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Nominal Me

I'm falling in love with my camera and taking photos everywhere I go. That, combined with my passions for politics, sports, religion and other things we all agree on, makes this blog persist.

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Location: Astoria, New York, United States

I'm born in Manhattan and raised in Queens.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sea World San Diego (Part III)


Thanks for coming to the third post on San Diego Sea World, which is such an impressive place that it deserves, in my mind, the attention it gets here. Unfortunately, it is not a perfect place, and I'm going to dwell on some of the negatives of being a "theme park" with animals rather than a zoo.

The bottom line is that Sea World is an "experience" that seems to try to be more "fun" than "educational". It also glosses over many environmental issues for the sake of a good time. It fails to take advantage of its younger audience to teach them about things like conservation and endangered species. Because it is a corporate atmosphere, it tries to avoid any uncomfortable topics: like how over-consumption negatively effects the planet.

That wouldn't really move product now, would it?

There is one message to children and their parents that this theme park never fails to make while you are on the grounds of Sea World: the Miller Brewing company sucks and that Budweiser is a better beer.

A guy cannot take a piss in the place without reading signs bashing the "South African Breweries Miller".

This is what I learned during one of my stops at the Sea World bathroom. In front of every urinal is a similar sign. What does this have to do with sea animals? Nothing, but the park is owned by Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of Budweiser and related beer products. The company owns a variety of theme parks throughout the country in an effort to diversify its holdings.

They have a hospitality center on the grounds, which is actually pretty cool. Had they left the branding to this part of the park, it would have been OK. They didn't though. Bud and Bud products are pushed all over the park.

Budweiser products are on sale throughout the park, intermixed with other stores selling kids toys. It would be difficult for a child to tell the difference between a store selling beer shirts and another selling penguin ones. This I imagine, is by design.

They did not ignore the endangered species issue, they just addressed it just long enough to say they covered it, and did so in one building using obscure, unoffending language. Had their choice of words and display points on endangered species matched the intensity level of promoting Budweiser, this place could have made a difference.

Instead, they handled the issue as only a large corporation can, glossing it over enough not to offend those who care about the issue while not pushing it hard enough to offend the average Bud-drinking visitor.

It was sort of like watching the John Kerry for president campaign, this place wanted it both ways. It wanted credit for helping animals while not really wanting to get involved too much with its audience.

This sign may have been the only one on the property that alluded to human-caused endangered species, and the only one calling people to action. It involved an animal mostly located in Florida, and the big suggestion was to not dump your trash on Florida beaches or run them over with boats. It was pretty hard to find.

Noble, in truth, but Sea World should have gone further.

But the real cross-marketing goes on in the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales, where kids can learn to love the brand long before they turn 21. Cigarette companies are no longer allowed to use Joe Camel to reach kids, so the beer companies are moving in with similar marketing techniques.

Let's fill a kid's theme park with beer-related items, intermixed with fun animals, for a unique branding opportunity!

It's annoying, but it doesn't really affect me. I'm far from a child, and I haven't had a third date lately (much less a chance to get married and have a child). So while personally offended by the inner workings of the cross marketing, I still managed to enjoy the experience.

So for the rest of this post, I'll get off my soap box and get back to the fun of the park. Plus, I'll get to the nudity, which is the only reason you've stuck around this long.

These horses are amazing beings. Large and stoic, they look powerful and fast. This is Pat, which is an unfortunate name for a horse.

When I think of Pat, I think of a Saturday Night Live skit that was turned into a movie. No one could tell what sex Pat was...and somewhere in the mid-90s parents stopped giving their children this name.

Well, let me tell you, Pat is all man. In fact, he's hung like a horse.

OK, I'm done.

America's Treasures

Archive of Religion, Science and Philosophy


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice heel turn, Nominal. On many levels

Thursday, 01 December, 2005  
Blogger DDD said...

Hung like a horse. You couldn't resist a cheap and easy shot like that could you?

Thursday, 01 December, 2005  
Blogger Nominal Me said...

I'm a very simple guy DDD.

Thursday, 01 December, 2005  

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