Archive for the 'Marketing' Category

Smart is the New i

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Does anyone want to predict which product will be the very last one that receives a brand name that starts with a lower case ‘i’?

Perhaps an iToilet? (wow, i looked it up and nerds have been plumbing that joke for a decade)

Maybe an iCoffin? (kinda edgy in a morbid way, it seems that Steve Jobs’ medical leave sparked a bunch of macabre nerds to make prototypes already)


I am hoping that the word Smart takes over as the default prefix for cool new stuff. Smart Cars are great. Smart Wood is a great program.

I’m undecided about SmartHouse. A truly smart company would have invested in good English translations of the their promotional text.

Using the word Smart in your product branding is a great way to sell stuff to people who want to think of themselves as smart. You are not in any way limiting yourself to people who are actually smart. Steve Pavlina’s site is a case in point.

As a child, I was sometimes called Smarty-Marty. I preferred that to Farty-Marty, which was the more popular of the two choices.

The King of Burgers…and Viral Marketing

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Sometimes really silly marketing ploys work amazingly well. Somebody in marketing thought that it would be a great idea to offer a free Whopper to anyone who was willing to ’sacrifice’ (delete) 10 Facebook friends. I would have done this in a heartbeat although I don’t even know if the franchise exists where I am presently living. Alas, it was an idea that worked too well. As this screencap shows, the deal was suspended after thousands upon thousands of people jumped on it.


I would be very interested to know the total cost for this promotion. It’s safe to assume that the majority of vouchers would be redeemed since the chain has 11,550 outlets in 71 countries. The design and development costs for the Facebook App were probably borne in part by Facebook (note: I have NO idea what I am talking about). The cost is nearly irrelevant when you try to get your head around the amount of word of mouth advertising that branches off of this for both Facebook and BurgerKing.

The guy who ditched 10 Facebook friends will be waiting in line at Burger King to get his free Whopper and he will feel compelled to talk about how he got the voucher. The US is the target market of this idea and Facebook has only recently become the #1 social website there. There is still lots of room for increases. Many of the people who are not yet on Facebook are waiting in line at Burger King.

The genius part of this gimmick will benefit Burger King. When friends were deleted, the deletion and the reason behind it was broadcast on the member feeds. Logic would seem to dictate that the people most willing to sacrifice friends are the ones who have a very large number of friends.


FDA Cracks Down on Diet Pills

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

As Christmas was approaching, the FDA was publishing its list and checking it twice. As it turns out, they had to add a whack of weight loss pills to their naughty list. There are presently about 70 products that are problematic. The list is too long and ugly for my blog, so I made a separate page.

Many of these pills are produced in China. Some of them contain drugs that are only approved for prescription use while others contain suspected carcinogens, unapproved drugs and drugs that can cause seizures.