Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to Fail at Marketing, Lesson 2

Today’s lesson in how to fail at marketing is a simple two-step process:

  1. Determine the least appealing, least marketable portions of the human anatomy.
  2. Name your product after one of them.

Big Black Dick Premium Caribbean Rum. Yes, really.

To be fair, an advertising campaign aimed at an audience with a snickering Beavis and Butthead-style mentality is certainly not guaranteed to fail—that the photo below was taken in the first place being strong evidence that such a mentality does indeed exist—but there is a very big difference between a willingness to take a picture of [insert product name here] and a willingness to actually spend good money on it.

Also crucial to consider is that the name a product is given may cripple one’s ability to come up with a snappy and irresistible slogan with which to sell it. American pop culture is littered with hundreds (if not thousands) of catchphrases that remain insidiously memorable years or even decades after they, and sometimes the products they sell, have gone by the wayside. The wrong product name risks rendering these phrases useless, defiling them in such a way that only a truly childish and borderline demented mind would repeat them for a cheap, dirty laugh.

For example:
  • A day without [insert product name here] is like a day without sunshine.
  • [Insert product name here] makes hamburgers taste like steak burgers.
  • A [insert product name here] is a terrible thing to waste.
  • Aren't you glad you use [insert product name here]? Don't you wish everybody did?
  • All you add is love.
  • Double your pleasure. Double your fun.
  • [Insert product name here]: the San Francisco treat.
  • Fill it to the rim with [insert product name here].
  • I'd like to buy the world a [insert product name here].
  • It keeps going, and going, and going. . . .
  • Nobody doesn't like [insert product name here].
  • Nothing comes between me and my [insert product name here].
  • Please don't squeeze the [insert product name here].
  • [Insert product name here]: Reach out and touch someone.
  • Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.
  • [Insert product name here]: The Other White Meat.1

We're not fans of the use of the "Papyrus" font here, either, but we
aren’t going to be dicks about it.

1. This one, of course, fails doubly, by being not just dirty but also complete nonsense.

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