South Carolina is doing an advertising blitz in the food court of the shopping mall upon which my office building sits. They’ve got a full-sized speed boat with a para-sailor up in the rafters, some kind of interactive beach ball video game, kiosks which presumably give you lots of information about vacationing in South Carolina and a bunch of posters strung about like lava lamps at a 60s-themed party. Crews have been setting up these things for the last week and it is both disruptive and annoying. I found it amusing that it temporarily forced Starbuck’s Coffee to close. Imaging holding at bay a gaggle of bleary-eyed caffeine-addicts so that you could hang up a sign telling people to come vacation in South Carolina. (Good thing this was taking place in Arlington, Virigina and not, say, New York City. Can imagine the unruly crowd taunting the workers with something like, “Screw South Carolina, give us our coffee.”
I’ve got nothing against South Carolina. My problem is with the way this advertising campaign has become a production that you simply can’t avoid. It’s everywhere in the food court, and in the early morning, before the mall opens, I have to listen to the workers shouting at each other while they try and get things set up just right. The cost in labor for this thing must be tremendous. Maybe it’s needed. Frankly, when I think of vacation spots, I don’t think of South Carolina.
Of course, when I think of South Carolina, I’ll forever have this annoying advertising campaign in my mind. That is enough to make me want to go somewhere else for my vacation.