I'm happy to say that the European market research firm Interbrand has announced the top global brands of 2003 and two of my favourite companies, Apple Computer and MINI ranked second and third respectively behind Google at No. 1. It's a big deal for newcomer MINI to knock the likes of Coca-Cola out of third place.
MINI's ranking strikes me as interesting considering that the woman ringing up my Big Gulp at 7-11 yesterday asked me what kind of car I was was driving and when I told her it was a MINI Cooper she said she'd never heard of that kind of car before. The real irony in the exchange is not that the young woman failed to recognize the number three global brand, but that she works at a 7-11 only three blocks from the local MINI dealer...
Today was a great day because I won my first free tune from the latest Apple/iTunes/Pepsi promotion. As the program was announced, there were to be 300 million specially marked caps topping 20 oz. bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist, one third of which reveal a code to redeem a free song from the iTunes Music Store. I thought to myself, dang, if only I liked Pepsi or Diet Pepsi. At least I sorta like Sierra Mist. Well, a light shone down from heaven today when I learned that in addition to the Pepsi bottle caps, you could get a chance to win a free song by sucking down a Big Gulp from your local 7-11 meaning I could abuse my kidneys 32 ounces at a time with my beverage of choice - Dr. Pepper. So on my way back from OfficeMax today, I ducked into the 7-11 on Antioch there it was - a tall stack of Big Gulp cups with big blue Apple logos. I swear I heard angels singing. I stepped up to the fountain, filled up with the good Dr., plopped down my 85 cents and was on my way. I had to drink down the soda first because you have to pretty much destroy the cup by cutting little slits in the top rim and un-roll the lip to reveal "Winner" or "Please try again." I got... "WINNER!" and a code to redeem a free song. I'll let you know what song I pick later. I'm sure it will be the first of many. The rules of the promotion limits you to 200 free songs before the end of April so we'll see how close I can get.
**UPDATE** I redeemed my first free song - Opus 40 by Mercury Rev.