I may be taking a risk by commenting on two pieces of email marketing in a week. After the grief I got during the Ocado episode (Stan didn't like it at all, Tom saw it as invasive, Iain was reminded of nutjob cannibals, David was worried about my choice of flooring), I thought twice about commenting on a new bit.
But this thing I got from Betfair is just dumb. Now, I like Betfair. They're kind of like Ocado - a clever modern way of dealing with an age old problem (how do I get my groceries home without having to carry them? how can I lose more money on the horses without having to walk all the way to the bookies?). And the way you bet against other people is just plain smart.
But this email was stupid. It contains the immortal line:
"We wanted to remind you that you have chosen not to receive information from Betfair."
Come on Sony. Don't make it easy for me to think that you're getting slack and flabby. Seems like it's easy to have a pop at you these days.
But here's what happened - I needed to buy a dictaphone, so did my research and found a smart Sony model. Got excited (as I do before any new gadget is about to arrive) and then marvelled at how small it was when it arrived (it's the thing that's sitting on top of the box).
However, the thing I'll remember about my most recent Sony experience is the amount of paper that came in the box. Instructions for the device in pretty much every language you care to mention, plus instructions for the cruddy proprietary software, in all of those same goddamn languages. So much paper - in fact, the only reason for the size of the box was so it could carry all of that paper. Stoopid.
So I was thinking, why don't they just give you a little bit of (paper-based) info upon receiving the gizmo - the basic start-up guide. Then, if you need more info, you could maybe read it on a Sony website, and print it out (in one language) if you really needed it. You'd save money on paper and packaging, perhaps retain those customers who are beginning to think you're being a bit stupid, and not look like you're slaughtering the planet just because you can't be arsed to think of something smarter.
Quite a lot of recently launched drinks companies seem to have been influenced by stuff that we've done. Of course, that's not to say that we weren't inspired by others as well - we probably wouldn't have started making smoothies if we hadn't seen other companies doing it successfully (i.e. Odwalla and Fresh Samantha in the USA).
But a Brazilian smoothie/yoghurt company called Do Bem seem to be taking the mickey. As highlighted by Nicholai, their recent ads bear a passing resemblance to some stuff we did in 2003.
OK, so it's not stretching the boundaries of one's imagination to think that the idea could have been repeated by coincidence. But if you have a sniff round their site, which I shan't link to as I don't particularly feel like donating them any traffic, you start to realise that they are bent on wholesale copying. I even had some of it translated by a friend who speaks Portuguese, and the stories and copy sound eerily familiar too.
These appeared in the office today. Made me want to start a new category called 'useless crap'. Artificial sweeteners in some sort of co-branding opportunity with a fashion designer who hasn't done anything to stop anorexic models appearing on his runways. Useless. Crap.