Whatever next

Addicted? Plug in and suck.

Addicted? Plug in and suck.

I’ve recently had two bizarre products pointed out to me. Both leave me shaking my head in disbelief.

The first is the e-cigarette. Yes, you heard it here, the cigarette that isn’t actually a ciggie, it’s an electronic device pretending to be a ciggie. As they say on some of their sales materials, totally in keeping with experiential marketing, this apparently provides a “realistic smoking experience”, whatever that is. So many product experiences. What does one do with the experiences these companies keep offering me? Experience them?

Anyway, just think, you can now be fed your regular dose of nicotine – and plenty of other strange chemicals – in your office, even if there’s a smoking ban. And you can even puff circles of smoke (well, vapour actually) to wind up your colleagues.

Vapour evaporated? Nicotine not coming through properly? Just recharge via USB and get dragging again.

Well, I guess this is another example of legal changes described in marketing books with the PEST model, leading to the most bizarre “innovations”.

Feeding kids’ addictions? Screenshot: company website

Then we have the woogie, every parent’s answer to a pestering child who wants to borrow their smart phone. Yep, insert phone. Throw green toy. Get rid of child. More: here.

If you’re still not won over by the slick marketing speak on the website, try the video on Youtube. Nice to know my labrador can chew it, too. Let’s hope no-one rings when the dog’s sitting on my phone or playing fetch.

Also, I can see from the YouTube vid that this makes children very sweet, quiet and cuddly. But as they’ve got my flipping phone how can I film this happiness? Oh of course, sorry, it’s about the child-not-screaming-for-me-to-hand-over-the-fucking-phone experience.

Of course all modern parents can relate to the NEED for this product, but can they relate to the ANSWER to this need? If you’re not sure about spending $20 on this y-generation distraction, here’s a quick statement you can make to your child to address the distress of product withdrawal: “No!”. First letter n. Second letter o. No.

This idea is an example of social changes described by the PEST model – some parents, leading busy lives, unfamiliar with things called families, find it difficult amusing kids? Or saying n-o (no)?

Ok, try an e-cig then.

Coming back to the business side of these gadgets, do these firms honestly believe that the respective product markets will earn a respectable and sustainable profit for the company?

I’m willing to be wrong on these ones, but whatever next?!?

Alex Woodruff

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One response to “Whatever next

  1. Hi Alex,

    you do know this website, don’t you?

    They have been around for years, selling exactly the kind of “whatever next?” stuff you’ve been talking about…


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