Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

c.2013 New York Times News Service

Can it be time again to ask 20 questions about advertising, the media and popular culture? (OK, that one was free.)

— How will fans of Marilyn Monroe decide which fragrance to buy during the Christmas shopping season now that she is appearing in commercials for both Chanel No. 5 and Dior J’adore?

— Are consumers who saw an ad this week for Crest 3-D White teeth-whitening products that declares, “Buy one give one, best value of the year” becoming confused because “buy one give one” looks so much like the popular “buy one get one” sales promotions prized by value-minded shoppers?

— As McDonald’s tests customized Quarter Pounder hamburgers, offered with a choice of more than 20 toppings and sauces, will the marketing department be tempted to ask Burger King to borrow “Have it your way”?

— Now that R. Kelly has told Rolling Stone magazine that the next 30 chapters of “Trapped in the Closet” will include commercials that he has written into the songs, mimicking how a commercial comes on when “you’re watching a soap opera on TV,” will brands pay him large sums to be included — or to be left out?

— Does an ad for the new FedEx One Rate service from the FedEx Corp. depict Santa Claus filling a package with lumps of coal to be delivered to Ebenezer Scrooge in “New York, N.Y.” rather than London because the One Rate service is not for overseas shipments?

— Have the editors of Cosmopolitan and Glamour magazines seen the covers of each other’s November issues, with Cosmopolitan’s cover teasing an article on “Weird Things Guys Do When You’re Not Around” and Glamour’s cover teasing an article on “10 Secret Things Guys Do When You’re Not Around”?

— Should the AMC cable channel promote its decision to divide the final season of “Mad Men” and present it in spring 2014 and spring 2015 by rewriting the Certs ad slogan from the “Mad Men” era and proclaiming, “It’s one, one, one season in two”?

— Are the copywriters who created a campaign for Emirates Airlines that carries the theme “Hello tomorrow” and the copywriters who created a campaign for the CSX railroad lines that carries the theme “How tomorrow moves” waiting to see if a trucking company or an automaker completes the trifecta by introducing a third “tomorrow” transportation campaign?

— Did the writer of the USA Today television grid who summarized the plot of the 1958 movie “Bell, Book and Candle,” which takes place in New York, as “A witch casts a love spell on a San Francisco publisher” do so because the stars of the movie, James Stewart and Kim Novak, were also teamed in a 1958 film that was set in San Francisco, “Vertigo”?

— With the British royal family appearing so frequently on the cover of People magazine, will Time Inc. start pricing the magazine in pounds rather than dollars?

— Now that, with the introduction of Platinum, there are six different-colored labels of Johnnie Walker Scotch, will fans of the brand have to bring swatches to liquor stores the way do-it-yourselfers bring paint chips to hardware stores?

— Were the readers of an article in the September issue of Vanity Fair willing to overlook a reference to “Sear’s” because Sears is far afield from the luxury retailers the magazine usually writes about?

— Would critics who dismiss movies based on or inspired by songs as evidence of a modern-day lack of imagination reconsider if they saw an acknowledgment during the credits of the 1931 movie “Ten Cents a Dance” that it was based on the song of the same name by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers?

— Were the entrepreneurs who named the online video startup Aereo, which charges subscribers about $8 a month, inspired by the old-timey product Aerowax, which was advertised with headlines like “Stop paying fancy prices for floor wax”?

— Were the copywriters who came up with the theme “Real. Durable. Oil” for Quaker State inspired by the copywriters who came up with the theme “Real. Comfortable. Jeans” for Wrangler, or vice versa?

— Did the writers of the slide for the MC Music Choice Stage and Screen cable channel that identified a song being played as the theme from the movie “How the West Was One” big fans of Zen, or just really mellow dudes?

— After State Farm ran an ad in magazines that featured a 6-year-old boy saying, “College is a big school where you get to play frisbee,” were the executives of Wham-O, which owns the Frisbee trademark, tempted to run an ad saying they were proud to hold insurance policies with state farm?

— Was it a coincidence or an inside joke that on a recent evening the Showtime’s Sho 2 cable channel followed the movie “Chicago,” about a pair of femme fatales, with a performance special, featuring female comedians, titled “Women Who Kill”?

— Did the editors of Coastal Living magazine notice that one of the lines on the cover of their July/August issue, which read “Bring on the watermelon margaritas!,” ran directly under a photograph of a boy and a girl who are clearly not of legal drinking age?

— Will bargain-hunting shoppers wondering whether they arrived early for the Black Friday sales or late for the Thanksgiving Day sales tell a reporter, “You ask a lot of questions for someone from Brooklyn”?