Visits from the Tooth Fairy are, by their nature, a commercial transaction. Many families buy or make special under-pillow holders that make it easier for the overnight visitor to find the teeth she (or he) is after and leave behind some cash. What the Tooth Fairy lacked was a coordinated marketing campaign with an online game, books, costumes, toys and other merch. Until now. [More]
As the Mid-Atlantic settles in for what must be the 623rd straight day of searing-hot temperatures, the folks at JetBlue are learning that maybe they shouldn’t rely on Mother Nature to cooperate when planning a promotional discount. The airline has had to pull the plug on an ill-conceived weather-related offering after too many people signed up. [More]
It’s sparkly, it’s clear or it’s colored, it’s cut in more ways than one person could dream up, it sits on your finger like a golf ball or a just-the-right-size bauble, it’s a girl’s best friend — twinkling alongside many a wedding proposal has been a diamond. And a lot of the time, these chunks of bling cost a pretty penny. So why do we do have this shiny ritual? (And someone please explain how a diamond can be a best friend? It can’t even talk.)
The thing about oxygen is, we all need it to survive and thus, we all agree it’s a pretty good thing. No one’s like, “Oh yeah, oxygen? I’ll pass.” As something that is essential to our existence, companies have caught on to its universal appeal and have increasingly been marketing products promising infusions/boosts/bursts/whathaveyou of oxygen that ostensibly are good for your skin, because oxygen is so awesome. [More]
Comcast is a cable company. But what is Xfinity? Initially, we thought it sounded like a great name for a porn company, but it’s actually the brand name of the various products that Comcast offers. Of course, there’s XFINITY Internet. (Yes, they use all caps.) Cable television is XFINITY TV. Home security systems are XFINITY HOME. Phone service is called XFINITY Voice. Despite Comcast spending $640 million in the last two years advertising the brand, experts say that most consumers still don’t really understand what “Xfinity” represents. Their solution? More ads.
We’d like to believe that the packaging for this HDMI cable is the victim of poor translation or some kind of misunderstanding. We sincerely hope that no one working in the consumer electronics industry believes that digital video is susceptible to viruses, those viruses cause noises, and that you can fend them off with a nice coating of Mylar. But we’ve had to deal with the public, and know better.
I just got back from a long-overdue visit to the local vision-correction emporium, where I learned that for all these years, I’ve been fumbling through life only able to see 480 lines of resolution through my contact lenses. But now there are HD contact lenses. Bausch & Lomb’s PureVision2 HD lenses have been out for some time now, and I’m just learning about this upgrade to reality now.
Verizon really wants Sean to sign up for FiOS. Really, really wants him to sign up. He’s happy kicking it old-school with a regular old copper landline, and dumping the barrage of FiOS ads in the trash. So it was interesting when he got a letter apologizing for nonexistent “service issues” in his area and urging him to upgrade to the newer, shinier fiber optic network. The letter assures him that he can totally keep his current phone plan at its current price – even though the equivalent plan under FiOS is cheaper.
Gifts to many charities can backfire, placing you on hit lists for other organizations that share information about their networks of benefactors. A donation can place you in the crosshairs of other companies in need of donations, bombarding you with cold calls and mailings and making you feel like the object of one of those “for a good time, call XXX” messages etched on bathroom stalls.
Have you ever wondered about the specific brand rules that regulate product placement and on-air sponsorships of products on TV? Yeah, us either. Until Stephen Colbert spent the entire second act of his show last night dissecting and mocking a memo from Nabisco spelling out precisely how Wheat Thins can be consumed and presented on the program.
Jay is smart, and knows that packaged food never quite turns out the way it looks on the box. It’s not physically possible. But he was surprised, when cooking a pre-packaged cup of Kraft macaroni and cheese from Costco, that the quantity of food-like substance in the cup didn’t really measure up to what was shown on the box. Is he overreacting, or is this really an unrealistic portrayal of the food product within?
A study of “Groupon addicts” asked them to specify how low a markdown had to be before they considered it a “good deal.” These were some pretty tough customers. How do their standards match up to yours?
Proponent Of Costing Banks More Money By Mailing Back Weighted Business Reply Envelopes Defends His Cause
Earlier this week I wrote about a viral video that promised you could “Keep Wall Street Occupied” by sending back credit card business reply envelopes stuffed with anti-corporate messages and wooden shims. The video said this would increase mailing costs for the banks and force them to engage in a dialogue with their customers. Responding to my review where I called this idea “terrible,” the video’s maker sent me a note defending his campaign.
After being such prudes for so long, credit card companies are raising their hemlines and lowering their standards. They’re actively deluging customers with credit card offers and using low teaser rates as a crooked finger. However, they’re also coming with new hidden baggage you need to watch out for, like cash back rewards that are high, but have to be opted in again every few months.
Instead of charging customers a $5 monthly fee for using their debit cards, one credit union is actually paying its members to use their debit cards. In a direct jab against the big banks, First Community Federal Credit Union is running a promotion that lets members earn up to $5 a month for swiping their debit card.
There’s no rib in a McRib. There are about 70 other ingredients. The greatest amount of them come from ground-up low-value pork trimmings mixed together with salt and water to create “meat logs” that are then carved to size. So in what forest do you find a meat log?
Sending Back Protest Messages In Pre-Paid Credit Card Envelopes Isn't Going To Occupy Wall Street One Bit
A YouTube video has racked up over 300,000 hits promoting the idea that you can really mess with the banks by sending back activist messages in those pre-paid response envelopes that come with the credit card junk mail. The theory is that if enough people do it, it will force people in the bank mailrooms to have a meeting about all these Occupy Wall Street slogans showing up in their mail, and making banks engage in a dialogue with their customers, revolutionizing how they operate to a way that’s more responsive to the common good. This is a terrible idea and a waste of time.