Mashable just posted a story about a woman who got body-shamed (we didn’t know that was “a thing”) following a seemingly innocuous date. We have written a fair amount about the perils of (in)human communication in the digital space. But a guy who trashes his Tinder date online deserves a response. He got far more than he bargained for. If you play with fire are you prepared to suffer the consequences?
The 2015 Darwin Awards have been announced! The awards, given each year since 1994, “commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.” This year’s winner was a rocket scientist (!) who attached a JATO unit to his car. A Jet Assist Take Off rocket is used to give cargo jets an extra “oomph” on short runways. The Arizona Highway Patrol estimates he’d reached a ground speed in excess of 350+ MPH before the car got airborne and plowed into a rock face. Needless to say, all Darwin Awards are given posthumously. What did you witness this year that could almost qualify to become a nominee?
Ferrari sold just 5,267 cars last year spread among five different models. They earned 9% net profit on 1.75 billion Euros in sales competing with probably ten other manufacturers targeting that tiny sliver of global wealth where spending $200,000+ on a sports car is “reasonable.” It’s rarified air where the pressure to do the next one better, faster, sleeker is intense, never-ending and the slightest error can truly impact the bottom line. What do you do to segment your markets so that however small the audience may be the desire for what you offer transcends the price you can charge?
This week’s “best picks” from Adweek feature a pair of commercials which suffer from extreme borrowed interest. Both spots are warm, emotional and heartfelt. But both serve their clients only tangentially. A spot for Duracell features a stuffed bear with a recorded message that lasts until dad comes home from the war. The Kleenex spot features a guy in a wheelchair and his (canine) best friend…and his wife reaching for a Kleenex as she tells their story. A big “huh?” for both of them. Do you make sure your product doesn’t get lost in the drama of your creative?
Russia has started a Public Service campaign to reduce the number of deaths by people taking selfies (sample Russian selfie at left). Among their tips (folks, we’re not making this up): Don’t take selfies on railroad tracks, don’t take selfies on building roofs and (probably most obvious) don’t take selfies posing near wild tigers. As if the selfie “movement” isn’t obnoxious enough can you believe the level of narcissistic stupidity that can be life threatening?
Or should that be read “millions?” Pervasive marketing brings out lovers and haters. And the critics were less than kind, earning the movie a mere 54 on Rotten Tomatoes. But with over $110 million in ticket sales for the opening weekend, it would appear that the lovers and licensees have won. That said, what do you do to strike the best balance between driving consumer love vs. driving consumers mad?
A regular reader of ours called attention to a new line of bass guitars he saw at a trade show. They’re called “Low End Basses.” We understand it’s supposed to be a double entendre: Low End (price) and Low End (bass range). But there’s a third meaning here: Low Quality. Perhaps they realized this but were more enamored of the first two meanings. But it was one of their customers who picked up the awkward third choice and e-mailed us. Do you consider all meanings when marketing your products?
ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) have gone from simple, three-wheeled off-roaders to sophisticated two-, four- and six-seaters with cup holders, all-weather canopies and $16,000 price tags. No wonder in advertising their new ATV, Kawasaki’s commercial features all the “work” you can get done with one. No hunting, fishing or camping images—just wood being chopped, hay bales being hauled…everything a guy would need to convince his wife they should get one. When you go after men (or women), do you consider their spouses in helping to make the sale?
A friend recently called our attention to a blog by Jena McGregor in the Washington Post. New work patterns and technology have created distinct times when you should—or shouldn’t—do certain activities. For example, the best meeting time appears to be 2:30pm on Tuesdays, “because that is the furthest you can get from the deadlines at the end of the week, without bumping into the missed deadlines from the week before.” Other insights include worst times for a job interview, best times for email and worst day for cold calling. Do you manage your calendar and communication to be most effective in successfully achieving your objectives?
There’s a new game in town. Russian Roulette is an insane and lethal game, but this new game-Dinner Roulette-is anxiety-provoking, stressful and, well, fun. When out at a restaurant with friends, everyone has to place their cellphone in the middle of the table. The first person who reaches for their phone—for any reason—has to pay for the entire meal. A great way to keep technology out of the conversation. Do you think you’d win or lose that game?