Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hey you, give me money!

Here is your late edition of Marketing Wednesday. One of the keys to marketing is giving someone a reason to do something that (they think) benefits them. You would never hear salesperson say, "I think you should buy this piece of junk so that I can get the commission off of it." They may be thinking it, but they won't say it if they want to be successful.

Also, there should be some level of specificity in your marketing. If you are selling woman's clothing, you don't try to get teenage boys into your store. You market to women and people buying things for women.

Apparently, who ever was in charge of signage at this gas station did not know either of those things.

Dear Chevron by my house,

This does not make my want to stop and buy anything from you. I asked myself 2 things when I saw this: What and Why? Which is exactly what you should have been selling me. I feel like almost anything would have been better.

"You worked hard today and deserve a treat! Candy Bars 4 for $1"
"Need a boost? All fountain drinks $0.99"

Are those good ideas? Not really, but in 15 seconds I came up with something better than what you have.

Tips for today:
1. Give me a reason to by that benefits me.
2. Be specific.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I was at a family party recently and one of my aunts was telling me how much she liked my blog and asked where I come up with material for it. All I could do was say, "I don't know, it is just a product of thoughts I have throughout the day."

It's not the first time that I have been asked some variation of "what is going on in your brain?" In fact, this summer, the 'Cob and I were both in the break room at work preparing our lunches when I turned to him and asked:
Me: Have you ever thought about making a chicken omelette, but wondered if it was wrong to cook chicken in egg?
Side note: neither of us were cooking chicken or omelettes
'Cob: (busts up laughing) No.
Me: I am just saying, it sounds good, but it also seems a little weird, right?
'Cob: (still laughing) It sounds good, but I never would have thought of that. How do you even think of something like that?
Anyhow, that really has nothing to do with today's comic. Except that it is a story about food. (I am posting two variations of the same comic because I couldn't decide which was less lame.) Click to enlarge.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Google Playbook

Look what I had the good fortune of finding:

That's right, it's the Google Playbook*. You'll never guess where I found it... you know that pocket in the back of the seats on airplanes? Well, someone left it there.

This book contains all of their secrets to success. Surprisingly, there are only 2 (most of the book is filled with tips to annoy the Chinese government and doodles). Would you be interested in the secrets of Google's success?
  1. Don't Be Evil.
  2. Change Logo for Holidays and Special Events.
Well, I have long tried to live rule numero uno, so I figured it was time to give number 2 a try. With that, I present to you the "Christmas 2010 Opinuendo Logo/Header Graphic":

As always, artwork done by me.

Merry Christmas!!!

*-The Google Playbook may or may not be a real book, but I probably did not find it in the back of an airplane seat. But maybe I did. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Business Cards

It is Wednesday and we all know what that means... Marketing Wednesday!!! Thus far I have received very little feedback on Marketing Wednesday, which I will take as a good thing. (Because, let's face it, if I took no feedback as a bad thing, the blog would be dead. How is that for a subtle plea for comments?)

Anyhow, my apologies to The Men's Wearhouse, who is taking a hit on my blog, but I was in my local store last week to see about buying a suit and/or sports coat (see previous post); I didn't find anything I liked, but they are going to have a couple of things sent to the store to see if I like them (props to Men's Wearhouse for that).

As I was getting ready to leave, the salesman who had been helping me gave me his card - which I stuck in my jacket pocket and forgot about until today when I wore the jacket again. When I pulled it out to throw it away, I noticed something interesting.

What is an "Assistant Manager II"? How many assistant managers are there? And what is the difference between "Assistant Manager II" and "Assistant Manager I"?

I should interject here that I have long planned* on naming my first son "Kenny, Jr." with hopes of him naming his first son "Kenny, III"**, so if anyone should be predisposed to like roman numerals after stuff, it is me.

However, I don't like this. It looks... Unprofessional. I can't help but feel this was a petty power struggle over a title and what did it turn into? It looks a lot like the end of the credits to a movie:
Bank robber #1...........Bob Roberts***
Bank robber #2...........Eddy "The Hammer" Smith
Pedestrian #1............Tom Jones
Pedestrian #2............Shirley J. Temple
So what do you do if you want to distinguish between two levels of employees? We all know that "Assistant Assistant Manager" won't work, so my vote is for "Assistant Manager I" to be bumped to "Sr. Assistant Manager" and "Assistant Manager II" to transition to "Assistant Manager".

In any case, you can be assured that I will be asking to see "Assistant Manager I" the next time I walk into my local Men's Wearhouse.

*-This plan is completely subject to change depending on my wife's**** feelings on the matter. I may not be the brightest bulb in the bunch, but I know that I would rather have a happy wife than a son named "Kenny, Jr."

**-I figure I will be rich enough that his wife will go along with it hoping to get a larger chunk of the inheritance.

***-If my last name were "Roberts", I would name my first son "Bob" and my second two sons "Robert"... No matter what. I would get a kick out of seeing people's face when I introduce the family. "This is my oldest son, Bob. And these are my other sons, Robert and Robert, respectively. We like to call Robert (pointing to son #3) here, Bob"

****-Currently taking applications.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Revolt Against the English Language

I have a love/hate relationship with the English language. I love it because it is the only language I speak and I hate it for almost every other reason. For instance, in the following sentence, the word "right" has four different meanings:
"I have the right to turn right right there, right?"
It could be re-written as:
"I am allowed to turn right exactly there, correct?"
They mean the same thing. It could be an Abbott and Costello routine.
Guy #1: "So I take the next left?"
Guy #2: "Right."
#1: "Wait... I take the next right?"
#2: "No, you take the next left."
#1: "That is exactly what I said. I take the next left."
#2: "Right."
#1: "Now hold on there buster; you said I take the next left!"
#2: "Right."
#1: "Well what is it? Left or Right?"
#2: "Left."
#1: "Well then why on earth do you keep saying, 'right', when I ask if I am turning left?!?!?"
#2: "Because it's right."
#1: "But you said I have to turn left!"
#2: "Exactly! take your next left."
#1: "That is your final answer... Take the next left?"
#2: "Right."
#1: "Why I oughta... If I weren't driving this daggum car, I'd come over there and punch you square in the nose!!!"
#2: "what is your problem? You ask the question, I give the answer: take the next left."
#1: "You are sticking with left this time?"
#2: "Right"
I know what you are thinking to yourself, "Kenny, what about words that sound the same, but aren't spelled the same; how do you feel about those?"

I don't like them one bit.

Just last week a friend and I were chatting on Google Talk. She knew I was working on a huge project at work and trying to get ready for finals at the same time:
Friend: How are things going?
Kenny: Ok... right of passage, right?
Friend: um... rite of passage? right?
Kenny: ewe no how two sea wright thru me
Don't get me wrong... we both had a good chuckle because - lets face it - that was a pretty hilarious response. But still - I hate English.

Now some may say, "Kenny, be reasonable - all languages have there quirks, there isn't any language that would make you totally happy. And, besides, there are a lot of good things about English that you haven't acknowledged." And to that I would respond, "Don't be ridiculous. There is no room for reason in today's world. What kind of a blogger would I be if I didn't make impulsive, snap judgments based on half-truths and then declare them to be law? I'll tell you what kind of a blogger I would be - a bad one. If you want reason, you are in the wrong era. With the internet and media options we have today, we don't have to be reasonable nor listen to reasonable people."

So there you have it. I hate English and you should too.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I am in the market for a new suit (my last suit and I had a good run - almost 4 years), but I have been putting off the purchase because of the cost. However, it is time to bite the bullet, so I began looking on Men's Wearhouse's website to see what it is going to run me.

What I would really like to do is get a suit and also a sports coat that goes with the some slacks I already have. As I was looking into this idea, I found this piece of fashion advice on the Men's Wearhouse site (emphasis added):
The pinstripe rule
Pinstripe sport coats or pants? They just don't happen. Look around any reputable clothier, and while you'll see a large selection of patterned sport coats, you won't see pinstriped sport coats as pinstripes are a very conservative pattern made just for suits.
Just so we are clear, pinstripe and sports coats do not go together. Got it? Good.

But wait... what is this:

That is a pinstriped sports coat on the Men's Wearhouse website! Trust me, no one was more surprised and hurt than me. No one.

Apparently, what they really meant when they said: won't see pinstriped sport coats...
was: won't see pinstriped sport coats - unless, of course, you are looking on our website...
I just don't know what to think anymore. Does this mean sports coats with pinstripes are in or out?

What can we as a people learn from this? Well, I think the lesson is clear: Absolutely never use absolutes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Forget a Name, What's in an E-mail Address...

It is Marketing Wednesday and I present this nugget of wisdom unto you: Email addresses matter.

Which would you respect more on a business card:*
If you picked the first, you are wrong. I know that some will argue that this is a matter of opinion and there is no wrong answer, but those people are just as wrong as the people they are defending.

Look, you aren't going blow people away with an email address and you don't want to. It should be something that is easy to remember, but not something that is so strange that people take special note of it.

Want an example of what I am talking about?

I first saw this window sticker at a local Mcdonald's years ago. And I took note. In a bad way. I have 2 issues with the email address in the above photo:

1. mcdcmk? At first glance it looks like some blindfolded themselves and randomly typed 6 letters. I get that it is a Mcdonald's (mcd) owned by CMK Corporation, but it is not intuitive.

2. There is not necessarily anything wrong with a hotmail address (I tend to favor gmail or yahoo in the realm of free addresses), but if you are a corporation, I don't like you using a free account. When I first saw this, I specifically remember thinking to myself, "if you are going to go to the trouble of making these stickers, why not have your own domain?" This is especially in this day and age. It is so easy to buy a domain and use gmail to handle it. So easy.

Imagine if you were given a business card from a guy who worked at some big company - say, Bank of America - and on the business card it says "*". Tell me you aren't going to be a little suspicious. Or even if a friend recommends a local handyman and gives you his email address - "*" - are you going to be impressed with that?

In the end, having an email address is like the Utah Jazz playing the LA Clippers: you have to do it, and if you do it well, nobody cares; but if you do it poorly, people are going to ask questions.

* - If these email address are yours, sorry. It was purely a coincidence. I was hoping they would be unused.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I don't speak spanish...

I don't speak Spanish.

Most of you know this, but apparently didn't get the memo, because this ad keeps being displayed:

Sorry Xfinity and Pandora, Yo no hablo espanol.

The interesting thing is, it only shows up when I am listening to rap. Coincidence?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Art of the Asterisk

So, before I get to the heart for this blog post, I apparently cannot post to my blog more than 9 times in a month. I thought this was going to be the month, but I was wrong. Maybe December...

Anyhow, I tend to talk a lot on this blog about things I don't like - because those are the easiest to notice in life and make fun of on a blog - but I am not really that negative of a person, so today I bring you something I don't like and something I do like.

I don't like when people misuse asterisks. I was listening to pandora the other day and beheld this ad:

Here we have VW advertising their new Jetta for $15,995. But it is not really $15,995, it is $15,995* - which means there should be fine print saying that if you want the car to come with seats, a steering wheel, and the engine; it is really more like $25,000. We have all gotten used to the system: you see an * and you immediately look to the bottom of the page for the explanation. But, in the above image, there is no explanation. There is nothing. Nowhere on that page can I find out what the asterisk means.

Then today I was reading a great blog post on and was asterisk-ed again. I read:
The seven teams' records before losing to the Jazz: 41-24*
and immediately went to the bottom of the page to find out what that meant, but there was nothing there. Nothing. What does the asterisk mean?!?

Here is what I am thinking:

The first asterisk in the above image is a reference to the second asterisk, but that makes no sense. The asterisk should either reference a note at the end of the article or the end of the section it is in. If he wanted it to be end of the section, it would have been like this:

With all of that said, here are: Kenny's Rules for Asterisks*
1. There always has to be an explanation. Always.
2. The explanation must be at the end of the same section or the bottom of the page.
3. The explanation must be in smaller type and italics.

I do like when people encourage others to visit my blog:

Props to Steve-o.
*I feel like with all of the talk of asterisks, there needs to be something down here. Enjoy the Christmas season which is now in full swing!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Wednesday I almost forgot.

Some of you may have noticed that I have ads on my blog. Why did I do that? Mostly it was a test and since putting them on there, I have made $0.04. So they will probably becoming down because they are ugly. Anyhow, a few minutes ago I was putting up a blog post* and clicked "preview" to give it a once-over before making it live and I saw the following ad:

When I saw it, I thought to myself, "man, that that is an ugly ad." Especially for a site claiming to be an expert in style. And the name is confusing - I think it is "Style List", but it looks like it is "stylist" spelled wrong. And if it is "Style List", does that mean that it is nothing but lists? And is that the logo? Do they not have a logo? Because it seems un-stylish to not have a logo.

Anyhow, in the midst of that train of thought, I realized I should use that for a Marketing Wednesday. Then it hit me: today is Wednesday and I had totally forgot. So, the above is your marketing tip for today. It teaches us: if you are claiming to be an expert in something, make sure your advertising doesn't undermine that.

Which, by the way, is something that people seemed to really like about last week's Marketing Wednesday. It was a marketing company with bad marketing and the second sign wasn't that great.

Not that it is in any way relevant to this post, but I just had major déjà vu. It tripped me out.

*The post I was working on will now run tomorrow.