on marketing

I realize that in many ways I am not a representative target demographic for lots of products in some ways. But I thought I’d highlight a few weird marketing things that are interesting or funny to me:

  1. Re-branding.
    • Many products seem to be caught in the throes of constant re-branding. We’ve all seen the products at the grocery store where the re-branding itself is advertised: “New Look! Same Great Taste!”. This is hilarious alone for being so meta, in that they are advertising their own advertising. But what’s really aggravating/hilarious to me is when it backfires. I am a huge fan of St. Ives Apricot facial scrub. You know how I have delicate, pristine skin that bounces back like a baby’s butt, and exhibits luster and sheen as if I was a descendant of the gods themselves? Well, that’s mostly just my inate greatness. But the apricot scrub really helps. A few months ago, I spent like 5 minutes (this is a long time at the grocery store) trying to find this scrub, because I was out of it. I nearly gave up before I realized they had “re-branded”, complete with “New Look!!” splattered on the tube. Congratulations: your “new look!!” meant I almost didn’t buy your product because I couldn’t fuckin find it. The point of a brand is to be readily identifiable, not something that needs to be fresh and redesigned every 2 weeks. Fail.
  2. Condoms. (in which I make all my family and coworkers uncomfortable by thinking about this)
    • Maybe this is a sign of the times, but I think condom package marketing is basically all wrong. They all focus on how thin the condom is – you won’t even know it’s on! Call me crazy, but I want to know my condom’s on. I’m wearing it for a reason. Screw sensitivity – really, please, it’s okay. Make it thick. Put fuckin flashing LEDs on it with sirens that blare it if it comes off, for all I care. Defcon 5!! BABY ALERT!! If condom manufacturers really want to get my attention at the store, how about advertising “GUARANTEED TO PREVENT BABIES”.
  3. Apartments.
    • This is one I’ve noticed recently. We’re looking for an apartment and I’ve been keeping my eye on the craigslist apartments RSS feed. One pattern I’ve noticed is that all the shittiest mega-complex apartments in the dregs of the shittiest suburbs use these effulgent, templated eBay-style titles. Some real examples:</p>
      • R~E~M~A~R~K~A~B~L~E Apartment Home!
      • Wake up smiling at WATERFORD PLACE!~We take care of you here!!
      • L@@K-2 Bedroom ! 1 FABULOUS PRICE!

      I assume they think that these are attention-grabbing and really giving them an edge over the bland, banal private rental ads – and maybe they do. But, ironically, these titles actually serve as an awesome visual cue/reference for me to ignore them. The listings that I’m interested are straightforward, downplayed and obviously written by a normal person: “2bdroom/1bath in 12south. pets okay”. </li> </ul> </li> </ol>