It has been a few weeks since I got excited about an advertisement – the last time was when I wrote about Domtar in this post.
This is a very different post.
When I saw the ad for Daffy’s in the paper yesterday I thought WOW, these guys have done something really, really smart.
Here’s a company I have never heard of before, I have no idea what they sell or who their target market is, though it’s a safe guess they are a bargain retailer of women’s clothes. So instead of trying to squeeze all of that into one photograph, they tell you next to nothing.
This is really brilliant.
The ad has some Kate-Mossy-looking model naked, and the two text boxes cover up her bikini areas, which is probably where the readers eyes will go anyway.
Of course it has the Daffy’s name and web site, and then all it says on the top box “AFFORD TO CLOTHE YOURSELF.” So my guess is that any woman who is interested in high fashion at low prices is very much compelled to go to their web site to learn all about it – so instead of having to get it all into one page, they tell you almost nothing, but leave you curious enough to go out to there site where you can learn as much or as little as you want, going at your own pace.
Brilliant rethinking of advertising.
One thing I will say is that I went out to the web site because I couldn’t find the ad (I ended up taking a picture of it because I couldn’t find it), and after clicking on most of the buttons on the site, I still didn’t find any pictures of the clothing. Now as a man, I was perfectly content to see a bunch of pictures of naked women, but if they actually want to sell some of their gear to women, I would suggest that they show some of the clothes someplace on their site.
I was reading this article in The New York Times this morning, which talks about how Zagat Survey has thus far missed out on the web and has lost market share to the likes of Yelp. Their response to charge for their apps puzzles me and I don’t think that’s going to work out at all for them, but time will tell. The best quote from this piece is:
“Established companies rarely innovate well no matter what field you’re in,” says Merrill Brown, a media consultant and former executive at MSNBC.com and Court TV.
As with a lot of articles in that paper, it felt like it was just on the verge of making a really good point, but didn’t quite get there.
One of the great things about the Zagat brand is that I trust their reviews. For whatever reason, I think that the reviews come from people who like the same things I like, and don’t like. Which is precisely why I don’t use or trust Yelp. Actually there are a couple of other reasons, not the least of which is that I don’t like the asterisk at the end of their name, that contributes to its untrustworthy-ness.
A friend of mine once said that the reviews are all going to trend toward 3.5 stars, because a bunch of the friends of the owner will give it five stars, some competitors will give it one star, one person will give it two stars because they didn’t like the color of the table cloth (or an equivalently stupid reason to give a place a bad review) and so on. No trust in the sources.
So what’s the solution? Netflix.
As much as I have written about Netflix, no, I don’t think they are the answer to all of the problems in the World.
Netflix has trained me to believe I am unique and special and that I have unique tastes for all sorts of movies and content. If you look at the image to the left, you can see that for this film (which I saw and liked much less than the original), the average person out there that has reviewed the movie gave it 3.8 stars, but based on my historical feedback, they think I will like it a little bit more than that. Nine times out of ten they are correct about this because I have given them a lot of feedback on all sorts of movies and shows.
That’s what is missing in the review business.
I have a very specific and wide range in tastes, from the bagels I like, to the hot dogs I like, to the fine wine I like, to the seafood I don’t like to order in restaurants (I never order crab in a restaurant).
As soon as there’s a review site that collects my feedback and can credibly send me to places they know I am going to like, I will sign up.
That said, I still trust Zagat much more than Yelp, but I am unwilling to pay for the service. I think it’s a bit like OpenTable, if I am going to provide my feedback, I shouldn’t have to pay for that. So while I think Zagat still has some course correction to do, for now I trust them, but I would trust them more if they would follow the lead from Netflix and make it more about me. And you.
That’s the rethinking that I think needs to go on in the world of reviews, and if Yelp already does that or something like that, let me know – I haven’t used it in so long, it’s entirely possible – and if they do, I will amend this post, or at least put an asterisk on it.
Lots of buzz and rumors today that on November 15, Facebook will launch the Facebook Titan offering and the speculation is that it’s a Gmail killer. From the sound of it, Titan is going to offer email addresses ending in @facebook.com and that once people have that, there will never be a reason to go back to Gmail. It’s a little surprising they don’t make reference to the impact this will have on Hotmail, since I think Hotmail is still going strong . . .
Back in May I wrote a post about how Facebook already is a Gmail killer, and the whole point of that post was that you don’t need the @facebook.com piece to send a message. Once you find a person, depending on their security settings, all you have to do is click “send (name) a message”
Have a look at the example I have on the left. Jeff Raikes was a long time Microsoft executive who now runs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Maybe not as famous as Mark Zuckerberg, but still an industry mogul, or titan in his own right. Just being able to click “send Jeff a Message” – not knowing any other contact details about Jeff, I could send him a message. This is really powerful, and I use this feature a lot when I read an article about someone and I want to reach out to them with a comment. It’s fast and easy and nine times out of ten the person responds right away.
Now I know the Facebook people tend to be pretty smart, it seems like needing the email address with the @facebook.com is going to be redundant, so I don’t know why they would do that, unless they think it’s just too complicated to advertise the fact that in Facebook you can send email to people without knowing their email address.
So I am going curious to see how this flies . . .or sinks, like the Titanic. With a name like Titan, if they do fail, I expect we will see the name Titanic in a lot of the articles – somewhat like when people said “next of Kin have been notified” after the spectacular failure of the Microsoft Kin device earlier this year. As an aside, I have seen the new Windows phone and it has some very differentiating features, especially social ones that should make it a success.
Let me know if I am all wet, but I just don’t see how Titan is good rethinking.