Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Outhouse in Lansing: I believe the editors of Men's Journal magazine (to which I am a long time subscriber) need to step away from the crack pipe. They have released their annual list of the 50 best places in the country to live (not available on-line). Boulder, CO is number 1, which seems reasonable, but there is only one city in Michigan in the top 50, and that city is Lansing.

What? I'm sure Lansing is a fine town, but there are at least 50 better cities in Michigan to pick. Lansing was chosen because of "football weekends and state government." I repeat: What? First off, I'm sure the MSU football games are a lot of fun and all, but football weekends in Ann Arbor at the Big House are legendary. And, State government? So that means you got an extra helping of bureaucrats wandering around.

Lansing is most recently notable for being the target market of Outhouse Springs a new bottled water with a truly disgusting name. You can read some background here (If that site doesn't work you can read Google's cache of the page.)

That’s the message media organizations received last week along with a six pack of bottled water labeled "Outhouse Springs." The offering heralded a billboard-only campaign launched in Lansing for the anonymously produced water that touts itself as "Truly Tasteless."

The press release, from an equally anonymous marketing agency (only the address, which is in Atlanta, was on the release) says the company that makes Outhouse Springs is "utilizing an outdoor media campaign with edgy imagery and sharp taglines" to draw consumers to what is describes as a ‘tasteless’ product.

"While this type of campaign is not new, it is the first time that an area like Lansing, with its traditional values and conservative nature, has been selected as a launch site for such an unusual product."

In other words, if Outhouse Springs can fly in dull old Lansing, it can make it anywhere.

Please don't write to give me grief for dissing Lansing. I'm not. I just pointing out that Men's Journal's selection of "dull old" Lansing as one of the top 50 places to live in the US and, implicitly, the best place to live in Michigan, is evidence that they are hitting the crack pipe with alarming regularity.

I'm just saying...