By Allan Muir
Businesses make millions on crazy concepts all the time. Crocs. Energy-enhancing necklaces. Mumford & Sons records. I actually know people who have spent their own money that they got up early and worked for on the Ear Wax Vac and Forever Lazy, so there's obviously no limit to how willing we are to buy dumb stuff if we see it on TV.
But these new Budweiser Red Lights?
Revealed to a half-drunken Canadian public during Sunday's Super Bowl, the BRL is a whole new level of faux-high tech goofiness: a WiFi-enabled goal light that flashes red and sounds a goal horn when your favorite Canadian team scores. It's loud, it's noisy and it's just $185! (With delivery starting May 6 and no promise that the signal that turns the light/horn on will be operational beyond this abbreviated season.)
Apparently Canucks are fascinated by shiny lights or were deep into their cups by the time this ad aired, because by late afternoon, the lights were "sold out" (insert cynically raised eyebrow here) through the budweiser.ca site and were already popping up at inflated prices online. On the Toronto Kijiji site, the BRL were listed as high as $300.
Now maybe this actually is a brilliant idea that just isn't aimed at my demographic. I mean, I rarely watch a game with a roomful of friends all rooting for the same team like everyone seems to do on TV, and if I did, I'm sure the flying popcorn would quell any doubts I had about a goal having been scored. Or maybe I'm just skeptical about the quirks of technology. The DirecTV receivers in my living room and bedroom are probably five seconds out of sync and they run off the same satellite dish, so when am I supposed to cheer? When the light goes off or when I see the goal scored on screen 15 seconds later?
But here's my real concern: Will there be a special "No Goal" setting for Ottawa Senators fans?