Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

Hasbro = The Devil

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Why, Hasbro, why? Why did you murder Scrabulous?

Anyone living in the dark ages (or not working in an office with a computer) may not realize that yesterday marked the end of the glorious Scrabulous era; an era during which friends all over the world could compete in an online version of Scrabble on Facebook. It provided stress relief, a challenge, a way to stay in touch with friends, and more.

But in their infinite wisdom, the suits at Hasbro filed a lawsuit which ultimately led to the demise of Scrabulous. While it was clearly a ripoff of the Scrabble game–owned and trademarked by Hasbro–the online social networking version was doing more good than harm. A whole new generation of kids began playing Scrabble. Adults rekindled their love for the forgotten game. How could this possibly have hurt Hasbro? Were the developers of Scrabulous also selling an offline version of the game, distributing it to every toy store in the world, so as to strike a fatal blow to the ancient game of Scrabble? No. Instead, because of a refueled passion for the game, it’s likely that Hasbro’s sales of the physical Scrabble game increased. You can’t take Scrabulous to the beach, or play it at a family reunion.

Because I don’t work for Hasbro, nor am I one of the developers of Scrabulous, I can’t say whether or not Hasbro explored more rational solutions to their problem. Solutions like paying them for a brilliant adaptation of Scrabble and rebranding it. But I can say for sure that forcing them to take Scrabulous down was the wrong move. Bloggers and fans of Scrabulous all over America are cursing the name of Hasbro today, as they surf the internet looking for other enjoyable ways to wile away their boring day. That can’t be good for your corporate image.

Save Scrabulous.

End of the road?

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

jtherkal: Well, for some reason (see copyright infringement) our YouTube account has been permanently disabled. Which means every video I took the time to tag and upload has been d-d-DE-leted. Will we take the time to go through and repair every link so that the videos are shown from some other person’s copyright infringing YouTube account? Doubtful. It’s a sad, sad day when advertisers shut you down for infringing on the copyright of a fucking COMMERCIAL. Awful. Sorry to the five people who read this blog. I guess we’ll try and continue, just without the ability to upload ads ourselves.

WAW: Copyright Violation Idiots

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

jtherkal: So today I received these notices that videos had been removed from our YouTube channel due to copyright violations. I had to read them a few times to understand what they were saying, because certainly no company would ever ask you NOT to watch or show their commercial.

In the case of the Viagra Ad, it seems to be the music company that had a problem with us sharing their song without paying for or obtaining the rights. But in the other case it was Toyota, the actual car company, that asked to have THEIR AD taken down. Now, is it just me, or does asking people NOT to show your ad seem like the most ridiculous thing in the history of marketing? It’s FREE ADVERTISING! The whole reason you make an ad is to have people watch it and hopefully notice or remember it. The ultimate win (well, aside from making a sale) is when someone passes on information about your ad, or even better, passes on the actual Ad for others to see. I’m absolutely amazed and confused by this.

Starbucks Retro Logo

Friday, April 18th, 2008

sjbooher: As an unabashed Starbucks lover, I was happy to read this article about their recent switch to a retro logo. When I first saw the logo, I was worried about a permanent switch, which I thought was a terrible idea, largely because many other coffee cups out there are brown. However, now that I know it is temporary, I am ok with it. Actually, I guess I am mostly neutral. Maybe the change of pace will combat some of the negative feelings out there for the brand, but that seems unlikely to me. Now the Christmas cups? I can tell you from personal experience that there are consumers out there that love those. My wife goes nuts for those.

One Digital Advertising Flaw

Friday, March 14th, 2008

jtherkal: Working at a digital advertising agency is a bit strange. One phenomenon I’ve picked up on is that everyone always seems to be focused on technology rather than ideas. It’s all about “what’s the hottest new thing” or “how can we implement this advanced operating something or other.” I know that the intention of this is to provide the user with a better experience, but many times it does the exact opposite. We either end up with a site that’s so heavy anyone with a computer over a year old has to wait ten minutes for things to happen between each click, or using a version of some program that people don’t have. Flash is the most common occurance of this. Any time I have to stop what I’m doing to install a new version of Flash, it’s like a dead end for me. You’ve lost my interest. Nice try.

The Nike sites are a prime example of this. The Nike Dunk site was designed for giant screens. Guess what? I have a small laptop screen. It doesn’t fit. Crappy.

I understand wanting to use the best available technology, because you can design a more impressive user experience. But how good is the experience if a user never even sees it? Most people don’t have super-computers with 24″ HD screens. And isn’t that who we’re advertising to–most people?

Instead of starting with the technology, digital agencies have to begin looking for the larger idea, the simple compelling truth. Then tell that story in the best possible way to the most possible people. A good story can be as impressive in Flash 4 as Flash 9.8xZ.

My associate is a computer nerd, so I’m sure he can weigh in on this.