Radioshack Brilliant Idea

The people at RadioShack have been running a rather clever advertising concept illuminating their ‘Do Stuffâ„¢’‡ slogan. Briefly, it involves demonstrating how to accomplish some task, such as shooting candid nature shots of wild animals, by buying off-the-shelf RadioShack items and repurposing them.

Being a bit of a techno-geek, I respond very well to this kind of idea, so I’ve been checking in with the RadioShack site now and then to see what else they’re coming up with. Amusingly, the current (December) offering sees the RadioShack Geek Department comprehensively out-clevering itself in an enthusiastic bid to ratchet up the Christmas shopping turnover.

The concept is outlined in easy-to-follow steps under the uber-tekky, up-to-the-minute-geeky* title Caroling 2.0 and this pitch:

When the weather outside is frightful, and the fire is so delightful, it can be pretty hard to get excited about caroling. Luckily, all it takes is technology and a little know-how to sing to the neighbourhood, without dashing through the snow.

To synopsize the idea: you video yourself singing Christmas carols, edit the results and transfer them to your iPod. You attach your pod and a little speaker to a radio-controlled toy truck and then, from the cosy comfort of your living room, drive it off to your neighbours’ houses to infuse them with jolly musical holiday cheer (and all of the aforementioned tech-toys are purchased from RadioShack, of course). Easy peasy, eh?

Or, as the RadioShack Geek Department rates it:

    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: About an hour
    Result: A new holiday tradition

Here at the Tetherd Cow Geek Department, we think it would go slightly differently:

    Difficulty: Somewhat easier than assembling an IKEA bookshelf. But not much.
    Time: How good is your singing and how competent are your editing skills?
    Result: One stolen iPod & RC toy

Aside from anything, isn’t the whole point of Christmas caroling that you get together with a bunch of friends and trudge through the snow in order to spread the neighbourly Christmas spirit? And so you can trudge back again and enjoy brandy and eggnog and chestnuts roasting on an open fire?†

Sigh. Obviously I have, once gain, been left behind by the latest trends.

These days, it would appear, with a RadioShack purchased Wireless AV Sender, a RadioShack purchased camcorder and some RadioShack purchased AV cables, not only will your kids get see mommy kissing Santa Claus, they’ll be able to project the whole sordid affair as it happens, for all the world to see, using a RadioShack purchased video projector pointed at a convenient neighbourhood snow drift.

So with that thought in mind, a Special Tetherd Cow Christmas Competition!

Your task: re-imagine a Christmas tradition using a combination of products from the RadioShack catalogue. Keep it realistic (ie, feasible), make it purposeless (points will be deducted for anything deemed useful), make it inspired, and make it funny. If possible, refer to the lyrics of your favourite Christmas song.

There will be a prize for the cleverest invention. And it will be a special one.


‡Is it just me, or is all this trademarking starting to get A Bit Out Of Handâ„¢?

*Sarcasm (in case you think I was being serious).

†Well, I dunno. We don’t have anything like snow or icicles or Frosty the Snowman here of course, but from watching all the American films, I certainly got the impression that that’s what it was all about.