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Archive for the ‘commentary’ Category

Jab Jab Jab Low Blow

In commentary, doing business, social media on March 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Today I planned on purchasing “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook” by Gary Vaynerchuk. I had hoped to pick it up and purchase it today.  As there are so few brink-n-mortar bookstores around, I looked up the book on http://barnesandnoble.com and see the price on the web site…

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OK.  I head to the Barnes and Noble in East Northport, NY.  I am very excited to get the book and start reading it.  I anticipate paying $18.35 but realize there may be a slightly higher price because it’s at the store. Perhaps a service fee?

I get to the store and go to the kiosk to find the location of the book.  The kiosk shows it’s located in Business:Marketing and it costs $29! It must be a mistake.  They must be displaying the list price. No one charges list price! Not bookstores. Not clothing stores. Not car dealers. No one! Except…

Well I cannot find the book and need to have a salesperson find the book on the “end-cap”.  I ask him the price and he states it’s $29.

$29? $29?! Are you kidding me?

The salesperson says they need to charge higher prices for books at the stores to cover overhead. The Online price is only there to compete with Amazon.com.

I explain (IMHO) to the salesperson that charging $11 more for the same book at the store is “appalling”.  I explained I am aware he is not the decision-maker and please excuse my venting.  I tell him that the public is reasonable and, if they charged a $1 or $2 for the convenience of purchasing the book in the store, it would make sense.  It is ridiculous to price this book at $29 after I had seen it on your web site for $18.35.

Determined and angry, I head home and online to http://barnesandnoble.com.  I search for “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook”

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I was curious to know if the web site explicitly stated the book will cost $29 if you purchase it at the store. No. I could not find it. Perhaps they are being “cute” and I am supposed to assume, or come to the conclusion on my own, that it costs $29 at the store.

I think “What if I click the Pick-Me-Up button?”  Maybe that will shed some light on the situation.

Great. They have the book in stock at the store in East Northport, NY.

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Great (again). It’s still listed as $18.35.  OK. I understand.  I am buying it online and picking it up at the store.  So it’s going to cost $18.35.

I click the “Pick Me Up” button next to the East Northport Store.

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Aaaaah. Now they display the book will cost $30. (At that point I also see I am not purchasing it online. I am asking them to pull it from the shelf and have it ready for me to purchase when I reach the store.)

So it took five clicks into BarnesAndNoble.com for them to share with me the book will cost $30 – (1) Search for the book (2) Click the book for detail (3) Click “Pick up in Store” where the zip code window appears, (4) The page with “Pick Me Up” in large print (5) The pop up window above which finally shows me it costs $30 without any type of explanation.

All the way at the bottom I see “Store and online prices may vary.” IMHO it’s in a place that is deceptively out of the way and vague.  Regardless of legalities, vagueness, and deceptiveness, this is not how you do business in a world in which social media is so prevalent.

Oh come on!

With all the “brilliant business minds” at the top of Barnes and Noble, they can’t think of a fair way to deal with the public?  Perhaps a simple and reasonable $2 “store fee” for books that are purchased at the brick-n-mortar?  Perhaps that $2 “store fee” could be given back as a credit to the customer’s next online purchase?

Perhaps, at least,  explain to your online audience why you need to charge a reasonable fee for books purchased at a store… versus, once I found the book,  having 3 screens display $18.35 and then displaying $30 on the 4th page?

Befriend us. Respect us.

Your salesperson seemed concerned about Amazon.com.  And you should be concerned because Amazon.com does it “right”.  I have had numerous potentially-negative experiences with Amazon.com.  Anytime I had an issue, Amazon.com customer service resolved the issue and exceeded my expectations.  I will continue to be a dedicated Amazon customer.  After today’s experience with Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com looks even better to me.

I ordered Gary’s book on Amazon.com.

I look forward to reading “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook.”  I also look forward to seeing Barnes and Noble in Gary’s next book “Jab Jab Jab Low Blow.”

Right or wrong. Perception is reality!

Everyone loves spaghetti

In commentary, commercials, stupid videos, Uncategorized, Videos, viral videos on January 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Every once in a while I will stumble upon a video that would be the a great foundation for a commercial video (or an entire campaign.)

Viral commercial spaghetti Joeys Pasta

Everyone loves spaghetti.  Everyone loves pets. Let’s put it together.

Take a watch of this video. Take 3 “watches” of the video.  It’s simple. Entertaining.  The sound of the dog chomping the spaghetti is great.  The spaghetti is the center of the attention.  There’s something special and real about the video. With a little editing, adding a brand image/message at the end, and  the proper viral seeding, this could be an awsome campaign.

Funny video commercial dog eating spaghetti viral

Click to watch funny video

Jacksonville University – Mens Lacrosse Recruiting Video

In commentary, commercials, Uncategorized, Videos on December 31, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Coach Matt Kerwick and the Jacksonville University are building a new Men’s Lacrosse Program.
They (with eLacrosse?) created a recruiting video. This is a great idea to include in the recruiting process.

Without knowing the NCAA recruiting rules, here are a few comments….

  • The video emphasizes attending a warm weather school near the beach.  That’s important but not the end-all of attending the school.  There’s too much focus on it in the video.
  • The big-time schedule should have been more emphasized and Coach Kerwick should have mentioned “… playing the likes of UNC, Duke, and Hofstra…”. (The schedule on the screen was helpful.)
  • Since it is a new program, is there is a better opportunity for playing time as a freshman?
  • Since it is a new program, are there more openings for quality players?  We may be able to have you and  a high school teammate both join the program. (?) (If they are both quality players.)
  • There needs to be emphasis on your goal of recruiting good players with strong character.  They will be playing top lacrosse and facing many challenges of developing a new program.  When they come  to JU they will be creating a legacy.  They won’t be just a good lacrosse player “passing through” a program.
  • Let some of the current JU players speak.  Endorsements and opinions of players matter.
  • Please remember — these are 18-year-old boys who are being recruited.  It wouldn’t hurt to subtly show some good-looking girls as “ball girls”.
Jacksonville University Lacrosse

Click to see JU recruiting video

Video commercial for 100 Grand Candy Bar

In commentary, commercials, flash, Uncategorized, Videos on December 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm

The talent to produce and director video commercials is out there. And it’s abundant.

This video was shot in one day for a budget of less than $150 by student film director Andrew Mitchell (co-produced, edited, directed with Jenna Spesard.) It was created for a contest.

The video is upbeat and quick, with great music.  The music reminded me of the song Eminence Front (Peter Townsend, The Who). The video had a feel of an old Peter Gabriel “Sledge Hammer” music video.  (Perhaps this is because the guy is always being centered in the video with everything else changing around him?)

The product is always in view.  The scenes change rapidly in his fast-paced life and he always has a 100 Grand Bar with him.  Good message.

I like this commercial. Is it fantastic and exciting to the point where it would go viral? Absolutely not.  But it is really good and “entertainingly to-point”.

Nestle should have purchased this video, purchased an inventory of Google AdWords, and let it run online.

great commercial for100 Grand candy bar

click to watch video

Director Andrew Mitchell

http://drewnews.com

Co–produced, edited and directed with Jenna Spesard

Video was created for a competition.

You can’t buy this – Becky Quick of CNBC’s Squawk Box complains about AT&T

In commentary, commercials, flash, Uncategorized, Videos, viral videos on December 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Shout out to Verizon: If you can get this video to go viral, legally that is, it would be unbelievable.

Becky Quick, Warren Buffett’s favorite gal, a well respected woman, complained about her AT&T wireless service on  Squawk Box this morning.  She seemed to have gotten emotional and went into how her signal always drops on her BlackBerry. Anyone who was listening would definitely think twice before subscribing to AT& T.

You could not buy this type of advertising or product placement!

If Verizon can find a way to use this video…

Click on the picture below and fast forward the video to the 3:00 point if you want to hear Becky Quick’s RANT about AT&T.

Becky Quick CNBC Complains about AT&T

Click for video - Becky Quick CNBC Complains about AT&T

Drinking With Bob – building a brand and being rewarded

In commentary, flash, funny videos, political videos, stupid videos, Uncategorized, Videos, viral videos on December 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Drinking With Bob is interesting example of building an online brand that is “real” and not afraid to take a stand.

From DrinkingWithBob.com:

Bob Thompson a.k.a. Drinking With Bob is a comic and TV personality from New York City. Based in Queens, Bob performs his comedy routines, rants and original music in clubs and bars throughout much of the Metropolitan area. He also produces, writes and stars in his own TV show called ‘Drinking With Bob’ on Queens Public Access. The show has been airing for 7 years and has gained a legion of loyal and devoted cult fans who tune in each week to experience the RANTS , see the comic sketches and hear music.

I enjoy Bob’s videos. I don’t always agree with them, but I do, through the screaming and yelling,  listen to what he is saying. Consistency. Bob is Bob.

Through the years he has shown to be sincere and real.  He has build his brand and leveraged it into a gig on WAC Radio in NY.

Congratulations Bob.  Stay real.