Friday, June 10, 2011

Sometimes it's okay to tick off customers

On the heels of yesterday's post, I thought I'd present a good reason to make a customer or two angry.

(This does contain profanity, so if you're in your cube or around small children, put your headphones on)

Now, normally I'm not a big fan of crowdsourcing to create advertising, but when something like this falls into your lap, you just have to use it.

Kudos to the folks at Alamo Drafthouse for creating the best "Don't Text During the Movie" ad ever.

I wish that the folks at Marcus Corp would enforce this rule so diligently.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A missed connection

I never understood why companies do this.

Yesterday I went to upgrade one of the phones on my wireless plan. After seeing all the options offered on their website, I decided on a new Smartphone that would cost $89 if I selected a two-year contract. Fair enough. I decided to come back later and make the transaction.

When I returned to the site, I saw the phone I wanted but this time it was listed for $49 with the same contract. Bonus!

Then I read the fine print and that $49 price was for new customers only.

So let me get this straight. I've been giving you over $200 a month for three years for my family plan with data plans, unlimited texting, shared minutes, etc., and you're going to charge me MORE than someone who hasn't given you a dime?

Guess what? I'm shopping around now. Hey, if new customers are more valuable than loyal customers like me, why don't I become someone else's new customer and reap the benefits.

So my wireless company has put a relationship at risk that generates over $2,500a year in revenue for a measly 40 bucks.

That, my friends, is not good marketing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Design that pops

On the Red Pop website, I found this statement:

"Every single thing we make follows the Beep design ethos: simple and elegant objects that do one thing really well."

Maybe that's what allowed them to create this simple, cool iPhone accessory that makes its built-in camera operate more like a camera. When you attach the device to your phone, it automatically launches your camera app and rather than having to use the phones interface to activate the shutter, you use the red button on top to get the shot.

As one who has missed a lot of shots fumbling with the camera app on my phone, I love this idea. I also love the fact that the design references the old take up reels on 35mm film cameras.

Apparently I'm not the only one since they've more than doubled their target fundraising goal on Kickstarter.

It just goes to show what can happen when you do one thing really well.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A business named after its clients

The very funny Will Arnett and Jason Bateman have a marketing company called DumbDumb where they develop online videos for brands to post on their websites, YouTube channels and other media.

The idea is interesting, the videos on the main are funny, and they seem to have a steady business based on the promotion they've been getting on late night talk shows and news channels. There's just one problem: no one's watching.

At least not the videos they've produced for Denny's

They've created a talk show set in a Denny's booth, starring a comedian David Koechner (Todd Packer on The Office) as the host interviewing their comic acting friends. And so far the most popular video has was posted on March 23 and has just a little over 10,000 views. I don't know what they cost to produce, how much the actors are paid, or what Bateman and Arnett's fee is, but lets just say for the sake of argument they cost a very reasonable $100,000 per episode.

Ten bucks per view is a terrible ROI.

Viewers are out there. Just last week Rihanna's new video was viewed over eleven million times.

They're just not there for brands who think the internet revolves around them.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Crazy fast

A lousy cell phone pic
of the new EBR 1190RS
Erik Buell isn't about to slow down.

After having his original eponymous motorcycle company shuttered by Harley back in October of 2009, he assembled a band of true believers and launched his next venture, Erik Buell Racing with a single focus: to produce the ultimate American superbike. In just a little over a year, he seems to be well on the road to success.

I met Erik Buell this past weekend at Road America where his lone entry was holding its own against multi-bike teams backed by some of the biggest names in the motorcycle industry, earning a top 10 finish in just its fourth race.

As much as I enjoyed seeing his motorcycle go fast around the best road course in North America, I was even more interested to discover the new EBR 1190RS street bike on display in all its carbon fiber glory in the EBR paddock area.

Buell could have given up when he lost the support of Harley. Instead he took advantage of his newfound freedom to do something his old bosses would never allow him to: create legitimate alternative to the Ducati 1098R. This two-wheeled masterpiece is a testament to what one man can achieve when he has a rare combination of vision, passion, expertise and insanity.

And while I'll probably never get the opportunity to ride, much less own, this $40,000 beast, I'm glad Erik Buell is here to remind us all that nobody can kill a dream if you're not ready to stop dreaming.