Archive for September, 2009

Food for thought

Posted in The Epitaph with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2009 by Speider

We’ve said it a million times (well, a few times on this blog) — check into everything you put out there! Packaging with slang that might not read just right in a foreign market, promotions that will go wrong and alienate customers and the ever popular, check your fulfillment capabilities before you attempt to distribute something you promise consumers.

With that said, here’s some more famous blunders that no one checked.

In recent news you may have heard about McDonald’s in Japan giving away 10,000 MP3 players, fully loaded with 10 free songs. Problem is, many of them were also loaded with a Trojan virus that captured user info and sent it to hackers the minute it was plugged into a computer, sending all personal information to those hackers. No one was “lovin’ it!”

Not to be outdone in bad taste, Burger King foolishly ran an ad for their new Texican Burger. “The taste of Texas and a little, spicy Mexican” – and they do mean little. The ad for the new product ran only briefly in Spain and the United Kingdom before the Mexican government demanded it be pulled. Seems they don’t like having their countrymen depicted as three-foot-tall wrestlers who wear the Mexican flag as a cape. Winner of the major “DUH!” award.

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The folks at Pepsi pooped out recently. Pepsi offered to give away 250 pairs of Yankee Stadium opening day tickets. But when the Pepsi reps showed up in Times Square, instead of the 250 pairs of the promised tickets, they showed up with just 100 sets and most were for a game in June. As one would expect, this basically led to a mob scene, with angry fans yelling “Pepsi sucks!” and pouring cans of soda out on the street. Sounds like fans were coked up!

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The Dominos keep falling one after another for Domino’s Pizza. After two moronic employees posted videos of themselves treating customer’s orders like they treated their own careers, causing massive expenditures for spin doctors to revive the brand, Domino’s offered free pizzas to anyone that types in the code “bailout.” Only problem is the promotion hadn’t actually been approved before the code got out and 11,000 free pies were given out. Company reps blamed the error on a computer glitch, or hackers. But Domino’s actually looked pretty good after this one for honoring the giveaway. One of the few companies that take it like a man…with extra cheese!

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Norwegian McDonald’s restaurants had the bright idea to name a burger after a place where millions of people were facing starvation. Reps said the McAfrika Sandwich (there’s trouble brewing there in the name alone) was based on an authentic African recipe (sure it was) but that didn’t stop many in Norway from accusing McDonald’s of extreme insensitivity. McDonald’s considered donating proceeds to famine relief, but ended up allowing relief agencies to place collection boxes in participating restaurants. Stay tuned for the McSwineflu Rib Sandwich!

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A recent online promotion from Carl’s Jr. (also known as Hardee’s in some states) for a free $2.75 “Famous Star” hamburger coupon went a little too viral. 276 winning contestants were texted a passcode and a 48-hour-only URL where they could download their coupon. And as the saying goes, they told two friends…who each told two friends…and so on…and so on. A day later, hundreds of websites were posting the URL and passcode, and the company had to shut down the promotion. Apparently viral isn’t always a good thing.

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It seems a simple process but promotions take research, planning and experts to back it up and tie it together. Here at The AFTERLIFE, we also consult on your ideas to take them further, or hold them back a bit. Our teams are experienced with major national campaigns and initiatives, so why throw away money on an idea that just may need a little tweaking…or major project management?

HELP!

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Bag this garbage!

Posted in The Epitaph with tags , , , , , , on September 26, 2009 by Speider

We love brilliant thought and the works by this artist, Joshua Allen Harris, is uber-brilliant! Form, function and art for the common man/woman. Inspiring!

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Products with real conviction!

Posted in The Epitaph with tags , , , , on September 21, 2009 by Speider

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Some Florida minimum-security inmates want to know: Can you handle the heat?

Hot sauce heat, that is — Jail House Fire Hot Sauce, cooked up by inmates at the Hillsborough County Jail and now offered for sale. The idea to make Jail House Fire Hot Sauce came from a Cuban former inmate who thought food in the big house was bland. Allen Boatman, the head of the jail’s horticulture program, remembers what his former trusty said: “We’re growing these peppers. Why don’t we use them?”

Peppers are grown as part of the jail’s horticulture program, which is voluntary and offered only to minimum-security trusties. The inmates learn about growing plants, ornamentals, trees, herbs and vegetables — including more than 1,200 varieties of peppers.

“I thought that was a great idea, so I started doing research on some of the recipes,” says Boatman. The research led to a variety of hot sauces that can be bought for $7 a bottle at the jail in Tampa, Florida, or online at www.jailhousefire.org.

There are three different sauces for sale:

“No Escape” — This is the hottest of the hot, with a warning on the hot sauce’s Web site: “It’s not for the faint of stomach.”

“Smoke” — This is the sauce that inmate Marshall Deline recommends. “It’s not as hot,” Deline says, “it’s more of a smoky flavor.”

“Original” — This is the favorite of customer Bill Bradley, who has used hot sauce on his foods for 49 years. “All three are distinctive,” says Bradley, who considers himself somewhat of a hot sauce expert. “The ‘Smoke’ is a chipotle type, the ‘Original’ has a good bite but has a little bit of a fruity taste. And, of course, the ‘No Escape’ is on fire.”

Coming soon is a fourth sauce: Misdemeanor.

The inmates make no money from this product. The money goes back into an inmate fund that pays for things like the greenhouse where the peppers are grown. The horticulture program pays for itself, says Boatman, so no taxpayer money is used.

So, order your bottle or bottles now before this opportunity ESCAPES you!

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Driving on the sun?

Posted in The Epitaph with tags , , , , on September 8, 2009 by Speider

Scott Brusaw wants to pave our streets with solar panels. It’s not as crazy as it seems. The plan is to replace asphalt with an integrated network of solar panels that people can drive on. Not only would Solar Roadways replace our current fossil-fuel-intensive asphalt and concrete paved surfaces, but they could essentially replace the power grid itself. Imagine a world without coal-fired power plants, without obnoxious power lines, without smog – a world where the very road you drive on pollution-free supplies everything from on demand power for your electric vehicle and your home to high-speed internet and cable TV service – all with clean “green” energy from the sun. We know, it sounds crazy, but Scott is perfectly sane – we promise. Take a look for yourself at his website.

Watch an interview and video of his brilliant idea.

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May the force – of the wind – be with you.

Posted in The Epitaph with tags , , , on September 7, 2009 by Speider

A fun new product is a long time coming (30 years, to be exact). Star Wars 3D kites will be the hottest thing in parks and the beach (Hoth ice planets and planets about to be blown to smithereens). For $39.99 you can pilot your own Tie fighter, X-wing or Millennium  Falcon.

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Personally, I think the world needs a Death Star kite or at least balloon. I know that’s what I would be flying proudly – but then again, I have a soft side for the dark side.

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Nobody knows pop culture, new products and innovative thought like The AFTERLIFE! When it comes to your design needs for packaging, products, print or digital, we can supply you with the WOW! FACTOR you need. Drop us a message and we’ll WOW! you with just our reply.

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