Tag Archives: Marketing

Cascading Confusion

 

I went to the supermarket earlier today to pick up a few things and one of the items was dishwashing detergent.  So I look at the Cascade pods and here are the choices I’m faced with.

Clorox-Plat-AP-300Compl-Lem-AP-300 Clorox-Lem-AP-1600

The one on the right is six times the power, the one in the middle is eight times the power and the one on the left is their platinum product;  their strongest cleaning detergent at ten times the power.

The interesting thing is that they’re all the same price and none were on sale.

Now I’m a simple guy so I’d like to ask any Cascade marketing genius out there a few simple questions.

Why would I buy something that is six or eight times strong when I can buy  what you advertise as your, ten times strong, best product, at the same price I can by the others?

Why is it necessary to create three different kinds of packaging and take up three times as much shelf space when you can market and sell your best product with one package in less space?

Is your marketing/research development departments bored or over-staffed to the extent they find it necessary to force me to put on my glasses and read the entire front package of all three items to see if there’s a small print, trick cleaning formula that’s not obvious without intense study?

What was the conversation like in the meeting room when this idea was presented to the decision makers and has the air quality in your facility been tested for long-term exposure to the particles that make up your product?

Is this your idea of a joke?

Then again, maybe I’m missing a bigger picture.

Or not.

 

Have You Met Evan Yet?

This is Evan. He’s nine years old and adorable, isn’t he?

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Maybe you’ve seen him before on a talk show or in a magazine article? What makes him a little different from other nine-year old children? Well, Evan reviews toys on youtube. Sometimes he shares the spotlight with his siblings while his father records and produces the video’s before selling ad time to toy companies. Nice little family business, don’t you think? The kids get to have fun playing with toys and their parents get to spend some nice bonding time with their children.

There is one other bit of information I should probably mention. Last year, Evan earned close to 1.5 million dollars, while his youtube channels have exceeded 1 billion views.

Evan is nine years old, adorable, charming as all heck and earns money playing with toys. Well, lots of money, actually.

Here’s one of Evan’s reviews, in case you’re curious. Have a great day at work tomorrow.

 

But I Can’t See Ya, Sia

Most of you have probably heard of or seen listened to an Australian singer/songwriter by the name of Sia. She’s a very successful songwriter who has written songs, for and with, people like Christina Aquilera, Rhianna, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Lea Michele and Mary J Blige, among others. She has also toured and performed on a number of television shows, including a recent appearance on The Voice.
However the thing that sets Sia apart from other people who decide to tour or perform live, is that she doesn’t want anyone to see her face. So she either wears a wig that covers all but her lips or she sings with her back to the audience.

Like this…..images-4

Or this……..images-1And she gives
interviews like this….images-3Or with a bag covering her face, which is how she appears on the cover of Billboard Magazine.

At first I thought this was pretty cool. It’s a quirky thing to do but it does get your attention so from a publicity position people will definitely be talking about you and listening to your music.

But quite honestly, after five minutes the novelty wore off and it got old for me. I even started getting a little annoyed.

Now, I think people should be allowed to market themselves any way they like, regardless of how it makes them appear to me or anyone else.  Hell, I don’t care if you walk down the street with a bag over your head or a wig covering your face. It’s your life and you can live it any way you choose as long as you’re not hurting anyone or invading my space.

Just please don’t be a hypocrite.

The reasons Sia gives for not wanting to show her face in public is because she claims that becoming a celebrity is her worst nightmare and she doesn’t want to sell her soul, body and peace of mind for fame.  Hey, I’m all on board with that philosophy. You want to stay in the background anonymously and write music in the comfort of your room while you lay around with your dogs? I wish you all the peace and success in the world. Fame and success can be difficult, at time.

images-2I’m just a little confused about why you’re looking to retain ownership of your body and soul, and then decide to go on tour. I’m also skeptical about why you feel being a celebrity is your worst nightmare and then appear on Ellen and The Voice, among other national shows.  Did you believe your exposure on tour and national television would lessen after those appearances?
You also said you’re not going to tour anymore but when you do perform you’ll do it with your back to the audience. HUH? Now, I’m really stumped. Are you going to tour or not going to tour? Is performing different from touring if you travel to different locations and sing in front of live audiences? Is it just me that thinks you’re speaking out of both sides of your exposed lips?

Oh, I forgot to mention. In 2014, Sia was ranked as the 97th richest Australian under the age of 40. Now, I’m not a genius but I’m guessing some of that money came from those tours where she refused to look at her audience while she sang.  Some people call that disrespect. Some might call it quirkiness. Some might even call it brilliant. Hey, she’s probably laughing on her way to the bank and can care less how this all sounds or what people think. Good for her.

I don’t know what it is with some artists today. Everything has to be an outlandish production that gets people talking the next day. Look, when you’re talented you don’t need props or twerks to get you headlines. A few years ago Adele took the stage at the Grammy’s in a simple black dress with four backup singers and six or seven band members. She stood in front of an audience of her peers and didn’t move at all as she sang.

And she burned the house down. Standing O. Take a look……

When you have talent,you don’t need anything else to make it work.

See ya, Sia.

Wal-Mart’s Fat Girl Line

So the largest retailer in the country decides that a “fat girl” line of Halloween costumes is the perfect marketing tool for their business. Before we move on, let that thought marinate for a while….a “fat girl” line of clothing. I wonder what they were thinking, how many people sat in on that meeting and if anyone in attendance raised their hand and said, “Look, I like that Queen song as much as the rest of you but maybe we should reconsider the wording here. I don’t think it translates well to our marketing plan and overall image.” You would think, right? Just one person?

Look , I don’t know squat about marketing. Never took a course, sat in a meeting, or made a decision about a product. But if you walked into a room of first grader’s and asked them what they thought of that language, they’d probably tell you it was inappropriate. First graders.

So now we have a room full of suit geniuses with degrees and years of business experience who lack our society’s basic diminishing supply of common sense. This isn’t even marketing 101, this is preschool 101….never make fun of others.

A spokesperson from Wal-Mart made a statement saying, “This should have never been on our site in the first place. ” Nothing like stating the obvious, huh?

But it does beg the question of how this happened in the first place. So after doing some undercover work on my own and interviewing people who participated in the meeting, I can give you a full report on what was said and how this all transpired. (See, I told you coming here would improve your knowledge of world events.)

How it all happened……obviously Genius 1 is the main decision maker, or SVP of Marketing.

(Genius 1) I was riding home last night and that Prince song came on the radio. Something about big ass women.

(Genius 3) You mean Queen and Fat Bottomed Girls?

(Genius 1) Whatever. Anyway, some DJ guy came on talking about how popular the song was and that the lead singer was some sort of homo and that some people were Gleeful when they sang it on TV and it did well.

(Genius 4) Actually, Freddie Mercury was gay and he Queen were one of the more influential bands in music history. And I think the show you’re referring to is called Glee and yes, they did perform that song on one of their shows.

(Genius 1) Whatever. So I was thinking we could probably tap into that thinking. Create a marketing plan for big fat women and put a label like that on our web site. Hey, Halloween is coming up soon. Fat people need costumes, right? It’s really unbelievable how these amazing ideas just pop into my head.

(Genius 2) Well, we already have a plus size line that does well.

(Genius 1) What the hell does plus size mean?

(Genius 5) It’s line of clothing for larger people.

(Genius 1) That’s a bullshit title. Do we also have a “minus” size line of clothing for boney ass people?

(Genius 6) No, we don’t. But I think you’re missing the point here. Actually, I’m confused. What exactly is your point?

(Genius 1) My point, for those of you who can’t see beyond your own snicker bars, is that we need to be bold with this idea. Everyone in retail has, whatever you call them, plus size lines. I think we need a a Fat Girl line. Think of the possibilities. We will be ahead of the curve on this one. Everyone will end up following us. The biggies will flock to our stores.

(Administrative Assistant to Genius 1) Actually Mr Genius 1, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I afraid it might offend a wide range of people and create a lot of bad will with our consumers. I can speak from experience that I would find it offensive and degrading.

(Genius 1) Hell, girl….I’ve told you before you should lay off the chips and guac dip. Besides, who the #&%#* asked for your opinion.

(Genius 3) Maybe we should ask legal about this before we put it out there? Just in case there’s some backlash?

(Genius 1) Legal? Isn’t she one of those blimps who’d buy our Fat Girl line? Nah, she’ll love it. No reason to ask her. Just get it on the website as soon as possible. We’ve got a winner here people. A real winner.

So that’s how the decision was made, Wal-Mat style.

G.K. Chesterton once said, “It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.”

Makes you wonder what’s behind insensitive door number 2.