Thursday 15 July 2010

Nokia sarcasm reaches a new level

A few weeks ago, the Nokia Conversations blog published an article called How do you hold your Nokia?

It coincided with well-reported problems affecting the new Apple iPhone 4. The article ended by reminding Nokia users that they could hold their phones any way they liked without suffering any signal loss.


But it seems that wasn't enough. Today, in Settle down: it's story time, we're told that "video calls using mobile devices are very new", with Nokia users having to "wait all the way until 2004" before they could make video calls. Oooh. Six years before iPhone users. The story behind the article - a partnership between Nokia and Sesame Street - doesn't really involve mobile phones at all, which means this looks like little more than another unashamed pop at Apple.

That first article struck me as pretty funny... but I really don't see sarcasm as one of Nokia's brand values. No more digs for a while, eh? Just get the N8 into the shops.

Thursday 8 July 2010

A bank newsletter that's no better than spam

I’ve said – privately – on more than one occasion that spam ‘phishing’ email messages asking for bank details would work much better if only they were written with more marketing nous. (Just for the record, I’ve only said this to friends. I’m not touting for business from spam marketers!)

And then I received an email from my bank on 25th June. I like my bank… and I tend to like their style… but this is pants. I see now why people are fooled by phishing emails if this is typical of a bank’s official message.

Introducing the June collection

"Mr Bridge introducing the June Collection"

What in heaven’s name are those quote marks doing there? They appear to be a bid to make this look as spammy as possible. And where’s the punctuation?

In fact, while I’m having a go at the subject line, let’s ask why I should bother to open this email at all. ‘The June Collection’. What’s that when it’s at home, eh?

Oh, alright, let’s move into the body of the email.

The June CollectionHang on, there it is again. The June Collection. Still no idea what it is, mind you.

And now there’s an invitation:

‘This month we're giving you the opportunity to enter the London HACK for free…’

The London HACK. It’s a good job I’m not thinking of spam email here, isn’t it? Because that would put me right off. So – what is the London HACK? Perhaps a quick glance at the next story will tell me. Nope, that one’s about You look after them and we'll look after youshoes and life insurance. Then we’ve got a Toshiba Mini NB200. I’m assuming it’s some kind of computer because there’s a picture of a computer there. Then again, they’ve used two pairs of shoes to sell life insurance, so it might as well be a cereal bar they’re giving away.

Let us hear your views

It’s not until I get to the fifth story that I discover the London HACK is a fundraising walk for charity. To register, I’m told to “select find out more below”. No hyperlink in the text. No italics. No quote marks. (This might have been a good place for them instead of the subject line). No, that would make it too easy to read. And, just to add to my fear, a warning that the bank “has no control over the linked To register, select find out more belowwebsite and is not liable for your use of it. The closing date is 28 June 2010.” Leaving me a mere three days to enter, assuming I had the confidence to click that potentially dangerous link.

As I mentioned earlier, I like my bank. I like them enough to have concealed their name in my rant. I’m not annoyed – just disappointed and a little frustrated. I don’t want to ‘opt out’ of marketing messages. All I want is something that’s a bit better… and something that gives me a reason to read it.

Finally, to add insult to injury, the online survey had closed when I tried to offer my opinion about the newsletter. Still, I’ve got it off my chest now.