Ambiguous Marketing for the Digital TV Transition

If you watch TV at all, you’ve likely seen a few (hundred) ads for this Digital TV Transition that’s taking place next February. It’s part of $200 million ad campaign to make consumers aware of the switch.

These ads tell you a few things. First, there’s a change happening in February 2009. Second, if you use an antenna, you need to get a converter box. Third, there’s a government coupon program to help you buy a converter box. But it stops there, encouraging consumers to find out the rest of the information on their own; particularly about the price .

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eTrade Starts to Backpedal

I so called this one.

So I’m walking out the door today, and as I go to turn off the TV, I see the e*Trade talking baby commercial. Just before I turn it off, I heard something that didn’t jive with what I had heard the 10 times I added the video to my last blog post (yes, I obsess at times).

I step back and play the commercial again, and sure enough: eTrade is now advertising savings accounts that earn six times the national average – down from their initial claim 8x. It turns out that the national average isn’t actually falling; eTrade just couldn’t sustain their initial promise. There aren’t any online videos with this updated version yet, but I’ll be keeping an eye out.

This makes me even less likely to sign up for an account with them. In two more months, will it be four times the national average? Or perhaps they’ll aim for the top of the bell curve. Either way, it won’t be with my money.

Ambiguous Marketing

I got an email from one of my credit card companies today saying that my card has been upgraded! Because, in case you haven’t heard, credit cards are software too.

I chuckled at first when I saw the message at the bottom about how to take advantage of the offer:

On the one hand, it could simply mean that after I call that number, the upgrade will take hold. All I need to do is use my card.

On the other hand, I haven’t used this card since I got it . Perhaps this is them pleading with me to actually make a purchase so they can start charging me interest. Ah, the joys of cards with no annual fees.

Maybe the ambiguity is all in my head, but I got a kick out of it anyway.

Taste: The Next Front in Branding?

One of the health-related blogs that I follow had an article today about a new Welch’s ad in People Magazine that allows you to actually lick a panel on the magazine to taste the product.

I’m not sure what I think about this new marketing strategy… but I’m curious to see if it will catch on.

Pennies or Dollars: How Much is Just Right?

When Bank of America came out with their Keep the Change program last year, I thought it was really clever. They simultaneously targeted people who (for whatever reason) aren’t proactive about saving, and made the barrier to entry super low.

Then during the this year’s Superbowl, Wachovia came out with Way2Save , which is the same basic idea, except instead of rounding up the purchase, a full dollar is transfered into your savings account with each purchase. The commercial even ends with the line, “More than just change.”

Oooh, snap.

But is the secret to this marketing strategy simply “more is better?” There’s some interesting Psychology here that I just had to explore.

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Creepy Deja Vu

So I was surfing the internet today, learning all the intricacies of Windows Movie Maker (don’t ask), when I came across a particularly disturbing ad:

First thought: Eww, gross. Second thought: Wait a second. Haven’t I been asked that question before?

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Learn Math With Toilet Paper

I know that a lot of people dislike math, but are we in such a sad state that something like this is really necessary?

Is this a case of having too much space to say something and not knowing what to say? Or do they really think that the majority of their audience will get confused in interpreting the difference between single, double, and triple?

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Who Loves Ya?

What? What do you mean , not me?! Just cuz I tend to blog in waves, and had a bit of downtime earlier… gosh, you’re all so picky… Look on the bright side. I’m back blogging again, which means at least another 2 weeks of posts. Or… not. We’ll see what happens.

Actually, the correct answer to the question is Flickr. In what must be a new marketing move, I noticed a new, subtle message in the latest Flickr logo :

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A while back, I received a new credit card in the mail, and I thought there was some kind of mistake…

The card was missing any sort of branding! Doesn’t it look naked without it?? Read more…

Jumping on the Apple Bandwagon

Look what I found in Best Buy today!

I remember a time in high school when I went to Best Buy just looking for some floppy disks for my parents’ Mac computer. The associate scoffed at me, saying (in a snooty tone), “We don’t carry anything Mac compatible.” My, how the tables have turned…