Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category


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

Toad Lily Perspective

It’s fall, which means the toad lilies are in bloom. In case you’re not familiar with toad lilies, here is a photo:

close-up photo of toad lily blooms

I took that photo of our plants. But all the flower catalogs and websites show a similar photo. The toad lily blooms are colorful and intricate.

And since they are called “lilies”, one would picture them as with normal daylilies.

But no.

You’ll notice that no one who sells toad lilies shows the whole plant.

Here’s our flower garden with the toad lilies:

photo of toad lily plants in a garden

See any bright, colorful blooms?

Here, try a little closer:

photo of toad lily plants in a garden


I’ll circle them for you, in case you’re not sure.

photo of toad lily plants in a garden

The blooms are interesting, but they’re also tiny.

Caveat hortarius

I went down to the orchard of nut trees To see the blossoms of the valley, To see whether the vine had budded Or the pomegranates had bloomed.

Song of Solomon 6:11

Disengenuous Corolla Ad

I have noticed a certain ad that’s been on TV recently. It’s for a Toyota Corolla.

The ad features the song “You Don’t Own Me”, originally by Leslie Gore. The version of the song in the ad is not sung by her it seems, but rather by the group of active young adults portrayed in the commercial. There are people leaving (quitting?) work, people bicycling, people roller derbying, people going various places in their Toyotas. The activities shown somewhat match the feel and lyrics of the song. People are doing what they feel free to do – they are living their lives the way they want.

But then the car gets shown.

And it’s doing things opposite all that.

I think that’s not what the advertising agency was trying to do, which makes it amusing.

For example, right as the people are singing “Don’t tell me what to do”, the commercial is showing the car telling the driver what to do. Specifically, it shows the lane-departure warning telling the driver to get back in her lane.

So now I’m confused – do you want a car that tells you what to do, or don’t you?

All the safety and comfort features are about the car doing things for the driver. The song is ostensibly about empowerment, the car is about taking control away (depowerment?).

It certainly is a contrast.

If you really want a car that doesn’t tell you what to do and lets you be free from oversight, get one of the first or early second generation Dodge Vipers. Manual transmission, no stability or warning systems – you are in complete control.

They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.

Jeremiah 32:33

More – Bonus

It looks like my highlighting of marketing mistakes is paying off. Some of you may recall a prior blog post in which I noted a bottle of something touted that it had “+25% more bonus” as if you wanted more bonus and not more product.

I noticed this can of stuff the other day:

image of a can of wasp spray that claims more - bonus

These people did it right: a hyphen separates the two expressions about the product. One expression is “20% more” and the other expression is “bonus!” It’s like having both Bill and Ted on the label.

Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.”

Luke 19:8