Dyson Goes from From Vacuum to Vroom

.Dyson is is not sucking wind.  They’ve gone from vacuum to vroom. Racers, start your silent electric motors. It looks like a new competitor in the race to produce the best electric car may be soon in the running next to Tesla.

Dyson car

In a release of the UK’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, (who knew from such a plan?) Sir James Dyson of the popular yet eccentric Dyson company best known for their unique vacuums, was named to be working with the British government to create a new “battery electrical vehicle.” Released on March 23, the plan claimed the partnership would include 174£ in investment in the project, and would create nearly 500 jobs. Oddly enough, after making a splash, the plan was re-released without mention of Dyson’s plan for the next electric jalopy.  I was scandalized.

A History of Innovation

The Dyson company has long been known to be forerunners on innovation and design. Their bagless vacuum cleaners were the first of their kind, and other products like the Air Blade and BallBarrow have shown Dyson’s commitment to providing the consumer market with new and unique twists on everyday necessities. No bathroom is complete without an Air Blade, right?

In an interview with The Independent, Dyson CEO Max Conze said how the Dyson company is similar to Apple in their desire to perfect their products. Apple has seen its fair share of rumors recently around the creation of electric cars as well, which could be yet another product the company could slim down until perfection. Products like their Rotork Sea Truck, a cargo boat used by the military, have shown an interest in transportation for Dyson. Maybe it’s time to evolve from sea to land.

It’s All About the Batteries

When it comes to building the next electric car to race Tesla to the finish line, the battery and electric motor are the keys to success. We’re not talking about AA’s here either, these batteries are top-notch and are what keep these cars and inventions high-powered for extended use.

Creating a electric car won’t be as simple as throwing a few wheels on a vacuum cleaning however, but the Dyson company appears to be ready for the challenge. Their acquisition of Sakti3, a solid-state battery company, in October points to a line of improved batteries for all their electric products. Improved batteries are the key towards efficient electric cars, which is one of the reasons Tesla’s promise of a Gigafactory creates so much hype in the tech market.

Additionally, in 2014, Dyson spoke out publicly on working towards improved electric products over the coming years. Dyson claimed his company would dedicate 1.5£ billion on research for new electronic products, and would aim to have 100 new products on the market by 2018.

Maybe one of these products will be a car? If nothing else, hopefully they will at least make a ride-on vacuum cleaner to make house chores a little more fun.

The Waiting Game

Only time will tell what Dyson has in store for us as far as electric cars go. That market, however, is seeing a significant growth of interest with Tesla leading the way. With all the technological advances in electric motors, batteries and cars on the horizon, it sounds like our future transportation may be a lot quieter and easier on the gas stations.

There is still one last burning question we have about the potential Dyson electric car: regardless of price, ingenuity and reliability, is it self-cleaning?

Standard

Poo-Pourri Lawsuit Stinks up Federal Court

The smell of potpourri really stinks. And now there’s a lawsuit with Poo-Pourri that’s stinking up federal court.

Scentsible LLC, the Dallas-based company that owns Poo-Pourri, is suing the makers of V.I.Poo for its marketing tactics.  Once the Dallas-based toilet deodorizing line Poo-Pourri got wind of what their rival V.I.Poo was doing, it aired its grievance in court.

There’s a rotten smell floating through the corridors of a United States District Court in Texas, and it’s not the scent of dirty politicians. Pou-Pourri – a company that sells air-freshening toilet sprays – is suing a British competitor for copyright and trademark infringement.

International manufacturing goliath Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is the defendant, and it would appear that Poo-Pourri’s claims of crappy conspiracy hold some messy merit. According to Poo-Pourri, RB intentionally copied Poo-Pourri’s popular “Girls Don’t Poop” YouTube video, as well as several images from advertising materials.  Based on the wording in the suit, Poo-Pourri is the leader in the market, with V.I.Poo “a distant number two.”

While RB removed their English-language video for V.I. Poo – the British company’s take on Poo-Pourri – it’s still available in other languages. There’s certainly some stinky idea-theft going on here, as the two spots are remarkably similar, even with the language barrier.

Still, it’s hard to see Poo-Pourri dropping a victory in this case’s bowl. V.I. Poo’s marketing absolutely lacks in originality, but I don’t think it crosses the line into copyright infringement – especially since V.I. Poo is not sold in America, calling into question whether U.S. laws apply to a product that isn’t available here.

No matter how the case ends up, I got to say the phrase “Pou-Pourri is suing V.I. Poo” with a straight face. That’s a win for everyone.

Standard

Nadkins: A Refresher Towelette for Masculine Hygiene

Finally, a refresher towelette for men and their most treasured region: Nadkins.

Nadkins is a new cleansing wipe for men dubbed “Male Jewels Refresher Towelettes.”  After all, a guy can’t make it through a day with sweaty balls, right?  

Wet nap for the crotch

The towelettes are “100% natural, non-toxic towelette specifically formatted for a man’s most sensitive area.” But of course.  What guy wants a lavender scented and toxic wet nap schmeared on his crotch?  After wiping down the area, users will get a “cooling and refreshing feeling without any irritation,” according to the press release. It also removes dead skin and helps protect against added aggravation.

Hardly something new

Nadkins, which is a new brand from Manager Inc., is one of the few brands aimed at this small but growing niche. Other products released in recent years such as 2009 Fresh Balls brand liquid soap for masculine cleansing and the 2013 Depend pads aimed for light bladder leakage for men show an increasing interest in this sensitive market. Now manliness can be added to the age old proverb “cleanliness is next to godliness.”

In the past, the men’s hygiene market has been widely overlooked. Umm, let’s not discuss Woody Wipes. And I having none of Mangroomer Biz Wipes, a drugstore gem that provides “a masculine executive scent.”  Then there’s Niche from Birchbox. These things can also be used on a guy’s face. If it’s safe for your penis, it’s probably great for your cheeks, I presume.

Mad dogs and Englishmen love it

If mad dogs, Englishmen and dancing whistling men love it, well you should too. Displayed proudly in a 46 second video, those sensitive areas are apparently quite thankful for the release of Nadkin’s new Male Jewels Refresher Towelettes.

Dancing triumphantly in the clip to the famous whistling theme from “The Bridge Over the River Kwai,” the anatomy of men ranging from boardroom executives to friendly mailmen seem totally elated that their jewels are ferociously fresh.  Gotta love the “when they’re happy, you’re happy” tagline.

So…

As for me, I’ll stick with unscented powder, thank you.

 

Standard

Taco shop turns tables on robbers with a tasty ad

A taco shop has turned tables on some robbers with a tasty new ad.

A Las Vegas taco shop, Frijoles & Frescas Grilled Tacos, was robbed, but they turned the ordeal into an ad and created a hilarious YouTube video.

Taco ad campaign with robbers

You know when you are totally bummed and some way to chipper person says “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade?” Well Frijoles & Frescas did much more – they turned a burglary attempt into comedy gold. And a great ad for their brand.

Not only did they make fun of the robbers, by picking on one guy who’s weaker than a soft shell taco since he couldn’t manage to break a window with a rock, but they also flipped the script on the negative situation by pretending that the burglars were just looking for food.

Can you really blame the bad ass guys? With all the Chipotle news they’ve probably fallen on tough times, and hungry people do desperate things.

The video uses security footage and comedic subtitles as it follows the robbers breaking in, searching around, and finally leaving as the video points out when their “mom” comes to pick them up. The subtitles include lines like: “Homeboy checks the storage room. No tacos.” And “Maybe they keep tacos in the register.”

At the end, everything wraps up as nicely as a big, juicy burrito with  a great pitch for the brand: “We take full responsibility for what our tacos cause people to do.” But that’s not the only twist. There’s one frame that shows photos of the suspects with the words, “Please help us find these guys.” Just when you think they’re starting to get serious, the words “so we can get them the tacos they rightfully deserve” appear on screen.

I think Frijoles & Frescas won a lot of new customers with their creativity. It’s nice to see them have such a lighthearted attitude when a lot of other business owners would freak out. By staying positive and having fun, they’re able to gain great brand exposure and get almost 4 million views on YouTube.
Hopefully, now people come when the restaurant is actually open. Sometimes, revenge can taste pretty sweet.

Standard

The Fat Jew’s Kingdom Tumbles Down

Comedian Josh Ostrovsky – AKA ‘The Fat Jew’ – has seen his comedy kingdom destroyed by plagiarism accusations.

Fat Jew

It would appear that The Fat Jew‘s rise to fame will be snuffed out as quickly as it started. For weeks now, Josh Ostrovsky has been under fire for stealing jokes, pulling the rug out from beneath the social-media phenomenon.

Joke-stealing is an unfortunate part of comedy that will never go away. It’s often hard to prove whether a gag was actually stolen, or whether two people simply had a similar, funny idea. Regardless, while I’m more ‘Dad bod’ than fat, as a fellow Jew, I was rooting for Ostrovsky – that is, until he was exposed as a fraud.

After he landed a deal with big time talent agency CAA, joke-theft accusations came in a flurry from high-profile comics like Patton Oswalt and Michael Ian Black. Perhaps more damning was the media storm, with The Hollywood Reporter, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post tearing Ostrovsky apart in quick succession.

As a result, The Fat Jew lost a TV deal with Comedy Central, and pre-orders for his upcoming book are nearly non-existant. Though his once-anticipated book is due for release soon (November 3), “Money Pizza Respect” currently ranks as the No. 42,957 best-selling book on Amazon.

An additional intriguing angle to all this is that Ostrovsky built his Fat Jew comedy empire in the most modern way possible. He essentially just mined the internet for jokes, aggregating the results into sketches and routines. He’s like a human SEO device.

Shame on you, Fat Jew!

Standard

Starbucks Expands ‘Evenings’ Program Across US

 

Starbucks Expands 'Evenings' Program Across USIn an attempt to widen brand versatility, Starbucks is taking its ‘Evenings’ menu to more American locations.

When you think of Starbucks, what crosses your mind first? If your response is anything other than the word ‘coffee’ – or perhaps ‘scones’ – you’re part of a tiny minority. Starbucks is looking to change that, with an expansion of their ‘Evenings’ line.

Starbucks Evenings includes a menu of beer and wine offerings, along with small appetizers and tapas. The idea, of course, is to change the image of Starbucks as a morning-only destination. After picking up a caffeine jolt on the way to work, most consumers likely don’t have Starbucks on their minds later in the day.

Truth be told, there is a demand for the sort of casual drinking environment offered by Starbucks Evenings. Unlike traditional bars and pubs – where ‘chatting’ often means ‘shouting at each other over loud music and even louder customers’ – Starbucks offers a laid-back atmosphere that’s ideal for book clubs or Bible-study groups.

Test locations in America have been quite popular with women, who make up 60 percent of Evenings patrons. That makes quite a bit of sense to me. How uneven is the ratio between male- and female-targeted bars in America? There’s countless male-oriented sports bars – such as Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings – but coming up with counterexamples that market primarily to women is a difficult venture.

As Starbucks expands ‘Evenings’ to over 2,000 of its 12,000 US locations, don’t be surprised if the after-dinner scene makes its presence felt at a franchisee near you.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Standard

Coke Zero Brings Drinkable Commercials to Football

While thirsty for marketshare, Coke brings drinkable commercials to football.

Coke Zero celebrates third year of partnership with largest fully integrated campaign yet, to get fans even more excited for game day through drinkable advertising.

Coke Zero Brings Drinkable Commercials

Coca-Cola’s Coke Zero brand is 10 years old (and became a billion dollar brand in only 2 years) which may or may not come as a shock (as the product is not much more than a masculine adaptation of Diet Coke), but you will be shocked to find out that in the fall you will be able to get a free Coke Zero instantly…THROUGH YOUR TV. It’s got to be too good to be true, right?! When did reality morph into an episode of The Jetsons? !

The new campaign this fall in conjunction with ESPN’s College Gameday is called, “You Don’t Know Zero ‘Till You’ve Tried It”. Many of the ads include ESPN personalities such as Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit and will direct viewers to open the Shazam App on their smart phone or tablet and hold it near the ad. There will be a bottle of Coke Zero pouring on TV into a digital glass on the viewer’s device. Along with a refreshing class of digital Coke Zero the viewer will be delivered a coupon for a free 20-ounce bottle that will be redeemable at retailers including 7-Eleven, QuickTrip, Speedway, and Domino’s.

I’m a sucker for a free product and I do love the occasional Coke product, but this seems like quite the financial undertaking for a product that is already successful and is a mere clone of your own already existing product. Differencebetween.net has done some further scientific research to back my earlier claim; Coke Zero is just Diet Coke in a masculine guise. But here’s the rub, Coke Zero may actually be hurting it’s “feminine” counterpart. As Coke Zero has rose (6% growth in the second quarter) Diet Coke is down 6% in the last year. Now, this may certainly be a logical fallacy, and Coke’s new gimmicks such as “drinkable jerseys” are appealing, the product remains the same.

It surely seems as if Coca-Cola is growing one of it’s brands at the cost of another, this may be the strategy they are aiming for, but it’s got be wondering, will this new offensive tactic lead to Coca-Cola playing defense against themselves?

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Standard

Oreo Thins: A Pinkie-Raising Classy Cookie?

Oreo is pushing its new Thins brand with a campaign suggesting a more grown-up cookie.

An Ode to the Forgotten Finger” – Oreo’s new 60-second video spot – starts as a playfully humorous examination of each finger’s role, before lamenting the lack of usefulness for the pinkie. Thankfully, Oreo Thins are here to give the pinkie something to do.

Oreo Thins: A Pinkie-Raising Classy Cookie?

The pinkie’s life-changing new role? Standing high in the air with pride as its owner eats a new Oreo Thins cookie. The video – produced by 360i, Oreo’s digital marketing team – is narrated by the pinkie itself, which is grateful to finally have importance.

One minor issue I have with this spot is that the pinkie still isn’t doing anything. It is literally the only finger not being used to hold the cookie at the end of the spot. Isn’t that what the narration was complaining about all along?

In all seriousness, I get the idea that Oreo Thins are an attempt to break into a demographic that has outgrown traditional Oreos. On paper, the idea of presenting them as a high-society cookie – in a tongue-in-cheek fashion – is a good one.

Still, something about it just feels forced. I personally haven’t eaten an Oreo in years, and the fact that they’re now available in a different shape has in no way triggered cravings for them.

Oreo Thins are simply a gimmick, nothing more. Its sleek shape isn’t going to fool anyone into thinking they’re somehow a healthier snack option than before. You can just eat more of them now. Yippee.

I guess you could say that I’m not a big fan of processed cookie-food at any size.

Do not get me started about Mint Milanos.  They are my weakness.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Standard

Volkswagen Enlists Senior Siblings to Dispel Diesel Myths

Have you seek how Volkswagen has enlisting senior siblings in their new commercials?  I have.

Volkswagen’s funny new campaign features viral video stars to dispute old wives’ tales about clean diesel vehicles.

In an effort to renew interest in the carmaker’s TDI (clean diesel) line, Volkswagen launched a video campaign starring the Golden Sisters, an improv comedy trio. The Sisters are indeed real-life siblings, who have risen to popularity in recent years thanks to their natural comedic chemistry.

In the six videos, the sisters show concern over common misconceptions regarding diesel fuel, only to have them quickly dashed by a Volkswagen TDI vehicle. The ads aim to alter consumers’ beliefs that diesel is smelly, or hard to find, doesn’t accellerate quickly, etc.

The spots are sure to earn a chuckle or two, as the natural comic timing of the sisters shines through, even in commercial format. The reason for this is that – just like their YouTube videos and Oprah Winfrey Network reality show – the sisters were given only a rough outline, and encouraged to improvise the ads.

Pete Favat – chief creative officer of Deutsch North America, who produced the spots – says that “they’re sisters, so they’ve probably been acting this way their entire lives. So, we gave them kind of a structure in which to go by, and what to talk about, and we worked within that structure.”

Kudos to Volkswagen and Deutsch North America for latching onto a viral phenomenon, while still maintaining the core of what made the sisters popular in the first place.

And then there’s Maude.  Don’t get me started on the Golden Girls.

Howard Davidson Arlington, MA

Standard

Domino’s Teaches Consumers and Competition How to Make Pizza

Domino’s takes a clever jab at its competitors, while also entertaining consumers with an interactive website.

Domino’s Pizza School is now open for enrollment. The pizza mega-chain unveiled an interactive website, which teaches consumers how to make their own Domino’s pizza step by step. Along the way, the brand takes shots at its competition, implying that they’ll steal Domino’s recipe by taking the online course.

The main reason I like this campaign is simply because it’s so much better than the brand’s advertising from the last few years. Remember the “Oh Yes We Did” campaign? Yeah, that’s the one in which Domino’s chose to “face our critics and reinvent our pizza from the crust up.” (Surprisingly, the website for that campaign is still up.)  I was having none of that.  Not to mention that I have not ordered Domino’s since the 197o’s.

“The Pizza Turnaround” was the first time I can recall a company using the “our product has always pretty much been total crap, but we promise it’s better now” strategy. Ever since those ads, Domino’s marketing has had a stench of desperation to it. For years now, company CEO Patrick Doyle (who’s compensation was $7,453,021 last year) has constantly been on television, reminding consumers of how great Domino’s ingredients are, and stressing the craft of making pizza.

The Pizza School itself is nothing more than a momentary diversion. However, the very fact that this new Domino’s campaign shows the company exuding confidence – rather than desperation – for the first time in years indicates a serious step in the right direction.

Let’s see if the school can help roll in some dough for Domino’s.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

Standard