Mar 29 2011

Testing the iPad 2

Posted by: admin in advertising, tags: , ,

SO here’s the deal. I’m trying to touch type this on an iPad 2. Interesting experience. Because of the nature of tablets, there,s no resting your fingers on the keys, which means you can’t rely on kinesthetic sense for typing. I can see why a wireless keyboard is such a big deal for these gadgets. With practice, I can probably master it — it’s tons easier than typing on my iPhone, for instance. But without being able to rest my fingers somewhere, it falls into the “alien experience” thing for sure.

However, the iPad 2 transcends cool. Über-cool. Seriously stylin.’
This thing ROCKS.

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Apr 15 2010

Apple Lays an Egg.

Posted by: admin in marketing, Random Stuff, tags: , , , , , , , ,

When it comes to Apple products, I’m a fan. I own a MacBook Pro and an iPhone 3GS. Wouldn’t buy anything else. I depend on them like I do oxygen or water. Seriously. When it comes to Apple support…not so much. Yesterday, I was rushing out of my house to get to my car, iPhone in my left hand, earbuds (the pricey, $70 jobbers from Apple) in my ears. I started to trip, and instinctively put out my hand to steady myself. My hand connected with the earbuds. They went flying, as did my iPhone. As I picked it up, I immediately checked it for damage. Keep in mind, I’ve got the iPhone case from HELL on it – the damn thing has a silicone sleeve AND an exoskeleton made of football helmet plastic. I also have an Invisible Shield screen protector over the screen. I thought, “no worries…I’ve got an extended warranty via AppleCare, and the phone is less than a year old.” I called Apple. And then the fun began… Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 24 2010

A brilliant commentary on vendor/client relationships.

Posted by: admin in marketing, Random Stuff, tags: , ,

The video you’re about to see is brilliant. Period. And it could really do with no introduction. But I feel compelled to add my two cents. For those of you that are curious as to what it’s like from my side of the table, THIS IS WHAT IT’S LIKE. Exactly. If I had a nickel for every time a client tried to negotiate a better price after the work was done…but I digress. If you’re a creative – watch it and weep. If you’re a client…think about this vid the next time you want to try and get a creative’s work for less than the asking price.

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Mar 01 2010

Facebook’s Fatal Mistake.

Posted by: admin in marketing, media, tags: , , , , ,
So I’m minding my own business, and I get a call from my daughter, who wants me to look at her Facebook page. I do, and what do I find, but some friend of hers has sent her a “Best Friend Quiz” (twice), asking the questions ‘Is she smart?’ and ‘do you think she takes drugs.’

Pause with me whilst I do a slow boil.

My kid on drugs? Nope. Never. This is a newly-12-year-old that is pure as the driven snow. She won’t take so much as a Tylenol without parental permission. So, naturally, I suspect it’s a ‘friend’ pranking her. Nope. Guess again. I went ahead and clicked on the supposed “quiz” to find out that it’s one of these Facebook games, that you must agree to install on your own home page before you can play.

Newsflash, people: This is SPAM. Opt-in SPAM, mind you. But it’s still SPAM. Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 05 2010

The Importance of Being Denny’s

Posted by: admin in advertising, marketing, media, tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Denny’s Restaurants has been around for…well…for a long time. Long as I can remember, anyway. And they’ve been largely interchangeable, between their competition. I mean, can you really tell me how Denny’s differs from iHOP, Shoneys, or any of the other places that cater to big appetites with small wallets? I can’t. But Denny’s may have found a way to cut through the clutter and make a name for themselves. And it involves, of all things, television. Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 03 2010


Posted by: admin in marketing, tags: , , , , ,

What in the HELL is going on with Toyota? Over the past 20 years, Toyota has acquired a rep for making quality vehicles. In fact, most surveys indicate that Toyota practically owns the “mindshare” outright for “quality” with the buying public, when it comes to automobile quality. But reputations are difficult to acquire – and easy to destroy. All it takes is one little P.R. disaster, and your carefully-crafted image as the King of Quality can be a thing of the past.

When it comes to corporate disasters, the problems with Toyota’s gas pedals is a doozy. From a PR perspective, this one ranks right up there with Union Carbide (Bhopal), Johnson and Johnson (Tylenol), and of course Ford/Firestone (Explorer). Which makes it all the more curious as to how Toyota seems to be dragging their feet in their response to the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jan 27 2010

Brain-dead marketing: Pepsi Throwback

Posted by: admin in advertising, marketing, tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pepsi Throwback: An idea who's time has come...and gone.

I admit it. I love colas. Far more than I should. In fact, when I wanna lose weight (which is most of the time), I swear off them (or swear at them), as it’s a great way to eliminate empty calories from my diet. But oh, what I lose when I do so…that rush I get with the morning’s first intake of caffeine! The bite of the cola as it trickles across my palette. The joy of cola, indeed.

But since I was a kid, colas – virtually ANY colas – have become a mere shadow of themselves, thanks to bottlers’ ever-changing formulas designed to save a buck. I speak of the vile change from the traditional pure cane sugar to the concoction known as “high-fructose corn syrup,” A.K.A.: “HFCS.” If you have a can or bottle of your carbonated sugar water beverage of choice at hand, feel free to take a gander at the ingredients. I’ll wait… Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 17 2009

A Tale of Two Cafés.

Posted by: admin in marketing, media, tags: , , , ,

Like many brick and mortar businesses, Starbucks seems to be struggling with new media – specifically, how to treat WiFi. Is it a cost center? A profit center? A way to retain customers? A way to fill seats without monetizing them? The results are decidedly mixed. If the WiFi experience for coffee shops was a Magic 8 Ball, it would report “ANSWER HAZY…TRY AGAIN LATER.” But with any endeavor that involves customers, it’s a rule of thumb to keep things consistent. Nothing ticks off customers more than finding a situation where you pay for something at store A, and find it for free at store B – especially when the two stores are selling under the same corporate entity. Which is what makes a generally marketing-savvy company like Starbucks’ latest moves all the more puzzling. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 10 2009

Pizza Glut.

Posted by: admin in advertising, marketing, tags: , , ,

Let me apologize in advance – this is gonna be a pretty quick post, but I haven’t written in a while, and I’ve been dying to talk about Pizza Hut and their misguided marketing. Have you seen their spots, where they get a bunch of people in some ostensibly well-known restaurant, give them food, and then have the owners blithely announce that THEY didn’t cook the food – that it came from Pizza Hut?

Let me tell you why this is wrong…on so many levels.

First of all, if I take my date to Chez Overpriced Dinners or Casa de Dinero, I’m expecting a great meal – especially if I’m paying a lot of dough for it. If I’m enjoying the meal and discover that the food I’m eating is actually some cheap stuff from Pizza Hut (that I can have delivered to my home) I’ve just lost all respect for the restaurant in question. I mean, why would I go spend money at a place that’s gonna sell me stuff I can get a lot cheaper at home? Take away the “let’s get out of the house” angle, and you’ve got…nuthin’.

Second, you’re essentially telling the world, “Pizza Hut products are just as good as restaurant-quality food.” Nobody’s REALLY gonna believe that – especially if they’ve tasted the Pizza Hut product. But it is going to make people stop and compare the two – and Pizza Hut will lose that comparision.

Third, it’s a mean-spirited idea. I can’t believe anybody’s gonna be delighted to learn that they’ve been fooled by a restaurant and by Pizza Hut. Kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth, no pun intended.

Fourth, I’m really fed up (again, no pun intended…I’m just hungry), with businesses that are dissatisfied with their core biz, and decide to branch out. That’s not expanding a franchise, people. It’s called losing focus. If you’re Pizza Hut, sell pizza. Not pasta. Not hot wings. Pizza. Do that better than anybody else, and the world will beat a path to your door. Do it the way you’ve been doing it, and you’ll be wondering where your market dominance has gone. (Hint: to your competition.)

Marketing can’t make a bad idea good. It can’t make illogical things logical. Pizza Hut is guilty of trying to do both, in the first degree.

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Jul 31 2009

Marketing Turncoats.

Posted by: admin in advertising, marketing, tags: , , ,

Remember the first time the Dems tried to get a government health care plan through Congress? Lemme refresh your memory. It was back during the Clinton years. Hillary was in charge, and she and her merry band of secret advisory panelists put together a plan with no outside input, then punted up to Capitol Hill. The plan was effectively D.O.A. One of the things that was credited with torpedoing the plan were commercials featuring “Harry and Louise” – a stereotypical, middle-age, made-for-TV couple, who turned out to be shilling for the Health Insurance Association of America, an industry lobbying group. The commercials showed them, sitting around the breakfast table, expressing genuine concern over how HillaryCare was about to force socialized medicine on the country. They were effective spots, and probably did more to  wake up the middle class as to what was going on in D.C. than anything else. Read the rest of this entry »

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