Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Lazy Flower Catalogs

‘Tis the season for flower catalogs. We’ve been getting a bunch of them lately, and most of them are in the traditional catalog format.

But one enterprising company decided to saved money on staples and binding work, and instead has mailed out loose pages.

image of a catalog with pages not stapled together

Maybe some people like flower catalogs that fall apart when you open them, or that get scattered by the wind, but I find them annoying. These go promptly in the trash.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 16:19

Gloves of Cat

Wandering through a nearby Menard’s store, I saw some gloves that promised to be warm.

image of cat lined gloves

The problem with these is that my wife is allergic to cats, so having cat fur in the house (and on my hands) would not be good.

Normally, fur-lined gloves and hats and stuff are made of rabbit. Cat would be a new one, but there certainly is no shortage of cat-fur supply in this country.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.

Genesis 3:21

Ticket Monster

My wife saw that the Harlem Globetrotters would be in our arena soon, and she thought it would be fun to take the kids. Tickets were about $20 apiece, so that seemed reasonable for a fun break from the winter weather.

image of expected ticket prices from Ticketmaster

My wife was looking at the tickets and picking out a good section, but I stopped her when I noticed it was through Ticketmaster. They were a major reason I left my last email address – could not get them to stop sending me email, so I abandoned that email address. They’re probably still spamming it. I wanted to setup a temporary email for this transaction, so we could delete it and be free from Ticketmaster spam after our event.



I think the current Apple CEO should commission a microwave before he leaves the company, whenever that may be. There is a golden opportunity there.

For example, here is the control panel of a normal microwave.

front panel of a normal microwave

And here is the control panel of an Apple microwave.

front panel of an Apple microwave

No, I did not change just the logo.

I have no suggestions right now as to what that first button would do, but it would be a way for Mr. Cook to cement his name to remain in the product after he’s gone.

Take the ram for the ordination and cook the meat in a sacred place.

Exodus 29:31

Not Hand Picked

I registered as a member at the Home Depot website. Which means that I get their emails. Which means I am a target of their marketing.

So they sent me this email:

image of an advertisement that was not handpicked

And I doubt that it was “handpicked”.

My guess it was an algorithm that determined which items they would like to sell, and then they sent me and everyone else in my area those items.

They were not picked especially for me. Nor were they picked by hand. The items were picked by computer for a group of people.

I don’t know why it bothers me that they say that. I ignore those emails anyway. The only emails that get my attention are the 10% or 15% off for this week emails. I add things to my Home Depot shopping list and wait for the coupon. Then I go buy them when they are discounted via the coupon. Emails with random (to me) items that you want to sell are not going to catch my attention.

After mulling it over for a few minutes now, I think I do know why it bothers me – they are misusing the word “handpicked”. It has a specific definition, which they are ignoring to further their marketing purposes. It’s like the boy who cried wolf. But now it’s the marketer who cried handpicked. By the time someone who actually handpicks things tries to use it, it will be meaningless to the public and they won’t care about handpicked anymore.

So, please, use “handpicked” correctly. Save it for when it is true.

And don’t get me started on mass email that contain the phrase “personally invite” or “personal invitation”.

Pick up your bundle from the ground, You who dwell under siege!

Jeremiah 10:17

Steakhouse Slogan

I realize this post is years behind the times, but I must vent about Outback Steakhouse’s slogan of “No Rules, Just Right”.

My first thought when I heard that slogan was that I should go have a meal and then walk out without paying. If they complained, I would respond that their ad had billed their restaurant as a place with no rules, which means that they can’t tell me I have to pay anything.

And the second thing that came to mind was regarding the second half of that slogan. For how can you know what is right if there are no rules? If something is right, then there must be a wrong. And what is it that divides right from wrong? Rules.

Alas, they switched their slogan to “Done Right” before I did anything about “No Rules, Just Right”.

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Judges 21:25

Gas and Go

Apparently some people followed the directions on the front of this box:

image of moto mini bike box that says to just add handlebars and gas

Just attach the handlebars, add gas, and you can start driving.

And I’m sure they did. And I’m sure it worked fine.

For one time.

After that, it was probably hard to start. And they probably started complaining to the manufacturer (and/or the store where they bought the product).

And, after some intensive customer service work, they probably had some satisfied customers.

And they probably had a lesson for their packaging/labelling/marketing group.

image of moto mini bike that says to add engine oil before using it

I counted three separate stickers – one on the seat (so you would see it before you sat down to drive it), one on the gas cap (so you would see it as you went to fill it with that initial gas), and one on the handlebar assembly.

Plus they included a container of engine oil, so that those who prepared for their purchase by reading the instructions on the outside of the box would not have to go buy it.

I am, of course, conjecturing about how those stickers came to be. But I bet it was not the original plan to place those stickers everywhere.

Command the sons of Israel that they bring to you clear oil from beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually.

Leviticus 24:2