Tuesday, August 4, 2009

People, please stop mocking those creepy Pre ads. Okay?

I say this only because those ads are the best thing that has ever happened to us, and we’d hate to see Palm wake up and obtain a clue and stop running them. What we’re all wondering is, what pack of geniuses sat in a room and looked at these ads and said, Sure, let’s pump millions of dollars into this campaign? I mean, think about it. You’ve just rolled out a new product. You decide, first of all, that you’re going to target women. Which is a great idea because, um, women don’t buy smart phones. Smart move, right? It’s like making a new brand of Summer’s Eve — for men.

Also, think about it. The campaign won’t draw women because women don’t want products that condescend to them by putting things like a makeup mirror on the back. Worse yet, now you’ve stigmatized your product by making it seem like a “chick phone,” so dudes won’t want to buy it. You’ve created the Lexus RX of smartphones. Hey, Ruby? You’re an engineer, remember? Not a marketing guy. Back at Apple you were always complaining because we wouldn’t let you attend meetings where we discussed product strategy and advertising. Hate to be blunt, but there’s a reason we keep you nerds locked up in the labs. Now you realize why, maybe. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you really do think you’re Jobso Junior, and believe you too can be both a brilliant product visionary and the world’s greatest product marketer. If that’s the case, I weep for your deluded soul.

Okay. But let’s say you really do intend to make a product and aim it at women. Even if that’s the case, you might want to think twice about casting some girl who has no eyebrows or eyelashes and who looks almost exactly like the scary animated woman from the Barbie Fairytopia movies. Yup, that’s gonna draw the ladies. For sure. Cause if there’s one thing women are looking for is some new technology that can turn them into mindless, soulless Barbie doll zombies.

You know there’s an old saying (it’s either Steve Martin or Sun Tzu, I can never remember) that goes, “When your opponent is committing suicide, get out of his way.” That’s how we feel about these Pre ads. They’re so bad that the ad guy who created them is being grilled by Advertising Age and is defending them by saying, in effect, that yes they are terrible, but that’s a good thing, because now everyone is talking about the Palm Pre. I’d like to be a fly on the wall when he’s sitting in a conference room using that line on Ruby and trying to get paid. I used to think that the Borg’s advertising could never be outdone. But you know what? Ruby & Co. have done it. Well done, Ruby. Well done.

For what it’s worth, Katie does a scary good impersonation of these ads. Like we’ll be sitting in a meeting and someone will ask her a question and she’ll pause, and turn sideways, and pull her hair back really tight and start talking in that Pre girl zombie voice. Katie, I love you. I really do.

Just for the heck of it, look at this ad:

And here’s a spoof:

And here is an Exorcist-themed riff from Attack of the Show:


Friday, July 17, 2009

Ruby on rails

By “rails” I mean that after our little wake-up call this week Ruby now finds himself on the express train right out of his deluded belief that he can just steal our stuff and get away with it. Poor Ruby. He really did think he was going to kill the iPhone with the Pre. He really, really did. So he goosed Palm’s numbers last quarter so that he could take over the company and look like the company was building momentum. But he overplayed his hand with the Pre. He raised expectations too high. But now the sales are dropping off and it’s starting to occur to everyone that the Pre is just not that hot a product. Like, hardware quality issues? In a launch phone? Not good. And now we’ve updated iTunes and, just like that, put an end to his stupid little ploy of making his phone piggyback on our software. In the linked story up above, a Palm flack tries to make it sound like we’re the bad guys, and suggests at the same time that it’s no big deal because Pre owners can just stick with an older version of iTunes. Yeah. Good luck with that. Of course there’s another idea. Maybe Palm could make its own music management software. Has that occurred to you guys? I know, that sounds like work. Well, boo hoo.

FWIW, you should have heard Ruby when he called Bertrand Serlet to complain about us breaking his device. Hilarious. Bertrand came to lunch doing this savage Ruby impersonation — nasal voice and all. Thing about Bertrand is, he’s really, really mean. Lot of people don’t know that.