Tag Archives: bad ideas

sadly, this is not a parody

One of the best indicators that you have a horrible idea is that people think its a joke.

Microsoft wants you to have Windows 7 launch party. This is not a joke.

PLEASE do not invite me to any such “party”. If I find out that you’re having such a party, I will call the cops to break it up. I would assume the police would find the idea of the party so disturbing that they would not hesitate to break out the tasers and clubs. You’ve been warned.

If you decide to ignore these warnings, do make sure your guest list includes an obvious forced diversity as Microsoft has done in their sample party video. If you can make it through the entire sample video without rolling your eyes or throwing up, then maybe you’re a good candidate for one of these parties. 

Death of TV ads

Two options for talking to the public…

1) Speak honestly to them. Sometimes they’ll be interested and listen. Sometimes they won’t and will tune you out. Not going to buy this time?….Well, maybe next time.

2) Take out a gun, point it at them and say “You’re going to listen.”.

The first option makes the customer want to have another conversation with you when it’s time to buy something.

The second doesn’t.

Philips has created a technology that could let broadcasters freeze a channel during a commercial, so viewers wouldn’t be able to avoid it. (See full story here.)

My favorite quote?

“Philips acknowledged, however, that the anti-channel changing technology might not sit well with consumers and suggested in its patent filing that consumers be allowed to avoid the feature if they paid broadcasters a fee.”

If this technology is deployed, it will work for a short while…and then the 30-second spot will fully die.

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The Original Idea

Quickly answer these 3 questions about current major corporate ad campaigns…
1) Why do Microsoft’s ads currently have “dinosaur people” in them?
2) Why does David Spade torture his pudgy cubicle buddy when he doesn’t say “No” in Capital One spots?
3) Also with Capital One…why are those Vikings running around…or unemployed?

There once was an “original idea” with all these ad campaigns. And those ideas are the answers:
1) You’re supposed to “evolve” to the newest version of MS Office. If you haven’t, you’re still a dinosaur.
2) Capital One doesn’t say “no” when you try to redeem rewards. David Spade and the rest of the cubicle farm work for the credit card competitors.
3) Credit works peacefully until you get the bill or the rate goes up causing credit card robber barons (a.k.a. Vikings) to rob and pillage your money.

The problem is that consumers have to already have seen the “original” ad for the current one to make sense. You’re joining a program already in progress. There are big problems with this.

First, unless you have an obscene ad budget, this will never work. It takes many viewings of any ad before it finally starts to sink in. In addition, you’re assuming that people care about your advertising and are paying attention to your every move. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. If it did, you’d only have the run the ad once.

Even worse, you may be sending the wrong message to consumers who may not “get it”. A prime example is the David Spade Capital One campaign. I bet that if Capital One did some research they would find that a significant percentage of consumers think that David Spade and his pudgy friend work FOR Capital One…and don’t realize the spots lampoon the competition.

The masses are just that…masses. It’s hard to get their attention, hard to get them to change course, and hard to get them to understand. You ALWAYS have to make it clear and not assume they know anything.

One of my primary marketing rules is this…No one cares about your marketing except you. Consumers care about what a product/service can do for them. They really aren’t paying attention to your extremely clever advertising.

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