Staples Home Robbery TV Ad

Like everything else TV ads have their share of hits and misses. There are commercials we love because they are entertaining to watch. And there are ones that are just annoying or utterly tasteless.
One of the worst examples this years is Staple’s “Home Robbery” TV commercial. It boggles the mind how something so obviously lacking in intellect have made it through the approval process. I can only assume that something like this has been hastily approved over the phone in the middle of a golf shot.

(This video has vanished from YouTube and elsewhere on the web. You can’t find a trace of this ad anywhere. Staples probably felt the need to hunt it down since it was so stupid beyond logic.)

Here’s how the ad goes:
A young couple and a kid come home and discover that their house has been robbed. While everything of value seem to be stolen, the couple finds a computer – which looks like it’s from the 90s – sitting in one of the rooms untouched. And the couple’s response to this is, “Maybe it’s time for a new computer”. Fast forward toward the end, couple buys a spanking new computer at Staples. They both seem very happy then utters “Now, this is something they would steal”.

First all, you have to be vary cautious when playing off a negative life experience, especially something to which people can immediately relate. Even more so when it’s a commercial where you’re trying to persuade people to buy your products.

“Maybe it’s time for a new computer”? “Now, this is something they would steal”? Really?
If the thief didn’t steal your old computer, it’s a good thing. Especially if you had all the photos, videos and other important files in it. You wouldn’t immediately replace it with something they would steal.

The entire ad is massively missing the mark and fails to provoke positive emotions. At it’s core, this ad is basically saying; buy a new computer at Staples and make sure the thief steals it next time.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Samsung releases a product that has potential and actually could be useful, something that Apple’s iPad never was. The Samsung Galaxy Pad is smaller than the too-big-to-be-portable-iPad. It packs lot of features that puts iPad to extreme shame. In comparison to the iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Pad provides consumers what they want from the get go rather than purposely holding back features for later releases in attempt to secure future sales – a strategy obviously apparent in Apple’s recent products.

The iPhone Cover-Up

The new iPhone 4, like generations before it, is a beautifully styled object. It appears cunningly simple at first but the amount of attention given to detail and design of each piece that make up the exterior is truly admirable. The texture, the curve, the sheen and the bevel of each button and pieces are styled and carved to make this one of the most strikingly elegant industrial design in recent years. Continue reading “The iPhone Cover-Up”

Dyson Ball Marketing

This is a clip from one of the TV ads for Dyson Ball vacuum cleaner. You can see a lazy person vacuuming around everything; toys, dog bowl, dining room chair, etc to show you how the Dyson Ball handles curves. In reality, however, it’d be much easier if you moved those things before vacuuming.

In a way, this is brilliant marketing. It shows you how an advertising campaign can skew or distort how we look at things. Advertisers make sure you see only what they want you to see. Most people will pick up and move the dog bowl before attempting to vacuum the floor even if they were using the Dyson Ball. But when commercials like this catch you off guard, people don’t see it that way. They just see the coolness of the Ball in action.

Free for only $5!

While I was searching for a new hosting company I came across this Hostgator’s web hosting offers. Take a look at the three options. If you look closely and compare the Baby Plan (middle) with the Business Plan (third option), you’ll notice that the Business Plan has everything that the Baby Plan has plus couple more features that are included for free. But look at the price. The Business Plan costs 5 dollars more per month than the Baby Plan. Free is good right? Yes, but not so when you have to pay $5 for it.

This reminded me of ‘power of free’ from Dan Ariely‘s book, Predictably Irrational.