Advertising Week: Getting Deep Over WeeMeetinis, and Why Priceline is Tricky
Tell me how to nail cheap two-star accommodations in NY the day before Advertising Week, and I'll call you a liar and tell you how you - yes, you - can survive in a youth hostel during a business trip.
Because after (reeeeally) bad planning on my part, that's where I ended up.
At the end of yesterday's Saving Darfur session, which ran a half hour over time, I wandered the streets of New York in desperate pursuit of the 1 Subway line.
After accidentally interrupting the filming of a movie called "Fighting," I located this crucial urban vein, hopped on and trekked to my hotel.
Priceline.com has this cool option where you can "name your price!" on a hotel. The setback is, if they find you a place at "your price!", you're married to it - no refunds, no takebacks. [Ed. Someday we'll elevate ourselves from the slums and hire and executive travel planner who will hunt down and torture Paris Hilton until she orders Hilton Management to put us up at the Waldorf Astoria for $50 a night.]
So it was with surprise, some chagrin and a sudden craving for croissants that I discovered my hotel, attractively dubbed West End Studios, was not a hotel at all but a youth hostel.
I was there long enough to drop my gigantic duffel in a room - a dorm-style accommodation with a shared loo - then I changed clothes and headed back downtown for the WeeWorld Cocktail Party.
The launchpad for the fete was decorated very much like the WeeWorld universe, complete with human-sized cardboard props representing the miniature playland (ironic). Some guy took an awkward Polaroid of me (eyes closed!) and later handed me a bag of goodies, which included a framed Angela WeeMee.
This is how people see me? was my first thought, but I couldn't ruminate for long because a smiling girl with an oversized belt came and handed me a WeeMeetini - ice-blue suicide, baby - and I later stumbled off to a series of laptops, where a bunch of women were making WeeMees and talking about WeeMees and showing me all the supercool aspects of WeeWorld.
I bit the hype hard and consequently tried convincing everyone around me of how awesome it would be to build a WeeMee Facebook app that mimics WeeWorld's interactive comments feature.
Have you ever made a WeeMee? You really need to. The beauty of this deceptively simplistic business model is it does little more than leverage our fetish for individualism. I wasted at least half an hour, high on my last WeeMeetini, looking for an eyepatch for my virtual persona.
"And look!" cried a WeeMee exec. "You can try on Bratz gear and paint your face in the colors of your flag!"
Anyway, I burned a good three hours hanging out at the WeeWorld Cocktail party - and not just because it had little fried chicken tenders on potato chips. It's a good party when you keep slipping off to a corner to pen the epiphanies you're sponging up in conversation, hopelessly convinced that you are the voice of the Next Great Conference Bash Epic.
My frenzied scrawl faithfully records the following literary deal-breakers:
Advertising - as function of addiction. Addiction reflects personal values.
Attractiveness of American Dream - NOT opportunity but low cost of failure. Ability to erase history, start anew. What are we BETRAYING?
Resilience of the "baseball legend" (e.g. American Dream) will transcend superficiality of steroids.
With all that profundity left to stew, I bid adieu to my cohorts - including the whole WeeMee team, which I'm just in love with; a sales exec at Brickfish; and a man who claims to have spawned an infamous podcast called It's "Much Worse than We Thought" - and hit the Subway to return to my shoebox hostel quarters.