Marketing • 16 October 2009 • The SnowBlog
Just pondering marketing this morning, and some of its more curious manifestations. For instance, Carpet Right sponsor a couple of high-profile TV shows in the UK which means they have their colour-saturated, cheesy, Seventies-feel ads bracketing gritty drama full of edgy camerawork and grey/blue palettes. The lack of fit is jarring. But they've just switched to a new thing: at the start of an act the Carpet Right ad shows a snake crawling across a carpet, at the end, they show a tarantula emerging from a pair of slippers. Edgier for sure. But I hate watching the tarantula and I know my next-door neighbour is terrified of snakes, so that's two viewers who now flinch whenever they see the Carpet Right logo. Who suggested to them that triggering phobias would endear them to the world at large? As an iPhone user (and fan) I'm also fascinated by what phone companies - who initially claimed the iPhone was an irrelevance or a flop - now say about their attempts to catch up to the iPhone. I've just been trying out Windows Mobile 6.5, which is Microsoft's latest attempt to give you iPhone levels of functionality on a non-Apple smartphone. It certainly looks good. Lots of nicely designed icons, controls and layouts. But it took me a full three minutes to work out how to read a text-message once the phone had told me one had arrived. And I've twice cut people off trying to answer the phone. And replying to a text message almost beat me. None of the first ten things I tried worked. These tasks are easy on cheap phones and obvious on the iPhone. Microsoft have worked on this for a couple of years and they've produced an operating system that hobbles a phone to the point where all I do is turn off as much functionality as it will let me in the hopes I might be able to make it work. It's probably the most frustrating piece of technology I've ever used. Not that you'd know it from their marketing.