Monthly Archives: February 2011

Silicone Wristbands Getting Attention of International Jewelers

If you are into fashion, you may read the latest trends, styles, and fabrics. International shows and reviews are produced regularly to promote the latest in fashion movements. So what’s new this year? Perhaps an intriguing inclusion to the fashion jewelry lineup is silicone wristbands .
“Opening its doors on February 25, Munich’s 38th Inhorgenta – which serves as a trend barometer before other major jewelry events, such as the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show (March 4-8) and the industry’s referential appointment Baselworld (March 24-31), kick off – has shared the main directions that can be seen among the fair’s exhibitors.
While many brands are sticking to more conservative designs due to the recent economic crisis, a preference for striking colors, especially marine-inspired ones, can be observed. Leonardo’s jewels will mainly use blue and other aqua-tone stones, for example; Elysee’s Duxbury II men’s watch will be available in a turquoise shade; and Fossil’s PR, Marlene Schnabel said: “Blue will play an essential role this season, whether it’s a white leather bracelet and blue face (DKNY), or entirely blue models as those by Michael Kors.”
Schnabel also highlights two other important trends: silicone bracelets and vintage inspiration such as smaller diameters and flat watchcases in watches or rose gold hues in jewelry.
Lena Brandstädter of Ehinger-Schwarz confirms that “as for color, trends hint at powdery tones,” achieved with rose quartz, mother of pearl, or rose opal, for instance” (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/inhorgenta-fair-to-shed-light-on-coming-watch-and-jewelry-trends-2224207.html).

New Kid-Friendly Site to Rival Social Media Big-Wigs

All parents, at some point, have to face difficult decisions about what to allow their kids to do. At what age do they get a cell phone? A personal computer? When are they old enough to join Facebook? This last question was one two parents in the Denver area were just faced with. And, having some concerns about the content of Facebook, they went proactive and made their own site for their kids. To promote it, their kids are giving away rubber wristbands and t-shirts.
““We’re constantly on the site, checking for unsuitable content and keeping an eye on what the kids are posting.”
Kurt took precautions by blocking about 4,000 words on the site that could be considered hurtful or foul language. The two have also screened and recruited six parents who act as administrators, monitoring the children’s chats, blogs and posts.
“Before a picture or blog is posted, it must be reviewed because we want to keep everything positive,” Michelle said. “If someone posts on a wall and it’s inappropriate, we can take it down immediately and will review if the person will be suspended from the site. It’s all about keeping it safe and kid-friendly.”
The site is picking up steam, thanks to the kids marketing Jackie Fame through wristbands, T-shirts and more.
“We wanted to tell people about what we were doing, so we made yellow and red wristbands with our logo,” said Josh. “Now we have white ones and green ones that glow in the dark.”
“Kids love those rubber wristbands, so we figured it was a perfect way to get the word out,” Michelle added.
“We now have members from all over the country, from California to Washington, D.C., even China and Jamaica,” said Zach.
Fame has about 500 members and grows every day. The boys said they usually get four to five requests to join per day, and kids get a reward for inviting new friends to join” (http://www2.mooresvilletribune.com/news/2011/feb/23/youngsters-social-media-website-taking-ar-806435/).
I would love to see where this site goes. Maybe it will be the next big thing!

Arena Name Under Scrutiny

In a strange twist of fate, the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and rubber wristbands company phenomenon Power Balance may have embraced and severed a relationship at the same time. Just as a deal was cut to name the Kings’ new basketball arena after the company (as Power Balance Pavilion), the company was accused, then subsequently admitted, of falsely advertising their product.
“Facts haven’t stopped Power Balance from making lots and lots of money selling their rubber bracelets, and in their most recent PR move, from winning the naming rights to a sports stadium right here in California. As of February 2011, ARCO Arena in Sacramento, home to the Sacramento Kings, is now Power Balance Pavilion. Points for alliteration!
It’s too bad that Power Balance was found guilty of violating Trade Practices in Australia and had to admit that “in our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance, and flexibility. We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims”. This was followed shortly by a class action lawsuit here in the U.S. for purposefully misleading the public and falsely advertising and marketing the products. Whoops!
So now Sacramento is stuck with a stadium named after a company that might just have to send refunds to all its purchasers (like Opti-Grab). Will the owners (the Maloof family) rename it yet again? Will they stick it out until the contract expires and they contract with another company? Or will they wait until the Kings move to a new stadium and just close the damn thing down?” (http://www.fastcompany.com/1725320/but-it-doesnt-actually-work-arco-stadium-is-now-power-balance-pavilion).
Should the Kings sever completely their association with Power Balance? Or will this just be a short-lived news flash and Power Balance will hold on strong?

Remembering Victims: 1.8.11

Most of us are aware of the horrific incidents in Tucson on January 8. Across the country, many different types of memorials and ways of remembering the victims have been created. In one high school, students decided to put together a campaign much like the Livestrong campaign. The idea? Sell custom wristbands that reminded us of those lost on January 8, 2011.
“It started at Ironwood Ridge High School with a simple idea, followed by 800 white bracelets. Now thousands across the country are wearing the white bands that read: “Remember 1.8.11.”
On the Monday following the mass shooting in front of a Safeway store in Tucson, the IRHS student government came together for its first period at school.
Members agreed they wanted to do something in response to the shootings that killed six and injured another 14; they just didn’t know what.
They started brainstorming and throwing ideas across the room. The ideas ranged from T-shirts to fundraising. Then Matt Filbert, 16, the sophomore class president and a wrestler, suggested bracelets.
“Once class started, we all kind of started throwing out ideas for things we could do that were simple but would be effective,” Filbert recalled last week. “I just remembered the Livestrong bracelets that Lance Armstrong would sell, the yellow ones. I knew you could customize them, they were pretty cheap, and we could make some money off of them and donate the money to the victims’ fund” (http://explorernews.com/news/oro_valley/article_11bc3eec-2e51-11e0-b97b-001cc4c03286.html).
A simple, but effective method for remembering those who suffered.

Praise for Armstrong’s Mission

If you have followed cycling at all, or even if you are just a passing sports enthusiast, you are probably aware of the amazing accomplishments Lance Armstrong has been a part of. You probably know that he has overcome testicular cancer to win seven—yes seven—Tour de France races. And you probably know that his Livestrong campaign—and the yellow Livestrong wristbands that market it—has been one of the most successful non-profit organizations of all time. But you probably also know that Armstrong has been accused of cheating. In a recent report from ESPN, one writer is saying that even if he did cheat, this man might be forgiven.
“Warning: You may not want your teenager to read this column.
I say this because I don’t want my teenager to read this column. At least not until he’s older.
By winning, Lance Armstrong made U.S. fans pay attention to cycling. With his yellow Livestrong wristbands and advocacy, he brought added attention to cancer research.
You see, I don’t want to know the truth about Lance Armstrong, and that could be problematic for me because I’ve always taught my son to seek the truth. I’ve always taught him that truth is important. When Armstrong announced his official retirement from professional cycling this week (for the second time) the news stories also mentioned the ongoing investigation stemming from suspicions he used performance-enhancing drugs. I found myself thinking: I just don’t care.
Terrible, I know.
But I’m just over it. If he was the kind of guy who sat on his stack of millions and gloated about his out-of-this-world accomplishments, then maybe I would feel differently. But as of now I am having a hard time getting worked up enough to vilify a man whose foundation has raised nearly $400 million to fight cancer. I don’t feel like looking for my pitchfork to chase the Frankenstein who successfully lobbied lawmakers and citizens in Texas to provide $3 billion over 10 years for cancer research” (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?id=6135037).
What do you think? Did Armstrong cheat? And if he did, is it forgivable, considering all that he has done outside of cycling?

Week of Civility at U of Arizona

In an effort to remind students and citizens of the community of Tucson to be kind to each other, a campaign was launched last week to “be civil.” Thousands of rubber wristbands were distributed to help remind each other to think before we act.
“The University of Arizona is kicking off a Week of Civility today.
“Everyone’s in such a hurry that we’ve forgotten to slow down and observe that there are people around us and that our words and actions have an impact on them,” said event organizer Cathy Nicholson, an employee relations expert at the UA.
She and her team decided to have a campuswide conversation.
“We want to focus on how we can have spirited and informative debate in a way that says good things about us as a society,” she said, “not in a way that we can’t be proud of.”
The UA also is giving away 30,000 red-and-blue silicone wristbands with the message “Be Civil.” “Everyone will be wearing one as a reminder to stop and think before you act,” Nicholson said” (http://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/college/article_d2e6d58d-dd09-54f0-ac70-edf0915bee6c.htmla).

Tetris Merchandise Includes Silicone Wristbands

Nearly 30 years after its development, Tetris is still one of the most popular video games on the market. As it continues to flourish worldwide, products to promote it are increasingly ubiquitous. In a recent report from Business Wire, it looks like silicone wristbands are becoming part of the Tetris merchandising campaign.
“Crazy Bands rounds out the recently announced merchandise licensees. They will not only be producing their popular silicone bracelets in the iconic seven Tetrimino shapes and colors but will also extend the brand into their popular Pop products including Pop Performance and Pop Watches. Products are available for shipping early first quarter 2011 and will range in approximate retail pricing for a 12 pack of Crazy Bands for under $3.50 and from under $9-$12 for the Tetris silicone watches and wristbands.
Created in 1984 by Russian-born mathematician Alexey Pajitnov, the Tetris game revolutionized puzzle games with distinctive “falling” blocks called Tetriminos, that players could arrange in real time in the rectangular playing field, or “matrix,” in order to clear lines. Since then, the game has been translated into more than 50 languages and it is played in more than 50 countries worldwide. To date, hundreds of millions of units have been sold” (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110210005789/en/Tetris%C2%AE-Merchandise-Licensing-Offers-Great-Ways-Interact).
I will admit, Tetris is one of my favorites. And its retro nature of video games past makes the paraphernalia that much cooler.

Allstate’s Message: Texting Kills

In a recent report that pokes fun at a new message being distributed by Allstate, it is clear that, while we may laugh, the message is quite serious. Allstate has put together a campaign to stop texting while driving. To spread the word, rubber wristbands …er…rubber thumbbands are being distributed.
“Those rubber wristbands that tell you what to do have become very popular over the last few years. “LIVE STRONG,” “BELIEVE,” “CONSIDER WHAT DECISION JESUS CHRIST WOULD BE LIKELY TO MAKE IF HE FOUND HIMSELF IN THIS SITUATION,” etc. As with any trend, there’s bound to be a swing back, which begs the question: What is the next big thing? What is the opposite of a wristband with a positive message on it?
Allstate has presented the answer. A thumbband with a negative message on it.
But it’s a negative message with a positive mission. TXTNG KLLS. We don’t think they mean all texting, though—just texting while driving. And while that’s a very real issue, we’re glad the thumbband is nonspecific, allowing us to publicize our fear of other kinds of deadly texting: texting from inside a burning building, texting threats to crime lords, texting while working with highly-toxic chemicals in a science lab, and of course texting any kind of live bear” (http://sundaypaper.com/2011/free-txtng-klls-thumb-band-from-allstate/).
This message is becoming more and more widespread. Clearly, texting and driving needs to be taken serious.

Lamar Odom and Shaquille O’Neal Guilty of False Advertising?

In the most recent turn of events regarding the lawsuit with the PowerBalance rubber wristbands , Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers and Shaquille O’Neal of the Boston Celtics are being accused of supporting a product that had no credible scientific evidence to back to it up.
“The maker of popular rubber wristbands and pendants with holographic images used deceptive advertising in claiming its product helped promote balance, flexibility and strength, four north Alabama men claim in three federal lawsuits filed in the past week.
The three lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Birmingham are among a dozen filed nationwide against Power Balance LLC. One of the lawsuits filed in California also names Lamar Odom, of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Shaquille O’Neal, of the Boston Celtics, as defendants for their endorsement of the products.
The lawsuits against the product were first filed in December. That’s when the company, according to the Alabama lawsuits, issued a statement in response to an Australian investigation that they had “no credible scientific evidence” supporting their claims about the wristbands and other products.
The company, however, says it stands by its products.
A spokesman for the company declined comment Monday on the lawsuits filed in Alabama due to the on-going legal proceedings” (http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/02/lawsuits_challenge_claims_that.html).
Are Odom and O’Neal Responsible, or are they just celebrities endorsing a product they know little about?

Florida Residents Commit to 300-Mile Walk

In honor of a Tibetan man who had committed to walk 300 miles to raise awareness for Tibet and was later killed, many have agreed to finish the 300-mile walk in his honor. Some touting silicone wristbands that say “Ambassadors for World Peace” will begin the walk in Daytona Beach.
“”When I realized this happened here at my second home, I had to be here today,” she said. “This is a magical cause and the energy (Norbu) brought to it was incredible. If this (his death) can energize the world to help encourage China to let go, that would be wonderful.”
Robbie Marrow, who lives in The Hammock with his nurse of five years, didn’t let his disabilities stop him from coming out to pay his respects.
“I cried,” he said as he kneeled and prayed, with nurse Shawn McLaughlin’s hand on his shoulder. “He died like my papa, my papa. He’ll be a new man in heaven.”
Tibetan Tashi Khongtsotsang, who flew from his Minneapolis home to St. Augustine to participate in the walk, hugged Marrow and gave him a rubber wristband that read “Ambassadors for World Peace.”
Within an hour, 13 people headed south on A1A from The Hammock toward Daytona Beach including Kim-Brand, Dorjee, Khongtsotsang and Brian Scrone and Jim Shiels, both of St. Augustine and both committed to the walk from its beginning in their hometown to its end in West Palm Beach” (http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/flagler/2011/02/18/mourners-resume-walk-for-tibet.html).
What a great sacrifice in remembrance.