Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Survey Idiocy

August 23, 2009 Comments off

Last week I bought four pair of pants online at Wal-Mart.  Since I already knew the size and style, it was very easy.  Then in my inbox this morning, I found the following message:

Thanks for Shopping at!

Was your visit enjoyable?  We certainly hope so.  In fact, we’d appreciate your help in making the shopping xperience on our website even better by telling us what you think.  It’s easy and should only take about 10-20 minutes of your time…
(Emphasis mine)

Ten to twenty minutes? Hey, Wal-Mart web marketing division: are you all insane? 

Why don’t companies apply even an atom of common sense when making web surveys?  I’ll give you three minutes maximum, jokers.  Surely you know that one of the main reasons people shop on the web is quick convenience.  What kind of randomization do you expect to get asking for “10-20 minutes”?  Any marketing survey that long has simply not been well-designed.

Oh, and the three minutes it took me to write this blog entry?  That was the three minutes I would have spent filling out their survey if it had been the right length.

Categories: Advertising, business


May 27, 2008 3 comments

I don’t have a category for “gratuitous cuteness” but if I did, this would be in it.  Imagine you own a railway in Japan, and you aren’t packing in enough people to quite turn a profit.  Things are looking grim, until a cute little lost kitty comes to stay and saves the day

Categories: Advertising, business

Our buggy sales are slipping!

January 14, 2008 2 comments

Let’s lobby the city council to ban horseless carriages from the city limits!

In 2006 EMI, the world’s fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some teenagers into its headquarters in London to talk to its top managers about their listening habits.  At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table.  But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free.  “That was the moment we realized the game was completely up,” says a person who was there.

- The Economist, 18 January 2008, pg. 55, Music Industry; From major to minor

I dunno, guess it just struck me funny…


Categories: business

The PCR song (or “What is viral advertising?”)

January 12, 2008 1 comment

OK this is just frakkin’ brilliant.  Be sure to stick around for the chorus:

I often hear people use the term “Viral advertising” without knowing what it means.  Well folks, this is viral advertising at its best.  The basic idea is, you have to pay for the distribution of every idea.  Media networks insist on being paid in money.  But social networks will accept payment in humor, or beauty or excitement.  Make the ad interesting enough and people will pass it along to their friends, which boosts its perceived credibility anyway.

This company, BioRad, has a thermal-cycling PCR platform to sell.  Even though it can do some really exciting things, it’s a challenge to advertise.  They only have ‘x’ number of available advertising dollars, so they could:

  • Buy an ad in a professional journal, with a picture of the product line and a bit of text.  The ad would be ignored.

  • Buy access to a database of people who use this kind of technology (listen to the song and you’ll know who that is) and send them a mass mailing.  The mailing would be ignored.
  • Buy airtime on broadcast networks.  That would be a complete waste of money.
  • Spend ALL the money producing this hilarious song, and forget about distribution.  The humor essentially pays off science nerds everywhere to pass it from email to blog to “Hey, come listen to this!”

BioRad isn’t the only manufacturer of this kind of equipment.  But when people are building a crime lab or writing a grant application, what company do you suppose they’ll remember?  (From Greg Laden and as he notes, practically everybody else on the internet.)

Categories: Advertising, business

That little Apple jingle

August 7, 2007 1 comment

I wonder how much Apple paid for that simple little melody that plays in the background in their iPhone advertisements?  Whatever, it was worth it, because the tune is seriously stuck in my head.

Not that it’s likely to make me buy an iPhone, though.  I often forget to charge up the cellphone I already have.  I’d feel even dumber forgetting to charge up a phone that cost that much.

Categories: Advertising, business

Shop at Lowe’s

July 29, 2007 23 comments

What, a corporation that reviews the ethics of the programs on which it advertises, and tells Bill O’Reilly to take a hike?  Apparently so.

I wrote to Lowe’s and said how much I appreciate it.  O’Reilly damages my country every time he opens his mouth. Well, probably not every time.  Sometimes he’s probably just ordering coffee.

Categories: Advertising, business

“A fool and his money…”

July 2, 2007 1 comment

Categories: Advertising, business

Apparently there is not enough noise pollution

June 20, 2007 2 comments

Mrs DoF and I were accosted this morning by loudspeakers on gas pumps, blaring corporate jingles and today’s specials.  Loud enough to be heard nearly a block away.  But hard as it might be to imagine, there’s a way to ramp up the annoyance even higher.

Technology already being commercialized (for advertising) will allow narrow “beams” of sound that will be perceived as voices inside your head that no one else will hear.  Hope they include ads for antipsychotic meds…

Categories: Advertising, business

How do you apply for these kind of jobs?

June 7, 2007 2 comments

***Dave asks all the questions that come to mind when stabbing your eyeballs with the new logo for the 2012 London Olympics, starting with; “How can I get a job designing a phenomenally ugly civic event logo for almost seven hundred thousand bucks?”  Sign me up, as long as I don’t have to sign the finished product… Ye gads…

Categories: Advertising, business

Sleazy sales words

April 17, 2007 2 comments

Just before dropping the flyer from a local HVAC company into the trash, I spotted their…

IRONCLAD GUARANTEE:  We are confident that if your system is over 10 years old, you may significantly reduce your heating and cooling energy consumption – possibly as much as 25%**

There is no way you can lose.  If these premium air conditioners and matching furnaces were not among the best on the market, I could’t afford to make such a promise.

**Individual results may vary.

What promise? I lost track after the third or fourth conditional qualifier there.  Well, with an ironclad guarantee like that, how could I lose?  :lol:

Categories: Advertising, business