Friday, September 28, 2012

MySpace? Not yet.

After being bought by Rupert Murdoch for $580 million who watched it wither under his ownership and then sold to an investment group that includes Justin Timberlake for $35 million, there is soon to be a new MySpace.

I'm not sure how worried the folks at Facebook are or should be.

Built around the social aspects of music, art and entertainment, the new MySpace feels much more visual than Facebook and has a hook that could attract those who are looking for their social media to do more than just serve as a connection point for friends.

It's well designed, filled with content and, based on this intro video, provides an interesting user experience.

But is all this energy enough to overcome inertia?

Is there enough in the content and experience on MySpace to make it worth creating (or in my case reactivating) another social profile and spending time and energy there?

The best parties are not about the decor, the food, the entertainment or the location. They're about the people. So unless my friends migrate over to MySpace, I'll stay with Facebook's ugly and awkward interface and hope they improve other aspects of the experience over time.

MySpace might build a nice business by attracting people who are just coming into the social space, but if they've built their business plan on a mass migration of Facebook users, they might be looking for another buyer a few years from now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Humor is hard

Let me start by saying, I have no problems with ads that take shots at the competition. In fact, one of the best campaigns I ever wrote was competitive.

So why do I dislike this Samsung Galaxy S III spot so much?

It's not because the target of its derision is the iPhone. I don't own one, and even though I own several other Mac products, I don't covet one.

What bothers me about this spot – and prevents it from doing its most important job – is its tone.

You're not going to change the minds of people who own and want iPhones by telling them they're dumb, mindless sheep who have no idea what they're talking about – as over five million iPhone 5 sold last week demonstrates.

The humor just isn't funny or surprising enough to disarm the viewer and take the edge off the insults. Okay, the guy saving a place for his mom and dad is a little funny, but for the most part it lacks the subtlety that makes a spot like this work. As the commercial lurches from feature to feature, it feels like it was written by a junior marketing director, not a professional copywriter.

There's a fine line between having fun and making fun, and when you make fun of the people you'd like to have spend money on your product, they're less likely to do so.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The last straw

Last night at 11:20 pm I posted the following message on Facebook:

I mean it.

After years of the NFL treating fans who shell out $95 and up per game like extras in a Cecil B. DeMille production, former players like broken cars that can be towed to the junkyard after they're all used up, and television viewers like fools who can't tell the difference between real officials and referees who don't seem qualified to officiate Pop Warner games, I'm done.

And not just until the "real" referees return. I will no longer plan my Sundays around the 11:00 pregame show.

I will no longer watch Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, the NFL on Fox, CBS or any other network, all of which I've watched religiously for the past 20 years.

This is what happens when brand fanatics are betrayed. The fall is swift and hard.

I have no respect for brands that don't respect me. I don't buy their products. I don't support their services. I'm sure there are many others like me who feel the same way.

The NFL has demonstrated clearly that it cares very little about the people from whom they generate their billions of dollars of revenue every year.

They've proven that "player safety" are just random words they say on a regular basis to calm the masses after yet another particularly violent and vicious hit.

Hello home improvement projects, Volvo restoration, day trips, books and naps.

Goodbye NFL. I'll miss you. But not that much.