Advertising relies pretty much on a few things.  Amongst those-a good logo, a catchy slogan, and an ad campaign that, when revisited years later, doesn’t appear dated or lack of appeal.

That being said, AT&T made a good commercial regarding their current “Rethink Possible” ad campaign.  On a national level, it works on various levels; on a local level, they’re just being lazy.

Four years ago, AT&T and Verizon lobbied the State of California to allow them to offer cable TV services.  When the legislation passed, AT&T immediately started running ads in California touting about how their Internet services are better.

Their ads depict a father trying to find a cord so he can connect to the Internet.  His wife tells him that she switched them to AT&T Internet because it is wireless, and they could go into other places where the place is an AT&T HotSpot.  His daughter, on the other hand, is smart-mouthed, telling her father that they don’t need a cord.

That ad was fine four years ago, but even then, it became dated.

It became dated because of a few things:

THE AD WAS CREATED JUST AS WIRELESS WAS STILL IN ITS INFANCY: Wireless was getting around thanks to the Ethernet Card; cybercafes were already prevalent in many areas before the legislation was even being considered.

THE AT&T HOT SPOT: The AT&T Hot Spot was okay when it was relevant because only Starbuck’s was the biggest merchant that (if you weren’t an AT&T customer) would charge you for wireless access.  So many customers went to cybercafes and mom-and-pop cafes and coffee shops for the food and the free access.  Starbucks changed that policy granting access to everyone.  In fact, most places DON’T charge even if they do have AT&T.

THE CORD: If you are stepping in a wireless Internet area like a cybercafe, no merchant will offer you a cord to connect because it’s wireless.

MENTIONING THE CORD: See above sentence.

Plus there are so many “don’ts” in this commercial.

Like the smart-mouth girl for starters.  If I talked that way to my parents, they’d meet me with a switch, or Tide.  Plus, the girl is typing rapidly on the computer, but no other programs minus the download are running where typing is needed – back then, the sites you would download from recommend that you let the download complete.  

Overall, this is very lazy on their part.  Products like Jif, Safeguard,  Sure, even Tootsie Pop can bring back an old ad campaign and still have it be relevant today as it was when the slogan first appeared.  A good example is the Tootsie Pop commercial – the one where the kid asks the owl how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center.  That ad was created in the early 70s and it still airs on occasion.

They remind of when the Hidden Beach label switched from Sony to Universal.  Jill Scott’s album Words and Music, Volume 1 still had the old Sony (including the barcode and a link to Epic Records website) while it was at Universal.   Because technology is constantly changing, it’s changed to the point to where you can set up wireless in your home and gain access everywhere.  AT&T need to rethink about continuing with this commercial.  It makes them appear backward thinking.



Face it…Rosetta Stone is pricey, they do not offer PI languages and not everyone can afford it.

I had decided to get in touch with my Polynesian roots (yeah, I know you guys are out in the South Pacific somewhere), so instead of trying to sound like a pompous mainlander going to visit the lands (and you know who you are), I decided to tackle three of the languages I can get my hands on: Hawai’ian, Tongan and Samoan.  And there are plenty of books to choose from.  And I narrowed my choices to three.

The first book I bought was Intensive Course in Tongan: with Numerous Supplementary Materials, Grammatical Notes and Glossary by Eric B. Shumway.  This is a thick book – over 200 lessons in here.  It does start out with the pronunciation and the basics, but pretty soon, you should be able to do this one.

Next on the list was Gagana Sāmoa: A Samoan Language Coursebook by Galumalemana Alefeti L. Hunkin.  This comes from the University of Hawai’i and you can find audio files at their website.

Most recently, I had purchased ‘Ōlelo ‘Ōiwi by Hōkūlani Cleeland and it’s from Kamehameha Publishing.  It’s goes to the basics and not only breaks them down to where anyone can understand it, but it demonstrates how the words vary from island to island like Spanish does in the Latin American world.

Now, I had looked for something like this with Rosetta Stone, but they don’t offer these languages.  And if they did, it would be an arm and a leg (the Arabic Beginners one costs $250).   Plus some of the Islander languages can be pricey as well e.g. The Tahitian-English/English Tahitian costs $64 off Amazon.

But the three books I had recommended doesn’t go without a few simple things:

1.  Get the feel of the book: it helps a lot.  You will learn a lot off the first few pages alone.

2. Make study aids: Color-coded flash cards work for me.  Even if you have to write the English counterpart underneath the word, this helps.

3. Find native speakers: if you have friends that’s a plus.

4. Don’t rush: take 30 minutes a day per language.

5. Remember that there is a different pronunciation dynamic: English is the only language where the macron over the vowel makes it sound like a dipthong, The macron over the vowel in these Polynesian languages lengthens the short vowel sound.  Plus they have a “glottal stop” (looks like a backwards apostrophe) In Hawai’ian, it’s called an “‘okina”.