Archive for the 'Bad Products' Category

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

More Metastasis

California_Chrome_3x2

Skechers, of course, is a particular leader in the addition of useless product features.

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Posted by Michael Dawson | Filed in Bad Products | Comment now »

 

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Ralph Roberts’ Favorite Saying

ralph Ralph Roberts founded Comcast before handing its reins to his son, Brian L. Roberts. Here’s how Ralph describes his business’s core idea:

I didn’t burn any bridges with Muzak when I left there, and my brother, who unfortunately passed away in 1972, had been the advertising director at Revlon and had a similar career to mine. He was also in advertising and marketing, and Muzak Corporation, after I had left for some time, invited him to come over to be a senior vice-president of the company, and one day he came in to me and he said, “You know, Ralph, we ought to buy some of these franchises. They’re a license to steal as recurring monthly income.” That was our favorite expression, just like cable. You put in the equipment and every month they send you money.

Such is the true stuff of the great private-sector boondoggles.

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Posted by Michael Dawson | Filed in Bad Products, Behind the Scenes | 24 Comments »

 

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

FCC Surpasses Orwell

orwell-truth Zerobama promised his suckers constituents net neutrality. They are getting the exact usual. Per The Wall Street Journal:

The Federal Communications Commission advanced new Internet rules that would ban broadband providers from blocking or slowing down websites, but allow them to strike deals with content companies for preferential treatment.

So, those who own the roads can’t slow somebody down, but can sell access to faster routes? Only in America, folks, does such blatant DoubleThink get reported straight out, without the slightest snicker or blush.

Of course, how do Comcast and its soon-to-be-acquired “rivals” own the road? Graft, pure and plain.

And check out the ultimate Obamian trick the FCC is now using to finish sealing the deal:

The broadband providers have signaled that they can live with Mr. Wheeler’s approach as drafted.

Democratic commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn joined Mr. Wheeler in voting to advance the notice of proposed rule-making, which will now be open to public comment for 60 days, followed by another 60 days for replies.

Observers expect unprecedented engagement during the comment period, but it remains to be seen how much the final proposal shifts from what Mr. Wheeler has already proposed. Mr. Wheeler’s proposal assumes a strong FCC would aggressively police deals between providers and content companies.

Yes, it certainly does remain to be seen. Any wagers?

Meanwhile, here’s what the WSJ says about the Democratic Party:

Democrats are largely in favor of net neutrality but still divided on the best approach, with a few favoring reclassification and others still on the fence. Mr. Wheeler’s approach also has found favor with some Democrats who worry reclassification would kill investment in broadband deployment.

Translation? Five words: “The Democrats oppose net neutrality.”

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Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Forbearance as Subsidy

Why doesn’t the IRS allow everybody to file their tax returns online for free? The answer, of course, is the same as in the case of the lack of regulation of cable and internet access: Forbearance from obvious and efficient public answers allows economic waste/corporate profit ranching. By keeping the IRS from running its own e-file system, the overclass is able to sell the simple software needed for that task at high, annually repeated prices.

Meanwhile, Leslie Savan, who advises BBM critics to “follow the flattery,” must be laughing herself silly watching the insipid, truth-concealing pitches of the resulting rip-offs:

Aside from the sickening spectacle of watching the self-same corporate oligopoly that lobbied to block simple reason flatter its victims for remaining ignorant of such basic realities, one has to ask: Why not just fill out the paper forms? TurboTax costs at least $50. A stamp is now 49¢.  How amazingly dumb is it to prefer the former to the latter?

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Posted by Michael Dawson | Filed in Bad Products, Commodification | Comment now »

 

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Brand Provocation

Cadillac’s extra-obnoxious “Poolside” ad was, it now says, this:

The “Poolside” spot, created by ad agency Rogue, is intended to serve as a “brand provocation,” according to Craig Bierley, Cadillac’s advertising director.

Of course, the deeper story is the usual one. The ad is a piece of flattery designed to push the marginally comfortable into proving their upper-classiness by buying the $75,000 monstrosity it promotes.

Advertising Age interviewed Cadillac’s Mr. Bierley on the strong reaction to the spot. He said the spot’s been “misconstrued” by some viewers. He wanted to set the record straight. Among the misperceptions:

It’s aimed at the richest 1%

Not so, says Mr. Bierley. Rather than millionaires, the spot’s targeted at customers who make around $200,000 a year. They’re consumers with a “little bit of grit under their fingernails” who “pop in and out of luxury.”

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Posted by Michael Dawson | Filed in A Culture of..., Bad Products, Flattery | 26 Comments »

 

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Comcast Monopoly: The Marketing Logic

Per today’s Advertising Age:

Acceleration of addressable advertising

One of the biggest obstacles to ad targeting at the household level has been a lack of broad reach, which makes running campaigns across multiple operators a clumsy and inefficient effort. The merger should eventually help expand the addressable universe to the kind of scale that advertisers desire and speed up advances in areas such as dynamic ad insertion.

And increasingly, Comcast will have the data to make addressable smarter. With about 30 million set-top boxes, it will have an even bigger trove of ratings information, viewing habits and personal data. Combined with marketers’ own data, that will help planners and buyers laser focus their media selections, Mr. Kanefsky said.

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