Kurtis finds Internet and ‘Honolulu Lite’
Welcome to a special celebrity edition of the Tuesday Lite Notebook in which we will hear from two national advertising stars skewered, I mean, featured in recent columns.
First up is Bill Kurtis, probably best known as host of the acclaimed crime documentary TV show "American Justice" but better known in Hawaii as the guy in the quirky AT&T commercial who finds the Internet on a desert island from which, suspiciously, Diamond Head can be seen in the background.
I wondered whether the commercial - in which Kurtis stands in front of a crashed plane with the name "Amelia" on the nose - was funny on purpose or accidentally. After seeing the column, Kurtis wrote me saying, "We DID intend it to be funny and in fact, I was afraid the sight gag was too quick for anyone to catch. But I was wrong. EVERYONE has caught it."
He said they also shot a "Fountain of Youth" version of the AT&T Laptop Connect Card commercial in a tidal pool at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani resort.
"The production company had built a Mayan temple with a 20-foot waterfall under which old codgers walk in one side and little kids come skipping out the other. Hence, the Fountain of Youth," he said. "Someone didn't calculate the tide correctly, and within an hour and a half the temple washed away. That's Hawaii."
Yes, that IS Hawaii. Hardly a week goes by in the islands without a Mayan temple washing away.
Kurtis liked my idea of doing a version of the commercial in an Oregon forest where he not only finds the Internet, but also D.B. Cooper, the hijacker who disappeared after jumping out of a commercial jet with a bunch of good money but, apparently, a bad parachute.
"I was a CBS News correspondent on the West Coast when he jumped out of the plane and covered it, so I've had an interest ever since. ... Stay tuned."
Our second advertising celebrity guest is Jeff Candido, the guy who came up with the now famous Las Vegas slogan "What happens here, stays here." I asked Jeff to look at ideas from "Lite" readers for a slogan that began "What happens in Honolulu ..." like, "What happens in Honolulu includes a mandatory 20 percent gratuity."
He said, "I was thinking maybe it should be 'What happens in Honolulu?' It's short and sweet and builds interest. And I hate to be the one to break this to you, but we mainlanders don't think much happens there at all. Which is why we want to go."
He also suggested "What happens in Honolulu leaves a pineappley taste in your mouth" or "will get you lei'd."
He realized we were just goofing around and Honolulu really doesn't need a slogan. And he said Orlando's rip-off of his Las Vegas tag line ("What happens in Orlando stays with you forever") "really bites."
"How lame of Orlando to not be able to come up with a line of its own," he said. "All they're accomplishing is reminding people how much fun they had on their last trip to Vegas."
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
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