Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Out of touch

Diana Kingsbury, my co-advisor, and I were talking last night about our weekends before our weekly meeting.

"I feel so out of touch now. I'm back in the stone age!" she said very impatiently. "I don't know how I'm going to survive!"

You see, Diana had an unfortunate experience with her cell phone and some dampness. Her cell phone didn't make it.

This conversation got me thinking more about this wave of technology and how much our daily lives are wrapped around it. When I was in 9th grade I had a pager and that was considered VERY risky (and a bit trendy). Now, cell phone providers are targeting kids of all ages using the array of family plans to sweeten the deal.

And actually, to tell you the truth, they are doing one heck of a good job in advertising to this young generations.

For example, we've all seen the T-Mobile commercial with the parents engaged in a conversation on awarding their kids with more minutes based on their behavior - with a clever shot in to the driveway showing these same adorable youngsters fighting while washing the car and the father saying something clever about also taking away minutes too.

This ad will hit home for the parents and the children looking for yet another reason to ask their parents for a cell phone.

I can just picture it...

Father: "You don't need a cell phone."
Daughter: "Yes I do! Pleaaaase?"
Father: "No. Why do you think you need a cell phone? You are ten years old!"
Daughter: "Because! Everyone else has one! I promise I'll be good!"
Father: "How can you promise that?"
Daughter: "If I'm not good then you can take my minutes away and I won't be able to use my phone but just to call you and Mom!"

And just like that, T-Mobile sells another family plan to this family. Why? The son has a point, everyone else DOES have one. Plus, it is good to have on you for emergencies and it is an excellent way to keep track of your kids.

Word of the Day

Word of the Day: Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)

Definition of IMC: A combination of appropriate marketing communication disciplines, media and vehicles in a marketing campaign designed to achieve a set of objectives.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Now that's a shame

PlayStation Portable (PSP) made its debut in the United States in March of 2005. Afterwards, like any smart company, Sony decided to beef up the advertising and chose to include larger than life PSP units mounted on billboards.

Very neat. Oh, but wait... what is that error message in the lower right corner?

That can't be good! Sadly, it was too late to fix this problem and PSP billboards all over the world crashed.

How could this have been prevented? Well, I have never claimed to be a technowiz, but certainly I am no stranger in the field. But, this is a matter of simple testing. It was a great idea, one that is very unique and very appealing to the eye... that is, when it is actually functioning up to its capabilities.

What can we learn from this failed (and very expensive) advertising lesson?

When marketing something (or yourself), make it appealing - but also ensure you are in it for the long-haul. Nothing is more frustrating than learning too late about a problem that could have been solved before launch - imagine how Sony felt!

Also, make sure you are emphasizing your capabilities and strengths. People will see you for your abilities and respect that you have challenged yourself in your weaknesses before launch. That's a lesson we can all learn from.


Word of the Day

Today's word of the day: Free-standing insert (FSI)

Definition of FSI: an individual or group of advertisements inserted without bound in a print publication. It is only located on pages that contain the ads and are unique to any other editorial or entertainment matter.