Marketing Mistakes Makeover: Love Nails Spa

I walk down Piedmont Ave in North Oakland at least three or four times a week. It’s my hood, and I love it.

The other day I spotted this sign for Love Nails Spa (I think that’s what it’s called?) which gets pretty good reviews on Yelp.

I think 3 1/2 stars is a pretty good score for a nail place, though it seems the high marks might be due in part to their low prices.

I would think that a place that has the foresight to name their business “Love Nails” or “Love Nails Spa” would continue along the line of good marketing instincts, and forgo any major marketing mistakes. Continue Reading

Holiday Special in January??

I spent some time last night checking out the prices of retail spaces along Broadway Auto Row. I have a dream of renting one of the empty auto dealerships…

While looking I stumbled on a Craigslist post for an office building titled, “WE’RE HAVING A HOLIDAY SPECIAL DEAL! OFFICES FOR RENT IN CHEAPER PRICE.”

Well, we all know that postings all in caps sell better, so that was definitely a good choice. You have to shout to get our attention! It’s not enough that you’re offering a holiday special in mid-January.  I don’t know if that’s a marketing mistake or just plain negligence.

Thankfully the post body was not in all caps.  Score one property management company. Continue Reading

The Adventures of Clumpy

You may not know this about me, but I am a huge fan of Days of Our Lives. I’ve watched the show since I was in high school, and am lucky to have witnessed Marlena’s head spinning and projectile vomiting a la The Exorcist when she was possessed by the devil, numerous serial killers and that time that Jack and Jennifer pushed some guy in that vat of acid (not really clear on the details there). According to my high school boyfriend, there was a time that I gave up Days of Our Lives (!!!) but I have no memory of that.

Somewhere along the line, my father started subscribing to Soap Opera Digest for me (I think he gets them for free), which is an excellent addition to my life. It is because of this excellent addition to my life that I have this awesome gem to share with you:

You're going to want to click on this to study it more closely. Seriously.

Yes, this cat that looks like a long-haired version of the Guster is staring at a giant litter scooper in the sky. Yes, the giant litter scooper in the sky is holding a purple blob that looks like a hybrid of Meatwad and a Teletubbie giving us what might be a thumbs up.

If that cat were anything like the Guster instead of just looking a little like him, he would have run screaming. He also wouldn’t even be on the moon because he’s not really allowed outside of house, even though he’s been embarking on a few sordid outside adventures of late (part one, part two).

Yet, here this cat is, staring–seemingly in awe–at this scooper and scoop-character (I think we’re supposed to believe his name is Clumpy) in the sky.

Lots of ads are weird and random so let’s forgive this part. It turns out if you look at the lower right hand corner, this is not an ad for a movie that no one in their right minds would want to see, but an ad for Scoop Away brand cat litter. OK, it’s an ad for cat litter.

Have you ever seen a cat poop? I think that most of us have, and for those of us who haven’t, it’s a lot like a little dog poop, which is somewhat like a little human poop. It looks nothing like Meatwad, and only nominally like a Teletubbie. They are not purple, they do not have eyes, and they are not shaped like a biscuit. Is this ad telling us that if we use the Scoop Away brand cat litter (which, btw, is terrible and horrible for the environment, though nothing compared to the BP oil spill), our cat’s poops will turn into little purple biscuit-shaped poops and fly away into space? Cause that would be pretty awesome, but a rather bitter pill to swallow, if you know what I mean (or if I even know what I mean, which is that it would be hard to swallow).

It turns out, if you visit, as this ad urges you to, there are indeed movies–almost adventures–starring Clumpy. They all have the same general story line–Clumpy stays together while his counterpart falls apart, be it while lifting weights at the gym (while flirting–mind you–with a yellow clump of cat poo), catching rays at the beach or scaling the Alps. OK, Scoop Away brand cat litter, you got me to look at your website. I stared, transfixed in horror, at these elaborate scenes you probably hope will go viral and somehow increase your hold on the demographic of soap-opera-watching-cat-loving women who all share the same general distaste for litter box cleaning. You win.  I’m even helping you by drawing attention on the Internets to your misguided attempt at viral marketing.  But be warned:  I predict a class action lawsuit on behalf of American housewives and other soap opera addicts who will soon find themselves haunted by these smiling purple cat poops in the sky.