary details was the first one. Open up the russia. I went there. Actually in one thousand nine hundred fifty nine with nixon when nixon was vice president. Father don't remember that eisenhower. And who chef at that time wanted to try and get to relationships. Star between the two countries and russia had a big exhibit over here. The us had one in russia. That big exhibit was the american national exhibition in moscow was rather than nick escorts soviet premier krista on a preview of the united states pair at school nikki park in moscow in the weeks after opened. More than two and a half million soviets would cb moskovia spoiledness that w the official opening of the american exposition. The americans had built a giant epcot looking golden dome in the middle of the park outside brand new cadillac xtss spin around on rotating platforms inside there. Were dishwashers vacuum cleaners. Boats cokie the highest standard of life in our country but to stock this exhibition and make the us look really cool for the soviets vice president. Nixon reached out to american companies. But you have to remember. This was in the middle of the cold war the. Us was only a few years out of the red scare when anyone even suspected of having ties to the soviets could be investigated by the house. Unamerican activities committee so packing up a bunch of company merch and setting up camp in the middle of moscow would not be great for p. Are back on american soil. For example nixon had asked the folks in atlanta coca cola. Wanted to go and they said no. Thanks undecided over there. Most american companies were refusing to go. I decided to go. Because i enjoy matico. Cola had most of russia europe. They went in world war two and got a song christian europe eastern europe. This was not the most popular decision on ever made. At least one pepsi exec went around calling his trip to moscow frivolous and extravagant a waste of money. Basically so my before the opening told nixon. I said i knew. Nixon said i've got to get pepsi and khrushchev's handwriting travel in you. Don had met vice president nixon at the white house years earlier nixon had held a meeting with american business leaders who are working internationally and when nixon was asking questions about what it was like to operate overseas. It was pretty clear in the meeting that most these. Ceo's didn't have personal experience operating overseas. They themselves were not in charge of that. And when dad answered the question it was very clear that he was traveling regularly all over the place and that was the beginning of the friendship. Because nixon realized that what this guy kendall was saying was was true and honest and my dad was always very forthright. He didn't he didn't mince words. So like don was saying he and vice president. Nixon were both at a dinner at the us. Ambassador's house in moscow don got nixon's attention on the receiving line. He told him. I got to get pepsi in khrushchev's hams trevor. And so it was a bit of a wigan prayer. I mean it was a typical dawn kendall who knows what will come of this thing. On the day the american national exhibition opened nixon and khrushchev made a big show of cutting the ribbon and walking around together line of tv cameras and reporters snaked behind them as they made their way past. All the cars and dishwashers and then inside the kitchen of a model american home games between nixon kucha. Chris was maybe getting a little tired of listening to nixon. Go on and on about the joys of capitalism so he lashed back will overtake america and then wave by by the khrushchev lifted. His arm and wiggled his fingers in a tiny wave like nixon and the entire capitalist world. Were just a baby in a stroller and then the two of them launched into a kitchen debate but didn't just make the news it made history. They covered everything. The whole world was thinking about of atomic warfare. Atomic warfare ultimatums economic system was really the best. It was a big deal. If journalists weren't already paying attention to this exhibition they were now and a couple of days. Later those reporters got treat. Because nixon led khrushchev out to the pavilion. Where don kendall was standing next to his pepsi. Stand ready to go. And so when khrushchev shows up at the booth. Kendall's shrewd enough to say. I have to pepsi's here this one spade and new york and this one's made in moscow like you to try them both premier cruise shop. And tell me which one tastes better. Well he knew what the answer was going to be. Khrushchev tasted both of then turn to the press instead drake. You've made moscow's much better than the one made in the united states. And he went around khrushchev. Went around pouring pepsi's made in moscow for all the other dignitaries and of became like this brand ambassador for pepsi. Imagine a publicity we got around the world with khrushchev handing out pepsi. So khrushchev alone. Drank seven or eight cups of the soda anyway. The story of the papers across the world. The next day were this picture of khrushchev handing out pepsi's in the headline read khrushchev. Learns to be social. That was pepsi's ad campaign at the time. It was a pr coup for dad and got pepsi all over the papers and m a few years. Later don kindle was promoted again to ceo of the pepsi cola company but his stunt the american national exhibition in moscow didn't achieve the one thing hope for it did not open the soviet union for pepsi to do business because less than a year after khrushchev in nixon toasted with pepsi and paper cups. Diplomatic relations between the two countries skidded too hard. Stop and so two don's plans for pepsi in the soviet union. That's after the break. Local businesses are so much more than the goods they. So that's why mastercard is offering them tools. They may need to thrive online like digital doors and in curriculum that gives local businesses the resources and guidance to enhance their presence in the digital economy. So they can start their digital journey with the support. They need to succeed online and keep impacting their communities. Visit mastercard dot us slash digital doors to learn more together. Let's start something priceless. We're back in one thousand nine hundred. Ninety one more than a decade after dawn kindles first trip to moscow. A lot of changed vice president. Nixon was now president. Nixon and after years of terrible relations with the soviet union. The cuban missile crisis. The berlin wall would be a war. Nixon and alexei cossiga the new soviet premier. We're ready to give peace another shot. It was a new thaw in the cold war here. Saragan the story of how don kendall got pepsi into the soviet union. A second time is almost as good as the first one this time. He flew to moscow in nineteen seventy one for an international business conference. Here's our donald story himself in an interview years later starting with his agreement with prime minister to see with five minutes ago sagan He'll incident he was very interested in opening up the market. And when you go can plants and it was difficult getting going in. There are a lot of things you gotta do that. You didn't have to in other countries But it worked out very well and it just took a little city. We're going to build pepsi plants in the. Ussr sounds simple. But here is what happened behind the scenes at the business conference dawn and a group of businessmen were invited to meet the soviet prime minister cossiga. Don had planned for exactly this kind of opportunity. Somehow he managed to get a novelty transistor radio shaped like a pepsi can through security. He gave it to siegen as a gift. Cossiga n- thought it was whole warious that night. he found candlelit dinner and was like hey. Do you still want to bring pepsi into the soviet union. Find our minister of foreign trade tomorrow and who make it happen at this. Meeting have is Kendall talking to the deputy minister of foreign trade. This is very typical oscar sanchez. Simoni is a professor at the university of hong kong. He studied soviet economic relations and the international political economy. It's the exact intersection of my current obsession. Funny they were more people like you have a career. Sanchez is one of very few people alive. Who spent time researching how american companies did business in the ussr. Because frankly there weren't that many businesses to study. It's interesting because i feel like there's a pervasive idea among everybody during the cold war Really they don't want to do anything with the rest of the world because it'll be exploited in some sense because marxist doctrine sessile that was definitely the messaging most americans were hearing communists out. They don't wanna trade with us but in fact the soviets did want to trade with other countries because they wanted to be a global superpower and to do that they needed money so while most americans might have had the impression that trading with the ussr was a non starter. The businesspeople disabuse themselves of these ideas fairly quickly because as soon as they talked soviets. They're like no no no please. We want your stuff and we will pay for it. But that was easier said than done. Because the soviets didn't have access to us dollars and their currency the ruble couldn't be converted two dollars or any other kind of currency. It's like if you went to an exchange booth at an airport and offered them stack of monopoly money. So if tom kendall wanted to trade with the soviets there were a couple of ways around that i the soviets did a lot of something called compensation. Trade compensation trade is when western company gives equipment to the soviet union and the soviet union is going to pay back that company. Not in money or cash in the production offs. The factory that that equipment is going to be a part of in pepsi's case. Here's what that would have. Looked like don and pepsi would have set the as are out with all the equipment it would need to produce pepsi. We're talking concentrate factories bottling machinery and in exchange the. Us's are would have put aside some of the pepsi it produced and sent it back to the company as payment until the equivalent of pepsi's investment had been paid off in soda but pepsi already had plenty of pepsi. The last thing don needed was for the us artists. Send him a bunch of pepsi which he would then have to ship out franchisees around the world who were already making their own pepsi. So in his meeting with the soviet foreign trade minister don asked about a second option. Harder barter is exchange of things for things. The soviet union did a lot of this with smaller countries and oftentimes both countries would come to the table with trade lists things they were trying to get rid of on one side and what they were angling to get from the other country on the other side. The soviets were trying to industrialize wanted technology machines. But what did pepsi want. I mean it was was complicated again. Mike white former ceo of pepsico international and friend don candles because it was going to be a bartering transaction. Because it was no hard currency to trade and anything in russia back then and i was there in the seventies. The options for supply were limited. You couldn't get nylon stockings. You couldn't get bluejeans. There were a lot of things that we were told. Bring those and you can trade them for stuff when you go to russia. What could the ussr possibly give pepsi. That don could then find a way to resell and turn back into money while there was one thing that the soviets happened to have lot of more than they could drink themselves so we decided to bring still a snare here. Russian vodka sell. We got her money out. We got into into the vodka mris in order to bring stole vodka to the united states pepsi. Had to get creative it turns out there was already a company sitting on the exclusive rights to distribute russian vodka in the us. So if pepsi wanted to be able to make money off stole in had to buy that other company so they literally started up a liquor business which is very unique is regulated and a very unique set of channels of distribution. That's a whole different business. Which pepsi wasn't in that business back. I mean this all sounds really hard for lack of a better word. Why would pepsi go to all this trouble again. I think when you've got a brand franchises and you truly your aspirations are be a global franchise you know when you cook your fish where the fish are. When you're the number two you gotta try heart and so you gotta be more creative. You've got to be more willing to try things to take risks and that was by nineteen seventy-two don kendall in the soviets had signed a ten year contract making pepsi. The first american consumer product available in the ussr. It was on grocery store shelves by the end of nineteen seventy-three but back at home don was fighting his own war. A cola war against coca cola and he wanted to protect the gains. He was making abroad. Oscar sanchez to bony showed me some documents and memos from don's meetings with the soviet ministry of foreign trade they were declassified by the russian government a couple of years ago a different line and there's one detail from that nineteen seventy-one meeting when don and the soviets shook on their deal. The sanchez aboni says is really unusual. What make sure that the soviets only washing homer don kendall wanted exclusivity. He wanted the soviets to promise that pepsi would be the only cola art and that it would be the monopoly. Supplier of russian vodka in the united states census bony says don kept meeting with soviet foreign trade officials in the years that followed but their conversations changed like when he met with miquel kouzmin soviet. Deputy minister of foreign trade in one thousand nine hundred seventy four includes me doesn't seem to be interested in talking about pepsi and possible negotiations. Of course the only thing that kendall wants to talk about any said he goes on a tirade about how the eximbank of the united states at which is the kind of the bank that famous exports is not behaving lending money in creating all these problems and he clearly wants to go back to the united states and talk eximbank into involve. So he's like thank you so much for coming. I'm not interested in talking about pepsi. But can you help me solve this other problem that i have with the us. Yeah basically the soviet saw don as a gateway to the american business community. They weren't getting anywhere with the us government so they wanted dawn to work with them to help. Arrange more trade between american companies and the ussr. And maybe the most astonishing part about this is dawn did it more than most american politicians or government officials. He was instrumental in helping american businesses. Get into the ussr and not just his own is. I don't understand from these. Documents is what kendall was after was was it really just the business. What kind of market potential did he think this will remain in had or is that not at all for what he was after. I just don't know but he organizes american business. Don kendall set up meetings between the soviets and executives from chase manhattan. He helped organize a new american soviet chamber of commerce to help other companies draft trade lists the way pepsi did he connected. Chemical companies and technology companies the types of the. Us are really wanted to work with to soviet departments sanchez. Simoni says those industries stood to gain much more economically from doing business with the soviet union pepsi. Did that's where the real opportunities and the real money was so chemical companies should be spearheading this kinds of extended scandal. So maybe you know why don't After the break we learn. Why don kindle work so hard to strengthen american business ties with the ussr. And what happened to pepsi when the soviet union philip art local businesses are so much more than the goods they sell. That's my mastercard is offering them tools they may need to thrive online like digital doors an online curriculum that gives local businesses the resources and guidance to enhance their presence in the digital economy. So they can start their digital journey with the support. They need to succeed online and keep impacting their communities. Visit mastercard dot us slash digital doors to learn more together. Let's start something priceless. We're back andan. Kindles watch pepsi's operations in the soviet union just kept growing between nine hundred. Seventy one thousand nine hundred eighty. The company opened bottling plants in moscow siberia estonia kief tashkent kazahstan and georgia. Those plants produced millions of twelve ounce bottles of pepsi which sold for forty kopecks. Pop the don in pepsi. We're not done yet here. Saragan in two thousand three. Mike white was the ceo of pepsico international. It was the same job don at hat when he first food. The soviet union and got khrushchev to drink pepsi. And just like don had done. Mike white was getting ready to hop on a plane to moscow because pepsico which don had merged with frito lay back in the sixties was opening. Its first frito lay snack plant russia and by then dawn was probably eighty five years old and i call them and ask him if he would be willing to come with me to cut the ribbon to open the plant and i knew it be a big deal for him and it would be good for the company from a public relations in point. But even i didn't realize don kendall going to russia is like bringing a rock song. I mean i. It didn't matter whether it was yeltsin or even putin they all know who. Don kendall was when came white sauce. This is because don put in time with the russians. He drank vodka with them and it helped that he could hold his liquor. He got to know russian families and hosted them in the united states. His son don kendall junior remembers how whenever the russians came to visit. They would bring him one of his brothers gifts. They would bring metals and this is an early age. I thought like metals. Just the coolest thing in the world and when we would come down to dinner to present ourselves we would have these medals on our bathrobes. And i just remember that being super cool. What kind of medals were they were. They actual lake. I have no idea what kind of medals they were rushing metal by the mid nineteen eighties soviet american relations were warming up other companies. Were starting to think about doing business with the ussr. and clearly. don. Kendall was miles ahead in terms of his relationships with the soviets and his business experience he built an entire team at pepsi called the experts team full of native russian and ukrainian speakers. They had sales experienced new american and soviet trade laws worked understood foreign currency and could navigate complicated deals with a foreign trade ministry in the ussr so when the new president mikhail gorbachev ruled out a bunch of new government reforms and opened his arms up wide international trade even journalists for calling dawn to ask what happens now mr kendall. You've had success but dealing with the soviets on business it's not exactly a day at the beaches it now. It's i think the best way to describe Doing business with a with the soviets bureaucracy after work through is if you think about coming to the united states and having to go to the department the commerce department food and drug don had mapped his way through a big maze of bureaucracy. While other companies like coca cola were still trying to figure out where the entrance was. In fact the executives at coca cola had been keeping an eye on dawn and pepsi's expansion in the. Us are for years in nineteen seventy three one year after pepsi. Made stole of vodka deal. Coca-cola tried it out itself according to the documents professor sanchez. Simoni has seen the soviets who of course already had pepsi or not interested like okay. We've got that covered like we have on koa brand now. Why would we want another way and it makes no sense. It's not going to make a better product is not going to lower prices. That's not how this works. Which is why when coca cola. Finally constance of union. The soviet seemed to be harder. Edged with hardly carry on negotiations Cola as badly as coca-cola need at that point in nineteen seventy-six coca cola. tried again. But it would be almost a decade before the company built. Its first plant in russia by nineteen eighty-nine. It was starting to look like pepsi was selling as much in the united states as it could but pepsi wanted to open more manufacturing plants and so more soda in the ussr so it needed to find something else. The soviets could pay with and that's will make came up with worships valued at three billion dollars. Pepsi negotiated the largest ever agreement between an american corporation and the soviet union and not three billion dollars was made up of seventeenth submarines a cruiser a frigate and destroyer the following year pepsi and the. Ussr made another deal along the same lines for oil tankers and freighters ships. So kendall was really playing the long game. Yeah absolutely and you know investing in a relationship that it took a lot of years but eventually it paid off with a particular deal never came to fruition because in the early nineteen nineties soviet union collapsed in moscow. The hammer and sickle is for the last time and an era comes to an end and tri color banner of the russian republic. Now flies over the kremlin for pepsi. A major client go out of business. Suddenly the specific bureaucracy and his team had spent years building expertise about will it no longer existed the people and departments they were used to dealing with were replaced by countless new systems and trade laws and currencies russia in all the countries that have made up the soviet union anyone's game. Mike white who is working at pepsico at the time said that made it a watershed moment for coca cola. Once the soviet you started to collapse and it opened up it was like the wild west over again and so you know our primary competitor. The coca cola company came in and was able to start over again by building new plants so we almost kind of wet from an advantage to disadvantage overnight. I mean was it frustrating to feel like you guys had an advantage in russia and also figured out how to work in this very complicated system that you'd invested years of time in years of relationship building to workout and then to have the whole thing fall apart and have to figure out how to find your way in again but in business. You can't afford to stay frustrated too long or you go on a business businesses all about the future so yeah i mean for a nanosecond but then we were under how we're gonna do this. How do we going to compete. And how do we get our business reshaped for a new russia and that was what we said about doing in the decade that followed coca cola. Spent hundreds of millions of dollars building plants in russia and flooding the market with its product in recent years. The company has more soda in russia than pepsi. But pepsico just sell soda. It owns other companies with operations in russia. Like frito lay pizza. Hut and one of the country's leading juice companies pepsi's impact on russia was important and lasting in two thousand and four at the age of eighty three. Don kendall returned to moscow. Junior mcgarity vladimir putin presented him with a metal the russian order of friendship. He said for many years. You've been helping to promote relations between the peoples of russia in the united states of america. So you understood of munich. He sat across the table from dawn. And the two have talked about russian american relations while reporters snapped pictures from every angle. Don kendall junior says this was one of his father's proudest moments you know. It's not the recognition by putin that mattered to dad. But it was the fact that He really you know. How many years is that. Like fifty years mean some enormous amount of time that he was promoting that building bridges and being willing to be unpopular and telling the russian side of the story when nobody was interested in the russian side of the story making connections between countries. That are supposed to be enemies. I think his dad's legacy everyone. I've talked to. Who knew don has told me the same thing. He was good at his job because he cared about people and at first. I thought that's the kind of thing that everybody says about their friends. But when i talked to don kendall junior. He told me about how his dad took him in his siblings with him when he traveled the world. How when it felt like everyone in america had their minds made up about the soviets don encouraged them to meet people who lived there before jumping to conclusions about them the very first time i landed in moscow as a kid i literally. It sounds silly to say this. But i literally thought that that entire country would be black and white gray right. I didn't realize that there would be color. It's absurd thing to say but like that was my impression when you when you land there and you realize like oh my god. These people are friendly and they're giving you hugs and they're inviting you to their house. They're sharing things with you that the russians are very generous people. It just sort of exploded all the myths that landed there with. I've heard on campbell. Say this thing and interviews that executives should go out and kick tires. You can't run a company from an office. You have to go see the business for yourself and make decisions from there. I think don was literally talking about tires. Said that like on. Pepsi trucks driving across the country but the same attitude explains why he worked so hard to get pepsi into the ussr. Deal with the russians. Nobody done deal with the russians. Nobody knew whether they would renege on their promises. Right and why were they doing the deal a trusted could they be business partners so he just saw that i mean from his own trips over there and the friendships. He formed so he believed that. It's important to acknowledge that things with russia are not great right now and it feels a naive to pretend that business in some good ole handshaking and dealmaking could untangle the gigantic political mass between our countries. But from everything. I've heard about done. This man who flew planes under bridges delivered messages to world leaders and poured pepsi for khrushchev at the height of the cold war from all. I've heard about this american business folk hero i don't think that's the takeaway he would have wanted me to have. I think he would have told me like his son and like his friends did. The business isn't the solution relationships are and we shouldn't give up on our relationships yet. I guess i always had a great way from internal optimus. Roger and i think in this is you have to be optimistic. Heuristic your we have to gamble. Things don't have that's dawn kindle former. Ceo of pepsico. Answer wyman producer. Here at brought to you by if you're fascinated by the history of cold war like we are then your luck next week. We're staying behind the iron curtain. But this time we're going to east germany or even the berlin wall was not enough to keep levi's jeans out of the country to people that they had the commercials. Where exactly the way we wanted to be and they were where we want to be saw. The easiest way to be a little bit of this american clooney's were to wear levis and check it out. The american national exhibition in moscow makes a return appearance. Special things this week to. Dave wyman that sarah's grandfather. He told us to look into the story a couple of months ago. Thanks also to david. Woodruff clermont darris tyler murphy. At insider the family of roger enrico and the folks at the foreign policy association kindly allowed us to use portions of don kindle you also heard news coverage from the ap british pathy an abc news. This episode was reported and produced by sarah wyman. Julia press and me. charlie herman. Sound design is by bill moss. Music is from audio network. John laura and casey holford composed our theme. Our editor is michaela. Bligh dan bobkov is the podfather. Sarah wyman is our producer brought to you by his a production of insider. This episode was brought to you by mastercard to learn more visit mastercard dot us slash digital doors.
45: Heard It Through the Grapevine
"On September Fourteenth Nineteen eighty-six California's hottest new band made its debut. It wasn't at the fillmore in San Francisco or troubadour l. a. and the band was playing heavy metal or rock and roll instead. It was a group of tiny claymation raisins. Playing a motown hit in a national ad campaign. They were the California raisins. This commercial was the most popular TV ad in nineteen eighty seven and one thousand nine hundred and a lot of people including many of our listeners. Still remember it really well. There was like Mr Potato head but a raisin like the whole body was just ahead with arms and legs waving about and some of them played instruments. Maybe I'll dancing in the real world but in their little clay situation. They were disproportionately raising the huge arms for like small and relates. The dancing reasons were so popular. They took on a life of their own outside of the APP. Even Harvard figurines. I remember seeing them in my tweet chest there are part of some happy meal Kind of thing. The dancing raisins were invited to light the National Christmas tree. The White House. They recorded an album that went gold within weeks of its release. They were incredible motown band. I thought they were real band and really did not connect them to raisins or like the idea of dried grapes until well into my adulthood worship the USS Pyro. Even permission is sale with the California dancing raisins flag. Flying high above the voi- matings also remember old live in California Raisin Saturday morning cartoons I love to the California raisin much but I went as one four trick or treating when I was about eight or nine years old but while the ad made the dancing California raisins cool. Did it do anything for actual California raisins for all that? I remember the California raisins characters and songs and the happy meal toys. And all that stuff. It didn't work. I didn't eat raisins. I don't like raisins from business. Insider this is brought to you by brands. You know stories. You don't I'm Charlie Herman. Mcdonald's California dancing raisins ad has been called one of the best of all time. Paul McCartney requested his own coffee on VHS. Michael Jackson has to be featured in a sequel. But in Nineteen ninety-four the raisin industry abruptly pulled the plug on the ad and its spinoffs and still debates whether or not it was successful today. The story of the California dancing raisins the community that created them and the questions left in stay with US ARRAYS. By any other name would be a dried grape. I mean really. Most of us do not give raises a whole lot of attention. They're just everywhere. They're in our bagels in our cereals and of course in kids lunchboxes. They're just a staple but that little piece of fruit is anything dry and boring and that is something that producer. Sarah Wyman has made very clear to me in the weeks and months and she started digging into the origins of the California dancing raisins at. Hey Sarah Charlie. I have to start with a confession. Was that I before I started working on. The story did not even eat raisins and now they are all. I can think about this journey for you begin so a couple of months ago. I read this New York Times article. That sort of started it. All for me it turns out the raisin industry is actually a very contentious industry. There's this long history of lawsuits going back and forth between different members. And then on top of that this article also made mention of a raisin mafia along with allegations of death threats. Wow Yeah that did not go over well within the industry but actually to me one of the most interesting parts of that story was this one little section about the California dancing raisins ads from the eighties. I remember those really well. I grew up in California and it just felt like they were everywhere. I was not even alive when most of those ads aired and I had the same experience like growing up we had a little figurine our dollhouse and then my parents dressed up as for Halloween. They were big fans. Yeah I'm still looking for the pictures. Anyway there's this one line in the story that implies that even though this ad went onto be super successful even though you and I still remember it all these years later it may have precipitated some really huge divisions within the reason industry. So what did happen? That is exactly what I wanted to find out. How could this add that on? Its surface. Seems like an unmitigated? Success also have caused all of these other problems so hope to find out I went to Fresno Fresno is a dusty medium sized city in the middle of California's Central Valley. And I didn't know this but nearly one hundred percent of the reasons the US produces come from within a sixty mile radius of the city and the US by the way is the second largest raisin producer in the entire world so fresno is like eat it for raisins. And you can't just leave any field baron here because something's GonNa grow. It's just the way it is. Matthew Malcolm was one of the first raisin industry members to my calls. He's a reporter covering raisins or grapes. For one of the trade magazines family publishes and he made it very clear to me right off the bat that no one him included would be interested in talking about the New York Times Story. I'd read but he told me something else to something. He says. A lot of reporters like me who fly into Fresno from the big city to cover the drama often miss rural families here. And so everybody's really close. Everybody knows each other. I mean a lot of them are related to each other they marry in is so they're very tight and that big family with lots of opinions is where some of that drama comes from. Matthew has observed his fair share of contentious industry meetings and on top of everything else. He says there's one subject of conversation that just won't drop every industry meeting I go to it. Seems like some raisin growers asking are you ever going to bring the reason dancing raisins back and the answer is usually you know we. We don't know but probably not they all want to have them back. I don't know if it's because they just love the dancing raisins or more like I think more than that is they just want powerful campaign in a backing of California raisins and that takes unity. Unity has been a longstanding challenge for the reason industry. Still one thing. Nearly everyone does agree on. Is the mass appeal of the dancing raisins almost across the board everyone. I spoke to good things to say about the AD itself but back in nineteen ninety-four almost ten years after the first dancing raisin at erred. That good feeling was nowhere to be found. The dancing raisins got caught in the crossfire of a heated debate within the industry and ultimately when everyone failed to agree the raisins took the fall to make sense of that story. Understand where the dancing reasons came from and how they disappeared. Everyone told me I needed to talk to the sky. I've been born raised. Her Life Kalem Barbarian has worked in the reason industry for more than Fifty Years Grape. And raising your seal. The wine Bar Association for five years. Seal the ORB. His Dad started farming and processing raisins in Fresno back in the nineteen twenties. And since then Kalem has bounced around pretty much every corner of this industry processor. For thirty years at different disabilities he just turned eighty. Two and for the last few decades he's been privy to almost every dispute in raisin land and lots of them have landed on his desk. He's now on his second round of leading the Raisin Bargaining Association and. I told him all of this. Sounds absolutely exhausting. Hyun shape the California Raisin Industry is complicated. First of all you've got that family dynamic heard it through the Grapevine. Play till everybody some fictitious story about you know chicken little right now they might know it. Madeira by two o'clock. Then you've got nature to think about reason. Farmers rely on good weather and conditions to grow their product. And for better or worse. They're also in it together on that front blind walks to just knows it needs water needs to be crew needs to be fertilized. It needs to be baby. I treat my vines as my children. That's another thing that makes the reason industry different while the Vines Mayfield special to their children to you in me. Not so much. Reasons are not like cellphone brands with unique features and better WIFI connectivity and a sleeker feel than their competitors most of the time when we buy raisins we have no idea where they came from because raising his arrays in his arrays. How do you distinguish you're raising Bagel from my field to European Johm right? All those different factors combined add up to the final and most important challenge for the reason industry in order to be successful. This big family has to work together. So there's an alphabet soup of different boards and agencies and committees to help make that happen. They have two big jobs. I they provide tools. The industry can use to regulate the reason. Market they help out with keeping prices stable and have an eye on supply and demand and then job number two they work on public relations and marketing for the entire raisin industry of all the ACRONYMS. There's just one you need to remember cal. Rob The California Raisin Advisory Board it would go on to produce the dancing raisins but before that in the nineteen seventies and early eighties. It was busy churning out other commercials. Far As we know raisins are natural became. Just no they like so. Give them raises call. Nature's candy raisins from California. Maters candy came up with promoted new recipes. That you've just raisins it went to bakery conventions it pitched reason stories to food magazines and newspapers and it paid for all that buzz with an assessment or attacks on the reason industry. It taxed both growers and packers. The growers are the ones with the vines. They grow grapes in the beautiful California Sunshine. And turn them into raisins. Were the packers. The middleman buying it from him processing it selling it shipping it into trade and opening to make. This is what reason packing sounds lake. Packers start the reasons by size. Rinse out sand and dirt control for quality and pack them all up in boxes in nineteen eighty five. Both halves of the industry were funding cal. Rab So growers and packers paid attacks on every ton of reasons they produced and the industry was coming out of a big slump at the time. A series of weather related disasters during the seventies had thrown the price of raisins. Completely out of whack demand was down and if the California Raisin family wanted to avert economic disaster it needed to band together and find a way to sell more reasons so Colorado proposed this big advertising campaign with national TV commercials. It had about five million dollars to spend which in AD money is not a lot. It wasn't back then and it still is now. This is Seth Warner in nineteen eighty five. He was a copywriter at the agency. Foote cone and Belding my job. I call the Jack of all trade. His boss had him working mostly on trade ads stuff for industry publications. Not kind of campaigns you are I would ever see in a commercial or on a billboard so I just went one day and said can I just have something of my own to work on. Can you just give me assignment? I don't care how small or whatever something that's not part of what you're doing sets boss. Handed him the California raisins account but brief the goal of the campaign was to come up with a commercial that would make customer see raisins differently. Our whole objective was to make them coal and most of the people spending millions of dollars. Don't want to know. There are two guys sitting in a back room trying to make each other laugh and come up with this stuff but that is what we did. Remembers going to a friend's apartment the night he got the account? He wasn't worried about making the most of this one shot and impressing his boss. He just wanted to make an IED. He thought was cool so when his friends were like. What are you going to do with that? How are you going to do something with California race? I'll probably do something stupid. Like have some reasons dancing to I heard through the grapevine and then I thought maybe that's not so stupid after the break five million dollars does go a long way. The Dancing California raisins Congo. On their way to record deals awards and the split the raisin industry right down the middle. It's a trying time. The challenges all of our basic assumptions. However one thing that brings us all together is our common humanity now more than ever teams must come together and work together to solve big challenges and Trello is here to help trello part Atlassian collaborative sweet is an APP with an easy to understand visual format plus tons of features that make working with your team functional and just plain fun teams of all shapes and sizes and companies like Google fender and even costco all use Trello to collaborate. And get work. Done with Trillo. You can work with your team wherever you are whether it's at home or in an office no matter what device you're using computer tablet or phone. Trello sinks across all of them so you can stay up to date on. All the things team carries about. Keep your workflow going from wherever you are with Trello try Trello for free and learn more at Trello DOT com. That's T. R. E. L. L. O. DOT COM TRELLO DOT COM. One Song. I remember them doing all. The time was heard through the grapevine. The point where I was a kid and I hadn't I don't think it really clicked to me. That was like a real song. Like I thought that that was a California Raisin Song and then I remember hearing like the Marvin Gaye version of that and I was like why is he doing in California Raisin Song and then it clicked on me that I was like all right? This is a real song like California raisins. We're back. Seth Warner the young copywriter. Newly in charge of the California raisins account had a concept raisins dressed up in white gloves and sunglasses dancing to Marvin gays. I heard it through the Grapevine. But first he had to get approval from the raisin growers and packers who were paying for it. Here's Saragan one morning in Nineteen eighty-six Seth and the team at Foote cone and belding piled into a car and headed to Fresno. We weren't there because we ought to meet the growers and so we would drive. I what was in our our ninety minutes the Fresno from San Francisco and the account people are all nervous on the way there. What we're GONNA do. They pulled up to a business park. Opt Out of the car and marched into a conference room Kalem Barbarian along with around forty other raisin growers packers and Industry members was in that room. They all watched as seth walked in and took the floor. I'll never forget. He was a handsome guy. Had white shoes on no socks earring in this air had ghetto blaster up on his shoulders. He's turns in on and it's heard it through the grapevine I basically how to put on white gloves and stand in front of them all and dance to the show the campaign. Then he's going through these storyboards and showing how it would look our bib overalls going to understand what the hell this guy is saying. Remember it these were Fresno guys not big city Adleman and south southwest dancing all by himself in front of the group without socks on Yeah it was probably a little bit of a shock quiet enough. Who's RABS manager at the time wrote about Seth's performance and the Board's reaction in his book the fruits of their labours? He writes the thirty seconds of this commercial. Seemed like an eternity. Deathly silence filled the boardroom. For what was probably only another thirty seconds but seemed much longer. A board member said Seth. Can you do it again? The tape was re lounge and the presentation repeated. Alkan anybody's sent on board. Who spends the whole day on a tractor okay? That knows everything about what needs to be done for his vines. And he's GonNa come in to know what an advertising executive knows. Kalem says the vote on whether or not to approve. The AD was extremely close. Almost growers in the room were against it and they had good reasons to be. Claymation wasn't unproven concept. This was probably the first time it had been used in a commercial and the ad was fun but to quote the fruits of their labours again. It made no effort to sell raisins. It was merely entertaining just to make the AD would cost three hundred thousand dollars and if no one liked it the reason industry could not get that money back but despite it all by a very narrow margin more than half. The Room voted to greenlight the ad the dancing California raisins for a go. Now somebody just had to turn Seth Warner's concept into a real commercial. The first step in this was we need somebody to create some raisins. That are GONNA dance around. Michael Grunsfeld was the commercial animation director at a company called colossal pictures which had been contracted to do a mockup of the ad colossal issued a challenge to some of its animators. How can you make raise them? Looked appealing You know what kind of legs does he have so that he could do a dance appropriately. Does he have? Oversized shoes. You know. What do they look? Like the winning concept was a raisin with big is a defined nose and a wide mouth perfect for lip synching. The face took up most of the reasons body. And then there was. You know little wrinkles here and there but the more you emphasize that the more it looks You know kind of like a weird prune. It did not look cool again. South Werner cyclists ad copywriter. We want sunglasses on them. I WANNA put them in converse sneakers but untied the laces and they gotta look hip. Basically the agency hired a guy named will vinton and his team to take the animated mockup of the AD and turn it into clay animation. Or claymation they'd make these little clay models of the the raisins and I remember sitting there with one of the animators and he'd make an expression in Amarah and then he'd make that expression on the face of the raisin they they use themselves to make the make human this process as you can imagine took awhile. Vinton and his team spent weeks making about six different figurines and a set made out of clay. A frame was one snapshot so they pose them. They take a picture of that. Then they'd repose them slightly in a slightly different posed. Take a picture of that. Thirty of those in you have a second of the commercial. It was a thirty second commercial. We created this huge Conga Line. That came out of a box of raisins and danced on the coffee table. While this Husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend were watching a movie and they were unaware that all this was happening in its own little world on the table below the California raisins from California. And the end. The announcer says sounds great. Doesn't it I remember when I went to college? People would say there. If three or four ways you can do an advertisement you cannot be talking head you can have a situation where like formulas on how to do this and this broke the mold was. This was not a formula. The AD was a hit. Today it would go viral but back in Nineteen eighty-six going viral was not yet a thing if you saw commercial you like. You couldn't look it up on Youtube and send a link to a friend unless you just happened to have a VCR setup recording at the exact moment the ad aired you just have to wait and hopefully see it on TV again on some show you watching watching and not know when that was coming and because we didn't have a very big media budget it wasn't on that often so you really have to be in the right place at the right time to see it and then when you saw you weren't quite sure what that was but it was different than everything else he saw and people started to say. What was that those people started calling Colorado and the Ad Agency asking when and where the ad would play again. Seth and his colleagues were getting fan. Mail forwarded to none from viewers stations and other advertising executives dear. Nbc after weeks of trying to find out who to congratulate on a recent national ad. I came up with nothing today during Ryan's hope. I saw the cutest commercial. I believe in theory Judy. Generally when you hear from me a problem is involved not this time however. The grapevine theme is fabulous. This commercial has command and it was good enough that I went and bought a box of California. Growth rates. Says a whole scrapbook of these letters. They go on for pages and pages carefully typed out on letterhead and a handwritten in beautiful cursive. But there's one letter that really stands out okay. This is from the Fitzgerald. Hartley company November Twelfth Nineteen eighty-six United. It's from Paul McCartney's manager or thanks again on behalf. Paul McCartney if there's anything we can do for you please give me a call. Paul McCartney he wrote two foot count in building specifically requesting VHS copy of ad so he could watch it whenever he wanted to. I mean how do you react when you found out about that? Well you know we were at this point. We were like well. What else is now? He's little guys took over everybody's hearts and minds. We still thought it was going saw. The reason industry quickly followed up with more ads. The California raisins dancing on a construction workers. Sandwich sons go on a kitchen counter with your vote again before long a claymation. Ray Charles joint batch the reason stamps around on the lid of his grand piano while he belts out the band's catchphrase sweet. One of the people who saw that ad was Michael Jackson. He was so into it that he personally got in touch with will vinton claymation animator and asked to be included in his own virtual. He volunteered and he said I won't be paid. Just WANNA be raising. I have one thing I need to ask them. I will not talk to anybody from the Advertising Agency and I will not talk to any clients. I will only talk to you. Michael Jackson sent will vinton a video with instructions for how he wanted the claymation to look down to the motions and facial expressions. The backup raisins were making in the background of the shot. And apparently making a clay King of pop was a whole nother can of worms will Vinton told. The hardest part was getting the nose right. He said he would not approve. The knows that I put on there as and no matter what I did. He wouldn't approve of it. And so we'll we'll finally I took Janet's nosed put that on the race in any body like back in Fresno Raisin growers in packers watched with amazement as the dancing raisins turned into superstars. And since they were already touring the country at least on TV screens. There was only one logical next step will about doing album. Ross Nellie is a music producer. He's written songs for bands like Earth. Wind and fire the gap band recently. He's been covers with Kanye West back in Nineteen eighty-seven the president of priority records. Got In touch with Ross. And he asked him to produce an album of motown hits by the California reasons I said are there is a great idea. I said the only thing I would do because at that time you know you had things like the chipmunks and all these different things for kids that's Alvin and the chipmunks for those of you who aren't fans I'm going to do it where feels authentic. And this is what I told him and so he says okay fine. We'll do that buddy miles. Who'd been the drummer for band of gypsys with Jimi Hendrix flew to California to record the vocals in Ross's studio and I set it up in studio. Exactly how like an old motown session with with the physicians? All in a room live everything. I mean we didn't do anything short of that. Within a month of its release. The album went gold and it sold more than five hundred thousand copies. I think within four five months it was platinum and then they called me and he said well. You know what? It's platinum in Canada to Canada. Really did it feel at any point while you were working on this album? You were making an ad for reasons. Oh No it it to me it. One point it kind of went beyond that. Well that's the problem with the advertising. It lost message and it became more entertainment than Strategy Berry. Krieble became president of Sun maid. Raisins in February of Nineteen eighty-six one year before. Ross finale produced his album in right as the California raisins were in liftoff. He watched the original commercial spin off into more and more distant territory. There were California raisins lunchboxes than hardy's started handing out plastic reasons figurines with cinnamon raisin biscuits nosy the big bendable California raising hardy. There were California raisins Halloween costumes. They were bestsellers in one thousand. Nine hundred eighty eight. It actually got to the point. Where THE DANCING? Raisins had their own television show. I mean you can imagine that you've heard about the buyer and the raisins weren't even close to being done yet. They start into claymation TV shorts and a Christmas special. That won an emmy. If those fish no California raisins and the any winning play Christmas celebration next even as the dancing raisins scored these victories back. In Fresno things were heating up little disagreement surfaced like who was allowed to borrow the actual dancing raising costume. Cal Rod what about Michael Jackson and what he was contributing like when Ray Charles had started in his ad he agreed to do across country public relations tour promoting the health and fitness of California raisins. But Michael Jackson will. He was not about that. No what we got was him for Free. But he wasn't going to do anything he wasn't gonNA eat a race and he was going to attend an event he wasn't GonNa do. I said okay. That's one piece of the marketing puzzle. Just one piece. What's the whole campaign? What's the message? How is that better than ray? Charles Between Nineteen Eighty six thousand nine hundred ninety two. The dancing reasons raked in more than seven million dollars in licensing fees but as money flowed back into cal RABS coffers. The disagreements became more serious the success of the dancing raisins exposed fractures in the industry which had been forming just under the surface for decades and as sat risked widened the raisins fell right through it. That's after the break. I've loved the kids. They were so cool and I guess subliminally it probably worked because I do remember eating reasons. The snack pages made raisins and dried fruit. In general seem really really hit definitely. Didn't make me any more of a antibodies. Like obviously there raisins. But it just didn't occur to me that this was a tool to get you to eat what you see in boxes of raisins. We're back Seth Warner and cow. Rab The agency responsible for hyping up California raisins. They had delivered a hit. Those California raisins were just in California. Anymore they were all over the country on mugs and lunchboxes and t shirts. But that's not where the story ends. Sarah tells us what happened next. In one thousand nine hundred ninety four a group of Raisin packers voted to shut down and when it went down so did the dancing California reasons. The band broke up. The reason. Packers didn't reach this decision. Because anyone had anything against the ad or because licensing fees stopped rolling in or even because raisins sales were down in fact. The industry was on an upswing. But that wasn't the story around town. Some people were saying they weren't getting a big enough slice of the dancing raisins pie. You don't have families can be about money and the California raisin industry is after all a big family so just like at Thanksgiving dinner while Colorado tried to calm everyone down and broker peace from the head of the table. Squabbling Raisin packers aired old grudges and argued about who was and who is not getting their fair share of the cash and by the end of the night all anyone could agree on was one of the siblings was getting a bigger cut than everyone else son made. It had always been the golden child and now they were making off with the family fortune. There's always been a if it's good percent made has got to be bad for them or bad for Sun made. It's gotTa be good for them. Berry. Krieble was president of Sun made at the time and even in the nineteen nineties. Some made was like the Kleenex of the raisin industry you ask someone to name a raisin brand and they would say son made there were some other big names like Dole del Monte. But they didn't just sell reasons. And because they were big companies not headquartered in the Fresno Circle they were not at the table and participating in all of this back and forth and that might be part of why some reason packers felt like this all boil down to it's US versus son made so the bottom line was you didn't have industry consensus. Let me explain almost all. The packers presided Sunday. But not all for the same reasons. Some had small brands that competed with some eight. And because some it was so much bigger the Kleenex raisins. They suspected that brand was getting a bigger share of the sales that had trickled down from the ad but an even bigger faction of reason. Packers did not have their own name brands. They sold most of their raisins in bulk to ingredient customers like cereal brands or bakeries and they were hearing from those ingredient customers that they had an issue with the ads some large customers felt they were paying big ingredient. Customers could actually look up in state records. How much money per tonne raising packers were paying cal? Rob You do the math on. How many tons of reasons you're buying from them and Bam you can see exactly how much of the total cost is going towards California raisin as you're one of the largest ingredient buyers for bread or cereal or something then really your pain for two taps and that tax is paying for campaign. That's not even advertising your product. Berry says the Colorado Board tried brainstorming ways to include other raisin products like trail mix or raisin bagels in the commercials and. Then we'd have arguments about whether you know you could ever have somebody raisin personified him for the packers who did have their own brands and worried son. Made was running away with raisins sales. There was another issue cal. Rap and the commercials paid for represented the entire industry which meant packers couldn't slap a dancing raisin on their packaging or use the characters ads unless they got their idea approved by the board lots of France tested the limits of this rule including Sunday. I got permission from the manager to create a claymation ad where the dancing reason singing to the send. Me Your Sunbeam. America's favorite yeah The marketing guys at Damani filed a complaint with the Department of Food and agriculture. Over it in the end the AD went to air. But of course that wasn't really the end of it because the smaller packers still fought son made had an unfair advantage. Once we started the dancing raisins people were going to stores asking for Dancing Raisin races and there were anything eating Calabar Syrian raisin industry. Better in again couldn't find. They weren't in the Shell. But you know who was on? That shelf son made unlike the smaller brands in the industry. It could afford to pay for that space. And since there wasn't a dancing raisin brand in the store small packers worried son made was getting all the business. We're not getting our fair share. You're making us put up thirty two fifty for generic advertising and getting the benefit of it which wasn't true wasn't true but there was enough leadership to sway the ones that weren't smart enough to realize what a good program that was when the dancing reasons out stopped airing Sundays. Share of direct raisin sells like inboxes on grocery store shelves actually increased. That could mean that while the ad was running more customers were buying storebrand raisins. Instead of Sun maid raisins and storebrand raisins were being supplied by those other California Raisin packers but very credible says at that point the actual facts about who was benefiting here had stopped mattering because packers had already made up their minds about who they thought was getting the better end of the deal. They gotTa have consensus right or wrong. It depends on where the votes are. And if you don't have a consensus it doesn't matter. But by Nineteen Ninety Four. The packers had reached a consensus. They were tired of paying into a shared piggy-bank for the greater good or as they saw it for Sun Mates. Good packers got pissed at Berry and killed the program. They filed a petition. And that's it you're over check mate done. That's what I was in the room when it got killed. There was nineteen abuse at Sunnyside Country Club setting in a circle in Maine dining room and we all voted voted to kill it tune. Kalem was voting on behalf of the packer he worked for. He says if it had just been up to him he would not have ended towel. Rob And therefore the dancing raisins and this point even know I had to vote to kill it. I side on the other side where I helped put that program together and was successful for ten years and then we throw the baby out with the bathwater. Even now decades later when the dust has settled one thing is still a question. Was the dancing reasons. Add a success from pop culture standpoint absolutely people all over the world have heard of the dancing raisins but in terms of its impact on the industry. It depends on who you ask Kevin Bursary and we'll tell you. The ad made the reason industry money and he will pull out a calculator to prove it. Three fifty versus to forty four hundred thousand. I don't need prove anything to anybody. Hey Kurt is one hundred thousand tonnes more sales than you would. If you didn't do this but on the other side of the debate if you ask very krieble he'll tell you it is much more complicated than that. The simplest way to answer that is how do you define success? Right is that that people remember. It is very successful in that set. Did it drive out the price of raisins? No not really. Because that's a whole market supply and demand on both national and international basis. Almost as soon as it disbanded towel rab the reason industry it got to work developing another agency to take its place and in. Nineteen Ninety Eight. Wait for it. Another acronym the C. R. M. B. California Raisin Marketing Board took over as the new hype machine for California raisins. Hairy overly became the new president of Sun made in two thousand seventeen and he says even though the dancing raisins are long gone he and the rest of the industry are still dealing with the fallout. I know for a fact that there's is animosity that still exists Within the industry of what happened back then but I also take the approach of that. Was You know thirty years ago so I think it's time that we look forward because the industry is in a very drastically different place than it was back then but in some ways it may be in the same place as it was in the eighties. It's hurting from some bad weather trends. It's being threatened by growing raisin production. In other countries these days some growers are abandoning ship entirely ripping out their vineyards implanting omens instead and on top of that there have been many many more lawsuits. There's also some good news though earlier this year the Sierran be which did not return. My request for comment hired a brand new vice president of marketing. The industry is in talks about a new campaign to promote California raisins. So are the California raisins coming back. Do you think the dancing California reasons well. There's there's definitely some discussion about that I mean in its infancy right now. Lots of details would have to be worked out I. How would the assessments be collected? Would everyone contribute to the cost of an ad campaign logistics? Aside there is a hint of the dancing raisins magic in the era done. Almost like you can hear the band warming up. I heard it through the grapevine in the distance. Everyone is hungering for unity again. They just have to find something to unify around. So there's hope those definitely helped. Yeah I mean the the good news is the industry is at a point where people are working together more than they have. Historically at least in the past twenty years or so obviously raisin growers and packers they compete with each other. This is Matthew Malcolm again. Remember he reports on the reason industry. You know we have to work together. Because we were competing against great forces worldwide for raisin production and maybe some people are has mystic about about it. I don't know maybe people are tired of just the lack of unity. But I think we're heading in the positive direction now. Matthew says whether or not the dancing raisins are part of the industry's future. He remains optimistic. His faith industry's ability to work. This out because in Fresno California reasons has always meant something bigger than a couple of claymation figurines singing. I heard it through the grapevine you know when you pick up boxer raisins off the shelf. There's many families behind it. There's a story behind it but just like families. Are you fight like family? They see the best and worst of each other But in all as a family we have to work together if we want to get anything done if we really want to move the industry forward in a positive direction. This episode was reported and produced by Sarah. Wyman WITH JULIA. Press in Charleston. Thanks to everyone who left us voicemails and shared their memories of the California raisins in our facebook group. So many of you remember that Christmas special. We had the Christmas fishermen videotape. We probably watch it like three or four times. A December between four and eight. We walked in art class on that school and it was all claymation need sing Christmas carols and stuff that were I think other characters and things in it as well they sing. We three kings with also these camels That were all clean and turns out the dancing raisins were especially popular with. Mom's mother thought they were great and she collected the figuring. She would always say them to me and talk about them and talk about how cute and clever they were and I just thought why in the world is a grown woman so fight about every time commercial would come on. My mom would sing and dance to that song. We were so embarrassed. If you have more stories to share call us anytime leave a message at six. Four six seven six eight four seven seven seven or email us at D. T. Y. B. At INSIDER DOT com. We love hearing from you bill. Moss is our sound engineer. Music is from audio network. John delorean Casey Holford composed our theme. Our editor is Michaela Bligh. Sarah Wyman is our showrunner brought to you by production of insider audio. And we'll keep keep these guys steal until they do. They had hurt hurt it and then she pretty much still they do. They're having their series like.
Insider Edge: What to do when you feel overworked
"Hey Charlie, Herman here, host business insiders podcast brought to you by we know you listen to this success for conversations with some of today's most inspiring leaders to hear their stories about how they did it, and what advice they have to get to the top well. For the next few weeks, we're leaning into the advice part and presenting conversations I'm having with corporate coaches and workplace experts. We call this. Series insider edge on the job you can find more conversations like the one that's coming up at our website. Bitterly, Ford Slash insider edge some of the topics include how to nail a job interview resume or what questions to ask if you're laid off. We think they're really relevant to helping you find success at work. Again, that's bit leap forward slash insider edge. There's also a link in the episode description. We say time is the ultimate currency. Should we be managing it the way we manage our physical currency? From business insider insider edge, the job I'm Charlie, Herman Feeling overworked is nothing new to many Americans in the pandemic sure. Hasn't helped a recent survey found that just over forty percent of employees are feeling burned out while there are some benefits to working from home like I'm wearing shorts and flip flops right now it can also feel like there are zero boundaries to win the day starts and ends and that can only lead to more burn out. So if you're feeling overworked, what can you do about it? Sabina was is a leadership coach who works with executives at corporations, nonprofits, and right as the shutdown began. She wrote a very timely article for the Harvard. Business. Review on how to cope work becomes too much. What is one of the most common responses to are you in North America Charlie any guesses I? Mean I just had a few moments ago with the colleagues thing like I'm feeling really overworked, right? It's just it's a it's a thing that we say to one. Another thing we say are you busy? How are you doing? Are you busy almost in the same breath so it's almost like a badge of honor. So why do we feel over around these of some of the most common reasons icy one that we are the heroes of our own story and for whatever reason what we do versus who we are or how we are seems to matter more, and there's a need to be seen as indispensable to be seen as always on and needed for things. So that's that's the first one we wanna be the hero of a story we want to. Let the world know that we're really important because we have a lot going on exactly. The second thing is we often operate from this mindset of I'm not enough or if I don't do this or if I don't jump on every email thread, if I will not be seen as the smartest person in the room I will be made redundant I will somehow not measure up. Point number three is fewer often has us in our grip, which is a close companion to this mindset of scarcity. I'll be found out what do you mean? What do you mean by? It's like it's an imposter syndrome of found out what if people realize that I finish work at five pm every day. So even if I'm not busy, I'm going to say I'm busy number four. Our is bigger than our stomachs. And we can say, yes in the short term moment because we don't want to disappoint somebody or because we genuinely think yeah, of course, I can do that. That's easy. But as we know things take a lot longer than we imagine and the last piece is sometimes making a political play and this is what I call cookie licking. Where does the does a plate of cookies on the table? And I go ahead and lick all the cookies so that nobody else picks up the cookies I've cherry picked all the warm gooey wonderful. yummy cookies nobody else can eat them but I'm gonNA make myself sick. Now if I actually eat all those cookies metaphorically speaking in that example sounds like you're also of describing someone who might be a little bit of a control freak that they want to. HAVE THEY WANNA be able to touch everything and that you know I'm not going to touch that cookie. Now because you just lifted, there is a bit of control there and it also becomes a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy which goes into delegation. One of the things of course that you can do is learn to delegate, but it's really hard to do. I was just talking with somebody who? Is in a very senior position and when we looked at the forensics of what he does. He said, I, seem to bring up issues more often than anyone else. So it's not just that the cookies there and I licked them but nobody else is actually helping themselves to those cookies. When we discuss something or even if I delegate it, they come back to me an ice seem to ask them questions that seem obvious to me, but they haven't thought about it. So they lack initiative they lacked critical thinking and the quality of what they produce is sometimes so bad that it's easier for me to just do it myself then to keep going back and forth with them. But in that process, it becomes self fulfilling early because of course, the others never have an opportunity to learn through trial and error and to develop that muscle. Learning which task to hand off Can often be. Tied with creating capacity versus creating dependence. If a lot of times we say. And we then become the center, the hub, and that's natural to want to be the center and hub. But now everybody is dependent on me and I've become a bottleneck and not only am I around I'm feeling all sorts of other pressures because I don't want to let all these people down. Versus building capacity, which is I'm going to give it to this other person. They may not do as a job as me initially because they don't have the experience I do but they. Are they'll do a different job or they might not do the job, and that's actually is okay because they've come up with a great reason why this is not the best job to do and I was on autopilot as much as people say that they feel overworked I also feel like there are large group of people who are overworked who don't say anything for fear that it might sound like well, you just can't handle the. Various. Yes A- port. It's much rarer even sideways especially if you're in a more senior position, the more senior you get I think the more politicized the waters you swim in and if I say I'm really overworked. Peer permission to lick more of mine cookies and May and make a power play for my Oh Gosh you know we should take away this function from this person because he said he's too busy because I know I've been in that situation sometimes when people say, wow, Charlie, you're doing so much work and for all sorts of reasons I have said, no, it's all fine because I was afraid that it could lead to. Well, let's take things away. From you or let's maybe you shouldn't be doing working on all those different projects and I really liked working on those different projects does another piece that you're talking about which is a great position to be in an a problem nonetheless, which is a problem of plenty where I call myself a kid in a candy store how could I possibly turn down this amazing thing is so there's this problem of I love everything I do and that's a really. Difficult one to get out of and sometimes I walked people through a two by two matrix of an impact map the things that you're doing in into how much joy that gives you and how much impact it's having relative to the impact you want to have, and the truth is we have to do things in all four quadrants but how do you balance that whole portfolio to maximize join impact wherever you can? And how do we approach that today in particular when there's so much going on and it's so chaotic it feels like now. Even more people can feel. Overburdened. One tool that can be helpful. There is this concept of time portfolio. Think of money portfolio where you might work with a financial planner. And based on your financial goals. Decide we're going to put X. percentage of my funds savings in high risk and why percentage in really stable low risk and so much international funds and so on and so forth. If we say time is the ultimate currency. Should we be managing it the way we manage our physical currency money. So say if you're a manager, it might be this is I manage my direct reports where I have one on ones. I do that performance assessments I engaged talent discussions recruiting all of that I have some amount of time devoted to email and dealing with the day today I have another chunk of time working on project X and another chunk of time working on project. Why? Now? What is the percentage of time I would want to spend on each of these if I had a portfolio of one hundred percent Now let's look at where am I really spending my time. So if you look at that and do a gap analysis and then say how do I breach that gap? Not by the way mistake number one would be if I say WANNA spend thirty percent of my time on project. X and currently I'm spending five percent of my time there the mistake would be, oh, I'm going to go from five to thirty. No your plan actually should be how do I go from five to seven percent so little micro steps, how do I inch towards that so that ultimately I could get to thirty percent. Mean is just possible that there are some people who are able to take on in manage more work than others. Absolutely, some people can do it a lot more than others. Now, the other pieces, the choices you make. So when you're working till seven o'clock or nine o'clock or eleven o'clock like some of my clients right now are starting at four PM ending at eleven pm because they're working with people across the globe. That is over work and when you're overworked like that, you're actually not as productive in the time between those calls you're not getting that much done but you're telling yourself you're getting that much done. You're hesitant to move away from that space and take a break, which is what leads to more productivity. So then is it about reducing the amount of work you have in that example, the number of meetings you have or is it about delegating or is it about finding? A way to balance it. It's Yes. All of the above, and it's about taking breaks in between when you're noticing that your not being as productive as you need to be one sign of that is when we all zone out in front of the computer two days ago, I, binge watched youtube for three hours. That was a sure sign that I was exhausted because I don't usually do that. And I can tell myself a story that, Oh, I'm too tired. I need something mindless. But if I'm that tired, I'm better off going to bed or meditating or exercising not be sitting in front of my screen because that's that's going to cause more of that exhaustion at the end of it in addition to guilt. So if I am feeling overwhelmed by. Just everything I, have to do from that one email that we got a couple of weeks ago that I need to respond to to the fact that I have run into a meeting in thirty minutes from now, and I just can't my I have to do lists everywhere. What are some concrete steps to take to try and manage that feeling of being? overworked. Yes. One thing is to take the time to actually create a single list I. Actually quite religiously stick to one thing only which is a piece of paper for me that works really well, and it works well for a lot of people who get. So here's the other way you can get overwhelmed is you buy every single APP that's out there. And then you use each one for about a week speed dating them, but never really committing to one. So you, gotTa. Exactly. Commit to one APP or one piece of paper. Do you think there's really hope for people to feel less overworked or is it just kind of a condition that we live in right now? I think the biggest hope for people is to look inside themselves and to shape the expectations of the environment around them. Absolutely. There's hope I. think particularly hope in this pandemic because we are all feeling overwhelmed to some extent to the other and we all get it. When somebody says I was so exhausted I couldn't really function in almost sounds like you're saying people are in a way maybe more tolerant of the fact that if people feel overworked and say look I, need to back off a little bit they get it more than perhaps they did six months ago year ago they totally get it. It's normalizing. It's normalizing saying we're we're all feeling that way at the moment what do we do? So being. Thank you very much. You're welcome Charlie. This pleasure. Was Global CEO coach per article in the Harvard Business Review is titled If you're overworked learn which tasks to hand off. We have a link to it at our website and in the episode description if you'd like to hear more episodes in our insider edge on the job series, you can find them on our website. Just visit bitterly forward slash insider edge that's bitterly be it dot l. y. forward slash insider edge. There's also a link in the episode description, and if there's an issue you're having work. Or a topic you'd like us to tackle recorded voice memo with your question or problem, and then send it to us. Our email is audio at insider dot com. Also, if you enjoy this conversation, be sure to check out another great podcast from business insider called brought to you by it's about the brands you know and the stories you don't it might just make you fall in love with work. If you aren't already a subscriber, you can find it on apple podcasts, stitcher spotify or wherever you listen. Insider edge on the job is produced by Julia Press Music From Audio Network Sarah Wyman is our executive producer and I'm Charlie Herman. Thanks for listening.
62: This was Brought to you by...
"Do we feel like i'm loud enough. I think you're quieter than charlie. And i am in general. Yeah i would agree. Says it's running that little lines on the screen officially in cuba truck. Hi i'm charlie. Herman and this is brought to you by brands stories. You don't from marlow raisins. Only this is the final episode of brought to you by and for our last hurrah. We wanted to do something a little different. We're going to go out with a special product placement episode with stories from you our listeners about the brands that had an impact on your lives we asked you to tell us about brands that marked a rite of passage for you. And we've got a huge response. There were favorite gadgets. Forbidden foods even brands. That launched careers. Charlie how are ya i. Oscar mayer hot divert. Seriously you would not believe how many oscar mayer wiener mobile drivers. We heard from so today. We're going to share with you. Three stories about the brands at market coming of age moment for a few of our listeners. It was actually hard to pick just three so before we dive in. Here's a sample of some of the great stories. We heard first up. There's a leeza we told about going to her first ever high school party and that usually involves some kind of alcohol so we thought that we should drink before and while getting ready the four of us split one corona bottle for mike. He remembers the travel size old spice deodorant got in his middle school sex. Ed class the only person. I knew that used that brand was my grandfather so it kind of came to me is. Why are they giving sixth-graders. Old man brands key odorant to use for keith. It was the iowa brand portable music player. He received as a gift of his bar mitzvah. And it was a big deal. Let's be honest. I was am a nerd about certain things including electronics. It was always a thing where i would read catalogs in read electronics reviews. I want the best. So even when i was thirteen years old. I was doing that. And i was like. Oh my god. This thing is amazing. It has all the things that i want on it. And there's maryland tasting her first twinkie at a friend's house. I took my pinky list effective because it didn't have a prize inside as advertised laughed and laughed. She said what did you expect something like a little magic trick or instead of miniature train cars or anything. She's now cries wasn't the prize. It was listed prized. It was the cream filling. I was crushed and never again. Does i trust any advertising particularly from the evil people. We listened to every voice mail we read every email and today three members of the brought to you by team are going to bring you their favorite stories from you. Our listeners stay with us. Hi i'm julia press. And i'm a producer of brought to you by we. I put out a call for product ms placement stories. We asked you to tell us about a brand that marked rite of passage for you but what we got back was actually a ton of stories about social pressures and the awkwardness and loneliness of childhood and how brands are with us. Every step of the way and what we realized just that times. that feels like it's the keita. Fitting in is actually just the thing. That's making us feel awkward or lonely in the first place like i remember in the third grade. Two of my best friends told me they couldn't be friends with me anymore. Unless i bought the new pokemon ruby nintendo ds game which in hindsight is super nerdy and totally immature. But in the moment it felt so important to get that video game like my entire social life depended on it one of the listeners. We heard from told a story about that same feeling. Her name is renee clancy. She later became a teacher but when she was growing up in the eighties. She had a tough time connecting with other kids in her elementary school class. Here's rene i think i was. Just the quintessential duck. I really just in my head a lot. And i didn't have any friends and i means so i would go to school and hope that someone would talk to me and maybe i would say something on or off whatever and so. That's probably didn't talk to me. And the kindest people that tend to take me under their wing were the custodians and at lunch men would let me wash the tables with him so that i wouldn't have to sit alone at lunch. I would pretend that my stuffed animals at home were my friends. And i would pretend to give them a walkie talkie and i would talk to them around lunchtime. Walk around so that i could have someone to talk to. I like to say. I was imaginative right. But who wants to play with my mom. You know having been a single mom you know. We didn't have a lot of money and buying a guest skirt in my mind was the ultimate like hathaway indoor into popularity because all of the girls around me war jess. It was that little red triangle on their jackets and jeans and bags and all of the popular girls were it and so i just begged and begged my mom. I was sure that. I would you popular once. I wore a guest outfit. That was my gateway and you know. I'm sure she saved and saved for a long long time to be able to get me that one guests skirt and i got it for christmas and i was ecstatic and i walked into school just in my mind the wind blowing through my hair the doors opening for me you know and people just rushing up to me ready to speak to me now and when that didn't happen i really was kinda shocked like what this wasn't my passport popularity and so me and my creative mind thought will. Obviously the problem is not against skirt. It's that all of my clothes are not guests. So i- every single night would get my mom seamer and ripped that little red triangle off of my guests curtain than i sewed it on another item of clothing and or the next day. I walked in in my mind with another guest outfit and that night i seen ripped it off in the next morning sewed it on whatever my next outfit was now. I'm sure it was. Hideous was a fifth grade seamstress quality. I'm sure i was sewing right next to something. That clearly was not guess right but in my mind it was perfection. It was as if i had purchased the entire guest outlet or store right in. And i was again after weeks of this shocked that i didn't have friends. Overflowing and wanting to hang out with me every day. I eventually gave up sewing that little red triangle on everything and eventually a year later i got a friend to actually to to of the nicest girls steed my friend for years and they were just so kind and then becoming a teacher. I would tell my students this story. Because i wanted them to know the experience what it's like for someone who doesn't get picked you know for group work or is the last one picked for that sports team and what i've learned. I'm working with students over the years. Is that that feeling of being alone. Everyone feels like that. That's normal so. I wish i had known that. Made me that popular girl you know that she felt like that too. Sure didn't look like it. She looked amazing or whatever to some kind of confidence that i don't know what happened her. What i still have never been able to purchase in other guests items since then. I don't see oh. I can afford this now. I see my pain in english from every school. And i don't want to revisit that anymore. I can't i can't walk past a guess store without thinking about elementary school Hi i'm michaela. Bly and i'm the story editor for brought to you by. I'm in that generation between x end the millennium and the kind of accent is nostalgic for the nineties to an unfortunate degree. I talk about it more than anyone really wants to. And i know that adolescence was actually pretty traumatic. It wasn't all doc. Martens and arnuhar. But maybe why i keep going back is i love remembering that thrill of feeling grownup doing something for the first time varying raw under your t shirt or your first real concert or boy girl party her. Remember my best friend in seventh grade teaching me how to shave my legs in her bathroom. Sink with a special razor for women. It was a pink gillette and she explained how you always have to go up and i bike home with bare legs and just felt like i had crossed this line into my future. I was never going back to childhood. Our next story is from gina vasco and she told us about one of those absolutely grownup moments. That you have when you're thirteen hers. Involved boxer shorts. It was kind of like a huge marker of a relationship. When you were official you would buy a pair of gap boxer shorts for your boyfriend right. So i'm thirteen. I think at this time. I don't know how much you need to know about my boyfriend. But his name is andy. He was very popular head. Just got my braces off like it was the first like relationship of my eighth grade year. It was a big deal. He's blonde this. Not right like it was a huge gift and my school goes on the kind of obligatory field trip to the nation's capital. You did not go. And i was like. I need to bring back a souvenir and like souvenirs. Family are very important anyway. That's like a marker that you can bidden somewhere you're bringing something back with a whole lot of love and so like there were magnates in washington. Dc in mugs in like t shirts and all sorts of things from washington. And then i was like no. This is the time. I'm going to get my boyfriend's boxer shorts and so of course like i go into some mall because beeline line for the gap. Because that's the thing that you have to do right that it's only got boxer shorts so i i'm in the gap and i'm like this is at. I'm in a relationship buying indie these things. And that's when. I realized i get to the boxer short area you know. They're like folded up in a little package. Frankly if i'm being honest. I didn't know what boxer shorts were. I think i knew that they needed. They were underwear. But i didn't know what that one because they didn't look like my underway and they certainly didn't like my dad's underwear which only seen in the laundry and i didn't know what they meant by size. What am i measuring like. What what is small medium. Is it a waste thing. What's an nc and also look. How else do they measure underwear. I don't know so. I think just figured medium right because if i got a small. Is that an insult. I don't know so. I think i got medium and i very proudly went to the cash register. I mean i can't tell you. The help of buying a pair of boxer shorts for a boy like ownership it was lake. I've arrived there. were other. Eighth graders like oh they're just coming away with magnetic and i'm like i've got something special tax obey in my suitcase so anyway i bought the boxer shorts very proudly returned vermont and presented them to my boyfriend and i think actually he was just like oh inks because they were underwear. It's so strange. I think andy or i see andy or i just remember andy and i just got this little with a little excitement about this popular soccer one day. Kiss me by a river for but clark earns. Hey i'm sarah wyman the executive producer of brought to you by. Here's a fact about me. If anything bad happens to a toy in a movie. I will cry. Like you know that scene in the pursuit of happiness or the kid across the street and drops his captain america action figure and he can't go back for it. Oh my goodness that one got me toy story. Honestly it's hard for me to even talk about and this happens in real life too like my mom has the story about how when she was a kid. She had the teddy bear that she really loved so much that she couldn't sleep without it and one time she was playing with him in the yard and she went inside to eat dinner or something and then she came back. Somebody stolen him. I don't totally know what it is. That gets me about these stories. But it's like an emotional gut punch and there are things that i feel that way about in my own life to like objects that have this disproportionate sentimental value to me on one hand. I know it's just stuff. But on the other hand i would totally put my life on the line to protect it and that brings us to our next story which comes to us from parth chauhan hearth grew up in india and when he was a teenager. He went on an epic midnight. Quest to recover lost. Sony cyber shot camera on my beans for today. I got this sony. Cyber shot camera that i really wonder. There's this Creative element of that. You can do a lot of things from that product but also at the same time. It's value that did so. It's an expensive thing that has been given to end so more than the actual product. It's also the fact that you're finally going to trust you with this expensive device in your today i think it was bopha. Lintel the beautiful thing about the menu. Switch it on the sound that comes out the league. The shutter opens and the sound. That comes it's so nice. Lake use is used to skip a heartbeat. Everytime used to open the camera. I was sold in love with this process of opening up in the shadow coming like that and the sound the look of the product and everything it was the contours of the camera. Linguistic perfect used to have this indo school kind of competition in another town. So i took my camera my balance. Trust me give it to me for the strip and so we had a school bus that took us and we had a school but that got us back and we were running back to my hometown. And i remember this very very distinctly that i still had my camera at that point and it was greatly. I guess we each down at twelve or thirteen. The night and i came back home. Then let let me transfer the beaches Way before i forget. And i was looking at my back and i cannot find so again switching those again and again like you know. I'm thinking that maybe some very desert in behind this thing but how vanish scared. Of course tell my patients. Now that i've lost the canada and my photos are gone. I decided that i will call eight. Now they add to your three o'clock in the night. Do check this bus. And the crazy partners. I live at at one end and the school is at an end of the city so we have a school scudo gain everything so i silently. I stepped out. Didn't start the engine lake for some distance distracted by hand so that they don't hear the noise of the engine and after i began my this excursion and i i don't remember i think i was so i think the school could either divide exceed. I worry so anyway. Somehow off the why now fighting continuously each is that a school. I woke up the guards and if they was asleep or something like that i asked. Can you point me towards this bus. That got us. He's like the buses not killed. It's in a different area or together. It's ten kilometers away from him. Okay so i make meant there now. By i think ford rent i east at the second place. I found the bus. And i couldn't see the driver of the conduct of the bus or anybody i couldn't but then i just look. They were sleeping on. The top of the bus. And i was so desperate lake. I climbed on the bus. And i've woke him up and he's liga. Have no idea but you camera. i'm so saudi. Obviously it was heartbreak at that point after doing all died in my mind. I was thinking that i would just get the camera. Get back sleep. Nobody would ever know that this happened. That kind of thing on my back. I got lost lake fitting lost. It was some kind of league no-man's-land nothing is there just farms across the river. I never knew that there was would be. What have i what is happening. Truck settling by an. I'm bending super scared. At that point. I was just looking at the horizon and it was just getting late eventually ruled for. I don't know how long this was such a long ride. I found some something familiar like this is nearby house. Al make it and finally i the my home. I switched off the engine much before at my house dragged it bogged and then. I'm just thinking what to do how to tell them that. The camera is gone super scared and embarrassed. I don't know what came to my mind. I told him that. I actually rent out in the middle of the night to look forward and my mom started crying. She was like he's a camera more than us where she was at lake died. At that moment. I am genuinely. That was thing that i was sewed. Disputed that engine think about their love and their ping. But but this experience like vanessa my beat into the action that they're not understood that nothing can be bigger than that lake. Yes would and products and brands and gadgets mink. They are very nice to have. But it's this stuff. Maybe the people that i make a story Make out of everything but died maybe from fifteen years bag. He's still there in me. Sony cyber shot and how i lost. It is the thing that is gonna be all these data not so fast. Hi i'm bill moss and the sound designer here at brought to you by and we were planning only putting three stories into this episode but as we were putting the finishing touches on the show we received one more kaufman listener that we just had to include. It's so moving and perfect note to end on. Its from a listener named victoria. My story starts before. I was even more in one thousand nine hundred seventy five. My dad was thirty nine years old and he had a series of strokes. The first stroke was somewhat minor and actually happened while he was driving. He had a massive stroke several days later that put him in a coma Once he came out of the coma he had years of physical therapy and speech therapy and occupational therapy to get his health to the place. Where i came to know him. After i was born he could get around by dragging his paralyzed right side. He could communicate in a way that some people struggled to understand because of his asia. I was born about eight years after my dad strokes so this was in the early eighties. Whenever my parents it take us on a vacation we usually ended up just driving a couple of hours to go to walt disneyworld. My dad's life. Outside of disney was marked by his disabilities. People were not always patient enough to listen to him. Speak through his f- asia or patient enough for him to slowly walk to where he was going there. Were even some people who just assumed you drunk. I couldn't even tell you how old i was when i heard my first hurtful comments directed at my dad and he killed me because my dad might have been the friendliest person i'd ever met in my life. He loved to talk to people. He asked him insightful questions about themselves because he really wanted to get to know them. He told great stories about his adventures from four strokes. He was so nice on. He did not deserve the way some people spoke to him. So that's what life was like outside at disney but inside disney disney has long had a reputation for being great for people with disabilities and in my heart earned it Even back them in the eighties they had these vehicles called. Ecb's electric comedians vehicles. Although i think most people just call them electric scooters and back then that was the only place we ever saw them and he loved them he was probably too to ever be willing to use a wheelchair but a scooter was kind of cool in his book. So thanks to disney. He went from being the slowest person around to the fastest. I sure my mom has lots of stories about him putting me in his lap and zooming away from her leaving her to catch up to us. Sorry mom we could also do things together at disney. Nearly all the rides had accommodations for people with disabilities and. There really wasn't anything like that. Outside of disney. Play sports with me. He couldn't go on rides at county fairs and things like that but he could do everything with me at the theme parks and that gave us so many wonderful memories over the years if it wasn't for my dad and his love of disney and disney's effort to be a place where people with disabilities can experience the same joy as able bodied people. I don't know that my life would have taken the path that it has. I left florida after highschool but eventually returned for the disney college program and once that ended. I kept my part time. Job there for seven or eight years. As i finished my bachelor's degree and my master's degree and since then we've spent many years as pass holders and i've ended up making many many memories with my own kids at disney over the years. My dad ronald paquin died three months ago in july. Thanks to covid and him being a nursing home we were not able to make many memories those last few months so i will always be grateful to disney things. Let me share my story Okay it's time. This is the last episode of brought to you by. And if you've listened to the credits of this show before you know that there is an incredible team behind it. In fact there have been two teams the team that made household name and the team that made brought to you by here. They are one more time. I'm amy padilla. And i was a senior producer for household name. I'm ana mazar akkas. And i was a producer for household name. I'm jenny and i was a fellow on the team. That made household name. I'm casey holford. I corrode the theme song to household name back in the day with john. Doerr and i made a bunch of other little versions of the theme including the atari version and i also did a bunch of mixing on the show. My name is john. Laura i produced and co wrote the theme song with casey and cave notes on early episode scripts to sort of help figure out what the show is going to sound life which was a lot of fun. Kudos to the team over a business insider. This is a great show to work on. Thanks for having unclear rawlinson. I was the senior producer for hassled. Name hi this. Is peter cloudy. And i did story editing for the show back what it was called household name. I'm kiana palmer. I was a story editor for household name. I'm caroline do bud. And i was a story editor for brought to you by. Hey i'm dan bobkov. I created the show and i used to host a household name brands. You know stories you. I'm michaela bligh and story editor for brought to you by. I'm bill moss. I've been the sound designer during the brought to you by era i'm really oppress and i'm pretty sure on brought to you by i'm your host. Charlie thanks for listening. And i'm saruman. I got to be an intern and associate producer and the executive producer of the show. And now i'm the one who gets to put it to bed. Thank you for listening. I know we say this almost every week. But i want you to know that. Rt read every single email. You sentas every facebook message every review every tweet and for me personally. It's been incredible to get to work on something that so. Many people enjoyed listening to or cared enough about to send some feedback. So sincerely thank you. Our team is still on twitter at pod and we'll be hanging out in the facebook group this week to stop by and tell us what the show meant you. It means a lot to us to be able to say goodbye in person and with that. There's really just one thing left to say brought to you by was production desire audio.
38: The Coed Scouts of America
"Teenage boys have always existed in America. Used to be stopped school and started working before you hit your teenage years and when you got a job you became adult but in the early nineteen hundreds that started to change urbanization the rising middle class and child labor laws. Were all making it. So boys stayed in school longer and before along America had its first generation of teenage boys. Young men who didn't know how to be men into this emptiness of adolescence enter the boy voice scouts today. The boy scout manual as the handbook for Democratic Youth. The world over more than ten million copies have already been pulled in one thousand nine hundred ten. The Boy Scouts of America took up the mantle of raising American boys and by the end of the century it had turned out millions of them. How much did you might do my duty to garden my country? Keep myself physically strong mentally awake and morally straight. The boy scouts have become synonymous with young men coming of age in America. This is the Simon Character. More fifty one years boy scouts have making and in today's world more than ever character counts. You had to be a lot of things to be a boy scout trustworthy loyal helpful. Friendly courteous kind obedient. Cheerful thrifty brave clean and reverend. But the word boy was never in the scout oath or law and now it's not even in the name of the boy scouts that's because earlier this year it changed its name to scouts. BSA and for the first time ever girls were allowed to become official members for a lot of Americans. This was a shock so some say hey. What's the big deal? We heard some of that reaction on Fox and friends this this thing called the girl scouts that are going to suffer from that and I think there's a reason why the curriculums different to you. Yeah because this is a curriculum for boys and boys are different than girls. I know that this is a true thing. But what if I told you. This isn't the first time the boy scouts of America has let girls in from business insider. This is brought to you by brands. You know stories. You don't I'm Charlie Herman. Donald in Nineteen seventy-one. The Boy Scouts of America made one of its branches co Ed for the first time. It wasn't the branch you've probably heard of the boy scouts but a different one to see scouts. Since then tens ends of thousands of young women have registered today. The story of one of them stay with us one of our producers it used to be a registered member of the boy scouts of America. It's me even surprise but actually no. I'm not surprised I just have to say that if anyone meets. It's you or works with you. I think the motto be prepared. Pretty much sums you up. You know. I take that as a huge compensation is my passion. That is a huge compliment. Okay Okay so you're here to tell us a story about your experience in the boy scouts right because when I saw that the boy scouts was going co Ed and there was all this controversy in conversation about that online I had some thoughts on. What kind of thoughts will mostly? I knew that I had something to say about it. I wanted to weigh in because the thing is the boy scouts going Co.. Ed isn't just like some hair raising hypothetical that we all have to come to terms with it is being that has already happened and that girls have already experienced. And I'm one of them so I can just tell you about what that was like for me. Yeah I mean I think that's the place to start. How is it that you were a boy scout? You might have some questions nations about that. So here's how it works. The Boy Scouts of America which we call the BSA is like a large parent organization that has several branches and one of its branches is called the boy scouts go the boy. Scouts is the one that we're now going to call stoute's BSA. Hey because it's going co Ed and the scouts. BSA Those are the kids that are in the Brown uniforms. Are they go hiking and camping. And they have merit badges and the Scout Law. Aw That's the boy scouts that's the boy stats and I was part of another branch ceased outs and fortunately for journalism I had a habit of following my fellow sea scouts around with a video camera. Wow so this is video of you and a bunch of teenagers throwing life preservers in a pool. Well we're practicing a man overboard. Drill is this the kind of stuff that you did in scouts. It's one of many things we did in the sea scouts. Actually I think people would be surprised prized by how much like the boy scouts it is. It's just more boats specific so instead of going camping we went on long sailing trips where we learn how to sail boats and do stuff affleck timeouts but where did all these groups come from the scouts. The boy scouts you can think of all of them kind of like siblings they come from the same family and actually that's literally true in this case they were founded by a pair of brothers interesting lured Peyton poll and his brother Warrington. That sounds very. Don't don't be very English. The most English they kick started the whole concept of scouting in England back in the early nineteen hundreds and the boy scouts they founded was actually pretty different from what we know as the boy scouts in America today because their version was militaristic boy. Scouts was designed to feed boys into the British Army and the Sea Scouts. The Navy so then how did this concept come to the United States and into that same sort of philosophy the follow through so boy. Scouts came to the United States in one thousand nine hundred ten from the very beginning. The founders wanted to do something something different. The focus moved away from this kind of military funneling program to be much more values driven. They were really committed to the idea of raising when young boys who embodied these twelve adjectives that you can now read the stout law obedient cheerful loyal helpful. Those values you left out my favorite one clean of of course but yes those values and see scouting got its start in the US. Two years after boy scouts so in nineteen twelve in his deceased coutts always been co Ed. They started happening around. Nineteen Sixty eight don. Thank you know. What's the issue of gender actually started with a different problem retention in the late sixties the BSA so so apparent organization had been struggling to keep older boys and scouting? We're talking the sixteen seventeen and eighteen year olds right because come on. It's the nineteen sixties. There's a lot going on. I'm sure many teenage boys probably have a lot of better things to do than where matching neckerchiefs and recite scout oath sign on. Yeah exactly and the boy scouts of America really cy as its responsibility to prevent teenage shenanigans. A bunch of kids looking for action. So what's doing out on the street. Is this the way we ought to use our boy. Power lingle America's manpower our begins with boy power. Let's not waste it. Yes they want to encourage young men to become civic leaders and upstanding members of society right right so step one. The boy scouts had to become cool the BSA started running these amazing advertisements. Like the one we just heard and also this one one way longer cam after an according to a story the Associated Press ran in nineteen seventy two. The boy scouts made the neckerchiefs an optional part of the uniform. Call all done mothers also got a new look with. And I'm quoting verbatim here. Mini skirts and hot pants as official uniforms. Okay and the boy. Scouts started teaching boys noise in the inner city. How to treat rat bites as well as snake bites but the BSA adopted another new strategy around this time that's more significant first story it started targeting older kids specifically to keep them in the organization and it did that by beefing up the branches that already catered to teenagers like like the Sea Scouts and back then they wondered well sixteen seventeen eighteen year olds? The trouble is is that they want to spend time with girls. Ben Jordan has written a book about about modern manhood and the boy scouts of America and he says back in the seventies teenagers were turned off by the word boy in the boy scouts They don't necessarily want to completely a single sex environment and scouting that and jobs and Modern City life is why they're leaving scouting as early as nineteen sixty eight it started. It'd leading girls participate in the sea scouts. I reached out to the BSA to ask why this call at this moment. And they didn't answer that question. But Ben Jordan has a theory free it may have been keeping boys in like well if we let them have these coed units will less of them leave so there is probably some we might get girls and we might keep more boys of some of the girl. I mean we might attract some new boys right right. In nineteen seventy one. It became team. Official girls could be registered members of the Sea Scouts and by the nineteen nineties. Their numbers were growing. So when this happened back in the seventies he's was it is big of a deal as it is today when you hear people complaining about girls being able to participate in the boy scouts. So I haven't found any evidence of angry offense. It's flooding major newspapers but the change was covered by a bunch of local outlets. BSA officials were quoted as saying that the action taken nationally was is in recognition of the chartered requirements to serve boys and young men. And that going co Ed would allow this branch to quote more effectively carry out its mandate to meet the needs and interests of today's. What does that mean well in a nutshell I think it means the BSA was selling this change primarily as a good thing for boys? Like it's saying that C- stoute's would do a better job of meeting the needs and interests of young men if girls can participate too uh-huh and that brings us back to the story of my sea scout ship your ship. That's what we call our troops or our sea scout groups and the ship I joined got its start around this time. In nineteen seventy seven it was called mariners earners and it was founded by a high school math teacher named Jim we ham. It had only been a few years since sea scouting had gone Kuwait Way. I'd and there were very few girls at that point and the girls were mostly in all girl units. Did you decide. I bet you would include women right off the bat you know I. I had both sons and daughters and when when I found out that he could have a co Ed ship I said well yeah. We're GONNA have courtship so my daughters can be at ball. Everyone I know calls Jim. We skip. It's short for skipper. And that's what we call the person who steers the ship and skip isn't just a retired math teacher. He's also a one hundred ton master which she means. The Coast Guard is cool with him. Captaining really big passenger ships in even though he's now in his eighties skip can still be everyone. I know in an arm wrestling contest. It sounds really cool. He is the coolest thing about skip. Is that even though he's this. Well seasoned sailor with this really diverse. skillset he's a huge believer for in teamwork and that's why whenever possible. He likes to put the kids in mariners in charge of running their own ship. I have lots of constraints from mother adults that keep an eye on me and you know sometimes I have to say our God do it this way but I've always tried. If the the youth show that they can handle responsibility to give them the responsibility every six months. We elected one of our peers to be boatswain which is what we call the highest highest ranking person in the ship and both of them was kind of like our CEO they had to delegate and supervise and appoint lower ranking leaders to make sure everything got done and skip how to reason for this when you started fourteen year old student. You're still a little boy or girl and by the time you graduate society at least in many ways says you're an adult you're eighteen you're an adult and and that's a huge change and I think in most in cases it doesn't work very well but in our case we really push that you may be seventeen or eighteen but you take care of those thirteen and fourteen year olds and your whole purpose here is to pass on what you've learned to these younger people that sounds like a lot of responsibility and and then on top of it your ship troop was also co Ed about a quarter of us were girls and to be clear. Some Sea scout ships are actually all male or all female but ours wasn't so the boys and the girls were all mixed together doing all the stout activities we did in groups in in. What was that like? That pose is any problems. I think if you'd asked me this question like seven years ago when I was still in mariners I probably would have told you that gender was not a big deal but since the boy scouts made this announcement that they're going to go co ED. I've been revisiting a lot of the old videos I made while I was. NC Scouts in one year in particular alert my last year in the program and reliving that experience again now has made my perspective on gender evolve. I do think it affected my experience. Just not in the way. People think that story after the break we're back and with me is producer. Sarah Wyman Sarah when I think about the boy scouts. The first thing that comes to mind is all the issues that they've had in recent years and you're not alone. The boy scouts has always been crystal clear on how it defines manhood Ed and for the first century of its existence. That definition was really narrow. You manina to tackle the mouse man enough enough to ride boring rat man enough to hide twenty miles. Catch Your own dinner then sleep in the why ah boys also until very recently the BSA had a ban on Gay and Trans Youth and Scout leaders and this year we learned that child molestation allegations within the boy scouts or even more widespread than we knew so why with all of this controversy swirling around it with the BSA S. H.. Choose to add another hot button issue into the mix by going co Ed. Well to start with. This was a unanimous decision by the board of directors. So at least like on that internal leadership level it was not devicive at all an officially the BSA has said it made this decision because families have been asking it to for a really long time like just logistically speaking. It's easier for parents if their sons and daughters are participating in the same after school programs. Like that's one less stopped make on. My Family Carpool. Some critics have pointed out though that membership is on the decline and they say that this might just be a ploy to get more kids registered. But no matter how you look at it. I think it's important to note that around the world scouts are already mostly co Ed. Like they're around. Two hundred officials scout programs internationally and only thirteen of them are boys only so in the US. The boy scouts has been really behind on this issue. But what about the girl scouts. I mean I mean why do girls have to be boy scout specifically. I can only speak for myself here but I gave the girl scouts of try. I did not like it. We did crafts. Thank songs and I have a vague memory of tie-dyed t-shirts on a particularly exciting day. But I remember so clearly when the boy scout troop came to recruit at at my elementary school all the stuff they were talking about sounded like such a good time like sleeping intense making s'mores climbing on tanks signed me up that of course you couldn't sign up now at luck. I've heard from lots of other women who had a great experience in girl scouts. I also know the organization in has changed since I was seven. But it's hard for me to imagine now being a scout in anything but a co ED program and that's the story I want to tell you right now about what. It's actually like to be a girl in the boy scouts of America and how much it mattered. UH this video you're hearing is from my senior year of high school. My teammates and I are jumping out of the shallow end of a pool using Arms and legs creatively to spell out our team's name Mariner we also the past three days together living on a World War Two aircraft carrier in Northern California. And for for those of you who are interested sleeping quarters were separated by gender boys in one set of barracks girls in another but those logistics were not that interesting to us because we were there to compete against C- Scout ships from all around the country in twenty six different events. Every event tested us on a skill. We've picked up in scouting. The fun ones were sailing swimming rope climbing. These are some of my teammates. They're going to help me tell you about competition. We did first aid also important one. There's a uniform event which I always thought was ridiculous. But they've got it it's boy scouts. I guess there were actually a lot of events with no practical applications. Like one of my favorites was called scuttle scuttle but it's very complicated and involves offs like eight people a ten foot tall tripod and fifty five gallon barrel full of water. I think I need to see it. You do but all you really need to know. Is that my senior year. My teammates and ice treaded into competition on a mission. We wanted to achieve something that had never been done before we wanted to win. An award called Great Republic Republic Great Republic. What is a great republic? It was named after the largest wooden ship in the world. Charlie I horsa was and if you google it you'll see that it is a very fancy looking ship. Lots of mass lots of sales exactly and the Great Republic a word was so oh heart to win that skip in his almost four decades of running mariners had never seen a team do it when I heard the the requirements I thought. Oh this is is important because basically could make mistakes. You have to finish all twenty-six events competition to win the Great Republic Award word the first reason that's hard is because it's very difficult to actually get to every single event out of competition half of the events were spread out across different decks of aircraft carriers. But to get to the other half. You had to walk along the waterfront to get to the docks and a pool and if that wasn't enough you had to score for satisfaction on all of them. We call that getting a sap which can be harder than it. Sounds because eat at one person as one thing Ron and you get one sat a- and then you're screwed so of the twelve people on your team. They would need to be able to go out there and never dropped the ball on thirty events in three days while you're sleeping on an aircraft carrier that is no easy feat those nothing short of a difficult task when I first joined Mariners. Our team didn't even make an effort to win great republic. We just went to competition and had a good time and didn't really worry about how well we did. But by the time I was a senior making up half the letter M. in that pool with my teammates I wanted to win great republic so badly we've gotten really really close the previous two years including on the team. I'd let it competition but both times. We missed the award by one. Events like untilled L.. Stick with you always sleep over this and so going into this last competition. It felt really important that we win because we rolled holdout to graduate from high school and from the program. Yeah that was literally the last chance the last opportunity we had to make our mark mark on this program and you know show up all the other teams basically. It's like hitting play on a process that was inevitable with that group. I remember number key players on the team being you Sarah and Liz. This is my friend David he was the boatswain or the team leader for our last competition. Shen and this is my friend Liz. So the elected leader was David. But you serotonin and me Liz Fletcher feature had been the leaders of the teams the previous two seasons the two seasons when we just barely missed the top award and then I was serving as boatswain and with all of the information and cheat codes that I got from watching you all succeed and then you had skills that like in certain areas were just objectively more in tune than mine. We had like the people that we needed. If we didn't achieve it then in my opinion it's on Chievo All Weekend Liz. David and I passed the baton of leadership around as we competed and things were looking good. I barked out commands when we did drill or marched information. Liz took the lead on scuttle Butt and David kept morale up kept our eyes on the prize as the weekend on as things continued to go mostly according waiting to plan there was absolutely no room for error. So it's the end of competition or it's nearing the end of competition. We only have a couple couple of events. Left and one of the events is radio. Austin was my partner on the radio event and the way radio worked you son in your four we're best people to compete two teams of two and when we went in to actually compete. I had freaked out. Here's what happened happened Austin and I went into separate rooms and the first thing I had to do was call him on the radio and tell him to switch to another frequency so I can read him a message. A you had said said a specific channel switched to and I didn't hear it. I didn't get the message and so I'm sitting there full panic mode you know. Oh my gosh if I switch to her specific channel. I can't hear her message. We're not gonNA satisfy this event. Meanwhile David and Liz were in another room doing the same event so I I remember getting out of the room and I remember going like. Oh my gosh we crushed it. Like heck yeah and I just remember seeing this look on Austin's face of like pure like he saw ghost or something aren't viewing so defeated. I'm so angry with myself. psyched tell something went horribly wrong and it comes up to me. And he's like goal and I was like what like that's the one event and it only takes one to not get great republic. I I remember like conversations starting to happen and being like okay wait. So what does this mean. I can't believe even after all of that. You Miss Great Republic again. Well we didn't know for sure yet. It was possible it radio didn't go as badly as Austin thought it did. Maybe be. Maybe we'd eked out a sad or a satisfactory either way the big ceremony. The next day we'd find out for sure but it did not look good and the results after the break uh-huh We're back with producer. Sarah woman he's taking us inside a co Ed version of the Boy Scouts of America. So the last thing that happened at competition before we all went home was the award ceremony. That's that's where you found out. How will your team did? And it was always a really showy affair with literal bells and whistles in this gigantic American flag but they draped behind the stage. We all had to wear a dress uniforms so for the first time all weekend after three days of living on an aircraft carrier. We were all showered presentable in our fancy outfits. Shiny black issue's silver belt buckles crisply creased white shirts with epaulettes patches sewn onto the sleeves lineup and we marched out and and then the boatswain's the up to the front and then the the stages in front of us were standing in formation. We have to play it cool or in in uniform sanding formation. All I can think about is like did we sat radio and so we're waiting waiting waiting. We're going up the the rankings of awards and we didn't hear Our Name. It's like a you don't WanNa hear name because you wanted to be an top tier everybody's on edge like we're leaning over twitch other what's happening you know everyone having like a mini freak out where they're standing. And then they announced that for the first time in Blah Blah Blah history. One team has achieved everything that was required to get this coveted award. There's a lot of yelling. We went ballistic just like pure excitement from everyone. When listen I team's name called we started booking it to the front it and there's a picture of this moment of me and Liz colliding with David in front of the stage arms wide open fem- ing red-faced just absolutely? We've revealed that we did this. The three of us did this together like I. I see how it felt from the picture we took afterwards like we are so proud I remember ever being like. Oh my gosh we did like this kind of a cool thing. These are all our close friends but you get to look at them and have like the respect of a team made. When I look at that picture now I still feel proud but I also feel really impressed by what we accomplished and honestly? I'm impressed that we made it happen as a co-ed team what do you mean by that. Okay I'm going to throw a number at you go and I want you to give it a second to sink in it. Because I think it's really important. Okay I'm buckling missy belt. I was in mariners for four and a half years and we cycled through nine different ship leaders. And here's the number we care about route six of those leaders including me were women six out of the nine. That's more than half and remember. Most of my teammates were boys so I asked him about this whether they'd ever thought about the fact that so many women ran our ship whether that was distracting or emasculating for them. It's not something I thought about at all this. This is weird to even be like talking about in the sense of is weird pieces weird even think about as being like an issue at all. I don't think that gender was an issue in my mind at all. Your team leader was your team later on. It didn't matter to me if it was David or you or Liz or anybody You know there were some leaders who respected more and some who we respected last. But I had nothing to do with values gender. Okay but what did the girls think about all of this. Ask them the same question and on the whole we were more aware of gender like my friend. Jackie pointed out that when leaders assigned people to teams for competition petition. There were like lady events and men events the girls were always put on first aid and marlins spike which involved sowing the physical events were stacked stacked with boys rope climbing rowing obstacle course. I felt very pressured to perform highly in obstacle course. I was proud that I was like a woman who did this. Because it was like mostly a male event of like strength with and Stamina. We also all noticed the stereotypical teenage boy behavior. That went on mariners. Like every once in a while people would say say stuff like make comments about girls bodies or cracks sexist jokes and I don't want to diminish the importance of that but at the same time I feel like ADDS more girls were elected to run the program. That kind of behavior became an exception to the rule. Do you feel like you would have gotten more out of the program if you hadn't had had to deal with some of that teenage boy behavior. I don't think so no because I think having to deal with that at that age in a way that didn't didn't isolate me from everyone else and was actually productive. I think that exercise ended up preparing me really well for the rest of my life like my teammates. Mate's my male teammates at that age taught me so much about how to be a leader as a woman in what way well there's one moment in particular that I still think about all the time time when I was both in so when I was the leader running the program I remember we had one practice. Were this group of about six boys on my team was really giving in your heart time. I don't think any of them had voted for me when I ran for the position but I still got the most votes so now they were stuck with me being in charge and it was super clear that none of them were happy about it. Why not because I just wasn't as much fun as the person I was running against? I wanted to win great republic and we all knew that that was going to take a ton of work. So they knew you're gonNA make them buckle down and get things done exactly so on this day that I'm talking about. I told my team that we were going to practice. Drill arching information and I started walking over to the drill pad where we used to run exercises only when I got there. My team wasn't with me about a half of them. Had Run away and hidden like actual children and the worst part was I could hear them jiggling waiting for me to initiate some some kind of game of hide and seek where they would run away and I chase after them like a border Collie on the verge of a breakdown. What a waste of time? But I knew I couldn't do that so I sat down and I waited. And how long did you wait for. I mean it felt like a really long time but eventually maybe after like thirty minutes my teammates started creeping out from where they'd been hiding and they came and sat down around me in a semi circle. None of US said anything. We just sat there in total silence for another a couple of minutes and I still knew in that moment that I couldn't yell at them and it wasn't that I wanted to. It was more just that it felt awful awful in that moment to know that they expected me to that. They thought that how I would react in. That situation was to get up and scream at them so finally I stood up and in the calmest voice I could manage. I just told them how I felt. I told them that I also had better things to do on Saturday but that I had come to practice with them because I was under the impression that we were a team and I told them that if they felt like I was forcing them to do something something that they weren't interested in doing like if they didn't want to win great republic. We didn't have to give them a choice. I said we could all go home or we could practice drill a man they all stood up and they got in line and I swear to God it was like there was a symphony in the background of that moment. And why is this one moment so important to you. I mean why do you you still remember it so clearly all these years later because that was the moment I really became the leader of that team I had to earn it and the the whole process of earning their respect and their support. I think about actually ended up being more empowering for me because there were boys on my team like after that I have the confidence to lead all of my peers. The boys and the girls do think the boys misbehaved in gave you a hard time because you were girl you know I ask them about that and they all told me that at the time they didn't think it had anything to do with gender. They said it was because they just didn't see me as one of them and I think we could go back and forth forever about whether or not. That's the case like whether or not my gender had to do with why they weren't connecting with me. They weren't seeing you as one of there are a bunch of boys running away exactly but after that happened I spent another two years with those guys practicing with them. Winning Great Republic with them going on trips groups with them and spitting over the side of the boat at the same time when we brushed our teeth and interacting more closely broke down a lot of barriers for US turns out we had a a lot in common like we were all stressed out about the same things school and getting into college and people we had crushes on and we didn't forget that some of us were boys in some of us were girls. It just didn't define US especially in high school like everyone's going through a lot of the same shit and you don't really get get that ever kind of compares the experiences of men and women. I feel like an contrasting man. I think that kind of set you up to expect different things and I think working closely with women in your age group kind of just makes you a person you know it makes you realize you're you're predominantly a person and then a man at least that's the way that I felt moving forward the the boy scouts or scouts bs as we're now calling branch it's going to look a lot like the sea scouts. Some troops will be coed. Others will remain all male and some new ones will be all female and cub scouts. The youngest kids are will only have all male and female groups for the time being but if the sea scouts are any indication of how this will Japan out. The boys should get used to having girls around because these days more than seventy percent of sea scout ships include women. So what advice do you have for all the boys who are going to be in scouting troops. That will have girls in them all mostly. I'm just really excited for them. The boys and the girls and I hope that they're able to work together And learn from each other the way we did but I also know that that will only be possible for them if the adults in charge give them space to work out their differences. Skip used to tell us this thing. At Mariners it's a line he borrowed from a movie called White squall wall but became our ships motto. And it meetings. He always shouts the first line. uh-huh where we go one we go all because we're a team and we're in this together. Saruman is a proud sea scout and also a producer here at brought to you by if you were a boy scout or girl scout do you have thoughts about the scouts going co Co ed or if your parents what do you think let us know when our facebook group just search brought to you by podcast. Also if you like me really need to see video of what Scuttlebutt is all about be sure to subscribe to a newsletter. There's a link in the episode description. You can also email us at brought to you by ADT. INSIDER DOT COM or find us on twitter were at E. T. Y. B. pod bt Y. B.. That's brought to you by this episode was reported and produced by Sarah. Wyman with Julia. Press is and me Charlie. Herman Sound Design by Bill. Moss and music by Audio Network Casey Holford and John delory composed our theme. Our editor is Caroline Devil. Sarah Wyman I am in our show runner. Special
39: Scoot Over?
"There's this oddly popular instagram account. Called Bird Graveyard. It has nothing to do with actual birds but rather electric scooters and bird. Well well if you don't know already it's one of the biggest e scooter companies out there. On this account people load images and videos of electric scooters being smashed back from buildings set on fire or knocked over like dominoes probably spent way too. How much time on the site? It's kind of hard to take your eyes off of it. One thing I did notice. There is the strange obsession with throwing electric scooters into bodies of water the Pacific Ocean the Willamette River in Portland. The Senate Paris the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial really. What is going on here? Where did this all begin? Those electric scooters from companies companies like lime and bird electric scooters are taking over cities. It's an EAS- scooter. Invasion electric scooters flooded the streets of Santa Monica in recent months. Here's here's where it started. Two years ago in Santa Monica California. That's when bird without much fuss are warning put ten. Douglas Electric Scooters on the streets and then made them available salable for anyone to rent. Who downloaded the company's APP soon after these scooters were all over the city and in the months that followed bird and its competitors like lime and and scoot expanded quickly and relentlessly across the country and the world bird is the word in Atlanta Scooters officially landed in downtown Cincinnati new flock of wheels just hit the bay area electric scooters? Germany is joining the global craze for each scooters hundreds. Ace Goethe's will hit the streets of Oakland like this. Wake wake two years after those first ten scooters bird is worth nearly three billion dollars its closest competitor. Lime is worth close to two and a half billion. That is astonishing. Donna Shing when you consider there are still more cities to conquer like New York. If they're worth is much clearly people are riding scooters and investors believe there's a future for these companies so why are people hurling them into lakes and rivers. When did child's play get so angry from business insider? This is brought to you by brands. You know stories you don. I'm Charlie Hermit. McDonald's in we know about ride shares and bike shares but in a flash. The latest transportation trend is shared electric scooters overnight. It feels like they're everywhere and if they haven't arrived in your city yet don't worry they will people love them all the time people hate them there are too many of them. I'm a little concerned about my safety around the but who's actually responsible for them today. What happens when two guys in San Diego have had enough and decide Zaid to take matters into their own hands and later in a new segment? What does it chocolate frog? have to deal with inflation. Stay with us this episode. I'm going to do something a little different. Instead of focusing on one brand I WANNA look at one product electric scooters. That's because right now. There are so many different companies putting these scooters on the streets and sidewalks in so many cities the brand you know might not be the same one as in another city but they are everywhere. Bird Lime I lift razor skip. Scoot not to mention the international ones like grow mobility and bolt to tell the story. I want to focus on one city struggling to respond to this flood of scooters Sandiego. That's because something is going on there. That isn't happening anywhere else. Like in Santa Monica Scooters seemingly appeared appeared out of nowhere verse. Maybe two weeks ago they just dropped off a ton of them and now they're everywhere and as they have in other cities the scooter companies say they provide divided green solution to San Diego's transportation needs. I've worked literally on the outside of downtown from where I park. So the twenty minute Walker like four minute scooter. And just like other cities their fans and their critics. The concerns usually fall into two categories. The first is how people use them. Are they on the sidewalk or in the St. How fast are they going? A writers wearing helmets obeying traffic laws and then when the writers are done a host of other issues kickin since the whole point of these e scooters is is that you can leave them anywhere derives lead them nice and neatly out of the way using the kick stand or do they dump them in piles on street corners where they can block wheelchair Lancer creek tripping hazards. These problems exist everywhere. But here's what makes San Diego different by name is Dan Borelli and I'm one of the two co founders as of scoop scoop and I'm John Hainkel and I am the other CO founder of scoot. Scoot John Heikal and Dan Borelli and you got it scoot scoop most mornings they wake up around four. AM and piloted their pickup truck to patrol the city for rogue scooters and scoop them up. This is high angle we we spend twelve hours a day seven days a week together. We send our producer. Sarah Wyman to San Diego to ride along in the truck on their morning rounds ends. You ever think you'd be doing a podcast about scooters about scooters never ruled it out and almost a year into this Gig Brilliant Hainkel Are Well Oiled Machine Borelli drives the truck around town to check out properties where they have contracts walk along the way he pulls into loading zones and drives through back alleys so the two guys can unbuckle hop out and haul scooters off the private property and then put them in a pickup truck and really Hainkel and Borelli have these scooters to thank mm for bringing them together. The sort of unlikely duo. Hainkel is a scruffy ex-marine who owned a towing business for twenty five years. My company specialized in recovering collateral that was purchased in the United States on payment plan and then removed from the United States and taking the foreign countries research and they stopped paying for in other words. He was a repo man and his job cinema around the world to repossess anything from rental cars to yachts to whatever it is yeah they would put put a down payment Downer. They would. I'm sure all intentions to pay for but then they'd end up in Costa Rica and they'd say gee why pay for it. I'm here perhaps not surprisingly. It didn't always go smoothly like the time. Heinkel started towing a car outside of McDonald's and the owner came running out and chased him turns out that guy had just murdered someone inside and Heinkel was taking his getaway car in the repossession business. It's a good idea to wear bulletproof vests Noted Morelli on the other hand owns boardwalk boardwalk electric rides with his wife. It's a bike and scooter shop about a block away from the ocean in Pacific beach and he's more of a lover not a fighter especially when it comes to cats at least. That's according to handle Dan as a cattle. He loves cats he owns cab. He has a couple of cats the good natured teasing and gentle. Ribbing is basically nonstop with these two guys but the core of their business. The reason they're here is serious. They share a profound frustration with how e- scooters are used and then left behind and throughout San Diego again ankle. He and I hit it off right away joking laughing about things and he was very passionate about scooters. I could care less about them in the beginning. We'll Hainkel didn't give much thought at first for Borelli. They were an issue almost since they first came to San Diego. He remembers arriving to shop every morning. where he'd find his path to unlock lock the door blocked by rows of e scooters from bird and lime and other companies and this was especially frustrating because Borelli also made a living renting out bikes and electric scooters? There's so they were in essence using my bike shop to rent out their products. So this was you know getting under my skin big time or walk. Electric Bikes is located in a two story building on one of the busiest streets near the beach. There's a juice bar. A Polk restaurant a gym on the second floor and a nail spa. So yeah your typical southern California Strip mall this is also tourists central rentals especially scooters are in high demand. If you had been here a year ago you wouldn't have been able to walk through these pathways because because it was filled with scooters bad everywhere await just wait till you see as we drive around you will just be amazed if if you're not familiar with how these ductless e scooters work you start by downloading the APP for one of the companies. Then you use it to find a nearby scooter through the APP you scan code on the scooter Intern unlocks and your rental begins. In general scooters are limited to top speeds around fifteen to twenty miles an hour a rental runs runs about a dollar per ride plus permanent charges that vary from city to city so for example. If it takes you about a half an hour to walk a mile on a scooter that could be a four minute ride and cost around two dollars. Finally and this is one of the best parts. Once you're done you leave the scooter wherever you are usually standing upright using kick stand or if you wanted those people dropping it on the ground then you walk away. Many of the companies behind e scooters rolled into cities fast following the model and perhaps unofficial motto of other Tech Startups. Like AIRBNB and Uber. That it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission often and by the time scooters do arrive sees haven't had a chance to develop comprehensive regulations now the company's ask writers to click except on a user agreement on the APP and that outlined some basic rules of the road but specific laws vary from place to place. Some cities say you can ride on the sidewalks others prohibited. Most cities require require helmets. But some don't and as the companies rushed to get their scooters into the hands of writers the lack of regulation could be good for business and winning over customers. Here's the founder and CEO of bird. Travis Vandersanden speaking at the Vanity Fair newest stablishment summit a year ago. Places where there's no laws that's where we go in and work closely with the the city's educate them on all the things we're doing around safe you work closely with them after you've already scooters out on the streets or do sort of as a proactive thing. Usually chilly happens around the same time. Vandersanden is smiling as he says this and you can hear some chuckling to his reply because it doesn't always happen that way while companies like his move fast and break things. The expression goes cities. Move Slow and commissioned studies even as thousands of scooters are zipping this win that on their streets and sidewalks walks. That's what happened in San Diego. Do you know how many scooters are on the streets in San Diego. No I don't know I don't know where they go. I don't know how many there are. We should should now. But I don't know Barbara. Brie is a city council member who represents the northwestern part of San Diego. She's no stranger to how tech company sometimes operate before before she became a politician. She worked in the industry as an entrepreneur a founder and an investor when these tech companies go into cities like San Diego they take advantage each of local government officials. Who Don't understand these business models and don't understand what the long term impact of these companies is going to be on the residents and on our neighborhoods and government doesn't stand up as fast as it should? The scooter companies might disagree a spokesperson for Lime said. The industry is still young Jong and continues to improve and birds said it does go through appropriate channels quote. It can't be done without working with the city back in two thousand eighteen gene scooter. Companies released their two wheelers and city officials began to consider how to respond. Rally was fighting his own battle with the e scooters in front of his rental business he he called several towing companies about removing them. From what is private property. But they wouldn't touch the scooters. Then one day Hainkel strolled into Borelli shop wearing a towing shirt. John came walking into my business one day and had a flat tire daughters bike and he came on in the shop to get the tire fixed. And we start chatting about all the scooters that were laying all over the property operative here and what we were doing about them and I looked at him like I hadn't had a clue and a little bit and said you know what would you do about your. You've gotta towing shirt word on. You can tell a car. Can't you to- scooter. It turned out. Yes he could and scoop scoop was born. The pickup truck and two guys who decided enough is enough. Let's tell them that story when we come back we're back. So what's it look like when to. Self appointed Defenders Against Urban Clutter Sporting Blue Polo shirts with the logo. The scooter crossed out in a red circle. What's it look like when they decide to take on billion dollar tech companies? Our job is to come in the morning and make sure that the owner of these properties don't come into a big mess of scooters. So that's what we're doing so early on this early summer morning. The two men start off where it all began. The Strip mall were Borelli has his bike and scooter rental shopping park here. My John goes to the front I go to the back. We walk the property lines and pick up any trash scooters laying around and EH. That's how we started a at five in the morning it's still dark out and the scooters are faint blurry outlines in the distance there only a few people on the street and Borelli is walking through a back alley behind the shopping center and it's no guarantee will find anything up here. It's hit or miss. Every day is different. Sometimes on on the weekends will come up here and there'll be a half a dozen and sometimes we'll come up during like right now and I might not find you. Want as he doesn't see any lying around. He works his way up the boulevard after a few hugh minutes really spots a delinquent scooter on the property of a hotel. That's contract with scoop scoop. It's also in a fire lane. He pulls out his phone and starts the process of ticketing. Yes they write their own tickets and then towing his first scooter of the morning. So what we do. Is We fill out a a tracking form for each scooter which is very simple. Simple form that we've created. We fill out the type of scooter. It is where we found it the device. ID number will get in a second here. We'll take a picture of the location right now. So we can show the scooter company where we found it and I'll even clued the sign. That says tollway here basically and they'll see that it's in a fire lane and then we'll take a picture of the Qr code on the top appear flash on all told it takes about a minute and once he's done. Don borelli grabs the scooter and starts rolling it back to the truck but that can be a little tricky and noisy. Because there's an alarm pushing the scooter scooter without paying for it sets it off but we walk fast enough right now over there. The lamp should shut off and we should be able to roll them if we walk. Slow the the wheels will lock up on us and the alarms will Blair. This particular beep belongs to lawn lime alarm sound different from the burglar alarm alarm squawk like a bird which alarm is more the red line the bird by far you'll see so annoying sure sure but a theft deterrent. Not so much and they kind of remind me of car alarms you hear him but you probably ignore them or try to Oh Omega. Knowing ones I didn't believe in those beeps and squawks will follow Borelli and Hainkel all day long like some personal soundtrack on track as they roll the scooters to their truck and then play a kind of scooter tetris to eventually load fifty of them into the back. Kind of Ground Zero here for scooters. We started started out here a year and a half ago of removing scooters. From just this property. This property was trolley. Letting us about on an average week today we're probably picking up about thirty to forty scooters day from here on the weekends it was probably double. That number has a growing list of nearly three hundred and fifty properties whose owners owners have contracted with them to rid their grounds of park scooters Borelli and handles daily route takes them past many of those locations but they also rely on part time employees back at the office check on the very APPs people used to rent the scooters they can then see if writers are dropping scooters offered properties scoot scoot services. In the last year Hainkel umbrella say they've towed about fifteen thousand Aaron Scooters some of them possibly repeat offenders despite that hall there can be Censu- futility to what they're doing even if it's good for business we can't get it all. There's no way it's impossible. Unless we were out in every property with a person standing there all day long to get them off once the truck is full Borelli and Hainkel take the scooters to one of their temporary storage lots nearby eventually. Many of them will end up piled several feet high row after row at a private tow yard east of San Diego and if you've ever had your car towed and it is not a pleasant experience trust me you know you do not want it to sit at the toe lot for long because the cost only rises every day same goes for scooters if the companies want to get them back out onto the streets according to scoop they'll have to pay a fifty dollar impound on fee and a daily storage fee of two dollars a day for each scooter. So you figure if we're holding ten thousand scooters right now there's a twenty thousand dollar per day A storage fee every day sitting out at our yard. It's quite a big check. We can buy a lot of coffee and donuts. At first some companies paid up like the end of two thousand eighteen. When Bird wrote a check for more than forty thousand dollars to retrieve about eighteen hundred scooters and Berlin Hainkel they kept on towing but at a certain point as the scooters were piling up on the tow yard bird and lime said wait? A minute can scoop scoop even do this. So in March of this year one day apart both company sued they alleged that Borelli and Hainkel are illegally impounding their scooters and then demanding a ransom for their return in a statement. A spokesman for Lime said Scoot Scoot has repeatedly been observed taking scooters that are responsibly parked and that their attempts to deputize themselves as an extension of the city is not only unlawful but it is nothing more than a property theft scheme to generate income rally and Hainkel deny these claims including comments that they tow scooters that are properly parked worked in fact just hearing that description gets a rise out of Heinkel at what point is a scooter properly parked on private property when you do not have permission from the property owner to park it there. That's a mouthful. Brilliant Hainkel have sued the company's intern that includes allegations allegations against lime over an early morning skirmish with two men who allegedly broke into one of scoot scoops impound lots trying to retrieve lime scooters in a statement a spokesman for the company said while we can't comment on active litigation. This is a disturbing report and such aggressive behavior is never tolerated on the line. Platform the most cities. If you park your car in someone else's driveway or on their property without their permission you know you're running the risk of getting your car towed but with electric scooters. That's not so clear. Gold tries to explain. No legal authority has declared whether whether or not there a vehicle or not. Everyone has their theory Doesn't fall under the vehicle code which in California's two six five eight or doesn't not fall into the uh-huh code and it's no different than if I was to leave a washing machine or a microwave out there or a couch and so there is no so written policy one way or the other. So yeah we are this good or companies argue they are vehicles early. Hainkel say whatever they are we've got our bases covered covered and are acting legally in the end. A court decision may define what a scooter is an who can tow them but what it will not do is fix the other problem San Diego residents Vince. Have how the scooters are being ridden. Who's answerable for that? That's after the break We're back so the scoop scoop guys are trying to tackle one issue. People have with each scooters where writers leave them once they're done and just to be clear early and Hainkel say they don't have a personal vendetta against scooters the scooter itself. Don't don't take on context. We do like the device in the sense that it does fit in a niche in society to travel quickly. What they do take issue issue with is how writers use them to get wherever? They're going problem that these companies faces that they have no control over that person when they ride where they parked it. And how derided this is driving me crazy. 'cause this is actually something government can fix. I mean there is a solution. This again is Barbara Brie with the San Diego City Council. I mean mean. There's some things in life. You can't fix that this one. We could when she first heard about East gutters and her city she thought Oh this needs to be managed. There's going to be a lot of safety the issues. I see a mom and child on a scooter. I see two people on a scooter. which is illegal? I see people on the sidewalks on the scooters are please do not have the bandwith to enforce that. Recently the city passed new regulations to crack down on speeding and sidewalk writing. It's even created designated parking areas for scooters and the police have stepped up enforcement according to the San Diego Tribune since July. They've issued nearly five hundred traffic tickets more than half the people riding on sidewalks the city he has also impounded over thirty seven hundred scooters parked illegally on public property which this could stoop guys are not allowed to since those new rules to scooter companies Jump and skip have jumped and skipped town Morelli says the new regulations have also led to enormous changes around his rental shop. He says slower. We're speeds have made the scooters less fun for Writers Times. Even pedestrians walk faster. And that's almost a ghost town for scooters around the beach but barbara brief argues that still jill isn't enough. I don't think you can police individuals and that's why I'm still calling for a moratorium until we can figure out a reasonable way to to have a reasonable number number that we can enforce on representatives for the two biggest scooter. Operators bird lime say they are in regular talks with city officials and they want to work with them to update rules and regulations that will benefit riders and non riders alike. They also say San Diego residents have embraced the scooters taking millions is of rides on them whether to commute or have another way to get around without having to drive and the two companies acknowledge they have a role in how people use their scooters. For example both provide provide trainings and information about safety when riding scooters and the proper way to park that said I think people wouldn't hate scooters if scooter. Riders didn't ride on sidewalks. This is Eric Hoffman. She's the associate director at the Rudin Center for transportation at New York University and she studies new technologies and transit. And why are they riding riding on sidewalks because the streets aren't safe enough for them to ride on and that's because of the kind of lawlessness of most American roads and the driving culture that most American cities have so yes people riding East gutters need to be more responsible and change their behavior but if cities want to encourage courage that Kaufman says they'll probably need to do more than pass new regulations and increased enforcement working with the scooter. Companies cities could create dedicated bike lanes that allow for scooters or they could slow down cars to reduce accidents and fatalities. Because if it's not the east scooters it'll be something else there's a good chance scooters fads but there will be something next and something after that and something after that and it won't be a car it'll be something that helps people get around in a more healthy and fun way. Cities need to be ready because there are more companies like bird and lime waiting in the wings ready to roll out ambitious game changing ideas and when they do the less forgiveness instead of permission because that philosophy has has worked even Borelli and huckle aren't immune to it. I think that somebody should be being paid to to clean up their mass if they can't do it themselves I don't know the answer but we feel that we are part of the solution in a huge problem. That's growing nationwide. And he's being polite. We do know the answer. We're just not GONNA give it out for free as they crack jokes and their pickup truck and drink giant cups of seven eleven coffee remember. This is a business potentially very lucrative one. They're even seeking investors and venture capital to expand to cities across the country. Pretty much a lot of the major cities that you're reading in the media right now. That have scooter problems. Like Atlanta like Tampa Bay Florida toughness Seattle Austin Texas Texas Los Angeles just to name a few in Germany. We actually Paris and Berlin work have contacted us as well Canada. We did talk. They saw an opportunity and moved in fast but just another startup that uses technology some physical labor and long hours with the hope of the big financial. Pay off down the line. Who does that sound like? So it started as the common man against Multibillion Dollar Corporation they hope will turn into a blooming profitable business as well and and now we're introducing a new segment of our show so called. What in the world right is in our facebook group and send US emails all the time with funny surprising and even heart warming household name brand stories that is their household name brands for you but sometimes we've never heard of them so today we're going to find out what they are I've brought in producers? Sair Wyman hello and Julia Press High and and Juliet. You're going to tell us about. What exactly is it that you're going to tell us about okay? So a couple of months ago we heard from a listener about a product called Fratto Fratto Frodo what what is a fratto. So that part of the story at least is pretty basic. It's a type of chocolate and I asked a bunch of our listeners. Some of our co workers from the UK and Australia to help me explain in a Frito is a chocolate frog. It's more than my palm. I tell you it's about half the size of my palm. I like to get the Big One. It's kind it's like well known in the UK as a child. We know as a little girl if I got up early enough then with my dad to get the Sunday paper always lead to buy a comic book and came in a purple wrapper. They will have the price printed on the wrapper so this is important in the UK specifically typically. You cannot talk about Franco's without talking about how much they cost and that was ten P or ten pence and how much is ten pence. Actually I feel like I hear that tossed hoste around all the time but yes so. It's about thirteen cents in. US dollars these are sheep. Yeah these are really cheap the whole idea behind frozen. A lot of the reason that people loved loved them is because you could just grab a ten pence coin out of your pocket and you can have a little chocolate growing up. Teachers would often use them all the time in equations equations you have one of plus one. Fred Fredericks were Torricelli at ten P.. Chocolate item. You associate the price with Fred. A- as much as you do the frog and the chocolate I wouldn't say it when as far as being slang for ten p. but it definitely was verging where people like. Aw Aw how much is it in. You'd almost be like oh it's like full. Franco's with this was the case for a long time throughout the nineties in the early two. Thousands Fritos were ten pence sense but in two thousand seven the price started creeping up a little bit each year and for kids who grew up knowing that fro costs ten p. This was a huge deal. When I was growing up those two things that I thought were kind of a given one central Israel that got dispelled and to Franco's tempe so this poor guy is so disillusioned right and so for young? Brits like Him who were growing up all this was happening Fratto became a way for them to understand the rising cost of goods and inflation. It was like the Fratto being ten. P was a reference point. Even though the Frederick Self never changed it still silvis little chocolate frog. It just keeps getting more expensive as a way to show. This is what inflation looks like right. Exactly definitely the first time I came across like the parts of the product away then in two thousand seventeen. The unthinkable happened the cost of hit. Thirty P thirty piece. That's triple what it had been in the nineties exactly so as you can imagine. The British Internet went crazy. There were facebook groups and online petitions. The even a a protest on the streets of London by P does five. Yeah I mean they were never five p. to begin with Phil Lakeshore. Yeah so this. weirdly turned into a huge controversy. Like even Jeremy Corbyn. The leader of the Labour party weighed in goes. I think we need to examine this question. Some detail government action at work. He is treating it with all the severity that it deserves the serious controversy that they have on their hands. People were really fired up about the cost of afraid or going up and people saw the price hitting thirty P.. And they were like hold up. Inflation does not explain this like this is not normal something else is going on. Something more is happening here and turns out they were right. The cost hoste Fratto went up at a rate five times faster than inflation. In fact if it'd have been rising with inflation in two thousand seventeen it should've only cost fourteen p instead. It costs thirty. That's a two hundred percent increase. So do we know why this happened. Well there are a couple different theories that people give to explain it. The first pins pins the blame on us. The Americans the American Revolution was years ago. They need to let it go but basically all you need to know. Is that Fratto. which used to be owned by? Cadbury was acquired by an American company and so a lot of disgruntled British people saw this as this giant multinational corporation ration- taking over this classic brand and hiking up the prices being like fresh brand by faces overseas but it could also have been because importing coco to the UK got more expensive and Brexit me. That even worse by weakening the pound other chocolate products also got more expensive around this time but chuck look products didn't have their price printed in bright yellow on the label for everyone to see so I think maybe it's because Franco's price was so well known to begin with with that people really noticed get upset about right if you told me the price of a snickers bar. Today I wouldn't be able to say that's more expensive than when I was a kid. 'cause I'm pit tension into. Yeah so even. If you didn't eat a Fratto people just knew it was ten P. It was almost as if break-up as if because you have up to your price and abandoned Bandon the brand identity you built upon a disconnect no longer continue this relationship we have people of my generation has almost could ever running joke like the increasing price of does and like without like employs about the world in the UK is tied to nostalgia. I think that's the same for the time will politically experiencing now. Everything is associated with the good old days t the royals Buckingham Palace. The fact that again the ten P FRITO is the way. It's always been done. The fact that that would change goes against that nostalgia tastes just like photo was an easy way for kids to understand inflation. It's also become this easy way. For people to grasp globalization and Sees the ways that other countries and capitalism are impacting them. Son Has a piece of candy is more than just a piece of candy right in this case it's a lot more than just a piece candy. It was a way to remember what was perceived as a simpler happier time when chocolate was Turkey. And you're kid and everyone was roses. Is it Marvan actually being inserted into real change but it actually did affect real change. After this whole hubbub. The price dropped five P.. From thirty to twenty five. And that's where it still is today so in the midst of all this anger and frustration about the cost of I mean are people still forking up the twenty five pence Steve Candy. I have to say that. Despite all the controversy people still feel an allegiance to this candy and a lot of people that I talked to still still eat it. Yeah so it's actually a month ago and had a few of them. Everyone just buys them all the time they still around my face on Friday. Four o'clock they bring out Bear wind both slots that's always Fridays. Allies to help one chocolate from the one thing that I wish that we did have one like. Oh my gosh. I'm going to dive in and this is like another conversation but like where I wonder. What's customary right? Where should I start eating the Fred? How do we do? I eat the head I I sort of. That's more humane Julia. Thanks so much of of course. Yeah thanks for giving me an excuse to try them Julia Breast Zerewan and both producers here at brought to you by this. Is the last episode in this. Mini season is an of brought to you by. We'll be back with full season early next year. In the meantime let us know what you think by leaving a rating and review on apple podcasts. Stitcher or wherever you listen. We'd love to know whether scooters in your hometown do you love them hate them. Throw them in your local body of water. And why let us know we're at bt Wi be pod on twitter that's B. T. y. p. like brought to you by and as always you can send us customer service questions and episode ideas at brought to you by ADT insider dot com or and our facebook group just search brought to you by podcast. That was a lot of Info. So if you WANNA go ahead and click the fifteen second rewind and here to do it all the time. This episode was reported and produced by Sarah Wyman. Julia press me. Charlie Herman you also heard reporting that aired on. ABC News Special. Thanks to will hunts Berry Alex at Bologna and Jennifer Siegel you heard from Daniel. Goldstein Bob Hunt Sophie Cleaning Sandra Pasco. Nicole Phillips Rob Price. Elliot Rose Alley and Oscar Shelton and Lydia warrant in our segment about Fritos and thanks to Grace Kelly you can watch the whole Fratto. Protest protests video on her Youtube Channel Hippie scumbag bill. Moss's are sound engineer. Music from Audio Network Casey Holford and John Galore composed our theme. Our editor editor is caroline to bowl. Sarah Wyman is our show. Runner brought to you by is a production of insider audio.
BONUS: Where is Hidden Valley Ranch?
"And welcome to this brought to you by bonus episode. I'm Charlie Herman with that. A lot of you are stuck inside right now. Actually so are we. I'm recording this in my living room instead of our studio at business insider and since producers Sarah Wyman and Julia Press. Aren't here physically. I've had open a new production assistant. Molly say hi. She could be mascot anyway. While we're working on new episodes we've been fielding your customer service questions and product placement stories. We've loved hearing from so many of you over the past couple of weeks including some great posts in our facebook group in emails about brands. That are making a mark in your lives especially now and speaking of that a couple of months ago we got a customer service question from a listener. Poor Guy's been on hold for a while now. He was driving back from an electronic music festival. Remember those live concerts anyway. He had this very specific craving. Thank you for calling customer service where we answer all your burning questions about brands. This call may be recorded for podcasts purposes. Tie It's brought to you by customer service can have please. It's form Dominique. Hey ormeau what can I help you with? Today well I am trying to get down to the history of Hidden Valley ranch. We were just at a big music festival in Las Vegas and they had to shut it down to the high winds. So we're on the bus ride back to civilization and we started talking about all of the awesome. You know snacks and stuff that we had back at the House that we're we're GONNA throw ourselves with. Then we started talking about condiments. And then everyone's mentioning. What their favorite is you know? Catch UP MUSTARD. Whatever Blah Blah Blah and? Then of course someone says ranch dressing and we're like yes that's like universally the best thing ever didn't have any the AIRBNB that we were staying at so we ran to Storing grab specifically Hidden Valley ranch. Because there's no substitute for that specific type of ranch. Then we were like you know. Where exactly is the Hidden Valley? I mean obviously there's gotta be some reason it's called the valley ranch and why it's ranch dressing in the first place. Is there a ranch there? Yeah absolutely yeah well I have no idea but let me find somebody who does so if you can just stay on the line for just a moment sure. Hey or hey hey so. I think I found someone who does have the answer for you on this or we want you to meet Julia Press. She's one of the producers on our show. Hey arm pretty good. I have been diving into the question of Hidden Valley ranch. Where's the stressing from? Is there a hidden valley? Is there a ranch in the hidden valley and I have some answers for? You can't wait to hear this all right. So the Hidden Valley ranch story starts in the nineteen fifties with a guy named Steve Henson. He was working as a plumbing contractor. In Alaska where perishable ingredients like garlic and onions and herbs dairy were hard to find and he was creating addressing that he could feed to his work crews and he was piecing together what he had there so that was dried garlic and onion powder dried herbs powdered buttermilk which I didn't even know existed and he creates this dressing now. Henson is such a successful contractor that he's able to retire at age thirty five. Well that's a good contractor. Yeah he's doing pretty well for himself. And so at this point he and his wife moved to Santa Barbara but naturally he's retired at thirty five. What do you do when you're thirty five and you don't really have time? That's a lot of time left on your hands. Yeah exactly so. Naturally he gets pretty bored and he decides to buy a ranch he and his wife by the sweetwater ranch in the San Marcos pass which is north of Santa Barbara in California and he decides to name it drum roll please Hidden Valley ranch. Wow Wow oh man. So it's really a place at the time. Hidden Valley ranch was a dude ranch so score I right so they had tourism and activities like fishing and riding and they also did feed their guests home-cooked meal chicken wings. Apparently that a steakhouse and they actually sent guests home with Henson's dressing as a souvenir in little mayo jars because people loved it so much and it became so popular that they started packaging the dry ingredients and then mailing them to customers to add to their own buttermilk or mayonnaise and make their own. Diy Ranch dressing. The ranch today is actually not used for ranch. Dressing sadly He sold the ranch in the early seventies. And he actually sold the product to to Clorox in nineteen seventy two so you can no longer actually go to the Hidden Valley ranch to taste hidden valley ranch sort of like in a way it is hidden because it may actually be out there but we just don't know exactly which one in the valley it is. Yeah exactly and actually apparently off the main road and used to be marked by just this little wooden sign so it's always been hard to find. I don't know if you could say it was hidden valley ranch. Yeah off the beaten Path Valley ranch. It's like when you become a superstar. You know you need to hide yourself away. Obviously ranchers superstar condiments. Allow you to the big deal. GotTa hide it away. I guess the ranch didn't want the Paparazzi on its trail so it had to hide behind them. Sunglasses there. Yeah it's it's really difficult when you're a really well known. Famous very popular condiment has the same problem or are you. Are You satisfied with your customer service today? Absolutely this is GONNA be. I mean my friends are GonNa be so happy that you guys answer this for us because we've been white going back and forth on it forever. So yeah I really appreciate it or where do you live out of curiosity? I'm in San Francisco? Oh so you could definitely take a trip down to try and find the Hidden Valley ranch. I can guarantee you. That's going to happen actually as soon as I got off the phone with you guys. I'm going to call my best. That were there with me. And it'll be like yeah we're GONNA make trip definitely to go find the hidden valley. I'm sure between the Internet. And some good saluting and your information will probably be able to make it happen to pass it out there. Have you better keep us up to date and let us know how your search goes absolutely will cohen or thank you so much for your question and carry much? Customer Service. Line is always open. The Way Times do vary just call six four six seven six eight four seven seven seven or sent an email at bt y be at insider DOT com. We're hoping to do more of these in the weeks to come. So whether you have a question or you just want to say hi reach out. Have you rediscovered a classic video game in recent weeks? Maybe you've your time wondering how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tutsi pop? It's more than you might think. In the meantime stay safe and stay healthy brought to you by is a production of insider audio.
37: Introducing: Lost at the Smithsonian
"Hey this is Sarah Wyman. I'm one of the producers of household name they're going to be new. Episodes of household name in your podcast feed very soon but in the meantime time if you want to keep up with us. There are two great ways to do that. I you can join our facebook group. Just search household name podcast and you can subscribe to our brand news newsletter. There's a link for you in the episode description but in the meantime I don't want to send you off empty-handed so while we work on new episodes of household household name I want to share another show you can listen to and I think you're really going to like it. It's called lost at the Smithsonian and it's a new pop culture history podcast from Stitcher pitcher but explorers the little known stories by an iconic artifacts at the National Museum of American history. The host is off Monte who you may know from the daily show and in every episode Mavi examines the impact of a fascinating cultural artifact think fancies leather jacket. Dorothy is ruby slippers. Even Jim Henderson's early prototypes for the muppets. Here's Monte coming across the Robe Muhammad Ali war while he trained for his famous rumble in the jungle against George Foreman. The Robe is a reminder of the political and cultural context of the Times made this one of the most important sporting and entertainment events of the Twentieth Century Tree back in Smithsonian storage would looks like an unassuming. Terry cloth training rogue with simple black lettering says Muhammad Alley and above is his signature so little frayed at the edges here a little yellow represents an icon and a legend who was the greatest that sports has ever produced here comes early. You can see in their very calm. It's age against you. They've got these two American African American boxers George Foreman Muhammad Ali is he lost his title Losses Bertel. Yes he was trying to jump to the current heavyweight boxing champion. The odds were stacked against L. E. Right out of gate because he was older form and had was undefeated formidable opponent Yasser when I'm meet this man if you think the world was surprised when when Nixon resigned wait allow with forms and in terms of the actual the fight in Zaire how did that come about it was with Don King I think they had connections with the people in Zaire and thought this would be like this great news sort of mass spectacle that would elevate interest just in not only the fight but also the nation of Zaire and also like a you know they had this big concert and James Brown in addition tend to be a major sporting event. The rumble in the jungle was also a major musical event James Brown. was there be king was there. The spinners were there this global spectacle well that was none other than legendary boxing promoter. Don King Jitney Super John's they come into one fold and do one thing six thousand miles from home that was blackness that was distributed to accept blackness to help platelets trust practice and into associated separate blackness. We all citizens of the world. It ain't about us being we WANNA be against. Nobody cares about us saying that we for each other so that there was this celebration aberration connecting African culture with African American poultry that both celebrated and exploited in some ways in order to get people excited about the fight by the time that was kind of a new concept but in terms of rumble in the jungle considered one of the most important sporting events at twentieth century. Why do you think that was no long run. There's a lot of big events but they don't always hold up so you have this huge audience championship fight that was like incredible years the Ali Lee story itself and I'll ease rope widow finish to that fight where you got let himself get punched basically and tricked form in and new yet one shot right and was able to accomplish it and that was huge. Ali's rope a dope finish was the key to his victory. He let himself get backed up against the ropes then used his arms to block as many a forms punches as he could once foreman was worn out. Ali made his move. We'll get into rope-a-dope put up a few minutes but just no it was all about outsmarting his younger opponent. Mohammed Ali dancing around the national anthem. I mean I know that like for myself growing up in a Muslim family and my parents grabbing India in the sixties and you know all the fact that he was this outspoken black Muslim. I think there are a lot of Muslims around on wall who sort of took ownership of him in some ways you know like he's one of us and I just remember as a kid the idea of sort of giving giving the middle finger to colonialism and the oppression by not going fighting in Vietnam. Why should I go and fight the White Man's man's war. What have they done for me as a black American so I think there was a real resonance about this fight being in Africa of all places right. I I think if it had been in America I don't think it would have had the same impact sure right yeah. The international scope of it was important and you know he won three lost at one three times james the belt so like that kind of like just adds to this kind of legacy stature that he had also so smart and funny he we know how to use his controversy to kind of help his bank account as well as the bugles fighting so. I think all around just like really is remarkable the term that he's worth remarking upon because he so distinctive when I got to Africa I had one hell of a mall. I had to be toxins behind. I for proclaiming to be the King of the jungle. That was a sneak peek of lost at the Smithsonian with Asif Monte. If you want to hear more confined the show in stitcher apple podcasts or were ever you listen keep an eye on our podcast feed for updates about the future of household name going to have new episodes for you very soon in the meantime we love hearing from you say hello email us at household name at insider dot com joined the household name facebook group or leave review. Wherever you listen we read all of your messages and thanks so much for listening. We'll be back soon.
50: Lets Talk About Tampax
"Oh One quick note before we get going in this episode, we talk about Tampons administration and we use the word women a lot to describe people who have periods and who companies like Tampax have targeted with their marketing, but it's important to note that it isn't just women who menstruate some people like some transgender men and non binary folks do, and then some women don't get periods at all. If you want to learn more about this, we've included a link in inner episode notes. Okay now, let's start the show. A couple of months ago I met with my friend Julie's Saito for breakfast and we'll say we were at a cafe and it was small. Little tables next reach other. Do. Julian author and journalist and this cafe we were at was a cute fringe cafe. There are lots of people around Silverware clinking delicious croissants light chatter. You get the idea very normal very quaint, but then I ask Julia question. What stories are you working on and I? Said I'm thinking about doing something on Tampons. And they're not your normal breakfast conversation. No, not at all. There were people sitting next to us, so there is a sense of like Oh God what they're talking about tampons at the table next to us. You know it's not typical breakfast there. I'll be honest. Tampons in periods are not something I'm used to talking about. In fact on the rare occasion, it does come up I feel like we're supposed to talk about it in code like I had this co worker from years ago. Who I kid you not used to say stuff like this weekend. My aunt flows visiting from redlands. Like. that. How awkward is it for you as a woman to talk about it well I just remember when I brought it up with you. You asked me what Tampon was. was that the thing with the Stream? US There I was. I was putting all the pieces together. We're having breakfast through me well. You know what I have to say. It was the first time that I have. Discusses with a man aside from my husband, and I felt a little uncomfortable and when you asked me if a Tampon was the thing with the string. That's when I was like. Oh! I don't know if I can do this. because. Everyone else I had talked to about it was a woman. And I realize like. Why would you do that because you have no need to use this? Whatever very little dealings with tampons? Yes, it was. It was kind of a moment for me, so the two. It was kind of A. Moment for me to actually because the story. Julie told me yes about tampons and where they came from I can't believe no one's talking about it. From business insider, this is brought to you by. Brands you, no stories you don't I'm Charlie Hermit Donald. Mackay. Tampax is the most used Tampon brand in the United States today, but when it got its start back in the nineteen thirties, it wasn't just unpopular. It was completely taboo today. The story of the woman who founded Tampax the man who helped her make tampons, mainstream and the brands that shaped administration conversation today. How do you advertise a product that no one wants to talk about and what happens in corporations into doing all the talking. Stay with. US. So where does the story of Tampa start so released starts in the nineteen thirty is with US fascinating character, a gertrude tender itch. She was really amazing. Unfortunately I wish that we knew more about. Is An author and reporter who regularly contributes to the New York Times for Awhile now. She's been doing research for project about Tampax. She's piece together. The Story Old Company Literature Newspaper Clippings Immigration Records and documents from Gertrude. Family, she was a German immigrant. She came to the country in the nineteen twenty s, and she was the wife of a Baker. They had started a bakery in Denver within a few years purchase family bakery failed she and her husband and their children were living in two small rooms behind the shuttered business. They scrape together a living by working for extended family members, but this was not the American dream. Dream Gertrude had signed up for Gertrude. was you know a businesswoman at heart? And after the business failed, he really wanted to start something new, but she was a German immigrant, and English was not her native language, so the first thing she did was actually go to night school and learn English, and then she decided to start a diet pill business in part because Gertrude. Herself was sort of large. offic exactly perfect for her. She was a little dig, and so she actually used herself as the prime example of their success, she would go around to Denver housewives and she would say look at me. This is a picture of me before taking the pills and this is a picture now. Wouldn't you like to look like me? And she also started a mail order business, but what happened was the government actually started cracking down on mail order businesses, so she decided she needed to look for a new product or some way to expand our business without that. What Gertrude Carter died pills around. DENVER KNOCKED ON DOORS. Another local resident had just secured a patent for a groundbreaking new product. The first commercially produced. Tampon had just been invented in Gertrude hometown. Still fine period products was an almost brand new concept. I mean KOTEX had been selling menstrual pads since around the end of World War One, but before that most women just made their own pads. The made them out of rags or cloth, and they would often use like safety pins or belts to keep them on, but often these were definitely not very user friendly. I guess you could say the pins would poke you. The belts would slip. They weren't really very absorbent the materials they looked really bulky, so there were a lot of problems with them. In nineteen thirty-three Denver doctor named Earl Haas patented a design that would eventually change all that with the help of his wife, a nurse. He created a feminine hygiene device modeled after a medical tampon. That's what the cotton plugs. Doctors used to DAB up and stem bleeding were called. Basically came up with putting a string on it and a cardboard. Which is essentially the same object we have today. And he patented it, and that was really the start of the Tampon. He called his new invention tampax short for Tampon, the medical device and pack how it was used, but. It was an ingenious design and there was definitely a market for it Dr Haass's. Did Not Take off. He didn't have the same business acumen as he did inventor acumen, you could say. He had trouble selling the product to he. He knew to try to get Johnson and Johnson to actually buy it the past. This was something that women put internally into their bodies. It was a really revolutionary concept, and he just was unable to sell it. Gertrude tender heard about Dr Haass and Tampax through a mutual friend. He thought Gertrude might be able to do something with Haass's floundering business, so she approached Dr. Haass sent to purchase his patent and he wanted thirty two grand, which, in the nineteen thirties was definitely not chump change. No, especially that's I mean you're in the middle of the depression. Exactly so she cobbled together several investors, and they managed to come up with the money. Money and they paid him and the deal they struck was quite fascinating. Because Dr Haass essentially gave them all rights to the patent with no royalties whatsoever. Do you have any idea how she was able to do that? From what I can gather from the documents available? She was quite an ingenious woman. In this era, in general, women were not business entrepreneurs alone, a German immigrant whose English was a second language, she was a mother. You know she's in Denver. Colorado New York City's sort of the center of Commerce. It's a fascinating story. She clearly had a lot of gumption. At first Gertrude made the tampons at home with the sewing machine, and a hand operated compressor Haas designed, but with the help of her brother who was a machinist. She figured out how to automate a lot of that process. Before long, the operation moved into a Denver Loft where the family turned out about a thousand tampons. Our SUSHI immediately started trying to sell it, and she felt like this is a product rightly that women could really embrace, but there were quite a few stumbling blocks for. For her such as I, mean the stigma that she faced trying to sell tampons. You know obviously you have to talk about your vagina. You have to talk about bodily functions, and you know this idea that periods or gross I mean for centuries women have tried to hide it or cover it or deal with it in private, so that's a really hard thing to fight against right like. How do you go around and talk about what the product actually is? You can't exactly show them how. So you need to be able to explain it. You need to give instruction. You need to be able to talk about something. That was very not a topic for public consumption, and for Gertrude that was really really hard, because there were so many constraints like even on advertising, you know she wasn't allowed to use any explicit language words like menstruation or obviously vagina or period. So how do you have an advertisement in the paper where you use none of the words explaining what the actual thing is about? How did she overcome that? How did she get people to know that this product existed? She did manage to get some advertising in the local newspapers, but she mostly walked around to the women as she had done previously with their diet pill business, she walked around in knocked on women's houses on there to to the housewives and the different homes around Denver, and told them about it, so you're saying. She literally was like a door to door salesman for tampons. To new. Sales pitch would be. I think it was kind of crazy approach. You also can't really scale up hugely that way. Gertrude also visited drugstores and tried to get pharmacists to buy her tampons. Some agreed to keep them behind the counter, but for the most part they refuse to sell them out in the open because they were worried about offending their customers from what Julie's been able to uncover, we know gertrude. Gertrude was getting frustrated. She told one of her business partners at the time quote. I am a woman and I know other women will want Tampax when they have tried it, but these men. The retailers just look at me as if to say, this lady is mad. She also did talk to a lot of nurses, but I can only imagine too. I mean it must have been. She must have had a number of doors slammed in her face. On top of all of that the Great Depression was proving to be difficult time to start a business and tampons, especially for probably a hard sell, because again for centuries, women had been making their own say you're also asking women to pay for a product that was always free and something that they would just create in their own home. It's amazing that she was able to do as well as she did considering all. All the challenges she faced within a few years Gertrude. Tampax operation was running out of steam. The interest she'd been able to generate wasn't enough to keep the business going long term. So what did she do? She decided to take what money she had. And she took a train to New York, and check into a fancy Manhattan hotel to put the word out that she had this company and she was looking for investors. After. The Break Gertrude and Tampax Take New York, city and Julie. Saito's great grandfather in law gets involved. Stay with us. We're back and there's something Julian I haven't told you yet. What was it that got you interested in reporting on Tampax? We'll. I started dating my the man who now is my husband pretty early on. He told me that his great grandfather actually founded Tampax. So it was always a fascination with me. I know didn't Gertrude Doctrine Colorado's start Tampax will yes, but the reason you've heard of it the reason you can buy Tampax or any Tampon in grocery store aisles. These days is thanks to a guy named ellery. That's Julie's husbands. Great Grandfather got that and by the way Julie's family connection to Tampax ended years ago. They don't have a financial stake in the company ellery. However, they still mind him for stories. He was this very gregarious figure. He loves to eat. He loved to gamble. He was an extremely dapper dresser. He was very very charming as a ladies' man. Supposedly, he had an affair with Edith Piaf one point different singer. Yes, the French singer. And he could really sell anything if you believe. Family Lore ellery once managed to talk his way out of Russia through the Iron Curtain with a bunch of vodka and without a passport. When his daughter got married elderly apparently tickets to every single show on Broadway, and when he wasn't busy spinning tall tales, he worked as an advertising executive. He was kind of like a madman. Before Madman really had taken off in the thirties, he worked for the precursor to mccann-erickson the famous advertising firm, and he basically worked on a lot of female health products. Pharmaceuticals were his his feet. In the early Thirties ellery was doing well. He was making the modern equivalent, nearly two million dollars. He had had a huge success marketing a feminine dude that was sold in drugstores, but in the mid thirties after bouncing around between a couple of different projects, ellery was out of work, so he's out looking for a job. He's looking for his next move and here's a woman who's got this company and she's looking for investors and douches tampons. There's. There's something there. They're not that different that woman was gertrude tend rich now. The story of how she in ellery man met gets a little foggy. One version is that they were both standing in line at a Manhattan Bank when they ran into each other. There's another account and then being introduced by mutual friend, but what we do know for sure is that at the time? Gertrude was camped out in a fancy hotel. The Palace Madison Avenue. Shortly, after they met Gertrude and Hillary sat down the hammer out a deal, and it's really too bad that we don't know more about that meeting. Because from what we do, know about ellery and Gertrude. It would have been fascinating to watch. Yeah I mean. I really would have loved to be a fly on the wall in that room. Gertrude was this amazing businesswoman they used to. To say that she could actually read a business contract upside down from across the table, and considering she wasn't even in native. English speaker that's definitely a feet, and obviously ellery was this sort of madman, businessman, advertising, Guy and legendary dealmaker, so I'm sure the report between them was probably amazing, and so they ended up leaving the meeting with Ellery, essentially being the owner of Tampax. So. She sold it to him just like she had bought it from Dr Haass. Yes, she does remain involved in the company. And even her daughter remains on the board for many years afterwards, so the stay good friends and she sees involved, but she is no longer selling it like she was before. No ellery man is now the president. Why did he think that he could sell this product? Because it's a product that women want I mean. He understood advertising. He understood how to appeal to people and get them to buy things, and this was the perfect product for him. It was something that women didn't even realize they wanted. Hillary knew the problem with Tampax was not that Gertrude couldn't sell it. The problem was that no one was talking about it. Her foothold in Denver Colorado wasn't strong enough to create any buzz so almost immediately, ellery started pushing advertising on the biggest scale he could. He had a lot of ideas for how he could fight the stigma that had been such a challenge for Gertrude. For instance he was good friends with the guy who ran the American medical. Association, so he convinced him to let him advertise Tampax tampons in the American medical journals ellery, put on every box of Tampax approved for advertising by the American Medical Association, which really just means. advertised in the journals, but you know people skim over that and think it means that the American Medical Association approved of the product, which is not exactly true ellery work to get pharmacies on board by persuading them to buy stock in his company. Walgreens for example bought Tampax shares, and started displaying boxes next to its cash registers in stores. Meanwhile, ellery sank one hundred thousand dollars into a Tampax. So, he put a lot of his advertising in the papers on Sundays, when women would read it, especially, when working women would sometimes have the time to sit there and read because they weren't working, he was targeting them because he knew that tampons obviously would make it easier for them to go to the office. He started targeting these niche groups like sports, minded girls or girls who are into fashion, would wanna wear tight or dresses. Let's say 'cause they wouldn't be as obvious. Education became a huge part of the marketing strategy. ellery hired saleswoman to Hawk tampons at nursing conferences told doctors to in for samples and tests. How absorbent they were using a glass of water just like Gertrude done. Ellery Tampax employees were going door to door, trying to teach people about their product. The difference was they weren't just in Denver anymore. They were nationwide, but despite all of Elleray's marketing tactics, his big budget and high-profile CONTAC-, Tampax did not make a profit for three years. It really took time because he was fighting against so much stigma to what changed to make more women start buying tampons. What really happened was World War Two. That made a huge difference. There was a real need for women to enter the workforce and all of a sudden the country wanted women to be working. They wanted women out of the house, so the stigma and a lot of fear about tampons were out of necessity they were removed. It almost became like you were helping the war effort by wearing tampon because you could spend your day in the factory for instance now, and you didn't have to run home and Change Your Pat. Choice between the external pad, and the Tampon is a purely personal one. This video was produced by the US war department in Nineteen forty-five. It was screened for women working in the army service forces, and among other things it explained how to use a Tampon which coming out of the culture of the nineteen thirties feels shockingly specific. Fits into the vagina in this fashion. But attempt will be uncomfortable and irritating. The Vagina is small or the menstrual flow have A. So once women start using these products during World War Two win. The war comes in what happens. What happened was after World War Two. All the men came back from the war, and they wanted their jobs back, so women were seated once more to the Home Front You've got you know shows like. Leave it to beaver. Classic Nineteen Fifties Housewife. Connie. Well? Don't we cook inside? Mom always says the cooking or whenever we cook outside. You always do how come. Sort of traditional I, guess Let's say a woman's place is in the home and I suppose shoes in the home. She might as well be. By the time ellery died in one thousand, nine, hundred eighty six tampons had been booted out of the national. Conversation again so TAMPONS VO considered. You know you'd have to touch yourself. there were also issues a fear. What if you're a virgin? In the nineteen fifties for women you know. Is it going to break my hymen? If I use a Tampon? There was also a religious backlash, so all these things came into play. Gertrude had succeeded in getting tampons on the market. ellery had made sure women knew existed, but neither of them managed to put a lasting dent, the shame and stigma, the kept women from walking into stores, buying tampons and using them so Tampax is new leaders knew they had to take the conversation one step further. They had to figure out how to educate market tampons from inside the home how to get women to start using their product and entrusted enough that they'd recommended to their daughters. Thousand Nine hundred fifties when companies like Tampax started creating a very robust. Farm and they started making these pamphlets for women and MOMS. How Trista was that was that to provide information to women and their daughters, or was it about selling more products? Both. After the break how Tampon marketing ended up in schools, and the conversation Tampa started was enough to get women to buy Tampons, but not to erase the stigma. We're back. Not to get really personal, but we're getting personal I mean. How did you learn about your period? Yeah, I, mean I. Remember getting it for the first time and being really shocked and not having a lot of knowledge really about what was happening, so you know I went to my mom and when you went to talk to your mom, did she have good information for you? Not Really No. I think she was shocked. I was not expecting it and felt out of her depth. She I learned about it because she woke up one morning in her bedroom or childhood. And there was a pamphlet by her bedside about menstruation and your period and her mom, my grandmother never really engaged in any conversation with her, never talked about it, and that was about all she knew so I. I don't think she had a lot of information to go on to even give it to me even if she wanted to. Since the earliest days of Tampax Gertrude, tinge and ellery man had been trying to fight this problem, they knew. Knew? Many women wouldn't buy tampons if they thought they were risque or if they didn't understand how they worked, and mothers wouldn't recommend them to their daughters if they were uncomfortable talking about ministration, and especially if they thought tampons promoted sexual behavior so as early as the nineteen forties, Tampax established an educational department, it was dedicated to dispatching Tampax ladies as they were called around the country they visited schools and colleges gave presentations about menstruation and sanitary protection. By the late sixties and seventies these presentations. To something closer to those embarrassing sex ed videos, you might remember watching elementary, middle or even high school. Juliette remember how old you were when you had like sex ED class. yeah, actually I was in seventh grade seventh, while I was in fifth. You're in fifth grade. I was in fifth grade. Ms Solanki like crazy, red curly hair, and these big thick glasses, and many of you probably remember something very similar. Your own missile Las Katie who separated out the boys and the girls and sat down to watch video about puberty, and it doesn't matter if you saw it. In nineteen, ninety-seven, nineteen, fifty-three, the usually start the same way, some peppy music, a really corny skid. To be a woman that's higher, says the videos call. I, don't they go? Well. How are you GonNa? Find anything out. Girl gets her period for the first time well. It was this afternoon when I was changing my gym clothes. I noticed a bit of blood on my panties. Figures it all out. Thanks to her mom or guidance, counselor or big sister, who is of course totally prepared for it and excited about the conversation. At first I thought fly to know what to think, and I remember when we talked about Minster, Menstruation Menstruation and stuff. But here's what's really remarkable about these videos. You may not have realized it at the time, but lots of them are actually funded and produced by them, and in hygiene product manufacturers, nothing strange, mysterious about menstruation like this one from nineteen forty-six. It's an animated video made by Disney and Kimberly Clark. The company that owned Kotex on light is built on cycles. And the menstrual cycle is one normal and natural part. Of Nature's eternal plan for passing on the gift of life. This video was actually used in schools for over thirty five years, and was viewed by more than one hundred five million girls, and you can hear how hard Kotex is trying to normalize menstruation in that video I mean it gives a sort of childlike innocence to the whole thing I mean the music the fact that it opens with a baby. It's completely removed from anything sexual. Over time these videos became more obviously branded like an always changing always growing made in nineteen ninety seven by you. Always MINSTREL PADS had to go to the store all by myself. I didn't even know what I was doing. Let me see what you bought. And she goes to the tour, and she pulls out Nice Nice product shot of the always even the way she holds it, it shows her mom is sort of like a Vanna white like look I. Have Always Pad got these. These are just fine. I used the myself. They're cleaner and dryer once. I realized how thin they were. I was afraid they wouldn't be enough I. Know what you mean, but these ultra thin maxi pads are just as absorbent as regular maxi pads without padding and check this out just to reiterate, this is not an. An advertisement it's an educational video produced for classrooms, but it's also doing a really important job for the company that paid for it in addition to putting their product, front and center. It's dispelling rumors. Kids might have heard about it. It's also clearing up any misconceptions. That might have kept them from using it. Here's one from Tampax Circa Nineteen ninety-one. You can use tampons. It doesn't hurt you in any way. Hey, you cannot lose your virginity by putting in Tampa on the only way you can lose your virginity by having sex. That's the only way. Be. You won't won't get lost. You know they're really answering. A lot of the anxiety is that kids will have. Companies like Tampax hired women's health experts to develop the videos and pamphlets. They sent to schools, and if you ask historians who studied them, they'll tell you this. Push the conversation in the right direction over the seventies eighties nineties. If we didn't felt for example is a writer who's written this really great book about Menstruation in the twentieth century and one of the things that she says. Is that working with big companies like Tampax for instance. Instance was actually a really great opportunity for educators who've been trying to find a way into the discussion to actually start talking about this topic. They definitely thought that what they were doing was trying to educate girls, and that basically one way to do that to get the resources the money to do it and to get the stuff produced and to be able to distribute it. This way was to ride along with the menstrual products manufacturers. The company's efforts to really bring this material into the schools. It helped battle the stigma it helped create conversations space for conversations, and in an unusual way that may have opened up opportunities for the conversation to get removed from the corporate sphere. What happened in the nineteen seventies was a feminist health movement that followed along on the feminist movement that was really powerful, our bodies ourselves was published advocating that women be their own advocates for their healthcare and understand their bodies, and not necessarily defer to their doctors for how they should think about their bodies. And those feminist conversations wound up in a more robust. Literature around Menstruation so nice pamphlets that got produced that mothers could buy separately from bookstores or order and share with their daughters, and these are not affiliated with big brand names. That's right. They weren't and they were able to talk about things like sex and sexuality things that the big corporations were really steering away from, but on the flip side for a lot. Lot of school systems and a lot of parents and teachers, that sort of material wasn't nearly as appealing as what companies like Tampax offering for free. It was the cost of having a mass product with mass education, so you could potentially write a much more revolutionary progressive curriculum, but then it would be adopted only by a small group of Revolutionary Progressive People. PROCTOR and gamble which now owns both Tampax and always still produces lightly branded educational videos and pamphlets for schools. A spokesperson for the company told us the program is request based so schools and parents have to reach out to them an education, not brand loyalty is their top priority. Temps also partners with other physician owned initiatives, Julie. How do you think the conversations that do happen about menstruation about periods that they've really been shaped by the companies that were pushing these? Videos in schools, I think there's a few ways that it's clear how they shape the conversation. The first is that. Obviously, they have an incentive to push their own products. It's probably no coincidence for example that most people use tampons pads, which were the products that they are touting in these videos that they produced in. It's also possible that companies did a worst job. Teaching kids about the risks involved with their products. Then a more objective source would have done. and. What were those risks so I mean take toxic shock syndrome for instance in the late nineteen seventies and early nineteen eighties, women died from wearing these super absorbent tampons that they started putting out in the market they were made from these synthetic materials and women could wear them for extremely long stretches and some combination of the. Materials in them and the fact that they were wearing them for so long caused bacterial infection, and you know the companies themselves weren't really necessarily educating women about them hadn't even done enough research on their own products to even realize that these risks were inherent in them. When we reached out to proctor and gamble about this. The response we got back was that until nineteen seventy, eight toxic shock syndrome was not recognized as a disease and took two more years for to be linked to Tampons by the way even to this day. We still don't know exactly what causes it. Even. Companies like Tampax pushed the boundaries of ministration conversations from the really abstract and flowery language of the Disney cartoon to the frank discussions in the tampax video. There's still a layer of stigma with the Tampa I can swim and I I'd like feel better doing sports because it's you feel you know. Viper. In some videos, the pads or tampons are hidden in a dresser drawer. One of our producers remembers watching in the fifth grade. were girl drops a gigantic bag of pads right in front of her crush. It's so embarrassing, and even though we are talking about it more. Your period is still something you don't want. Anyone to know is happening and unlike a pad, there's no possibility of voter. Nothing is visible. Nothing gets in your way, and there are none of the lumps and bulges of pads. I think tampon manufacturers always had to walk this interesting line between trying to. To fight the stigma about using tampons in about menstruation in order to get the word out about their product, but also operating within the confines of that stigma I mean even today. It's a selling point for tampons if they're small and they're covered in rapping, that does not say Tampa on on them and everyone I know who walks through the office with a Tampon to the bathroom and puts it in their sleeve. There's a great Saturday night. Live skit about this was made just a year ago and you see a couple of women sitting in a College Lecture Hall. You. Know. Tampon, Oh, heck, yeah. Not here, someone will see Relax Nolan. Passes her friend looks like a dead mouse or in another scene, a piece of fake poop. There's a temp on in here. Yep, they won't. They'll just see the poop. Introducing Tampax Secrets, the only Tampa hidden inside other things. You'd rather take out of your bag and public. Hey, I mean. How do you feel about the ministration conversation that we have inherited from Tampax? It's complicated on the one hand. I'm grateful for companies like Tampax for creating these videos and opening the conversation. But it's also a sad commentary that we have to rely on a brand to do this. Yes, and that they have their own agenda, which isn't necessarily. ALTRUISTIC and so I think it's complicated, but I think women WanNa. Have these conversations more and I think young girls to have the more and I think we need to take ownership of the conversation away from the corporations and. The Mars. This started to happen period activists, the world are working to make ministration. Something were not afraid to talk about and I. Mean we all of us? Because if there's one thing I've learned working on the story and listening to Julie and my co workers talk about the subject. There's a lot more all of us can do to be more comfortable with these kinds of conversations. Yeah I, mean I think that's the whole point of this right? We WanNA talk about it to make it less uncomfortable, but it's still really uncomfortable to talk about. It does feel that the conversation has shifted and changed especially. If you go back to the sixties and seventies and look at the way we talk about it now. Yes, absolutely and I think that's so important to recognize that I mean. There's a lot of effort to de stigmatize women's bodies and menstruation I think there's a lot of recognition that not a women street, and not all menstruating are women you? You know there's also this issue of marginalized communities for instance who don't have access to menstrual products in a lot of states, tampons, attacks tax like luxury goods, not necessities. They aren't available for free public schools. Even if the sex ed videos that sell the Mar-, these are real issues of access that we can't even get close to touching if we can't feel comfortable talking about tampons in the first place. That change has already happened and it's happening, but I think obviously they're still more to go I mean the fact that you and I were uncomfortable having the conversation at the very beginning when I first introduced. This topic shows that it's still like A. Breakfast subject matter right. It's interesting like I'm doing this whole episode with you, but I don't really want to necessarily be known as the period person you know that's not but I think the conversation so important like the more we talk about it, the more comfortable. We're all GONNA get right. Julie say is the author of the plaza, the secret life of America's most famous hotel and she's working on a project about the history of Tampax Juliette thank you. Thank. You. Know what who would have thought of breakfast talking about. It probably was one of the more interesting breakfast conversations I. AM So glad to hear that. This episode was produced by Sarah. Wyman and Julia Press Reporting Julie Saito. Did you just super corny sex ED video when you were in grade school drop Lincoln our facebook group. We could all use it a good laugh, and maybe some education just search brought to you by podcast. Our producer Sarah Wyman his still trying to dig up the one she watched in the fifth grade. There's apparently very weird scene involving pancake batter, and a detailed explanation of female reproductive organs didn't Wednesday that one Judas an email? If you have any leads bt Y BE AT INSIDER DOT com. Especial thanks this week to share of Austral and and there's our editor is Michaela Blind and Bill Moss's are sound designer. Music is from Audio Network John Lauren Casey Holford composed our theme. Dan Bobkov is the podfather and Sarah. Wyman is our show. Runner brought to you. By is a production of. audio.
46: Makin' Whoopee Cushion
"It's a trying time. The challenges all of our basic assumptions. However one thing that brings us all together is our common humanity now more than ever teams must come together and work together to big challenges and Trello is here to help trello part of Atlassian collaborative sweet is an APP with an easy to understand visual format plus tons of features that make working with your team functional and just plain fun teams of All Saints and sizes and companies like Google fender and even costco all use Trello to collaborate. And get work. Done with Trillo. You can work with your team wherever you are whether it's at home or in an office no matter what device you're using computer tablet or phone. Trello sinks across all of them so you can stay up to date on all the things your team carries about. Keep your workflow going from wherever you are with Trello try Trello for free and learn more at Trello DOT com. That's T. R. E. L. L. O. DOT COM TRELLO DOT COM. Hey everyone this is Charlie Herman we know that right now. Everyone is coping with the corona virus. Trying to stay healthy from the team here at brought to you by. We just want to say we're thinking about you and hope that you and your loved ones are safe in these stressful times. When there's so much news we want to thank you for taking a moment and listening to this podcast. Our show is about to go on a short break as we work on our next season of episodes but will be back very soon so again. Thank you stay safe. And here's the show. Welcome to the New York toy fair where people from around the country hack into a gigantic convention center along the Hudson River to showcase their newest inventions. This stuff is the cutting edge of toy innovation. I mean this is the super bowl of toys in the fake doggy. Doo Genre as you say we have one that we actually attached to a top of a pencil. We call it a genuine number two pencil. So that's one of our better sellers. This is Warren Berkowitz. He works for a company called Forum. Novelties my mantra has always been if you need it. We don't have it selling products that people want the don't need but you know we take our jokes pretty serious. At this year's toy fair his booth is decked. Out with frank and joke items. They've got your classics Fake Roaches. Eyeglasses topped with fuzzy eyebrows. But there's also something else in the air one of the things that we make as far spray when we were trying to develop that just rights smell. We went through a number of different AROMAS. You can also find an electronic fart machine farts can and far pen hanging alongside that fart spray. They know what sells and this particular? Category of joke never disappoints strangely enough. Probably the most popular items are the ones that have been around for. Close to a hundred years Things like cushions are still some of the best sellers that's right. The whoopie cushion is blowing competitors out of the water. The smell of success is in the air. You could even say it's cooking with gas from business. Insider this is brought to you by Rangoon. Craft brands you stories. You don't I'm Charlie Hermit McDonald April fools pranks come and go but one practical joke has stood the test of time the whoopie cushion. Today we trace its history from ancient Rome to now where came from and why. It's so funny. If everyone knows the whoopie cushion. Why does no one get credit for it? Is it a brand a name? And what does it tell us about the industry that created warning? There might be some bad jokes ahead. Stay with us. Oh my gosh we have. A giant pencil is huge Mardi. Tim is a novelty collector in Racine Wisconsin giant rabbit's foot in the super colossal. Jumble Alif her house is packed with boxes filled to the brim with every novelty item. You can imagine items in the collection one of my absolute favorites is. It's a comb and what it does is it puts Dandruff in your hair. It's awesome for the past thirty five years. She and her husband stand built up his treasure trove of gadgets. We have an farms and Gizmos if costumes and toys everyone heard of Yakin and Yak the chattering teeth and magic tricks. The X ray glasses. Supposedly you can put those glasses on and look at your hand and see your bones doesn't work there there. Today they have about one thousand eight hundred items in their collection and for Mardi. These aren't old knickknacks there artifacts it's Americana and it's really a history of the growth and the changes of the people of America. It's popular culture. She instead don't collect these things they try and uncover the history behind them and one of their most prized possessions. Is You guessed it? So this is the original whoopie cushion in the original. Whoopie cushion is a lovely little thing. It's from nineteen thirty. Two when Mardian stands spotted this cushion on Ebay? They were willing to wager ninety four dollars on it but much to their surprise there are no other bidders and we got that whoopie cushion for five dollars. When you got an arrived in your home I mean we did a happy dance. It was it was the coolest thing ever. We just couldn't believe it now. You couldn't use it because it was too old but it's original. It's just beautiful. I have to say beauty is not the first word that comes to mind when I think of a whoopie cushion but to hear mark. Talk about it. You would think she's describing Picasso. It's interesting the green is like army green and it has a scalloped edges. Like if you use the painting and like any good work of art to truly understand the will be cushion. You have to look back. At many historical and cultural influences that led to its creation. It took hundreds of years of history to get that whoopie cushion onto the chairs of unsuspecting teachers and old maid aunt across the United States and it starts of course with the noise itself. An archaeologist actually found the earliest joke from the Babylonian period and it was a Fart joke. That's Jim Dawson. He considers himself as far tallest because of three books he's written the first one was who cut the cheese a cultural history of the Fart. The second one was blamed on the dog a modern history of art and then did somebody step on duck. A natural history of the Fart Dawson told me that flatulence has a rich and storied history. People have been talking about for ages. I'm talking everyone from Earth Century Authors. Josephus who was the Jewish Roman writer to prize playwrights Shakespeare at the father of English literature. Chaucer's the Canterbury Tales Mark Twain. Wrote a satirical play called sixteen one based on an elaborate arched joke and Joseph who Joel Harris has top entertainer in eighteen nineties brought flatulence to the masses. He was able to control his stomach in a way that he could suck air in through his anus. And then blow it back out again and it has such control and he would do imitations and apparently it people would be rolling in laughter at the ruse where he performed. The whoopee cushion itself dates back centuries as well. Legend has it that an ancient Roman Emperor Alibaba's was a big fan of using Proto whoopee cushions at dinner parties. By the Middle Ages. It was looking closer to a whoopie cushion. You'd recognize the old jokers. The court jesters would come up with the lowest forms of humor to make the king and Queen and their court laugh and one would be like the pig bladder full of air and then you can control the air coming out of it and make all these funny sounds and that's really where the idea came from but it wasn't until the nineteen twenties that the commercial whoopie cushion. You know today. Hit the shelves for that. You can think the Canadian Rubber Company Jim Again Novelty Collector Mardi Tim. The claim to fame that they had the gym. Rubber Company was this valve that they created that allowed the home mechanism to work. So you blow it up and the valves stops the air from coming back out again so then it expands and then when you sit on it. It makes that wonderful noise. The Canadian Rubber Company approached a couple of American novelty companies about selling the cushion in the US and the one that smell. The hit was Johnson Smith. Now Johnson Smith made some of its own products but was most famous for its enormous catalogue. It was like the sears catalog of novelty toys seriously. It's been called the Rosetta Stone of American culture. These catalogs were actually what got Mardi and her husband into novelty collecting in the first place. They haven't almost complete collection of catalogs from nineteen fourteen through the nineteen fifties and that includes one of the company's biggest ever the one from nineteen thirty to the broadcast the whoopee cushions. Us debut. Here's what it says. The whoopie cushion is made of rubber. It is in flakes for the color which went from military green to the bubble gum. Hank you noted the whoopie cushion really hasn't changed much over the years. When the victim unsuspectingly sits upon the cushion it gives forth. The most indescribable noises made in to cushion was sold under a handful of nonsensical names. At first everything from the hoop pillow to the BOOP boop boop a fan favourite here at brought to you by but one name stuck again. Pharmacologist Jim Dawson. The big word in this country was Wuxi. And there was a big play on Broadway called Woobie and Eddie Cantor. Had A huge hit. Making a movie would be a lot of things. Meant having a party at sex at having fun you know also money would be a pity is the nineteen twenties and papers across the continent wrote about the rise of this new hot slang. Be as the roaring twenties crashed into the Great Depression. People wanted to hold onto the spirit of Whoopi. So when Johnson Smith started selling a whoopie cushion. This silly prank product took off. What they offered people was humor and the whoopee cushion and a lot of the novelties and pranks and jokes. That they had offered people some levity and away to get away from the seriousness of what was going on around them. Johnson Smith had a captive audience. That was hungry for its products. But there's a reason you know the name what be cushion and NOP NAMING THE COMPANIES. That sold it. That's after the break back. Please take a seat. Don't worry before we go any further and WANNA take a second and talk about. Why would be cushions are funny in the first place? I mean they are funny. It's just scientific fact. At least that's according to this guy on trumpet cooks. I'm Professor Acoustic Engineering. At the University of so food in England in two thousand nine Cox embarked unique course of research is part of a fundraising campaign for the organization. Comic Relief. That work was to systematically test. What makes the funniest whoopie cushion sound? First of all we needed a range of whoopie cushion sands to test so I. I sense of a very experienced researcher with a recording system and says savigny signs. You can make out this whoopie cushion. And he came back with huge cornucopia recordings. You couldn't quite believe the ranger signs. You could make but if you give it to a really good acoustic they can make some really strange sense. By the way these are actual zones remers study. How could anyone actually take notes? While they're laughing okay. Charlie compose herself so cox and his team review. This library of noise created. They ran statistical test to determine which noises were the most different then they uploaded them onto a website and asked people to rate them on a scale of one to six or no smile. Too Big Open Mouth Grin and we got really people I think we ended up with hundreds of thousands of writings in about seventy thousand people. Did this experiment so it was. It was big data when they crunched the numbers. They found a few takeaways. If you're like most people then this just does not have the same comic effect as have this graph which shows how funny is versus time clearly as whoopie cushion. Sounds get longer and longer to get fun. Yeah so maybe you're sitting down with because you should do it quite slowly just like any good joke. The will be cushion abides by the rules of comedy and comedy. The unexpected funny and so actually the longest would be cushioned sound. We make goes on anything. I was going to stop soon. And it goes on and on and on and on and he goes onto ridiculous legs now makes it very very funny. Some sounds were funnier than others. The Y. Near the better some people were more amused than others. The younger you were the Funnier. You found the sounds and the more sounds. Listen to the funnier. You thought they were if he's good joke against funnier. Funnier doesn't it Cox actually didn't mind having to listen through fart sound. After far sound design his research not shooting acoustic. She spent a Lotta time researching noise. And how has a detrimental effect traffic noise play noise all those things? So it's quite nice to turn around and things sandwich great joy whether you find cushions funny or not you know that sound creates a lot of joy of people for better for worse and back in the Nineteen Thirties. It did not take long for companies to catch onto this soon after the whoopee cushions debut it was selling like crazy and one company in particular realized. It had made a big mistake. It had the opportunity to be the first to sell the whoopie cushion in the US. But it said No. We'll sit this one out. That company was s s Adams. The guys who pioneered the American novelty industry supposedly. It was rejected because the whole concept was said to be in poor taste. Isn't that kind of point. Kirk Damaris has designed packaging for ss Adams and he wrote a book about the company's First Hundred Years he says it was Samuel Adams. The founder who passed on the whoopie cushion was kind of funny that he would turn his nose up at this thing because he'd already put out like you know fake doggy. Doo and things like that. Classy after Samuel blew off the whoopee cushion. The Canadian rubber company struck a deal with Johnson Smith. The ones with the catalog however wants the whoopie cushion started. Selling Samuel realized his mistake he supposedly said this bad decision cost him fifty thousand dollars in profits in the first year alone or nearly a million dollars in today's money once Samuel noticed the success he produced. What's called the raspberry cushion which is just the exact same thing really? He was not the only one to make a copy of the we. Cushion knockoffs are extremely common in the industry. And this is probably one of the first times. Where atoms did the knocking off. Here's the thing about novelty makers there jokesters. They're not sitting around talking about how to protect their assets. They're thinking about how they're going to get their next lap. Samuel said by the time one of our products has been ripped off. It's already passed say and it's not really worth pouring money and time into any legal entanglements. The legal part of the novelty industry is probably the least interesting part of the novelty industry. This is David Wall. The director of awesome a pretty awesome job title. If you ask me for a company called Archie mcphee. It's like a modern day Adams. It's much more interesting to talk about. Accordance than it is to talk about lawyers if all wanted to talk about patents and trademarks and copyrights all day he would have become a lawyer. It's not why he got into the novelty joke. Business for mini in this always innovating always evolving industry. All that paperwork is a real buzzkill. We put out one hundred and fifty new products a year so what we would become as a law firm if we decided we were just all of a sudden going to try and protect every idea that we had from every glimmer of a copy. That could possibly come from it. And that's just not our focus but sometimes you have to talk about lawyers because this is an industry in trouble the mindset that drives novelty makers you see it right there in the name novel. It's all about the next best idea. So you have. Companies been decades investing time and money into making new products nailing the spring in this snake in a can or getting the recoil. Just right on the dollar bill snatcher. But many of these companies do not spend the same resources protecting their rights to those products through say patents trademarks. What that means is many of these. Companies do not have name recognition. But they're great products. Do that's why you know the whoopie cushion. But you probably can't name a single company that makes one and it could be why so many novelty companies and stores have been closing more on that when we come back. Hang on to your seat. We're back today if you Google whoopie cushion. There isn't just one item. That pops up there are tons and tons of the exact same product sold under the exact same name sold by a ton of different businesses. No single company has the patent to exclusively sell whoopie cushions. You know it's. It's really odd so we did a search and we couldn't find anything that came up. This is attorney Michael Cohen. No not the one. You're thinking of this. Michael Cohen Specializes in intellectual property. Things like patents and copyrights as far as we know no one put the effort to put a fight up in regards to the owners for the day and it's just became a generic term. What he means is whoopie. Cushion describes a category of goods not one product in particular. It's not a brand name. It's like the words automobile or cellphone. Anyone can utilize that term because simply describes what it is. It's a whoopie cushion. But it did not have to be this way so in a perfect world. If there was a hypothetical what should they have done patents for sure and trademarks for sure and possibly even copyrights to some extent? Cohen says the first person to make the whoopee cushion might have been able to protect its shape appearance and function using patents and its name using trademarks. It might have even been able to prevent from making knockoffs of the product by arguing. Its shape is what people associate with the brand it. Kinda has that conic shape to at least one. It's inflated and so maybe there could have been. There's an argument. There could have been trade dress protection for that but that's not what happened. In the novel the Industry The focus has been more on inventing new things instead of investing legal protections for old ones that means sometimes people imitate or playing rip-off ideas other people created. It's the nature of his business though. It's not always a bad thing. When it comes to novelty toys and products there are a few different types of imitation. The first type. The one industry is built a support. Let's call it iteration. It's like when someone comes along and says how about design a whoopie cushion that inflates on its own novelty makers are all four that David Wall director of awesome says. It's kind of like writing jazz music. You have traditional tunes and what happens is you. Put Your own spin on that tune in you record it and I think that having a novelty product it's an echo of another novelty. Product is good making this beautiful new music out of a reflection of what someone else has done. Is You know that's what creativity is using better rubber or developing new valve that releases the air to make a new symphonic will be cushioned melody. That's all fair gate but problems come up when you get to the second type of imitation. That's when other companies start straight up ripping off your song. There are companies that exist only as a shadow of other companies. They just copy. What other companies do as soon as they see what's popular and when another company comes along and starts selling your exact same product if you haven't legally protected it. There's not much you can do. And that matters when a product like the whoopie cushion becomes a household name but the company that created it is not obviously affects our sales and there is customer confusion which is the worst part about it. There's one other kind of imitation and it is bad news for the entire novelty industry. That's when other companies don't just steal your idea and your customers and then make money. It's when their product is a cheap knockoff. And even ruins the joke Wallace. Seen this happened with the razor blade through the thump trick a classic I saw one not too long ago that wouldn't even fit on my pinky in the shape of a thumb because it was so small and had no blood on it and it was. Just you know a gray razor sticking in the side of little tiny finger so it takes away what the original object was until it just becomes this side Xerox copy of Xerox copy of Xerox copy. It renders the product useless. This again is Kirk Damaris. He studied how novelty items are sold. Any says this phenomenon what's called quality. Fate has actually hurt novelty companies across the country. I think over time they became associated with cheap junk. If you go back to the dawn of the prank novelty industry a lot of that stuff was made of metal made of higher quality materials as low. Quality Imitations began to flood the market. It got harder and harder for consumers to tell the difference between the well-made say whoopie cushion and some Cheapo whoopie cushion. People don't really know which brands of novelty products are better than others. Which ones they prefer like their favorite shampoo or peanut butter. If you WANNA buy a whoopie cushion you. Don't care if it's made by Jim Rubber Company or Johnson Smith or S. as atoms novelty companies notice and. It's reflected in how they advertise. I think they were selling an experience and they are selling this moment of astonishment when it comes to magic tricks or this moment of humiliation when it comes to pranks the way that so many franken novelty items were sold. Took the brand name out of the equation so when someone buys a dinky unconvincing razor blade through the thumb from one company or a cheaply made whoopie cushion from another. It hurts every company. Selling the same break this reality. Along with the focus on innovations instead of legal protections means that in the end the novelty toy. Business is struggling after the eighties. Even the shops Santo novelty shops joke shops. They started closing down and now they're almost non-existent as Adams the company that spearheaded the American novelty industry was sold to an online store in two thousand nine and the end of two thousand Nineteen Johnson Smith. The company that put the whoopie cushion on the map in the US. It's shuttered. Its doors after one hundred and five years which I have to tell you makes me incredibly sad again. Novelty Collector Mardi Tin. Because they've been a part of my life for thirty five years and I feel like I've just lost an old friend after all those years of collecting Mardi and her husband are selling their collection. She hopes they'll find a new home for in one piece so it doesn't just become a hodgepodge of stuff because she believes there's something to be learned from all those toys and pranks and jokes. People have a natural funny bone and they need a release of some sort to just not look at life so seriously to be honest before we started working on the story. I hadn't really thought about the whoopie cushion in a while. But I could immediately picture one round. Pink scalloped edges and. I thought who would be the perfect person. I could use that on today because I'd like to think no matter how old you are. Or how sophisticated you think you. Are there some practical jokes that if done right are always funny but to confirm this? I decided to check with some experts. Name is Oscar. I'm in fifth grade and I'm Evan. My name is Chris. My Name's Cami Luke. Joshua I'm fifth grade and ten years old. The far is funny because of the sound thirty funny and Stinky and sometimes loud and they're kind of enough of free entry. Come silly part of your body. I've actually thought of them more as human nature as I've gotten older but I still think that they're funny in movies like comedic movies when there's like tense moments it just relieves the. It's probably the most funniest the most. I'm expecting moment. Class one kid. He sneezed in Florida. Same Time Inter Spanish teacher and the whole class started laughing. A little as considered comedy. These days I guess. Did you ever have a whoopie cushion? I did I had several. Who did you use the whoopie cushion on the most? My sister now I would always like put it under her seat at the dinner table. I don't like because because like they're not real. I never got a good laugh out of it because I never put in the right place that you can pray fever Waikiki. They added in other saying you. They'll like boy when people laugh at first or not actually laughing at Yale you. You shouldn't be embarrassed because he's kind of like a funny thing farts. You can't not like them. Let's hope this generation knows a good practical joke not just for the novelty industry but for all of us because say what you will about Fart Jokes. They have a way of deflating. Egos they let out the air of our pretensions and show us. We're all human and sometimes we all need that breath of fresh air by the way if you're interested in buying Marty's novelty collection reach out to us and we can connect you it truly contains multitudes and in the meantime what's made you laugh this week charrier stories with us in our facebook group just search brought to you by podcast. We WanNa know where the best cat videos on youtube which tweets. We should send to our friends. How you've been pranking. Your loved ones this April fool's day. There's a lot going on. Give us a call and leave us a message at six four six seven. Six eight four seven seven seven. We'll be sharing some of our favorites with all of you in the weeks ahead. This episode was produced by Julia. Press with Sarah Wyman and me. Charlie hermit especial. Thanks to Claire. Bandera and Michael Know Wyatt from Rhode Island novels. Thanks also to Josh Stevens Dad. Nate's Tad candies mom. Luke's mom and Dad Chris's Dad and Oscars mom bill. Moss's are sound engineer. Music from Audio Network John Laura in Casey Holford composed our theme. The editor is Michaela. Bligh Sarah Wyman. Is Our show. Runner brought to you by production of insider audio for this ridiculous. They know it's got I've actually but we molly and the Middle Ages. It was molly. Go to your bed God.
41: The Red (M&M) Scare
"Before we start this episode I wanted to minute and tell you about business insider prime. It's like business insider but goes even deeper taking you behind the scenes of companies like Lincoln and salesforce. So you can see what's really happening. It's more than just headlines and breaking news it's about the culture and the decisions that drive the news checkup these stories and more by joining at read be I slash podcast. It's easy to do once again. That's read dot by slash podcast. Hey so what have we got today? So I'm going to tell you the real story by the red scare of the nineteen seventies and I'm not talking about the Cold War but at different red scare that. I think you'll probably remember when you were a kid or are you calling me old. Kelly I would never you are experienced. Okay experience I'll take that but okay so last year on our show we did customer service segment about Sour Patch. Kids and you know why they're shaped like children rights super weird but anyway episode thirty six. Check it out if you haven't already but anyway well trying to answer that question. I met a guy named Jason League who you may remember as the Indiana Jones of candy. Dont that he was like this candy. Collector historian dude. Yeah and I really wanted the two of you to meet cy arranged for all of us to hang out together in our studio. Ooh Hello Yeah he and I totally hit it off and not used to this. Surely booth was albums. Immediately Youtube Tacoma this great nostalgia trip of conversation about land of the lost and all the playground snacks. That could take a kid out in the seventies pop. Brian exactly what you were gonNA say pop rocks and so and Coca Cola now ranked them and Mikey from as life. Cereal died because he ate pump. Rugs and a coke at the same time right. Oh Yeah I mean it's not true but yes of course yes amazing story the kid eight eight some pop rocks then. Drink Coca Cola. The carbonation expanded his stomach and exploded his entire dom. Not just any kid. Mikey he likes it from cereal. Commercials it was like tying all these amazing iconic brands together in one physiological moment of doom. I mean you know how kids are the so and so said. They're big brother's best friend heard from their aunt. Something about Mikey pop rocks and there you go. The story sticks actually remember no Internet elementary school. The story was that twinkie fillings. Were made out of Ping Pong. That's I don't think I've heard that's ridiculous But while there's not a lot of evidence to back that theory up or the idea that might be eight pop rocks and useful exploded. Jason told spot one playground rumor. That did have a little bit of truth to it. And it's one a lot of people remember in the nineteen seventies red M. and M.'s. Were pulled off the market because the FDA was worried red food dye might be giving people cancer for the record read. M.'s safe to eat but still the thing was a far more real story because it actually happened so because they were pulled from market it actually gave credence to the belief that it was a problem. Yes it absolutely gave credence to this idea. And in my young head that was story that Red M. and M.'s caused cancer people. That's why they pulled them from business. Insider this is brought to you by Granville brands. Now stories you don't. I'm charming. Mcdonald's Long Corridor in nineteen seventy six Mars the maker of EMINEM's polled red imminence from the market. Not Because the candy was proven to cause cancer but because people were afraid that it might it all started with a series flawed experiments from the Soviet Union studies which ignited a red food coloring scare in America that made its way all the way to Congress and the Food and Drug Administration but after many many years the Red Eminem's returned and their impacts. Today and for that you might be able to think of college kid in Tennessee and his inside. Joep that took on a life of its own. Stay with us Sarah were we early nineteen seventy. I remember pretty well and everyone was freaking out about a type of food. Coloring called red number two. It was in soft drinks candy cosmetics fish and meat products it was everywhere about ten billion dollars worth of food products in the United States. Use The die and the FDA was investigating whether or not it could be causing cancer and birth defects. Red Dye number two under attack is a threat to reproduction the newspaper headlines at the time were objectively terrified red dye is called a peril to births. Native Group says food is dangerous. Consumer groups asked ban toxic. Red died number to wait red dye number two. I mean I do remember something about it being connected to cancer. Does it cause cancer? The FDA spent years trying to figure that out and what set them down this path of studying this issue and trying to respond to growing fears among American consumers. It all started in of all places the Soviet Union the Reds Communists. Now it's making sense between nineteen sixty eight and nineteen. Seventy scientists in. The Soviet Union published three studies researching the Safety of Amaranth Aka. Red Dye number to all the studies were done on rats and the first one said Amaranth caused intestinal tumors. The second one said it was and I'm quoting here. A. Carcinogen of medium strength. And then the third one said it was toxic to the GONADS and possibly to Embryos. That sounds pretty conclusive stay away from Amaranth Red Dye number two especially if you're a rat and the Soviet government clearly thought so too because they banned the use of dynevor two in foods at that point so then the FDA must've learned about these studies and then they decided to ban it here as well. That's where you're wrong charlie okay. Fda did find out about the studies but pretty immediately the identified all of these flaws in the research methodology that the Soviet scientists were using like for example. The rats species they were testing on was prone to tumors to begin with it was also super unclear. What exactly the rats were being fed. And then in some of the studies rats who were fed smaller doses actually ended up developing more TUMORS THAN RATS. Who got higher doses? That does not make any sense. I mean that seems to raise questions about whether or not red dye number two is causing any of the tumors the FDA would agree with you. But you have to remember at this point. Red Dye number two was being used in ten billion dollars worth of American food products or prior to nineteen seventy. I was probably the most commonly used Colorado on the market. John Swan is an historian at the US FDA which in case you haven't figured it out by now is the food and Drug Administration and he told me even though those Russian studies looked pretty sketchy the FDA was taking the safety of red number two really seriously it would be used in in the food supply and things. Like Sodas and ice cream moves used in lipstick and other cosmetics for drugs it was. It was all over the marketplace. I mean it was very popular so the FDA responded by getting the National Academy of Sciences Involved in launching a crash program to get a bunch of new data about red eye number two affected rats. John Swan says they moved fast. So the FDA came back with its own research and it must have found something because it ban red eye number two. The Soviet studies the kick started this whole thing. A lot of the experiments in the crash program were scientific fiascos. The most famous one is probably one experiment. Fda conducted where a bunch of basic errors took place. We're talking junior high school biology level mess ups unfortunately during the course of this study some of the groups from the feeding groups became intermingled. Oh so the rats got mixed up a yes. Some did some didn't get mixed up. Wait so they lost track of which ones they fed the die to and which ones they had and then on top of that when the rats died over the course of the study many of them were just left in their cages. Which meant that? When they went to do research like autopsies later. Exactly try to figure out like where they had tumors if it could be associated with the die. None of that was valid because the bodies of the rats were rotting. It's like doing a study that we forgot. We're doing a study. Obviously it was. It was a problem and certainly i. I suspect an embarrassment to those involved by this. Point Ralph Nader. The famous. Consumer advocate had caught wind the Russian studies and the FDA's research and as early as nineteen seventy-one. He and his health research group were lobbying Congress to ban red number two. And that's the reason why was banned. Scientists were still struggling to pull off a clean experiment to prove that it was dangerous and in the span of six years. Charlie FOR THAN THIRTY STUDIES OF RED DYE number two were conducted by private industry independent laboratories and the FDA but in the meantime the American public was cutting onto what was going on with red food coloring. And all these studies even if confusing or poorly done or not conclusive by nineteen seventy six. The new stories being written about them sound did pretty intents march of dimes urges. A band for now on red number two food to the abortion pill. You may not want so dangerous that if a one hundred and ten pound pregnant woman drinks more than a third of a can of Strawberry Soda pop the day she risked either cancer or damaging her baby she rages. There is no way consumers can know if they're eating. The die is called a Red Dye number two forces immense recall by FDA recalls children's lollipops. Red Number two was in the newspapers who was on radio and Television. Wayne Pines worked FDA during the nineteen seventy s spokesperson. And so that was my job to see to it that those stories were accurate pints told me. Fd was not used to being on the front pages of newspapers. This was all happening before the agency really became a household name in the US right because after red food coloring in the seventies and eighties. I remember there were other. Food scares and confusing studies that involve the FDA One that stands out to me is Saccharin and tab sodas not that I drink them and there was some sort of rumor that they could cause cancer. I mean I remember that being a big deal. Yeah and part of the reason Pines remembers the Red Dye number to scare so while is because this was like we're that Arab began for him. This was really his first page one story. So what point did you realize that this was not going to be a story that blew over in a day a think when consumers started to call and ask for a list of products that contain red number two so customers are seeing the product that almost all of them are coming in contact with maybe on a daily basis and the word cancer in the same sentence and so they're panicking again. It hasn't been shown to gauze cancer but cancer came up because studies did not show that it did not cause cancer right. Wait that takes me. That's one of those after stop and think for a moment so it doesn't prove its cancer but it doesn't prove that it's not. It's not not cancer Charlie. So basically what they're saying is we can't prove that this is safe. It might be safe. We're not saying it's dangerous. And if we believed to be imminently dangerous it would not be on the market however working on proving that it's safe. Wow that's a lot to. That's a lot to absorb because you're basically saying we think it's safe but we can't guarantee that it's safe and we're continuing to study it so you're probably fine but consumer beware and keep in mind while all of this is happening. Red Number two is out there. Choppers are grabbing it off a grocery store shelves and eating it in the form of ice cream and soda and canned fruit and meat going to supermarket is like playing minesweeper with red dye number. Two I mean I remember my family. Those little plastic squishy bottles with Diane Them. They had little dunce caps on the top. And if I wanted to use the red one I can remember asking my mom like hey can use the red dye to make cupcakes and it was just you know. Stay away from that one and the other colors go down to almost nothing. I think I think in my dad's house ties may still be there. Yeah I mean there was a lot of confusion about whether or not it was actually dangerous. And let's because the FDA was still working on figuring that out right. But I think the other thing that gets lost in how the media talked about this and how consumers reacted to this is what was going on at the. Fda was scientific research and while I totally understand the consumer impulse to want to know right now in the moment whether the dye their children were eating was dangerous. Also think a lot of people lost sight of the fact that rigorous scientific research is a really complicated process that takes time and to answer a question like does Red Dye number to cause cancer unique years worth of research controlling for all kinds of different variables and that process. Just doesn't happen at the same speed as a new cycle but in nineteen seventy six. The FDA finally made a decision about red dye number. Two David Gaylard the principal biological statistician at the FDA was asked to do an analysis looking at the body of research that had been conducted and then to come back with an answer about what to do. Here's John Swan the FDA historian so gaylard came back within about less than a month and offered his take on the FDA study. Which essentially was that? There was a statistically significant suggestion that red number to die could result in malignant tumors in aged female mental Osborne Rats. What does that mean? Well it means that could cause cancer according to Galas Analysis. So that's what finally did it. That was the last nail in the coffin for red eye number two but to be clear gillers statistical analysis did not prove that. Redeye number two caused cancer. It just gave the FDA enough reasons to feel like they couldn't say it was safe either and within a couple of weeks the FDA commissioner released a statement. We have recently learned that our latest study cannot establish the safety of red number two indeed raises against certain safety questions revoking FDA's provisional approval of the die and emphasizing that it was on manufacturers to prove it was if they wanted it back on the market and to replace it they brought in die called red number forty. So what you're telling me. Is that it to several years to prove it involved a lot of bad science and some poor communication and bit consumer panic but in the end read Eminem's might possibly could actually maybe cause cancer. No Charlie red. Fm's weren't even using red number to wait what they were using red dye number forty the die that replaced red number two the entire time. So wait wait why. Then we're red EMINEM's pulled off the market if they didn't even use red dye number two. I asked that question and a spokesperson told me. Color has always been an essential attribute of EMINEM's brand and we make changes throughout the life of a brand. They also confirmed red. Eminem's were not using red number two at the time of the red scare but just looking at the situation in one thousand nine hundred ninety six one red number two was banned. I mean it didn't seem to matter to people that there wasn't evidence that it caused cancer. It didn't matter that EMINEM's weren't even using the same die because Wayne Pines FDA spokesperson. His phone was already ringing off the hook of the time. The band was announced. Everybody wanted to know whether the red M. and M.'s cause cancer really. Why do you think they were so fixated on Red Eminem's of all things when everything had red dye in it don't know don't know red food? Coloring had become such a hot topic. That Mars probably just didn't want anything to do with it. In fact we know that's the case because they're oppressed people in nineteen seventy six set as much to reporters and honestly if the FDA couldn't explain the difference between red number two and all other red food coloring to the public why on Earth would Mars WanNa sign up for that job so January first nineteen seventy seven the random and machines ground to a halt Mars factories. And the M lovers aren't seeing red nucleus rare as a REMM face it. There just aren't any red eminem's left and across the country. People like John Swan who grew up to become an historian at FDA. He ripped open a pack of EMINEM's only to find them one color less exciting than they'd been the day before I personally remembered the red m. and M.'s going away but you know what I didn't mind so much because the caramel colored ones were my favorites. I realized there's no flavoring added to the coating spent. I still say the cardinals were the best. I find it sort of amazing that with all these bungled studies and the confusion miscommunication the most lasting symbol of the red food. Colouring scare is the rat. Emma now I think I get that I mean. That's what consumers saw that the red EMINEM's absence was you know. Is this proof that the red scare wasn't all nate up that there was maybe some sort of issue there when it came to red food coloring. Sure but I mean like this was so much bigger than the random like red number two stumped. Multiple governments obsessed the media. It made all of us heggie around food coloring for decades Lamba wrapped up in these gigantic questions about public health and science and the news cycle but none of it actually anything to do with MS. But I guess because Mars pulled them off the market. Anyway that was all the proof. Anyone needed But the red imminence did not stay away forever after the break. Our Lonely College student. Tennessee came up with an elaborate prank. That spiraled into something. No one saw coming. If you're enjoying the story then you should really check out. Business Insider Prime Prime examines. What drives some of today's most talked about? Companies we work Goldman Sachs Airbnb it features stories about the people making headlines. Ray Dolly O. Sachin Adela Elon. Musk if you're like me and you love stories that give you that behind the scenes. Feel like you're there in the room where the decisions are being made. Well that's would be I. Prime is like you can get instant access to all these stories and more by joining today. Just go to read dot Pi Slash podcast and tried out for just one dollar for the first month or choose an annual membership and get a special discount on the price. Check it out at read dot by slash podcast. We're back if I go to a store today and buy a pack of EMINEM's and open it up I'm gonNA find six colors inside. Blue Yellow Green Orange Brown and Red Red. Red Is back. So how did this happen? How did the Red Eminem go from being a symbol of this red food coloring scare for so many of us back to business as usual? That is thanks in part to a guy named Paul Hetman Paul Hetman. He's scientist he worked at M. and M.'s. Paul was a college student at the University of Tennessee. And if you don't mind Charlie Paul and I are going to take the story from here. All right. Green eminem go so like many of us. Paul Hoffman opened a pack or two of EMINEM'S IN HIS YOUTH. But when he was growing up back in the seventies the inside of the bag looked very different. You had dark Brown Light Brown Orange Yellow Green. But I mean except for green. He had like a bunch of all colors. It's fifty shades of Beige right. It was just a bunch of little. You know dark chocolate chips. Basically wasn't very exciting. Not Very exciting. Sounds to me like sort of branding strategy in the wake of the red scare and if it was a branding strategy. It was working because Paul and his friends were not scared of Redman APPs. It was just kind of like a running joke in my little. Click and I think it was like a little bit anti-establishment or whatever you know talking about I you know we can't have read Eminem's anymore because all the rats died. I mean I didn't really know the details. It was just like yeah. Rats Ate Red Dye. They died when Paul and his friends graduated. High school all moved away from the little town where they grew up in northwest. Tennessee and Paul ended up alone at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The first couple months of college felt slow and it got Paul Thinking Man. I'm just kind of a little bit lonely. A little bit bored. What am I GONNA do here? And for some reason I just got this wild ideal that you know. I'll do this for a fun thing for my friends Paul decided to create a mock advocacy group calling for the return of red and then in the style of other spam marketing mill. He'd seen he sent out an invitation to each of his friends typed up on custom letterhead so the letter started. Uh said you. I'm the Comma and then there was a line printed on the piece of paper have been invited to join the Society for the restoration and preservation of red eminem's and I hand wrote everybody all my friends names in there. You know so you Sarah. Wyman have been invited to join the Society for the restoration and preservation red initiatives and then the letter said and what the Hell is to society for the restoration preservation of red m. and M.'s. The society was supposed to be an elaborate joke and over the top parody of direct mail fundraising campaign but before long. It started to take on all the trappings of a real society including the costs. So nine hundred eighty two freshmen in college and I wasted a hundred dollars which was a fortune on having this letterhead stuff printed up and little business cards which was your membership card of course and stuff and just send it out to my friends just as a way to say hi let going to say. Did it ever occur to you that this was so much work for a joke? No not at all the best practical jokes things like this. They take effort. You can't you can't just do just on the spur of the moment you have to put effort into people appreciate it for just ninety nine cents. New Members of the Society for the restoration and preservation of EMINEM's could receive a branded membership card signed by Paul the President and chairman of the board as well as five sheets of official letterhead and five official envelopes. Pulse now white was just a friend at the time sent in her membership fee by individually taping ninety nine pennies to the back of Paul's mailer before returning it to him. Another friend thought the whole thing was so funny that he wrote up a column about it in the University of Tennessee student paper. And that's honestly that's where it's like. Yeah Okay it's it's over went about my business you know in the winter and the spring and then all of a sudden I get a call and it's a writer from Seventeen magazine. The reporter had gotten a copy of the story. Pulse Perenco via news clipping service. Paul Talk to her a couple of times pulled or his version of events and then he sort of forgot about the whole thing until a couple of months leader. Get ANOTHER CALL. And it's like hi. I'm so and so I'm with the Wall Street Journal. I've got a friend who writes for Seventeen magazine and she was telling me about this red eminem thing and I was like okay. Sure no clue. I mean I'm clueless like Wall Street. Journal. I've heard of that. What is that turns out a couple other people had also heard of the Wall Street Journal and after Paul Story ran lots of them wanted to know more about his society all of a sudden I was fodder for every radio morning drive show in the United States. Prospective members started sending letters to pulse pillbox from all over the English speaking World Australia New Zealand Britain most of Canada states across the US and those letters included all kinds of stuff. One of the letters. I got one day had this little decrepit looking Red Eminem in it. Somebody had held onto a red venom from the early seventies before the red scare and sent it to Paul as a token of their appreciation. It might have been a rhythm and him. It might have been something else. It was definitely the right shape. It was a bit faded and cracked and old and definitely wouldn't need it but another highlight Paul got a membership requests in the mail from the marketing director of Eminem Mars and he used a company check to pay for his membership. Of course. I was so broke as a college student. I cashed the check instead of keeping. It should've kept it. Yeah but those funds had to go to the cops like that's the thing. Paul hadn't really thought through the societies operating budget before he pulled the trigger and now he was getting hundreds of letters in the mail responding to each membership request. Cost him around two dollars so also and it was like. Hey this is like cost to me real money. There were times when it actually. I mean I'd get ten or twenty letters a day in the post office box. You know want to try to answer so you know between class load and work and stuff like that. It was a bit of a challenge at times. You became like a fulltime employees a fake charity. Yes and it was definitely a nonprofit jer but as the society started to really pick up steam the perks of Paul's President and Chairman of the board GIG leveled up to like at one point. Charles Kuralt the famous. Cbs News Anchor stopped by Pulse College apartment to interview him in the living room for his show on the road with Charles. Kuralt and Paul almost scored an invitation late night with David Letterman. Which would have been really cool if it had panned out. But unbeknownst to Paul the real payout was waiting just a couple of years down the road in nineteen eighty seven so at that point I had graduated and I was actually working as a commercial photographer here in Knoxville and I was at the studio and all the sudden you know I get a call. Somebody asking about EMINEM's ended so it'd been like a year year and a half since I've done something with it right so it wasn't anything as talk to that person hung up and you know an hour later somebody else called and like okay. Yeah I was. I'm him you know. Yes I did that Blah Blah Blah and finally then like a third person call and I'm talking to him and then finally like why are y'all calling me today and they go with a Heaven told you told me what they're bringing back Redmond M.'s and that's how I found out red EMINEM's back for the next generation return of red M. and M.'s delights knoxville campaign in the world is a little less drab for Paul Hetman? Paul S. Heiferman is feeling like a champion these days as well. He should how many among us can say that we've changed the world. Did you feel powerful in that movie? I wouldn't say powerful You know you change the course of history. Yeah I guess so. Yeah lighthearted history but yeah I guess a couple of days later. Paul got a letter in the mail from the Public Relations Director at Mars. The letter started dear. Paul good things do happen to those who wait. Although we have never met I have followed with interest the society for the restoration and preservation of red EMINEM's and employees to be able to share some news. I think you'll enjoy receiving he also sent along a little. Thank you of sorts. It was two boxes. Cardboard boxes probably being sixteen or eighteen inches on aside full of Eminem's and only read Paul and sprints through a party at the end of the night all the red m. and M.'s. Were Gone Charlie. I like to think we got the random back because of Paul like it wasn't because the food coloring scare had died down or because of a promotion it was because a kid in Tennessee. Set Out loud which all of us were thinking. We want read Eminem's in reality. It was probably a lot more complicated but for once in the saga of the random. I would love for it to just that simple. It's funny I've been thinking a lot. About what all this means and I wonder. Do you feel like there are any lake takeaways here. Like what is the legacy of this campaign Legacy yes there is. We were all taught lessons by that. Little Red Eminem the FDA the candy maker and us that's after the break a bi prime is like business insider but offers even more insights into the day's news goes behind the scenes of the companies. You know giving you indepth reports about the business world and the people who are making the key decisions this week. I caught up on B. I. Primes coverage of linked in and whites making a massive shift to Microsoft's cloud? There's also a story about Google and how some analysts are predicting. It could catch up with Amazon's web services with a strategic but expensive acquisition to read those stories and more join today at read dot com slash. Podcast that's read dot. Bi Slash podcast. We're back when Sarah and I are in the studio Jason Leib. The candyman and the inspiration for the story with a list of questions for him about Eminem's and the red scare but I also really wanted to ask him about this advertisement. Mems ran in two thousand eight which we saw on his website. I'm what the heck is this illusion. That was just from a they did. It's very Soviet. Nineteen thirty S era propaganda inspired poster incredibly designed it says resolution is now and it's got the surreally conspired lettering with backwards letters and it says vote read at the bottom but it's got the sort of proletariat the workers down below marching with flags and it's got the Red Eminem FM with his fist up in the air it's got a very shake bora sort of Beret with a star on a Red Star. Red Star yes. I mean it's very Soviet. Apparently this ad ran as part of an eminence campaign in Australia and New Zealand. Mars made a bunch of posters. Like this one one. Each color all of them had different themes and fans were encouraged to vote for their favorite character like Red Blue Green. Yeah I mean it. Most certainly is just a weird coincidence but still bold move Mars advertising the Red Eminem with the Soviet Union style propaganda poster for an election. Do you think Mars is laughing at the joke here? Do you think they're totally oblivious to that connection? I would like to think there's someone at Mars is like this is going to be too good. 'cause he's Red Red scare he was the REMM got pulled because of the Russian Red Scare Hours. Just to perfect yeah. I hope that someone did that if they weren't aware of it. It's just a great of accidental genius. Because this kind of ingenious represents all the solo even if there's no connection between this particular campaign and the red food coloring scare fears about red food. Coloring did have a huge impact on Mars as we saw. It pulled the red eminem when the public got vocal. And according to a company spokesperson. It brought the Red Eminem back years later because of consumer demand in other words after. People like Paul Hoffman and his society asked for it back. Jason pointed out that the whole experience taught Eminem's something important they realize maybe for the first time the real relationship that consumers had to their brand and I was so grateful when I started doing all this research going through all my stuff. I don't even think I realized it at first because I have so many of these things I realized I had one of the packages that welcomed read back into the packaging. They talk about right on there. They've read Eminem. They don't quite get into these. Things were banned for ten years. They just say look now even more colorful and I think for the first time eminem's realized this is an opportunity we brought back read. That was a specific thing that we stopped doing but we could maybe make marketing event around introducing other colors and for the next fifteen years you would see them do a new color promotion every year to on its surface. This is all funny and lighthearted real happy ending to the story. But let's not forget that EMINEM's branding renaissance may have come about because the American public's but a decade being suspicious of that used Red Dye. And if you ask me that feels pretty messed up. Like the fact that Mars felt it had to discontinue eminem's just because they were read when they weren't even using the food coloring that was being investigated not feels like a really clear sign that like we the public the press companies like Mars. We were not clear on the problem. We didn't understand what potential danger was even being discussed during the red scare and when we're making decisions about public health and Tamsir and product safety. I feel like we all at least be clear on what conversation we're having when Pines former FDA spokesperson. He told me he still sees this as a huge concern. I don't blame the public for being confused about science because we are inundated with scientific studies and it's hard to distinguish the good from the bad right like trying to keep track of. I don't know whether or not caffeine is supposed to be good for you these days. It's impossible and it feels like every day there's a new story with a new study with different results and I am going to keep drinking coffee no matter what look. I'm a journalist and I get it. Sometimes we have to simplify complicated stories. In order to get the most important points across or to fit into five hundred words or five minutes or a reader's attention span. Like I had to do that for this story. I have more than two hours worth of tape of me talking to John. Swan Wayne Pines about the DA and read number two. But all of that background just couldn't fit into this episode stuff did get left out so as a consumer. Here's the question. How do we know when we should be seriously worried? That say read Amenemhat or if yours later it was SACCHARIN. When should we be worried that those things might be giving us cancer? And when should we just trust the scientists and journalists to do their jobs? I'm at schools. Need to teach this better. The media needs to do a better job of education. The government needs to do a better job of outreach but I can tell you having tried all that. It's hard because people have their own educational backgrounds. They have their own perspective. They have their own emotional reactions to the food that they're eating the drugs that they're taking and so it's hard to persuade people. Did we ever figure out for sure whether or not red dye number two actually does cause cancer knelt? As of this moment no one has successfully demonstrated that it is safe by the FDA standards so we still can't say that it causes cancer and we also can't say that it does not cause cancer. But I feel like we've mostly recovered from the red scare. I mean the Red Emma's back. People aren't giving Colored Foods. A WIDE BERTH. In the grocery store and at least in my family the red food coloring bottle is back in the game. Okay but I've been hearing this other thing about Red Dye actually. I don't know if you knew this that it's actually made from mushed up bug parts drew. It's true we have a little gift for you. I'll nice of you have to look closely at my goodness. Charlie got his new best friend. Jason a bag of custom. Red Eminem's an on the EMINEM's Charlie didn't already eat. It says in tiny white letters brought to you by brought to you by the Red Eminence Look at this. That's fantastic. That's Brandy Ladies and gentlemen that's branding. Wow that's Jason Lee Big Candy Collector and historian you can read more about his work at collecting Candy Dot Com. He's speaking of our favorite foods from the eighties. Do you remember the California raisins commercials? You know the one with the dancing claymation raisins we need your help court of Voice memo telling about your memories of that ad and what it meant to you and then send it to us at bt Y BE AT INSIDER DOT com or you can leave a voicemail at six four six seven six eight four seven seven seven go ahead and hit the fifteen seconds go back and get all that Info Gin. And while you're at it let us know what you think about the show on twitter at bt Y pot and on facebook just search brought to you by podcast also. I know podcast hosts say this all the time but it really does make a difference. If you leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts stitcher or wherever you listen. We appreciate the feedback and it helps us keep making the show. This episode was reported and produced by Sarah. Wyman Julia pressing need our editors were Michaela bly and Caroline do bowl. Sound Design by Bill Moss. Casey Holford and John delory composed theme. Music is from Audio Network and Sarah. Wyman is our show runner special thanks to the FDA history office and Lindsey Meyer for their help with the story the headline you heard skills a bit like an Oscar. Speech read by Clare. Ben Deras Margaret. Bhawani Livy Brandt Clayton dire rich. Baloney Graham Flanagan Neg techn- men Fuller D- Juliana Caplan Dave Moshe Shirt Christine. Un Lauren Thomson and our very own. Julia. Press brought to you by his a production of insider audio.
43: A Tale of Two Spams
"Stam means different things to different people these days for me. It means robocalls this morning messages. Concerning unsecure shot is now available at your neighbor. Do for others. It might be emails. Ten percent off socks from your favorite online site or an all expense paid vacation getaway. You do remember entering don't you? And then there's this really exciting development spam texts do political ads. Count in my book. Yes however you slice it no one really asks for spam unless it is. You're literally slicing it as in spam the canned pork product. You eat it at home you would eat it out. Would eat it in picnics. You would eat schools when it comes to this. Kind of spam. The one with one hundred and eighty calories per serving. You'll find people who will tell you lab it. Spam Baked Bean and pineapple casserole to me is like the perfect blending of textures and tastes yes they think spam is great so what is in that can of spam. It's comfort food. It's a punchline and it actually does have connection to those unwanted calls in emails. You may think you know all you need to know about spam but do you from business insider. This is brought to you by brands. You know stories. You don't. I'm Charlie Hermit McDonald's today span some people hate it others can't get enough of it but where you stand on span might depend on where and when you grew up. How did spam evolved to have this double life with a can opener? Enhance our producer. Julia press went to find out. Stay with us. Okay Charlie. It's clear you don't know the first thing about spam because you don't open it using a can opener has one of those little poll tap things slough shade right off the Bat. But I guess you won't be surprised to hear that I don't really know a lot about spam. I just always thought it was kind of a mystery meat. And it's not something I've really had so yeah in the continental. Us A lot of people. See it that way but the really fascinating thing about spam is that in Hawaii. It's totally different. It's a lot like Darwin's finches Darwin. Yes Darwin realized that these finches on the Galapagos Islands had all come from the same original bird but they'd actually adopted the different environments on the different islands. That's just like spam on the continental. Us Spam has had this rollercoaster journey from love to hate it too trendy food to laughing stock of the country but meanwhile in Hawaii in the middle of the Pacific on these islands spam has had a straight upward trajectory. So I'm going to tell you. The story of spam twice first on the mainland. Us and then in Hawaii okay. A tale of two spams take it away from the story of spam starts in the tiny town of Austin Minnesota with this company. Called Hormel. Hormel was a meat packing company that had been selling fresh and cured meats since eighteen ninety one but Austin was a really tiny town back in nineteen twenty it only had about ten thousand residents Jay Hormone who inherited his father's company. It started experimenting with more processed foods to sell his product to a wider market. But he was a little disconnected from the everyday struggles of the working man. He lives in a mansion. It was ninety seven room mansion with twenty-seven bathrooms that's Carolyn Wyman who literally wrote the book on Spam. It's called spam a biography and according to Wyman when the Great Depression hit and food got scarce. Jay Hormel was busy trying to sell the public on gourmet French onion soup and tomato Bretagne. They didn't sell at all. Because you know at the time. Forget Gourmet soups fever. Standing and soup lines able to live by nineteen thirty seven though the hormones got with the program they rolled out this new cheap filling. Food option can watch me pork shoulder and ham are taken from this picnic. Boning line and used for the manufacture of spam. What exactly is spam? It's basically me. It's a sure meat product with just a few additives to make it last longer. The raw material is then pumped to the Ken filling machines where the tins are automatically fill and vacuum sealed. People don't realize that spam is cooked in the Kellyanne. This really you know. The ingredients are willing nothing to be afraid of this good meat. That may be the case but as hormones former. Pr chief told. Wyman housewives quote had been raised by their mothers to believe that if you ate meat that had not been refrigerated. You'd be sick. The next day the public might take some convincing so they had to market spam from day. One I it was in magazine ads and then eventually they advertised on the George Burns and Gracie Allen show which is hugely popular. Nothing is there my friends and so with this are poem and by the time they advertising on the show in nineteen forty seventy percent of urban Americans had tried spam but a year later the whole country would be spun off its course and spam right along with it in both nineteen forty one. The Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii was attacked by Japanese fighter. Planes will implement and the US entered World War. Two twelve million military personnel were sent across the globe to fight and the army had to figure out how to feed them when a soldier is out in the field and away from camp cooks he must carry Russian. They needed something that was compact durable and cheap but also filling brickwork meat for emergency. Rations were developed in the army laboratory for this purpose so the army ordered a bunch of canned meat from Hormel and other companies to send off troops Hormel was also turning out spam to send two civilians in other allied countries. The US was supporting soldiers. Were getting spammed too. But in addition to spam the government had hormel producing a different type of canned meat using a government specified recipe. It was designed specifically for soldiers not grocery store shelves. It was more heavily cooked in salted to put up with the heat of the Philippines and the cold of Ireland. It actually didn't have any ham in it at all. But the troops receiving the me couldn't tell the difference it was all spam to them because spam was already so well established with consumers in the US. All the soldiers like Ted. Oh this is spam and so became this huge public relations nightmare in a way because there were so many large. Initial shipments and distribution issues that soldier. Some soldiers were eating spam or luncheon meat. You know one two three times a day and you're getting really sick of it. Spam was blamed for all. The troops can't meet frustrations. They called it. Hamlet didn't pass physical and the real reason war was healthy. I mean there were some guys that just hated like Raul Baca Martinez who recalled this in an oral history recorded by the University of Texas at Austin gets tired of spam somebody Holland a dog adopted. Throw famine the door and spit it out. The dog didn't want any more spam. That's right even the dog wouldn't eat. It troops started repurposing. It for more inventive uses. They use the Gel to light moisturised. Their hands they used it to grease their guns even to waterproof boots away. It was like comic relief for a Lotta people there. Were jokes were songs. Bam Bam Bam and stuff new call soon then you Asian win you gotTa do got stacks of hate mail from soldiers who said they ate spam during the war and thought it was terrible and this continued until nineteen forty-five when peace was declared and the troops were sent home. The war was over countryman by this point. Ninety percent of hormones can products going to the military or military aid programs abroad and a lot of soldiers wore they never wanted to see spam again and Jay Hormel. He worried that was going to be a casualty of the war so he dreamt up this idea. He'd form a musical group of Sixty Female World War Two vets and he called them the Hormel girls. Here's one of them jockey all tear roth in a video at Hormel Spam Museum. Yes you heard that right. The Spam Museum. It was like a fifty six our weekend. I mean it was. It was a tough schedule but we would get up on Monday and get into our our uniforms. Keeping him from like stewardesses with their. We had our little plastic bags with the dummy products in there. You spam or beef stew and Mary Kitchen Hashing. They traveled the country in thirty five white. Chevy's performing in competitions and marching in parades and selling hormel products door to door so it was a way to kind of you know reform spins image a bit with people that had authority because they were x g is even got their own radio show and the all-girl show music when I'm out girl. It was like program length commercial because they had ads in it but then they also like this skits and things that happened in between ads also talked about Hormel products like they were constantly cooking stuff by active by just five sales of Hormel products in general actually doubled from the time they started in forty six to fifty three so it was successful in nineteen. Fifty-three the show was so popular that it ranked fourth in Nielsen's yearly ratings. But that year would be the last of the Hormel girls. It was just too expensive to keep them going forever. Time for us to say from the hormone girls. Let's get together again soon. But by the time they sing their last song they'd done a great deal to recoup spams image after the war spam wasn't just tolerated it was seen as trendy it actually fit right into the growing processed food industry that was catering to women. Who'd entered the workforce during the war by the fifties and sixties? It was really not just acceptable but it was considered what you should do to use these convenience products that when they were like products of technology our dinner for friend and a noble glazed ham pounding the table out of the Cam Glee in about one hour. Ready to serve. At that time. My mom was worked fulltime as a teacher and she used all these products. And we liked it. You know like when I I had a ham I was like this is like tough. It didn't have the right texture to me. You know to spam is similar. But it's much softer in. I just like it better. It's just the norm for me. There's only one Bam and you can serve Bam for many different Rave Bam royalties family. Spam was making its way onto dinner tables in one thousand nine hundred seventy the two billion can of spam was produced but that very same year. A monty python sketch came out that would make spam a laughingstock again. Some English comics whose parents had oh deed on spam created this kit with a cafe where everything on the menu has families SPAT OUT SPAM. Spanish sausage in Spanish much. Spamming got three and a half minutes. Skit made its way to the. Us It completely upended hormones efforts term spams and Madeira Island and now a new generation was cracking jokes about it in Texas a group of friends launched a spam Ram cooking festival based on the idea that and these are their words not mine. If somebody can make spam edible that would be an accomplishment there have been spam Olympics and spam carving sculpture contests and the second prize was a spam casserole and the third prize was to spam by the nineties. Spam had become shorthand for unwanted and incessant contact so much so that early Internet users adopted it to describe a new phenomenon. Internet junk mail at first. Hormel wanted nothing to do with all this. They REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE. The skit and bitterly fought the idea. That span was anything but a quality product as MEL's former CEO. Jeffrey Ettinger told. Cbs Sunday morning. They might have taken it a little too far. Maybe are low moment worth when we decided to sue them up over a pig character. They claimed quote falsely personifies spam as a nasty pagan brute spat heart of the ball. Hormel lost the suit and its appeal. In fact the judges said the company should be happy. The name was associated with a genuine source of porn. But around this time in the nineties Hormel was starting to see the benefit of embracing this new reputation for better or for worse it started running a new type of ad showing a flustered guy. Tricked into eating spam trying to justify why he'd liked it spam was made with him right so really. This is a hamburger. It ran print ads with the slogan. I can't believe I've just eaten spam. It's sponsored the monty python musical spinoff spam a lot on Broadway hormel spokesperson told me that spam a lot is a great example of Hormel loosening up with the products image here. The company chose to fully embrace spams cultural impact which at that had transcended the product itself. It became so mainstream that it wasn't that threatening anymore. Good or bad it. You're at least acknowledging my existence and to start at that place when you're trying to market a food product. That's not a bad place to be. I mean at least everyone knows it exists. It's one of the few food products is probably as well known by people who don't eat it as why people who do when the new millennium was approaching and some people were stocking up their bunkers. Spam sales shot up. It happened again when the two thousand eight recession hit. And that's how some people like me in the continental. Us grew up thinking of spam. Something you just would not eat unless time we're desperate after the break the story of Spam in Hawaii we're back in the continental. Us Spam spent the last eight years in kind of love hate relationship with much of the public. Meanwhile on the Hawaiian islands the same events that changed how mainlanders felt about spam gave the canned pork product. A completely different reputation. Remember Darwin in those finches. Reduce Your Julia. Press picks up the story to understand. Why spam evolved so differently in Hawaii. You have to get why it was primed to embrace a food like spam before. It even arrived for one thing. These islands are thousands of miles from the nearest landmass which means food access is limited. Everything we have come by if there's any kind of disruption in the transportation we're in the middle of the city you can't jump in your car and drive to the next day people had to make do with what they get. That's Arnold here. Executive Director of the Hawaii Japanese Center and author of the book called cow cow cuisine and culture in the Hawaiian islands. Thira says this limited access has fundamentally shaped the cuisine of Hawaii and another factor is immigration. Starting in the mid eighteen. Hundreds Western settlers saw an opportunity to make money by setting up sugar plantations in Hawaii but much like in the rest of America settlers had brought diseases that wiped out much of the native Hawaiian population and so they looked outside for sources of labor studying China in eventually followed by Japanese Portuguese Korean Filipino. Puerto Rican and others to work on sugar plantations so Hawaii became this very multicultural. Place Plantations became the place where immigrants from all these different countries connected and food was a big part of that because they got to know each other through sharing their lunches so the people who were used to embracing new foods and whatever foods they could get their hands on by the time. The Pearl Harbor Naval Base was attacked by Japanese fighter planes which will live in infamy and the US entered World War. Two Hawaii immediately becomes a war zone. You know it is the point of attack and by being declared a war zone. Civil Liberties are suspended. Military rule takes over more than a million people from troops to civilian workers flooded into Hawaii. Far outnumbering the local population and the people of Hawaii were in a particularly strange spot. They were living under wartime conditions dealing with things like food rations and blackouts along with the rest of the country. But they weren't considered fully American at this time. Hawaii wasn't estate yet. It was a U. S. territory plus its largest ethnic group came from Japan. The very place that adjust attacked the. Us People Hawaii. I recognize that there was this sense of racial hierarchy Robert Khoo. He's chair of the Department of Asian and Asian American studies at Binghamton University and that manifested in various ways. One ways of courses sort of envying the military because the troops stationed in Hawaii were predominantly white so anything associated with military. Then I think had a positive largely positive aspect and one of those foods associated with the military that arrived on the islands along with the troops was spam amounts new lyrical Nina. Can we're talking about really poor people with very little access to good food and spam and other can meet. Did many regards represent sort of this good life better. Quality Food in Hawaii Spam was not a joke or the mystery meat was associated with the luxury and high quality of the US military plus. It was the perfect food for people living in this war zone. Food was being rationed and the fishing industry which had offered important source of protein to the islands was restricted. Because it was mostly run by Japanese fishermen and at the time there wasn't much access to refrigeration. Enter spam this protein-rich cheap non perishable food and as an added bonus. It wasn't great with the basis of Hawaii's diet rights being very bland staple require something highly spicer salted or flavored and spam fit. The bill spam is actually popular and a lot of places like Hawaii that have rice based diets caught climates and a history of US military presence. For Instance Korea Guam and the Philippines are all huge spam fans primarily. I think people love the taste of Spain if you get down to. By nineteen forty-five when peace was declared and many of the troops were sent home from Hawaii. Spam had become a hit our country Thailand but the end of the war did not mark the end of Hawaii's love affair with spam. After all a lot of the food people of Hawaii were eating still came from overseas and relying on the Shipping. Industry was risky. Spam was a good option to keep in the cupboard. Here's here again who wrote a book about Hawaii's cuisine and culture this also reflective of an island mentality people tend to stock up and the Kenna Spam was part of the survival. Kit Bob Masuda. Who grew up in Hawaii during the postwar period was even fed spam at school lunch? I remember as elementary school kid. They serve FAM- address it out and make it like a baked ham. You know with clothes and crushed pineapple and accurately not bad soon. Spam was being incorporated into all sorts of recipes. Some more successful than others ally tried some that were not really inquiry and Condo quorum has written to Hawaii spam cookbooks a spam cake trying to mix spam into a cake. Mix to me. It didn't taste very good. She's an expert on the many shapes and forms. Spam has taken on dinner tables across Hawaii since the war. The funny thing about this cookbook. Is that when people heard? I was writing the thirty sending me recipes. Oh you should try this. My grandma used to make this all. This is still delicious. You have to dry. Hawaii became a US state in Nineteen fifty-nine but as the years went on the perception of spam in Hawaii grew farther and farther away from its reputation in the continental US people in Hawaii new about Monty Python. They knew that in the continental. Us families laughed at but that didn't matter to them. How did you react to that? We'd say oh we like it you know like. I don't know why you don't like it. We saw like Caucasian people and they see as buying spam they go. Ooh How can you eat that? But in Hoy it's just loved. We have emotional ties to spam. It's comfort food. It's food that near Grandma served you. It's a part of our culture in fact that was Condo corm inspiration for writing her cookbook in the first place. We went to a bookstore and on the racks. There was a book called White Trash Cooking and my publisher buddy pass and I both looked at each other and said Spam Cook Today. Hawaii goes through seven million cans of spam each year and there aren't even one and a half million people living there. There's this one particularly popular dish called Span. Masugi it's basically a ball of Sushi rice topped with a slab of fried spam all wrapped in Seaweed Robert Khoo who grew up in Hawaii. It's the most common way it served on the islands today. If you go to seventy seven in Hawaii you can pick up. Masud like you might pick up coffee and donuts or something. Elsewhere is stabbed ubiquitous. You can find spam in tons of different forms in tons of different places throughout the islands. It pops up fast food. Menus spam percentage made with egg Jesus spam on a warm flaky crust. Only at Burger King. Hawaiian it's also incorporated into high end. Cuisine people call it the Hawaiian steak and not ironically. Anthony Bourdain chatted about it with famous Hawaii Chef Mark Gucci. What's your feeling about spam? I love so you're Hawaii. I'm from Holly. I'm born in every year. There's a huge festival in Waikiki. Called the Spam Jan Heyns that attracts tens of thousands of visitors to stages of entertainment. All spam merchandise. He could want for sale and sixteen restaurants operating their spin on spam at this festival. There's no spam carving contest. Nobody's going home with to spam CASSEROLE TROPHIES FOR PEOPLE IN HAWAII SPAM. Isn't the butt of the joke people on the mainland are kind of internal joke among people of Hawaii that the mainlanders thing spam is so gross or so funny or such a mystery meat whereas for People Hawaii. It's something that's quite positive and delicious? In recent years spam started popping up on mainland menus mostly at places run by Asian American chefs or people connected to Hawaii and through these restaurants. More people in the continental. Us starting to look at it as a viable option but for people like cou the only logical reaction to this spam awakening. What took you so long. Like wow finally. Everyone is catching up to us. Because we've been eating spam all alive because it's so delicious but now we see that the mainland are seeing you know spam something. That's good to eat. So that's the evolution of spam in two different places after the break. We merged them and get a taste of span literally. We're back in our New York studio far away from the warmth and the beaches Hawaii. What are you talking about Charlie? I can still taste the salt in the Air Julia. So what is next? So I want to introduce Sam Crozier. She's a good friend of mine from college and the minute she heard I was doing the story. She was excited to show me the world of spam through her is. She actually grew up near Honolulu and she's part Japanese part native Hawaiian so for her spams popularity epitomizes that multicultural aspect of herself and of Hawaii. It's not really linked to any ethnic identity. It's not really linked to any racial identity. It just linked to Hawaii itself and she told me she has particularly strong memories of growing up eating spam in the form of Masugi. Which again is that seaweed wrapped rice ball topped with spam. You've kind of the Hawaii. Pb AND J. Lucky we kind of be the thing that people would bring in their lunchboxes. Everybody would have spam Lewis vs and your juice boxes and your apple in other words spam to be was just another food. Fuelling Sam's hopscotch games and trips across the monkey bars. Something she didn't really think twice about until she left Hawaii to go to boarding school in Massachusetts when she was thirteen. You know when you're in Hawaii and you're growing up with it it becomes like your meat and potatoes. You're just like Oh like what we have once you step away you're like oh my gosh like. I miss that. That was so good and I think that that is where it's become like Hawaii. Pride thing but she does not expect spam to stay. Hawaii's best kept secret forever after all she seen people on the mainland claim once overlooked Hawaii foods as their own. Before I mean. Just look at POCA bowls. Do you think that? Spend MISSISSIPPI. Is The hipster food tomorrow? I one hundred percent do like it's not even that hard of a flavor palate to understand. It's really just good once. You have a spouse to be like you like you get it. This was something that I'd been hearing throughout my reporting I needed to try it to really get it and I wasn't just a Masugi Newbie. I never actually tried spam at all so I asked Sam if we could take a trip to her kitchen. How much does it can't spam cost? Oh probably like a dollar to a paid five twenty nine for this. Wow New York New York city man there gentrifying fan. We started with making a marinade. Okay so we need a quarter cup. Boisture SAUCE OH QUARTER Cup. Soya sauce a half cup. Sugar a half cup sugar. Yeah Sugar and show you well yes sweeter than I realized free one. The sauce was ready. It was time to get spamming the moment of truth you do the honors Julia. Okay I guess Bam Cam it's pinker than I imagined. Yeah it's it's I feel like maybe the color of Baloney it's like uncooked bacon. Yeah but it's like it's already pre cooked. That's very confusing to me. It looks like this. It's like a pink gelatinous mound. Yeah I think it gets less mushy when you cook. It becomes a little bit like the sauce. Like caramelized little bit. Doubtless groundlessly then came the best part. Sam has this Masugi Mold. It's the exact shape of a slice of spam and once we'd cooked up some rice and egg we cut the egg into spam sized pieces. Put the mold on top of a piece of seaweed and pop. Tell the ingredients in. Oh it's so cute. I done all this research and reporting and thinking about spams history but spam the actual food had felt totally distant until I was face to face with it. Sam's kitchen in a way it was kind of like another tale of two spans I grew up knowing spam based entirely on what I'd heard about it to spam cats dogs and even though I'd never tasted it I had a really strong opinion. I didn't know what it was thought that it was probably gross and it was funny and I would never choose to eat it and that experience of knowing spam as this cultural icon is so different from how my friends Sam grew up. She brought spam on picnics eight at her grandma's house. She pulled it out of her lunchbox at school. It was time for me to get to know spam for what it really is not just what I'd heard about it. In other words it was time to eat. Honestly the flavor isn't even very strong of spam. Really Young I mean. There's so much in their egg. The rice it feels like really tacoma balanced meal in there and this is working but with like a sweet soy aftertaste. Do you like it go. Julia press is a producer at brought to you by. We're working on an exciting episode for April Fool's Day. And we want to hear from you. What are your favorite stories about brand name companies and pranks jokes? I'm old enough to remember. Crank calling people and asking do you have Prince Albert in a can even though I had no idea what Prince Albert was. Got Your own story. Share leaves a voicemail at six four six seven six eight four seven seven seven four. Send A voice memo recording to be t Y BE AT INSIDER DOT COM. This episode was reported and produced by Julia. Press with Sarah Wyman and me Charlie Hermit special thanks to make Ohio Shida Thomas Gabbara and Julia mates thanks also to Brian Olsen and Brian Lewis and Hormel Bill. Maas are sound engineer music from audio network. Casey Holford and John delory composed our theme. Our editor is Michaela. Bligh Sarah Wyman. Is Our show. Runner brought to you by production of insider audio.