Bad Advertising

There’s a lot of bad advertising, especially in the consumer tech world. Here’s some tell tale signs of bad marketing:

  1. Insinuating that users of other products are idiots, especially if it’s a wildly popular product
  2. Naming your competition, especially with model numbers
  3. Doctoring or otherwise faking it to make competition look worse and your product look better
  4. Flashing fine print that negates important visuals
  5. Implying magical powers are bestowed upon all users of your product

Samsung and Microsoft are two companies often guilty of most of those.

A normal Samsung phone commercial will combine all of them – a bunch of idiots with iPhones waiting in line, a quick chart showing iPhone specs, screen images simulated in fine print while bragging about their screen, and a user turning into a superhero because of this product.


That’s a perfect 5 out of 5!  Very bad advertising. Every samsung phone ad is so bad it makes me happy about my choice of an iPhone.

Lots of Gadgets Are Spying On You

I covered it last week here. Samsung gets called out for their smart TV’s listening and transmitting everything we say to a third party. Very 1984. You might have thought ‘Samsung isn’t the only one doing it’ – and you would be right: Lots of other gadgets are spying on you.

Do you really need to talk to your devices, when a simple button press works just as well?

Google+ Lets You Be Yourselves


Google has finally reversed their “real names only” policy they were pushing for Google+, which was affecting people’s Youtube and even Gmail usage.

I’m sure they will still make it confusing as hell to understand, and of course, as long as they can track you and sell it to someone they can do it without your legal name. The more you post the more they can earn off you, so anything stopping you from posting cuts into their bottom line.

They are now allowing multiple “nickname” accounts so you just might see Ezzy over there. I still hate and try to avoid all of the general social media sites – facebook, twitter, instagram, vine, tinder, etc…. I keep my online socializing to specific places, such as SoundCloud, Reverbnation, and random message boards like Gearslutz, TapeOp, Slashdot, ArsTechnica. And of course wordpress and Disqus for snarking ;-).

Anyone who wants to know what I’m thinking about can check, after all I’m paying the server bill and no advertisers or tracking here!


Myth Busted

“It’s all marketing”. That’s a common out for Apple haters, a quick way for them to sum up and then discount Apple’s success in the tech world. But like most points made by people who actually use the term fanbois, it’s not reality.

Check this out — Forbes did a little math and figured out tech companies advertising costs as a percentage of their sales. Let’s boil it down:

From 2009-2011, Microsoft spent 2.6% of sales revenue on advertising.
From 2009-2011, Dell spent 1.3% of sales revenue on advertising.
From 2009-2011, Apple spent less than 1% of sales revenue on advertising.

Results: MS’ revenue was steady, marketing went up, profits took a nosedive.
Results: Dell’s revenue was steady, marketing went up, profits are jumping all over.
Results: Apple’s revenue tripled, marketing was steady, profits quadrupled.

So from a marketing perspective, it looks like Apple’s advertising is far more effective, but it isn’t due to outspending the competition. Any marketer will ask you (off the record) — is the product any good? Give me strengths and weaknesses and we will market it to the best of our abilities. Perhaps Apple’s ad people aren’t magicians, perhaps they just have a better product to schlep?