Swing And A Miss Marketing

We received a 2012 calendar from a local business yesterday. It’s one of those with the calendar on the bottom and pictures of Chicago on the top. The calendar has helpful reminders like February 10th which shows “Monster Truck Jam, Allstate Arena, thru 2/12; Girls H.S. Bowling Tournament, Rockford, thru 2/11”. Be sure to note that on July 4th there’s an entry for “4th of July Parade, Arlington Heights.”  I grew up in Arlington Heights and it’s got a great 4th of July Parade, but so do lots of communities around here, most notably, right next door in Evanston.

A quick flip through it revealed a curious set of pictures; one that only occasionally shows the beauty of our city.

January: A snow-covered Grant Park
February: The Belmont ‘L’ Stop in a blizzard
March: A very thin view of the very green Chicago River photographed through several nondescript buildings

May: An unidentified White Sox player is fouling off a pitch (the ball is above and behind him as he swings); not hitting a home run or even getting a single.  A foul ball; strike two!  In the background are Sox fans huddled in parkas and ski hats, looking generally displeased.  (It has occurred to me that you could take a picture at a Sox game on the most beautiful day imagined and it could be appropriately captioned “Sox fans looking generally displeased.”)  Not only is the photo of something not-so-great happening, there are a grand total of zero happy people in the picture.

He fouls it off for strike two. And let's immortalize this moment, shall we?













July: Fireworks at the lakefront, although there’s nothing in the shot but smoke, explosions and a few boats in the foreground. A picture taken at a random Wisconsin lake would hardly look different.  Hey, Mr. Photographer!  Have you seen those giant buildings?  They make a wonderful backdrop!

November:  November is my favorite. It’s a photo of a Bears game in Soldier Field. The Brett Favre-led Minnesota Vikings are lined up a the Bears’ 2-yard line and are about to score.  The Bears in the shot are looking around at each other, pointing to one another like they’re not sure who is doing what on the upcoming play.  Now there have been years in which that really is how most Bears games are played, but jeez. At least it’s not snowing!

In a year in which the Bears lose in the NFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl Champs, THIS is the best picture of a football game you've got?!















December: Ice skating in a(nother) snowstorm!

I’ve lived here most of my life and it’s a fact that it might snow in each of the months in which snow is shown falling or having fallen.  I also understand that snow makes for interesting photographs, but looking at the calendar as a whole, you’d swear it snowed all the time and the calendar might be for a more picturesque version of Minot.

That makes seven (7!) of the twelve months with inexplicably bad pictures in them! I’m sure that the nice people who own the business that sent the calendar merely bought it as a completed project and put their advertisement on it as opposed to personally having selected the pictures, so I assign no blame to them.   They were just unwitting sponsors of this train wreck of a marketing piece.

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