Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Marketing flaws

There is a trend in TV advertising. The more a company puts effort into using a popular sportsperson to promote a product, the more it turns out wrong because that person becomes very unsuccessful or is involved in scandals.

In Germany, it happened to the Nutella brand that's a well-known chocolate spread worldwide, produced by an Italian company. Nutella was heavily advertised on TV by the German national football team (or soccer, for those of you who think there is another sport that involves feet much more than this sport).

The impressive oddity: Of the carefully chosen number of players that were chosen for the Nutella add, most of them had strange twists in their career. One was banned from the team permanently because of a disrespectful act. Another player, who was half American, decided to play for the US Team because he saw greater chances for himself there. Other players were not nominated for the team any more, were injured or didn't do so well.
The advertisements kept on going on TV as if nothing had happened. For months.

The same happened to the team captain, Michael Ballack. He got injured before this year's world cup, and still, there are so many advertisements on TV and everywhere in the city where people use him for marketing. Which is pointless because he is not the kind of person that they wanted him to be, staying home, recovering from an injury. A great misinvestment.

The latest entry in the inglorious list of marketing mistakes is the Nike TV add called "write the future".

It shows several world class players on a football field. Several of the players have visions during the game as to what will happen if they score a goal, win a fight, trick the opponent, and so on. Amazingly, all the players in this video have had an unsuccessful time in the world cup.

Franck Ribery: Had to go home after the group phase, with France not winning a single game at all and a big scandal surrounding the team spirit, the coach and the press.

Didier Drogba: Played for Ivory Coast in a killer group with Brazil and Portugal. Didn't have a chance, was also slightly injured which made it difficult for him.

Wayne Rooney: Reached the phase of the last 16 teams, but England lost against Germany and Rooney didn't score a single goal in the whole world cup.

Fabio Cannavaro: Also didn't make it through the group phase. The world champion team of Italy was last and shamefully went home with no wins and one defeat against a supposedly weaker team.

Ronaldinho: Didn't even enter the world cup! The Brazilian coach didn't nominate him for his team, so Nike was completely wrong choosing a player that didn't even turn out to be travelling to South Africa.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Survived the group phase, but only scored against North Korea. His arrogance and cry-baby attitude were the only things to rememebr about him. His team left the world cup after being defeated by Spain just after the group phase in the first K.O. match. His last deed: Spitting on the ground in front of the fans.

It is amazing how literally every player who plays a big role in this video didn't make it very far. Just to give you an idea: None of these players are even in the quarter finals! That means that 8 teams are left, but Nike was unable to at least have one lucky guess with the players in the video.

Maybe the problem lies in the fact that only people are being chosen who already are superstars. Either the pressure on them is super high, especially when they haven't won anything with the national teams yet, or they are simply too old or already had their time.

Perhaps you also know of such cases. I'm sure you have seen some person on TV who advertised for something but had the handicap of not being successful, or being involved in a scandal, or even being dead in that very moment.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The media's lies

Making small mistakes like typos or sentences repeating over and over is something tolerable. But when facts are conveyed wrong because of serious carelessness or even the attempt to lie, then that is a problem. crossed the line. Their article "Barely any unemployed people in 2025" states that, according to a research institute, there would only be 1.5 million unemployed people in Germany in 2025. At the same time they said there were up to 5 million unemployed people right now.

The prospect of employment changing so rapidly seemed unrealistic to me. I checked the website of the institute. And guess what? They did NOT say that! They said the number of unemployed persons would decrease by 1.5 million, not to 1.5. million. Do the math! It's a big difference!

This is especially annoying when you consider that I work for the national employment agency. Many comments by angry citizens on the t-online website stated that the statistics were fake, that we are all assholes, and so on. Well, you see what happens when newspapers and online services give people the wrong image. They get their clicks, their views, their money, their attention, we have to suffer. And the people.... they get lied to.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A dead baby and useless text

Another text was put online with no one reading it before they put it there. Someone was interviewed about the so called vuvuzelas, african horns that are used in football stadiums to make annoying sounds. Well, in the last paragraph, either the interviewee decided to rephrase his own sentence, or, which i suspect, someone typed the whole shit, then decided to try again, but didn't delete anything. Maybe it's a case of "oh, hey, you got new shoes, girl. Yeah, I also watched Sex And The City 2... yeah... I also didn't like it... where was I...oh right, finish the sentence".

Text marked blue, after that the repetition starts.

Another story I read right after that was surprising and left me in a disappointed state. It's about a case in Brazil where a judge decided that a woman is not allowed to abort her unborn baby that happens to have no brain. She has to bear the baby even though there is no chance of survival. The reason why she is not allowed to abort the baby is because there seems to be no life-threatening danger to the would-be mother.
Why is it like that? Because the Brazilian law says so. Abortions are only allowed if the life of the mother is in danger or if the baby is the result of rape.
Adding another point, attempts to change these laws failed because of the influence of the Catholic church. Well done, morons.
And, just to provoke some thoughts, a comment on the article done by some reader was that the whole point of an ultrasound check, which this woman did, was to find diseases. Yeah... imagine that. Why is there an ultrasound check if it's not even allowed to have an abortion? Just to determine the gender of the child?

Imagine you have an airbag in your car but you are only allowed to use it to sleep on when you are tired...