This is why everyone hates us

There exists a niche market of wealthy split-up couples with joint custody of a pet who fly their pets back and forth on private jets, alone.


Peanuts are like crack to them.

This company does not understand how memes work

I’ve seen this “Suggested post” in my newsfeed for weeks. It’s like they started with a good idea “people love memes!” and then completely failed at life.

So here, in the spirit of Reddit, memes, and all things internet, I made them something:


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We’re all storytellers

Based on Andrew Stanton‘s TED talk “The Clues to a Great Story

Lünchausen Syndrome

Lünchausen syndrome is a psychiatric disorder wherein those affected know they are hungry, and that they must eat, but are paralyzed by the weight of deciding what or where to eat.

First coined by Wendy Englebardt in February 2014.

The only known treatment is finding a friend to choose for you. Skipping meals only makes the symptoms worse.

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Why not just ask your customers what they want?


Lay’s Do Us A Flavor

How eBay is trying to fuck me

After 14 years as a loyal eBay fan, buyer, and seller, I’m pretty surprised at badly they’re trying to fuck me. So much for company loyalty. And once again, I’m reminded of how little companies understand about Customer Lifetime Value. Or how customer service is really marketing function (especially these days).

Here’s the story.

When I upgraded my phone I sold my iPhone 4S on eBay. People in foreign countries pay a lot for these old phones so they can jailbreak them and re-sell them. I’ve done this with every old phone I’ve ever had, and even sold phones for friends and relatives. Never had a problem.

So I sell the phone. The buyer pays for the cheapest shipping, USPS First Class International. No tracking. No delivery confirmation. Nothing. Apparently she’s a gambler.

Fast forward a month and she files a complaint with eBay saying the phone never arrived. eBay immediately sides with her, saying that since there is no tracking, she must be telling the truth. So they refund her money and send me the bill.

She has a 4 month, 4 purchase track record. I have a 14 year, unblemished track record with multiple dozens of positive comments in feedback. But they side with her.

I have receipts showing I shipped it, showing the customs declaration numbers, date of shipment, payment. But they side with her.

Now after several phone calls, emails, and lots of time spent on hold, they’re still telling me I have to pay them for the money they reimbursed her.

Well, good fucking luck with that.

First it was about the money, but now it’s about a principle. And when it comes to principle, I am a stubborn, stubborn man.

So you can get your $327 dollars eBay. When you pry it from my cold. dead. hands.


“Here’s $2 and a chance to win a vacation” – The most effective marketing you’ll see all day.

two dollars.JPG


This is what greeted me today as I left Back Bay Station on my way to work. A guy was handing out these envelopes to anyone who passed by announcing “Two free dollars and a chance to win a vacation.” I’m usually in the camp of people who would prefer to pepper spray anyone who attempts to talk to me, or hand me anything, on the street, but I figured, two bucks is two bucks.

And as you can see, it was a real two dollar bill. and a real chance to win a vacation (I didn’t win).

But ask me about the last banner ad I saw? NOTHING. The last banner ad (or “OLA” as us in the advertising world like to call them) that I can remember was a home page takeover of the NY Times, where the “I’m a Mac” and “I’m a PC” guy pulled a lever in a unit on the right-hand side, and it changed the headlines on the leader board banner at the top. And that was probably 2008.

Not only did I tweet and Facebook about this promotion, now I’m blogging about it. Well done TNT Vacations.

In order to find out if you won the vacation you need to enter your email address. How many address will they collect today? The guy handing out the envelopes had a big stack. And he had probably been there for a while already. Multiple that across a few cities and you have a nice email recruitment effort. A nice, CHEAP, recruitment effort. Even if only 1 in 10 people check to see if they have one, it’s still only a cost-per-acquisition of $20.

Compare that with average click through rates of .05% for display ads and it seems to me that you need to run A LOT of banners to get that same person to take action. Granted, there is no opportunity for storytelling here, no brand-building creative, they didn’t change my perception of TNT Vacations (although they did make me aware of it, so that’s pretty good).

I often wonder, when my clients tell me that want to spend millions of dollars on banner ads, whether or not it would be more effective to simply pass out money on a street corner.

If anyone from TNT Vacations (or their parent company Funjet Vacations) is reading this and want to get in touch and share some data, I’d love to see it.

Just so you know, banner ads used to be A LOT more effective:

BEHOLD: The First Banner Ad Ever – From 1994

What the hell is “Kim Kardashian Hot Tube?”

Kim KardashianYour guess is as good as mine, but for some reason people search for this (and end up here) every day.

I assume it’s a typo by people looking for pictures or videos of Kim Kardashian in a hot tub. Or maybe “hot tubing” is some sort of weird sex/drugs thing that I don’t know about. Or maybe Kim is repping a new line of hoses called “hot tubes.”

Any ideas?

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