Ah, Christmas. It’s one of my absolute favorite times of the year, but oddly enough my family is not too big on the holiday cheer. We don’t put up a tree. We don’t exchange gifts or visit relatives. We don’t even go to church. In fact, last Christmas we were quite Jewish. We watched a movie (James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’) and had dinner at a Chinese food restaurant. Maybe if I make these adorable gingerbread houses and brew up some spectacular coffee, they’ll start to feel more of the holiday spirit?
Can making something fun influence consumer behavior? That’s what Volkswagen set to find out with its Fun Theory campaign, which involved transforming a staircase in a Swedish subway into a giant, working piano keyboard.
Not only did this campaign encourage consumer participation, which in turn garnered media coverage and independent posts (like this one!), but it delivered the message that Volkswagen had wanted to send home all along: that their cars make driving fun. Nice campaign, VW.
Check out the other elements of Volkswagen’s Fun Theory campaign, here.
Ah, kimchi. Just saying it can make my mouth go into drool mode. It might not seem so delicious to those who’ve never tried it, especially when you read the English translation on most menus as “spicy fermented cabbage,” but this simple dish is a staple in Korean cuisine. My mom ALWAYS includes kimchi with every meal whether we’re eating actual Korean food or going American and enjoying a nice pizza or plate of spaghetti. She even brings out the kimchi at Thanksgiving. It’s that crucial.
So imagine the utter panic that would ensue should there be a kimchi shortage? Koreans dared not think of such a cruel world, but alas, it has happened in the motherland. Torrential rain ruined this year’s Napa cabbage crop and essentially shot the price of kimchi’s core ingredient from $4 a head to $14 a head — a 350 percent increase, according to Time magazine.
Kimchi, which some are now calling keum-chi (the first syllable meaning “gold” in Korean), has become so expensive that the government has begun to ration it and has frozen tariffs on Chinese cabbage in order to help the price stabilize.
I knew Koreans loved food, but I had no idea that missing one side dish could lead to disaster. Good thing our greatest enemy, Kim Jong Il, is also Korean, so he can’t use this kimchi-krptonite of sorts against us.
Oranges might not make the most menacing opponents on the field (better than the Cornhuskers), but you have to admit that little Otto here is absolutely adorable! And even though it’s only been about five months since I last saw him and my beautiful alma mater, Syracuse University, I can’t wait to visit as an official alumna in less than two weeks.
My grand return is a bit sooner than I had planned for sure, but I couldn’t resist when some of my successors at KASA (Korean American Student Association) and ASIA (Asian Students in America) arranged for my travel expenses as part of a networking event during Homecoming. Thanks for thinking of me, guys!
Admittedly, however, I’m somewhat nervous about how this whole networking event will go. It’s not that I don’t have my own share of life lessons and tips when it comes to finding a job — these past few months have definitely taught me more than I’d ever expected — but will students care about what I have to say when I’m still just an intern myself? And only a few months older than some of them at that? I guess we’ll soon find out.