I have noticed several products recently in the grocery store that look kind of like off-brand items, like cereal, snacks, ice cream, but upon closer inspection, what appears to be a dog mascot actually indicates that these are items for dogs. I wasn’t fooled by the cereal or snacks, as it was pretty clear that they were for dogs, but I almost bought the ice cream sandwiches. Who would have thought they make ice cream for dogs?
I recently received a free razor in the mail. It has 5 blades and really looks ridiculous. Can all these blades really make a difference? Actually, they do. Am I going to use this new razor? Not a chance.
Sure the razor was free, but blades are expensive. An 8-pack of blades is $25. Even with the $2 off coupon included with the razor, these are $3 per blade. This is a standard marketing tactic to give away the base part for little or no money and charge a high price for the additional or replacement parts. Remember those cheap halogen floor lamps that everyone bought for $30-$40 and found out the replacement bulbs were $15?
A closer shave may be important to some people, but not to me at this cost.
The Duke Football Program (one of the worst in the nation) is utilizing resources from the Fuqua Business School (one of the best in the nation) to create a strategic plan for winning. It is actually an economic model, because Duke is in the red due to the high cost of running a football program. One way to increase revenue is to win and bring the fans back.
Read about it in the News & Observer
I just placed my first order with CD Baby, an independent web site that sells CDs that come direct from musicians. I have followed them for quite a while, as they offer artists an outlet to sell CDs without a lot of trouble. They even offer digital distribution services to artists to sell their music on iTunes and other digital outlets. In fact, they function as an online record label for smaller artists who want to do things on their own terms.
Well, after my first purchase I received the following email:
Thanks for your order with CD Baby!
This is just a happy automated email to let you know a real person
will email you as soon as your package is sent, and you will also
receive a paper receipt with your order in the mail.
Please save this email in case you have any questions about your
** NOTE: if any of the info below looks wrong, please hit REPLY now
to let us know!
CD Baby, the cutest little record store on the web.
Nothing about this email prepared me for the next email to come:
Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with
sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure
it was in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over
the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party
marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of
Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in
our private CD Baby jet on this day, Wednesday, June 27th.
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all
exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby
the little store with the best new independent music
http://cdbaby.com firstname.lastname@example.org (503)595-3000
This email made me smile. They understand the importance of the customer experience enough to poke fun at its importance. Very cool. Not to mention that my CD shipped in one business day after my order.
I recently saw a Sprint commercial addressing the serious condition of Connectile Dysfunction. The only amusing thing about it is that it shows how common the ED type commercials are.
There’s a recent piece in Slate.com about marketers’ penchant to resurrect old and dead brands like a horde of zombies:
Last October, few tears were shed when Ford ended production of the Taurus. The unlovely, workhorse sedan had been the company’s best-selling unit for much of the 1990s, mostly because of huge sales to rental-car companies. Shutting down production was a sign that Ford, in the midst of a serious restructuring, was looking to the future. But then in February, Ford announced that it would resume producing a car with the Taurus nameplate in the summer of 2007. continue reading
There has even been a follow-up, a return of the zombie brands article.
The following are Nike Football (Soccer) ads directed by Terry Gilliam (Monty Python animator and director of Brazil and Time Bandits).
The Secret Tournament
from USA Today:
Multitasking viewers start before the game ends: As the fourth quarter was winding down last year, the 22 Super Bowl advertisers with major websites already were drawing 782,679 visitors a minute, according to Akamai Technologies, an Internet traffic specialty firm.
And here’s a link to USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Section
For as long as I can remember, Thomas’s English Muffins have touted their “nooks and crannies” as a unique product feature. If you have ever tried store brand English muffins, you know that this really is a product differentiator.
These days we buy the whole wheat variety of Thomas’s Engish Muffins, which are part of the “Hearty Grains” line. The most recent package says “New Look! Same Great Taste.” The additional copy below it reads: “Heartier Nooks & Healthier Crannies.”