Thursday, September 6, 2007

I've Been Bamboozled - UPDATE

-by Rashidi Barnett

Apple has offered $100 Store Credit and Jobs apologizes to iPhone users. Wow, maybe Steve read my blog?

So do I need to do a "what can I do with $100"? Is that new wireless iPhone earpiece out yet?

I'll try to go to the Apple store over the weekend. We'll see what happens. I'll repost then.

Thanks Steve

(See how easily us early adopters can be won over? - haha, i'm cool again)

Wall Street Journal

I've Been Bamboozled

by --Rashidi Barnett

"...with more Mac than Steve Jobs" - Common from the song "Southside"

The rapper Common, formerly known as Common Sense, thinks he has more Mac than Mr. Jobs? I don't think so. There's another joke in their somewhere.

Yes, I was one of the early adopters of the iPhone, I purchased my phone on Saturday, June 30th at the Apple Store at Lenox Mall here in Atlanta. No, I didn't wait all night, or camp out. I waited for about 15 minutes in line with the rest of the customers. I got to walk around the mall with my really cool, iPhone only, Apple Store bag.

I will do another blog on how cool I think the iPhone is, but this one is about how wronged I now feel that they have slashed the price of the iPhone by $200. I would have expected a price cut for the holiday's, maybe $50, but a whopping $200!?!?

Aren't they concerned that for their next big product release, that there would be a certain number of people who would just wait a few more months before making an investment? Wouldn't this impact initial sales of their next big product? Apple shares did dip with the announcement of a lower iPhone price. Sure die hard Apple fans will still camp out, but, I myself definitely would not. I'll be waiting at least six months, or for a holiday season. I'm sure this was carefully considered, but without sitting in the meeting when this plan was formulated, I can only make assumptions based on the information that I have.

I feel like I've been had, hoodwinked, and bamboozled. Sucked in by the hype. I drank the kool-aid! Is this their way they repay me for going without a phone for 30 hours 23 minutes and 8 seconds, while my service was being activated. Where's the love? Can I get commission for the iPhone's I helped sell by walking around, taking pics, giving people hands on demonstrations, writing and commenting on blogs about the iPhone?

Commercial Break:
So my buddy just called me, (as I am typing this) and his words are "Are you upset?!!?" (censored for all the boys and girls) No 'hello', no 'what's up man?'. He just knew I was upset about the recent price drop of my new best friend, the iPhone. I was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago for a wedding, and I was showing off my shiny new iPhone, so he had the chance to see it. So he might go pick one up. I told him I was writing a blog about it right now and he just gave me more content to post.
Back to the regularly scheduled program "The Rashidi Barnett Show"

So ok, I guess I was thinking of it more along the lines of consumer products, such as the Xbox, PS3 in which people camp out for days, buy on Ebay for 5x the retail price. But when thinking of the mobile phone industry, it is common practice to slash prices months after a phone is released.

I guess in the end, everyone who didn't get it the first few days doesn't have the excitement of "hey is that an iPhone, can I see?" Being an early adopter was cool. I got to laugh at those who would drop their iPod at the gym when a call came through. Well, actually just laugh at anyone who called themselves having a moblie internet device or a cell phone, or even an iPod for that matter. When I look at my friends phones, I feel like i've been playing Madden '08 (top) while they have Madden '93 (bottom).

AND I can't forget, they don't have the chance to write an angry blog about price cuts.

So I guess it balances out. It just stings a little.

So if you need advice on how NOT to drop or scratch your iPhone, what the cool iPhone websites are, the cool iPhone blogs, just let me know. Or maybe I'll post them.

In closing, for all you early adopters, here is my list of what you could have done with an additional $200?
  1. Buy 200 songs from iTunes
  2. Sell my 30GB Ipod for $50 bucks to my brother and get the 80GB Ipod
  3. Bought the new 8GB Nano
  4. Bought 2 Shuffles and bought 20 songs from iTunes that expresses my love for my girlfriend and Mom and given it to them as a gift
  5. Sell my iPod for $100 bucks on eBay and put the money towards and an AppleTV
  6. Bought every episode/season of 24 available on iTunes
  7. I know its not Apple related, but didn't they just do price cuts on the XBox360? Darn
And oh, those folks with their $399 iPhones won't have the chance to write an angry blog about price cuts. :-)



Monday, June 18, 2007


by -- Rashidi Barnett

In August of last year, Google and MySpace
announced their $900 million dollar deal on search and contextual ads. I’ve noticed over the past few weeks the Google contextual ads on my log in page become a lot more targeted than they once were. The first one I actually noticed was a little over a month ago when there was an ad with the keyword “Pittsburgh,” my hometown.

Last week I saw some more targeted and relevant ads served based on things that are in my MySpace profile.

What caught my eye initially was the ad for “Del Mar.” I have listed under my list of favorite albums “Any Café del Mar CD.” The Café del Mar is actually in Ibiza, Spain, they put out compilations of the type of music they play there. If the keyword term for “café del mar” was purchased by Expedia, and it showed “Save on trips to Ibiza, Spain” then that would be much more relevant.

I have “The Matrix Trilogy” listed as one of my favorite movies. What is potentially a missed opportunity is that “The Matrix Trilogy” was actually released on HD-DVD on May 22, 2007. As of today, June 19, 2007, Amazon is purchasing the keyword “Matrix Trilogy”. Maybe they don’t have it running in the content network?

Overall, I’ll be taking a closer look over the next few months to see if there is any improvement. Marketing is always more effective when it is both relevant and timely.

If you have noticed targeted ads on your MySpace page, please let me know, I’d like to hear.

Update : June 22, 2007

I noticed some more ads based upon my profile. I don't have "Slap Maxwell" on my profile, its actually Maxwell the Columbia Records recording artist. I don't have "Family Guy" either, though I do enjoy "Family Guy." (I actually had to check to see if it was on my profile, and no, its not) I do have Musiq on my profile as well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


by -- Rashidi Barnett

I am a huge advocate of strong, smart integrated marketing approaches. It's one thing to have a great television or banner ad campaign. But when you break down organization silos and extend the olive branch to your marketing brethren, one can create unique opportunities to positively impact your brand,
or your clients brand.

Research shows that "25-30% of total media time is spent multitasking." Marketing 101 teaches us that the more a consumer is exposed to a marketing message, the more likely they are to remember your brand. In my humble opinion, integrated TV and online ads would help boost the performance of both tactics. A rising tide lifts all ships.

On the evening of February 11 of this year, I was watching the Grammy Awards. Toward the end of the show, Justin Timberlake came on stage to perform his song “What Goes Around.” During the end of his performance, he got up from behind the piano and grabbed a digital video camera.

He continued to perform for another minute as the video feed from the camera was broadcasted. I thought to myself, “great picture.” And in my marketing mind, I expected there to be tie in with the manufacturer of the video camera. I waited until the end of his performance and in anticipation of some sort of ad or marketing plug, I already had my cursor flashing in the browser of choice. Unfortunately, no ad by the camera manufacturer and no tie in on the Grammy's Website.

There was an opportunity for a micro site, sponsored by the manufacturer, with additional footage of the day of, him getting ready for the show, or at least the footage of him on stage. However, I didn’t find any “official” footage anywhere online, but I did find two individuals that posted the footage on Youtube. Interesting enough , CBS has a partnership with Youtube, so it seems that they were not taking full advantage of their relationship.

The total views to date are 90,483 and there was potentially an opportunity to drive more traffic to a microsite or Youtube, if it were supported by offline initiatives. As you can see, the demand was there. It could have provided a complimentary experience, and additional exposure and brand awareness for JT (as if he needed it), other performers of the Grammy’s, as well as the manufacturer of the camera.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting some blogs about some great multi pronged marketing initiatives that I’ve noticed. In my humble opinion, I feel that many advertisers and marketers can learn from these campaigns. Its not a shameless marketing approach which consumers have become numb to. They’ve been able to balance their marketing message with a complimentary experience for the consumer.

Reference : Click Here

NOTE : In case you aren't a huge JT fan, "Justified" is the name of Justin Timberlake's solo debut.

Here's a link to the performance

Thursday, January 25, 2007

In Reply to : This Just In - Content is Still King

by -- Rashidi Barnett

This post is in reply to a blog written by Jeff Hilimire, President of Spunlogic.
Click Here to see read his blog.

Media is now being consumed in a much different way than it was just 10 years ago. Marketers have not changed the way they speak to consumers to reflect this change. Marketers are shifting dollars to the web to decrease waste by more effectively and efficiently reaching their target market. Additionally, tools of the web, such as, cookie based tracking and site analytics, allow for more quickly optimized initiatives to meet the companies success metrics. I feel that making better television commercials is important, but I also feel that relevancy and developing an integrated marketing approach is also part of the equation.

Marketers have trained consumers to associate the Super Bowl with new and potentially exciting commercials. However, during the other 364 days, consumers associate commercials as disrupting their experience. Marketers must find ways to create and develop integrated marketing approaches to speak to consumers.

My all time favorite Superbowl commercial aired sometime in the early 90’s or late 80’s. The commercial break was over, so I thought, and the broadcast went back to the game. A female newscaster is standing near the side line giving a re-cap of the current status of the game. She is about two sentences into it when a she gets tackled by a football player. When the camera pans over to get an up close shot of her lying on the ground, she is holding a Doritos bag. The Doritos tag line flashes across the screen. The broadcast goes back to the game, and it’s the same newscaster standing in the exact same position wearing the exact same thing. Undoubtedly this took a tremendous amount of coordination to execute on this integrated marketing approach. Not only do I remember the commercial but I remember the brand. Some commercials are extremely creative; however, the brand can be lost in the creativity of the commercial. This shows that there must be a balance between getting the message across and having a creative execution.

Another great integrated strategy, as of lately, is the campaign for the movie, “300” in conjunction with MySpace. Users are now able to add 300 total photos to their MySpace pages. (Yes, feeding the MySpace beast) Previously, users were only able to upload roughly 8-12 pictures depending on the size of the file. To get the ability to have 300 photo’s on one’s profile, one must visit the “300” MySpace page and watch the movie trailer before they are able to upload additional pictures to their profile. Additionally, once this is done, there is a small banner on the top of one’s picture catalog that states, “300 – build your army with photos”. Once a user clicks on this icon they are taken to the “300” MySpace page. I randomly clicked through my personal MySpace friends list, of about 332 individuals, and the individuals I clicked on have “built their army with photos”. Hopefully, there will be some white papers and success stories coming out after the movie debuts in March. This integrated marketing approach potentially created a win-win situation for both the site and the advertiser. MySpace is now going to add Flickr like functionality in the next few weeks. Users will be able to tag, and create albums on their profiles. This has given value to the consumer, while they digest the marketing message.

My final thought is that if consumers felt that marketing efforts were more relevant, they might pay more attention to the marketing message. Online marketers are shifting dollars into search because the consumer is requesting the information. The marketing message is relevant to them based on the keyword search terms used. It also is the only marketing medium that can take a consumer from the consideration phase to the purchasing phase. As web technology comes to the television, marketers will be able to use the same metrics and methodologies to target and measure their initiatives. My hypothesis is that marketers will use these tools to provide more relevant marketing messages to the consumers. Relevancy isn’t necessarily the silver bullet, but it can help change the perception of commercials in the mind of the consumer. Additionally, it is important to cast a wider net in some regards to attract consumers that would otherwise miss the marketing message. It may not be relevant at that point; however it might possibly be down the road.

Creative, integrated, and relevant marketing initiatives are all variables in solving this marketing conundrum. Theories and methodologies will have to constantly evolve and be evaluated to keep up with changing trends and consumer mind sets.

It is my prediction for 2007, that we will see more integration of television marketing with online marketing. This will take advantage of user generated media, allowing consumers to take control of their commercials by editing and sharing with their friends.