Friday, December 7, 2007

From the "Are you kidding me?" File

So, I peeked in my work in box this afternoon and found the following well-meaning but *poorly* executed email. (All identifying information about the company has been blacked out to protect the clueless.)

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Why on earth would I see them as an authority when they can't even send out a decent personalized email? ("Dear NULL" and "[not provided]" don't make me feel warm and fuzzy.) Please, please, please--if you are going to send out a personalized email, make sure you have your list and email set up to use generic information if you don't have specifics available.

P.S. You'll notice on the image that I forwarded this message within 10 minutes of receiving it. That's from when I forwarded it to our Web Marketing Manager so she could have a laugh, too. I'm sure that's not the kind of word-of-mouth this company is looking for.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Great Microsite

I recently discovered NFL Network's campaign for Joe's Diner. Very nicely done! I LOVE the commercials that they've aired on TV (and not just because they feature a character named Matt, who reminds me of my husband--another Pats fan from the Worcester area, also named Matt!). The site allows you to view the entire campaign, up through the most recent one that they've aired, plus has a fake video bio of the diner's owner (played by Joe Montana). There's even a link to Matt's Patriots blog, to encourage comments from the community.

Overall, I think it's very cool and nicely done, but I do have a few suggestions for the NFL Network to improve the site.
  • The commercials are hilarious. They're so funny that I want to share them with my friends. Why not include a link at the end of the video to make that easy for me? You do it at the end of the video bio for Joe, so I know you know how! You have great content--encourage viral behavior!
  • What's up with the fact that the posts on Matt's blog all have the same date? After taking so much care with everything else, that just seems sloppy.
  • I actually didn't notice the blog the first time I cruised through the site. I only noticed it after I decided I wanted to post here about the microsite and went back to take another look. Again, you've taken so much care with everything, but you should make it easier for visitors to find aspects of the site that encourage them to hang around and stay engaged!

Microsoft is SO helpful

This is slightly gratuitous, but I had to post about something that seems like overzealous marketing, or perhaps just marketing gone awry. The other day, a Windows update notification came up.

Am I the only one who finds the wording here to be ludicrous? Microsoft is so thoughtful to provide this "tool" to help me know whether my copy of Windows is genuine, and to offer their assistance with finding another copy if mine isn't genuine.

I fully support Microsoft's right to protect themselves from software piracy, but why cloak it in this false helpfulness? Is it any wonder that marketers sometimes earn such disdain for their spin tactics? It seems like sometimes you'll earn more trust if you just call it what it is. Why not just say it's a check to ensure the copy is genuine, but include some kind of benefit for the customer? I'm assuming there is some benefit for the customer, otherwise why include "advantage" in the name??