Friday, October 28, 2011

Your so smart

In my home town, they are resurfacing one of the main thoroughfares and, as I was driving home from a meeting on Wednesday, I saw this lighted road sign:
Now, unless Sunday Night is a person and the construction company wants us all to tell her (or him) about the double lane closure, my guess is we are dealing with a serious devolution of the word "until". Let me demonstrate:
Until   >   'Til   >   Til   >  Tell
Which is annoying, confusing, and reinforces stereotypes about construction workers' intelligence, but may not be the worst lighted road sign I saw this week. It was at least helpful once you figured out what the author was trying to say - something I can not say for this sign:
There is nothing technically wrong with that example, but if you didn't see it the day the construction company put it up (and mark your calendars accordingly), there is no way to know when the four weeks of construction will be done. Therefore, the notice is completely useless; when I saw it, I didn't know if the construction was nearly done or had just begun.

However, if the author was trying to be funny and play on the fact that construction projects are rarely done on time, then I award him (or her) props for creativity and subtly mocking the system. But I also take away those same props for forcing me to think too much about it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Best Marketing Wednesday... on this blog... today.

Last year I introduced a feature on my blog called "Marketing Wednesdays" and there are some people (not to mention any names, but we will call them Esteban and MBSB) who rarely let a week pass with out reminding me that I have not stayed current on my Marketing Wednesdays. This is true. I have not. However, I would like to take a little trip down memory lane to that fateful day and re-examine my promise to the blog-o-sphere.
Wednesday, November 17, 2011
To that end, I introduce to you "Marketing Wednesdays: A Mini-series of Marketing Fails". This will run for at least 4 or 5 weeks.
Including that original post, I had 6 Marketing Wednesdays in a row, thus fulfilling my original commitment. Since then, Marketing Wednesdays have become somewhat intermittent and will continue to be an occasional gem to the world. Now that I have cleared that up, I present my most current gem:

Imagine, if you would, a nearly empty college library. In this particular room there 3 people:
Jessica - An attractive, young, single woman.
Bubba - a large, hygienically-challenged man who likes amateur gator wrestling and wearing clothes that are five years too old and two sizes too small. 
Ted - A nice, young guy who is average in every possible way.

After a few minutes of working up the courage, Ted walks up to Jessica and lays doozie of a pick-up line on her:
"Hi, my name is Ted and when I noticed you from across the room I couldn't help but come and mention that I am the most desirable man in the room."
What is Jessica to take from that? At best, Ted has issued an underwhelming statement of his desirableness; at worst, he has damned himself with faint praise*. Why would Jessica be intrigued by this? The best thing Ted could come up with was that he was better than Bubba?

Last week, on my iPhone, I was reading an article on the Occupy Wall Street movement. Embedded was the following ads:

Seriously? The #1 Fish App? How many fish apps are there? And why is your icon a clock? This reeks of poor marketing. If you can't come up with an icon and all you can say is that your app is the best in a minuscule market, then you don't have much of an app.  Needless to say, I was not impressed enough to look up, or purchase, Tap Fish 2.

* - There are those in the world who feel I use a lot of sayings and cliches in my everyday speak, to them this will be another example of such. "Damned with faint praise" means to condemn not by saying anything bad, but by not having any praise that is substantive. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dear Kylee, I am sorry that the public school system failed you...

On November 5th last year, my friend Kylee authored a blog post about how she hates Thanksgiving and attributed most of the hatred to the fact that Christopher Columbus is remember too fondly by history and really wasn't a good guy. However, myself and several other people pointed out that, while Columbus may not have been a great dude, Thanksgiving is not a holiday to celebrate Christopher Columbus (that's what Columbus Day is for); Thanksgiving is about giving thanks (if only we gave our holidays more obvious names, then we wouldn't have these confusions).

Well, once that was pointed out, her blog post became much, much shorter and without mention of Columbus. (This is why I have a love/hate relationship with the internet... anyone* can publish anything and then change later to cover up damning (or embarrassing) evidence).

Well Kylee, today - October 10, 2011 - is Columbus Day; if there is any day to post your beef with Chris Columbus, this is probably it. Or you can wait until Thanksgiving again.

*Case in point - I have a blog.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What I've learned from Jack Bauer

Pretty much everything I need to know in life I have learned from Jack Bauer.
Lesson #1 - Trust No One (Except Jack Bauer)
Lesson #2 - If you are still trusting this list then you clearly didn't learn lesson #1

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The 3 Great Lies

My grandfather maintained that there are 3 great lies:

1) "I am from the government and I'm here to help you."

Depending on who is doing the quoting, this is sometimes quoted as "I am from the federal government and I'm here to help you", but grandpa passed away in 1994, so I can't really get a definitive answer as to whether or not he differentiated between the helpfulness of the state and federal governments. However, I like to keep things simple, so I am lumping all government agents into one.

2) "I will love you just as much in the morning."

I am not going to expound on this one as Opinuendo is a family friendly site... moving right along...

3) "The check is in the mail."

Where checks are more and more becoming a thing of the past (and mail for that matter) and payments are becoming instantaneous, I feel that we need a new lie for the 3rd great lie. Here are some possibilities:
"This won't hurt at all"
"I'll be there in five minutes."
"I didn't post that; my account got hacked."
"I'm on my way right now."
"It's not you, it's me."
"My computer crashed and I lost all my work."
"I'll be right with you."
"This is a sure investment."
Feel free to post your ideas for the 3rd great lie in the comments.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

4 Keys to a Quality Advertisement

Because of Memorial day on Monday, Tuesday felt like Monday and Wednesday felt like Tuesday and today feels like Wednesday, so, needless to say, I have dubbed this Thursday an honorary "Marketing Wednesday"!

I have always said that a good marketing campaign is built on 4 things:

Fear, Innuendo, unqualified legal advice, and an appeal to people's political beliefs.

That is why I feel like Utah Valley Records Management almost hit a homerun with the ads on their trucks.
"'Thanks for the drug money'…. DRUG USERS LOVE DUMPSTER DIVING"
Classic fear mongering technique. Blame the druggies. Tell me this, when was the last time you saw a credit card number on a receipt? At most you see the last 4 digits. Furthermore, I don't know any drug dealers who accept credit cards* and I don't know how how a druggie would get money out of an ATM with only a credit card number. 

I am not saying that identity theft is something that shouldn't be taken serious, but it seems to me that if you should be afraid of anyone getting your credit card number, it is those daggum online shopping addicts. 

Things get even stranger on the side of the truck:

Why would you need to shred "last season's bowling ball" and care that "shredded evidence… is not evidence" unless you killed someone with a bowling ball. I think I am going to have to call "homicidal innuendo" on this one. 

While we are on the subject, nothing like a little unqualified legal advice to generate sells… Are you sure that shredded evidence is not evidence? Seems like if you could put it back together like a puzzle, it could still be used as evidence. 

This also begs the question, how many crimes does this company think the average person is committing?

It is one thing to shred documents in order to protect identity or proprietary information - I do this all the time - but I can honestly say that I have never found a need to shred "evidence". 

Based on the customers they seem to be trying attract, it sounds like Utah Valley Records Management needs to add money laundering and metal melting** services and partner with, then they would have a complete line of criminal protection services.  

However, the one thing missing in this ad is an appeal to the political beliefs of their target audience. Now, if history has taught us any one thing, it is that just because a person is a professional basketball player doesn't mean you can count on him to make his free throws***. But if history has taught us any two things, the second is that there is no such things as "off-limits" when it comes to politics. Seriously, as near as I can tell, you can say anything when talking about a political candidate because people don't care about details like "facts" or "truth" when we are merely talking about little things like the leadership of our government. 

Given that this is Utah Valley Records Management, the obvious sell would be to some how blame the need to shred documents on Obama. If they could somehow work that angle into their ad, they would be an unstoppable force****.

Editor's Note: There may have been a slight hint of sarcasm sprinkled throughout this post…

*Technically, I don't know any drug dealers... period. But I don't imagine they take credit cards. 

**To destroy guns and knives, of course

***This statement serves two purposes: first, to commemorate the official retirement of Shaquille O'Neal (The unofficial retirement was in 2007 when he stopped caring). Second, I am not totally over Derrick Rose missing huge free throws in the Eastern Conference Finals and allowing the Heat to move on to the Finals.

****I like using asterisks and having footnotes. Also, this post is not intended to support or slander any political candidate or government official. If you, as the reader, do happen to take this a criticism of the media or the political process as a whole, that is fine.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What Would GQ Do?

Last week I received my latest issue of GQ, which isn't all that exciting except for the fact that I found this little gem:

Above is a blurb which reads as follows:
Just Say No to Rapper Headphones
Props to Dr. Dre, who recently hit upon the only thing a rapper hadn't yet shilled: headphones. Beats by Dre has been a runaway success, and now 50 Cent and Ludacris are hocking headgear. But c'mon, y'all -- this isn't 1998, when dudes rocked Wallabees to be like Wu-Tang. If you're still chasing rapper-endorsed status symbols in 2011, it's time to quit asking yourself, "What would Jay-Z do?" and start asking, "What would I do?" -Will Welch
Clearly, the only way for me to address this is an open letter to Billy himself...

Dear Mr. Will Welch:

RE: "Just Say No to Rapper Headphones"

I do not disagree with your sentiments that people shouldn't just buy something because someone famous endorses it. But do you not find it even the slightest bit absurd or incongruent** for you, an employee of GQ magazine - a magazine whose sole purpose is to tell men what they should and should not buy and wear - are telling people not to be "followers" in what they wear and buy? If people really were to simply ask themselves "What would I do?" in the area of fashion and accessories, wouldn't you be out of a job?

Why not just call a spade a spade and say, "...If you're still chasing rapper-endorsed status symbols in 2011, it's time to re-up on your GQ subscription and quit asking yourself, 'What would Jay-Z do?' and start asking, 'What would GQ tell me to do?'"?


P.S. - GQ, once my free 1-year subscription to your magazine is up, I will not be renewing. I just want to make that clear upfront, so as not to be accused of sending mixed signals later.

** - Did you know that the definition for "incongruent" is "not congruent". Talk about a useless definition. Thanks Merriam-Webster!

Friday, May 6, 2011

You are great just the way you are... sort of.

Yesterday The 'Cob, CL6, and I were at lunch - Thai Thursday. At one point, the conversation turned to dating and I mentioned that I had signed up for online dating, but that it still seemed weird to me. CL6 commented that he thought within 5 years the stigma of online dating would be gone (CL6 is married, so the dating game isn't something that he worries too much about), but The 'Cob said that he thought the stigma was mostly gone already (the stigma*, of course, being that only weirdos with no social skills resort to online dating).

Fast-forward to this morning. As I was walking to my car to go to work, I checked my mailbox and what did my eyes behold?

GQ Magazine. Which is weird because I don't subscribe to GQ, nor do I want to subscribe to GQ, and I definitely don't want to pay for GQ. So I called and asked why I was sent the magazine. The woman told me it was because I signed up for XYZ dating site and it came with a 1-year subscription to GQ. I asked if I was going to be automatically billed at the end of the year and she said no. So I guess I get GQ now.

However, what does this say about online dating? Sounds to me like this dating site is only reinforcing the above stated stigma... "oh, you are signing-up for our site? hmmm, ok, well, we are going to send you this magazine for a year to help you out. You are great the way you are... sort of... just *ahem* read this and take some hints."

*As a side note, I don't really feel like there is a huge stigma about online dating anymore. It seems that it is becoming more normal and most of the girls that I have talked to through dating sites are normal and cool. But I do think it is funny that they send all the guys GQ... I wonder what the girls get. 

Happy Birthday to The 'Cob!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is why I love sports.

Think back to 2am Tuesday morning. What were you doing? Probably sleeping (that is what I was doing). Maybe working or doing homework.

Well, you could have been joining in on a heated debate over an article/video by Dan Patrick criticizing Rick Reilly for his article ripping Jimmer Fredette.

I posted a link to Patrick's article on Facebook stating that I agreed with him. I never guessed what would follow that post. Two of my friends - Ronnie and Chris - went back and forth over the course of 73 comments until 2:30am. What they were going back and forth over is not totally clear at some points. It started about the article and then just sort of devolves.

There are a couple of things that I love about this.

1. I love sports. Don't get me wrong; I am passionate about them, I follow them way too closely, I debate hypotheticals concerning them - I love sports. But I will be the first to say that there are a lot of us that take them too far. This Facebook argument is an example of that. At the heart of all of this is Jimmer Fredette. If you don't know who that is, here is quick overview - he is a 6'1" Mormon, white kid who plays for BYU and lead the nation in scoring. He has an unbelievable shot and has taken the nation by storm. He took BYU to the sweet 16 where they lost to Florida. After which, Rick Reilly - a sports writer for - said that he was overrated, leading to a furious debate.

And here is what I love about sports: people - myself included - get worked up into a tizzy over things that can't be known, don't matter, and/or they have no control over.

Take the Jazz for instance. They are my favorite team. They are also horrible this year. I spend gobs of time discussing what they should do, will they get better, and what caused the problems. Yet I have zero control over it and it really has no bearing on my life. But I still do it. I still miss Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan. I still want the Jazz to get good draft picks. I still yearn for them to win the championship next year. And I still want the Lakers to lose in such glorious fashion that all Lakers fans denounce the evil franchise and burn their jerseys.

Yes, that is what I go through as a Jazz fan. And yes, I realize it is foolish, but I am not alone.

2. The second thing that makes the aforementioned Facebook argument such a gem is the fact that Chris and Ronnie have never met each other. It is glorious.

And that embodies why sports are so great. They can cause two people who don't know each other to argue vehemently online for hours about something that doesn't matter.

So here it is:

Nobody will Notice... Right?

When you're looking for a tattoo artist, do you worry about little things like the ability to spell? Because if I were having something indelibly inked onto my body (which I wouldn't), I would want the person doing the inking to have a steady hand and be able to spell.

Which is why I wouldn't go to this place:

That's right, "Forever Yours Tatto".

And in case you are wondering, you're right, the word tattoo should have two "O"s.

Some of you are probably saying, "but Kenny, it probably had both 'O's and someone stole one." Yeah, you may be right, but if I owned museum called "The History of Homo Sapiens" and somebody removed the letters "apiens" from the company van, I would not let anyone drive around in a van that said:
The History of Homo S
I would either get new letters or remove them all. Which brings me to my rules of advertising on your car:

1. Think long and hard before doing it, because chances are it won't look good. Even if the above example was devoid of spelling errors, it is still an ugly sticker on an old, nasty van. If you can do something that is well designed, looks classy, and is on a nice car, then maybe you can pull it off.

2. Once part of it starts to go, then all of it has to go.

3. Again, probably not a great idea. See rule #1.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You didn't think I would miss a Marketing Wednesday, did you?

I am not a fan of hyperbole (hy·per·bo·le : extravagant exaggeration); especially when they are actually just flat out lies.

Here are 2 examples:

This is an ad on the window of the Relax the Back store. I worry about their understanding of the word "true". When I envision "experiencing true zero gravity", I picture myself floating in the air; not sitting in a chair with gravity holding me in that chair.

Here is an idea, why not just say:
Experience zero gravity
Experience the comfort of zero gravity
Besides, zero gravity sounds fun and all - and I would love to go into space - but I don't associate that with a relaxed back.

FYI. There is gravity in space. It just has less force.

Moving on...

I saw this poster in the DMV (btw, I waited until the last possible day to get my license renewed before having to re-take the test; I don't recommend that action for anyone).

Our dear friends in the DMV are trying to encourage people to donate their organs. I support that. I don't support such a loose definition of the word "never". My grandmother is 87 years old and therefore is too old to donate. But I thought you were never too old to donate? I am confused... are people never too old to donate? Or can they donate up to the age of 80? Which is it?

Apparently, you are never too old to donate... unless you are too old to donate.

Actually, I can get behind this definition of "never".

I never cut class in high school.
I've never lied.
I've never been wrong.
I've never broken the speed limit.

(except for the times I did or was.)

Thanks Utah... and sorry to all the old people who got their hopes up that they could contribute to a better world.

Friday, February 25, 2011

140 Charaters... Unless Otherwise Stated.

We are all familiar with Twitter - it is like a mini-blog or a site of nothing but facebook statuses. You can follow people and they can follow you. It has become a powerful social networking tool.

The thing that makes twitter especially unique is the fact that each tweet can only be 140 characters; this is a concept and feature that they have touted and marketed and used to separate themselves from others. In fact, when Twitter won awards at the South by Southwest Festival in 2007, the company's acceptance speech was less than 140 characters

On Twitter, like most social networking sites, each user has a profile that they can maintain:

Notice, unlike your posts, your profile can be a whopping 160 characters.

What do I say to this? BOOO!

It would be one thing if the profile had no limit or an obscenely high limit, but twitter is built around the number 140, why would they give an extra 20 characters for the profile? Lame.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Who does this guy think he is!

In baseball, a triple play is pretty rare and that makes it exciting. That is how a blog should be. People shouldn't water down the excitement of their blog by posting 12 times in a day (although, most blogs are not at all exciting, so they can post all they want). But every now and again it is time for a triple play day.

Rounding out my triple play, I want to bring to your attention one man's hypocrisy. There is a blog out there who's author claims to be something of a marketing expert. I don't know his credentials, if he even has any. But I do know this - he is a fraud! He doesn't even follow his own advice. Just today he posted about the importance of timing in advertising and marketing efforts, yet look at his blog:

Excuse me? You are the one who still has a Santa image in your header. On January 20th!

Furthermore, he lies on facebook. Even worse, he lies on facebook about his blog.

Guess what, there was no post on Monday. Or Tuesday for that matter.

The fact is, he must be stopped. Sure, he is funny, and handsome... and looks good with his not-overly-thick-beard, but he must be held accountable for his actions. So what should we do? Stop reading his blog? No, no... that is too simple. What we must do is tell everyone we know about his blog! I know what you are thinking, "how will that help?" You are just going to have to trust me on this one, it will.

Now you're asking, "but how do I spread the word?" Anything is fine. Email, Facebook, Twitter.

I will even tell you what to say:

Friends and enemies alike - I have recently come across a pretty okay blog written by a smart, funny, hilariously, intelligent guy who I want to teach a lesson to. Help me out by visiting his blog daily. Just go to

Thanks, ______________

Together we can all make a difference!

Timing Matters

Perhaps you noticed some Black Friday ads on the Saturday and Sunday following Thanksgiving. And perhaps, like me, you said to yourself, "that is dumb, Black Friday has come and gone. They need to remove these ads quicker."

It was even worse after Christmas. On December 26th, I noticed a lot of TV and radio ads for "the perfect Christmas gift", which was really helpful because I was looking for the perfect Christmas gift... except, Christmas was over. It was funny on the 26th, but it was downright annoying by the 30th. So imagine how I felt when I saw a billboard last week for the Ultimate Christmas radio station. We are halfway through January!

Don't these people know that timing is everything? But, hey, any publicity is good publicity, right? Wrong. Sometimes you actually can be noticed for the wrong thing. (Don't even get me started on that annoying guy who does the State Farm commercials...)

Yesterday (January 19th) I was in my local Wells Fargo and saw a stack of these fliers on the table where you fill out your deposit slip:

Why are they leaving fliers out for an offer that is over by 10 days? How hard is it to just throw them in the trash?

Now to the mother-of-all timing fails - I took these pictures at a local gas station on January 5th:

I know... it really is hard to look at. And it hurts no one more than me to have to show such gruesome images. There are some of you saying right now, "my goodness! At the time you took that picture, that ad should've been down for 86 days" and you almost right. It was actually 87 days.

Is the sign down now? I don't know. You think I can stomach fueling there? If they don't even bother to change the ads, imagine the last time the bathroom was cleaned or the hot dogs were changed.

Listen people: Timing matters.

Update - Triple Post Day!

As you probably don't know - because I didn't tell you - I have been on Blog-cation (a vacation from blogging, to the layperson) for the past 4 weeks. Of course, this has caused an uproar amongst all 4.5 of my readers; especially due to the lack of Marketing Wednesday. Well, fear not my minions! Marketing Wednesday has been moved to Thursday this week and you can expect a post later TODAY. (It's fine to applaud).

Also, to commemorate the start of blogging in 2011, today will be a triple post day (yes, this counts as one of the three posts).

So tell your friends, family, and enemies because we are going for 11 readers in '11!

Opinuendo-ians Unite!