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Archive for March 30th, 2009

Crispin Porter & Bogusky

Crispin Porter & Bogusky

Way back in ’05 the boyz of OCC (not to be confused with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) showed us what they do best with a Microsoft operating system crash while designing the custom choppers for America’s corporations.  Microsoft hired OCC to build their own name inspiring Microsoft SQL Bike.

Now Microsoft has been caught in out-right deceit!  Latest example? 

Microsoft’s new “Laptop Hunters” TV campaign, in which an attractive girl professes she’s not cool enough to buy an Apple laptop and goes for a cheaper Windows machine.  Within moments, it was revealed that “Lauren” (Lauren De Long) who is a little funky, a little folksy was not an average person, but a member of SAG (Screen Actors Guild) recruited from Craigslist.  Then, it became public that the $699 computer she purchased was an old AMD-based PC with super bad reviews.  Then a Mac user offered to GIVE her his own Apple PowerBook so she could see what she was missing.

In other words, if Microsoft and the ad agency think they can pull the wool over the public’s eyes, with lame excuses denying the truth, they’re wrong.  This “twitter-first-century” is about transparency.  Most important is that the Microsoft ad totally misses the point. The ad doesn’t even advertise Microsoft’s operating system (almost as if they know that they can’t compete in this arena), but oddly the ad promotes other PC hardware over Apple’s computers by talking about a price advantage.  This $300M ad campaign created by ad agency of the year, Crispin Porter + Boguksy was designed to boost the Windows brand following the downward spiral of user outrage over Vista.

Hey Microsoft.  1999 called.  It wants its motherboard back.

Photo courtesy of Creativity.

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connectionI love Costco and I hate Costco.

My displeasure is often traced to other people who shop there?  They say membership has its privileges and I’ve seen the people who flaunt it to no end. A person is lucky to not get run over by a Range Rover or Lexus SUV in the parking lot.  You know the type… these people are “entitled.” Their lives are more important. Their jobs are more important. Their kids are more important. They’ll cut you off in a heartbeat in the candy aisle with their overloaded carriage to grab a lifetime supply of Juicy Juice. They are not to be denied!

But I digress.

Costco is not cheap. They are not about immediate dollars and cents, but about the long haul relationship.  They specialize in getting you to spend money on stuff — much of which you didn’t know you needed or wanted until you went on a “walk-a-bout” in the store. What they do leave you with is a good feeling that whatever you spent or bought – you got real value for your money.  And I’m not just talking about the Hebrew National hot dog for $1.69!  The benefits go much deeper. Did you know that they have a nearly unlimited, no-questions-asked return policy?  They sell movie tickets at discount? They offer great prices on optical products and testing?  They have cheap, high quality gas. They sell tires for less than most tire shops and offer warranties on them beyond the manufacturer’s warranty, at no extra charge?  They have buyers in retail, screening products for quality and meeting (sometimes even anticipating) consumer demand, perfectly in most every product category.

costco_autoSo here’s the question.  Why doesn’t Harley-Davidson partner with Costco to sell motorcycles?

They could leverage the existing Costco Auto Program which saves consumers money, time and hassle on new vehicle purchases or leases. In addition the Costco field staff selects participating dealers that offer up competitive pricing and superior customer service.  I’m thinking how great is that?  Consumers do not trust advertising, they don’t want to view advertising and they don’t need advertising.  H-D could save all that money on slick ads that try to entice customers who don’t care – it’s a complete waste.  Why do you need advertising when you’ve got Costco?  Dedicated Costco shoppers salivate when they speak of their store of choice.  They bring it up unsolicited, as a topic of conversation, akin to computer-users testifying about their Macs.  The everlasting love makes you want to avoid Costco and Apple at first, but then you have an experience and you’re converted.

So instead of H-D beating us over the head telling us how great their motorcycles are, why not go the non-traditional route and appeal to the populace on sheer quality.  Costco cares about its customers.  It knows their needs.  And it wants to deliver the very best for the very cheapest price.  We’re all willing to pay the most for something great especially if you believe it’s a fair business proposition.  Are you listening Harley?

And to the lady who picked up pain relievers in the ten-gallon jar and placed them in the cart with the only other item — a pile of condoms, which came in a box the size of a cinder block…I’m sorry for staring, but the dichotomy was funny!

Photo courtesy of Costco

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