Category Archives: Just Don’t

Marketing Ideas We're Glad Weren't Ours #2: Windows 7 House Parties

House parties have been around for a l-o-n-g time.  And obviously they’ve worked. Without them, Tupperware would be just another piece of plastic in the bargain bins.

But, like any marketing tool, you’ve got to ensure that the medium matches the message.

Selling lingerie via house party works because:

  • it seems slightly naughty (and intimate), so it’s appropriate for the private, at home setting
  • it’s got the ‘giggle’ fun factor, so you don’t feel like you’re just selling out your friends
  • it’s a female thing, which again works with the home setting

Now along comes Microsoft, with its own take on the house party idea. Here’s how it was described in the marketing trade media:

Microsoft this month is spreading word of the release of Window’s 7 during several thousand parties hosted across the globe by employees and everyday people in their own homes. Each host receives a special Signature Edition of Windows 7 Ultimate to keep, as well as a party pack of supplies for guests.

Engadget, however, offered up a slightly different perspective:

So by now you all know about Microsoft’s painful, cringe-inducing Windows 7 party idea.

The tech blog went on:

What you might not have known is that Redmond also put together a ‘Hosting Your Party’ instructional video that blends all the worst parts of infomercials and cooking programs into one giant melange of awkward acting. Well, Cabel Sasser — founder of Mac software maker Panic Inc — has remixed said video, and the result is nothing short of a triumph.

Here’s the remix, for your viewing inspiration:

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House party to gush over your new operating system? I don’t think so, Tim.

Marketing Ideas We're Glad Weren't Ours #1: Charmin "Enjoy The Go"

Oh dear. They’re serious.

From the Press Release issued on behalf of Jacques Hagopian, Brand Manager for Charmin Toilet Paper:

America’s favorite toilet paper launches $10,000 national job search to find 5 people who really “enjoy the go”.

Charmin is looking for five outgoing and enthusiastic people to work this holiday season in New York City’s Times Square Charmin restrooms.

But wait — it gets worse:

“The five chosen Charmin Ambassadors will interact with hundreds of thousands of restroom guests while getting paid to revel in their own ‘love of the loo’. This isn’t your ordinary 9 to 5 job, and Charmin only asks that candidates should enjoy going to the bathroom so much, they never want to leave.”

The 20 clean, deluxe, A-D-A compliant, family-friendly and fully-staffed restrooms are just like those you’d find at home [yeah, right] and offer an interactive Charmin experience with additional luxuries like stroller parking; baby changing stations; seating and a family photo area.

There’s even a website: