In the good old days when TV spots were cheap and Colgate-Palmolive seemed to have an unlimited budget, a style of advertising emerged under the banner of, “It’s so bad it’s good”.
Mrs Marsh broke the piece of chalk 20 times a night for a year and the campaign worked.
Do we have a new version of the same idea emerging in the digital world?
Is iSnack 2.0 so bad it’s good? A better name would not have produced 1/1000th of the buzz online. They’re probably looking for it on supermarket shelves in Nome, Alaska.
Kraft is now looking for a replacement name and dubbing iSnack jars a “Collector’s item”. Although they claim innocence, it may be one of the decade’s greatest sampling successes.
How about the Microsoft advertorials or whatever they are? Tutorials perhaps?
I suspect they are so bad they’re good – but for Microsoft or Apple Mac? But, again, lots of free buzz online.
In this extraordinary age of hyper word-of-mouth it is certainly a very good idea not to suck. But are we seeing a new, weird, counter position with the slogan, “Don’t suck … blow.”
UPDATE: BCM recently ran an online poll asking whether Kraft’s Vegemite’s iSnack 2.0 disaster was “a carefully crafted media publicity stunt” or “a poorly planned, unintentional marketing fiasco”. Of the 1,274 respondents, 77 percent said they thought it was a carefully crafted media publicity stunt. You can read more about the poll results here.
Bill Bristow is Managing Director of the BCM Partnership. His interest in computers and computing goes back to his early hobby as a software reviewer and contributing editor of Macworld.