Does Only the iPad Matter?

My local NPR affiliate, New Hampshire Public Radio, is holding one of its frequent fund drives. As it often does, it’s offering entry into a number of drawings for those who pledge (or, as I think is legally required, for anyone who sends the requisite contact information via an alternative method such as email). There are no fewer than nine separate drawings, yet only one prize ever gets mentioned on air or the front page of their website.

NHPR iPad Air

Not a goat!

Of course Apple’s iPad Air is a trendy item, and at $499 retail value for the 16GB version they’re giving away, it’s no mean pull even if you hock it. But there are other prizes, some with higher concrete dollar values and some perhaps more desired by many listeners, that get short shrift. Fortunately they’re all detailed at the radio station’s 2013 December Fund Drive page, along with the progression of drawing end dates. (The iPad Air drawing ends Dec. 17 at 9am.)

King Arthur Flour gift card – $250
Dec. 17 at 2pm

No joke, this is on my Dad’s Amazon wish list. Not the $250 part, because he’s not a greedy jerk leaning on his family to feed his bread-making addiction, but yeah, the dude likes King Arthur Flour. An iPad is a one-time purchase, and most Apple fanatics have purchased this latest iteration of the tablet already. Flour, on the other hand, is a consumable. You can heat and knead it into delicious baked goods only once.

Settler’s Green Outlet Village gift card – $500
Dec. 17 at 7pm

Not only is this prize worth a whole dollar more than the iPad, it can be spent at “over 60 nationally known factory stores” in North Conway, NH. Clothing! Shoes! Jewelry! Home furnishings! Food, glorious food! There is no app for stepping out in sexy, bargain-priced pumps. None.

Four Loon Mountain ski passes – ???
Dec. 18 at 9 am

Let’s not descend into reckless stereotypes about iPad users and skiers and the narrow sliver of joined space in the Venn diagram that describes them. The fact is, plenty of athletic folk enjoy their Internet and their touchscreens and their sleek aluminum casing. They probably shouldn’t be tapping away while careening down the slopes, but heck, winning both prizes is pretty unlikely. There’s no exact value for these passes, as it’s not completely clear what exactly one wins, but if it’s four lift tickets for the regular winter season, that’s worth up to – cripes, $324? It’s really $81 a day to sit on a chair that’s going up the mountain anyhow?

Super Fan Pack – ???
Dec. 18 at 2pm

Comprising “an NHPR Bluetooth Nano [speaker], NHPR Fleece Blanket, NHPR Baseball T-Shirt, an autographed Carl Kasell Pillow, Car Talk Shopping Bag, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me Mug, a book by Diane Rehm, and many, many more items,” this package is even more impossible to precisely value. From the picture, this prize seems to include three bags as well as three cups or mugs and a small bottle of maple syrup. Delicious.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8″- $249.99
Dec. 18 at 7pm

Okay, never mentioning this prize is clearly favoring the iOS software ecosystem over Android. Enjoy your ghost check from Ghost Steve Jobs, NHPR.

Burque Jewelers Gift Card – $600
Dec. 19 at 10am

What’s this? A whole $101 more retail value than the iPad Air? For products that in the long run might just appreciate rather than plummet in value? Baubles with no practical utility, perhaps, but when humanity is inevitably reduced to roving hordes of barbarians, sparkly stones will be worth much more than metal and glass slates.

Four Attitash Mountain Resort ski passes – ???
Dec. 19 at 10am

Apparently Attitash is only 86.4% as awesome as Loon Mountain, because even weekend one-day lift tickets are only $70 each, or $280 for four. The market doesn’t lie.

Bose Wave Radio III with Bluetooth Music Adapter – $399.95
Dec. 19 at 7pm

As far as overpriced electronics go, Bose gives Apple a real run for its money (no pun intended). Both brands make good stuff, sure, but a load of money goes into large ads with lots of white space rather than product engineering. This Wave Radio probably does sound very nice. And it’s, you know, a radio, which you’d think a radio station would be psyched about.

Not everyone’s idea of the ultimate prize is a new tablet, is all I’m saying. It’s too late for this fund drive, but shoot, think about your messaging, NHPR.


Maybe offer a goat? Granite Staters would totally love winning a goat.

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