Friday, June 26, 2009

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig

While reading some articles at I discovered something that we have talked about more than once in our classes at St. Bonaventure. Nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising. So says Bob Carr, Kathleen Mason, and Charlie Riley. And now introducing – The Comfort Wipe! And the blockbuster hit of the Summer, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

First let’s discuss the Comfort Wipe product. Here we have a product made for lazy people, people who cannot be inconvenienced to turn around to wipe their own behinds. Upon reading the selling points on the company website, “it's perfect for everyone, especially if you have trouble easily reaching because of physical limitations such as bad shoulder or other mobility li[mit]atations.” So it does serve a purpose. Well, besides making people laugh.

And laugh they must, The Comfort Wipe commercial is now in fourth place among viral videos based on views. The Comfort Wipe has over 700,000 views this past week. But the Comfort Wipe is in “testing stage” and the company will not be moving forward with production. The stock they have now is being sold through the website, but when they are gone, they’re gone. Why? Because the greatest viral campaign, or even the most spectacular marketing plan cannot sell a product that isn’t good.

Now, while reading the article Are You Happy Now, Michael Bay? I find a recurring theme. The just-released blockbuster has less than stellar reviews. The Advertising Age article talks about how producer Michael Bay emailed Paramount and he “bitched how Paramount wasn’t aggressively marketing the soon-to-be blockbuster.” It then goes on to mention that when the movie costs $200 million to make, they can market it any way they want. However, the movie house pulled out it’s big guns last minute and got some spots on tv and made some interesting promotional partners (i.e. Kmart, Burger King). The problem is this, it’s still a pig.

A review of the movie by Alonso Duralde on, 'Transformers sequel less than meets th eye,' discusses how the movie has no plot, is “an assault: It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t make sense and it pummels the viewer into submission when it could just as easily have been entertaining and exhilarating.”

So the movie house went to great effort and expense to put lipstick on a $200 million pig, and half the people I know still don’t know that the movie came out yesterday. And those that do, don’t care because it looks “boaring”. Hehehehe. I had to.

Case in point: There is no reason to spend great amounts of money on advertising if you haven’t made a quality product. Spend your money in development instead.

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