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Tag Archives: marketing

There were two “incredible” “shopping” deals this weekend. Both Incredible and Shopping are in quotes because they were not supposed to happen and it’s not really shopping at all!

The first deal was from Future Shop where you could trade in any current generation game (including old sports games from past years) and get one of the new AAA titles that have released for the holiday season – for free. These games would normally go for $50-$60 and hold line ups for midnight openings. Many people would have paid full price with REAL money to buy these games! Yet, a large number of thrifty “shoppers” (i.e., RFDers) were able to score the games for free. I’m not sure why Future Shop decided to put on this promotion, as the majority of people who took advantage of the deal already knew that Future Shop bought and sold used games.

While the Future Shop deal may or may not have been a mistake, the second one surely is. Samsung put up a website for Note users where they could submit their serial number for $600 in vouchers (including $25 in Google Play credit). In theory, that’s a good reward for Note customers. But it turns out that:
1. It wasn’t restricted to Note serial numbers; most Samsung cellphone serial numbers ended up working, and even printer serial numbers!
2. You could register a serial number again if you entered a space (i.e., the serial number matching was not trimmed)
3. You could get lists of Galaxy Note serial numbers online
4. There was (seemingly) no hard limit to the credits being give out.

You had people on SlickDeals (and RFD) accumulating thousands of dollars of credit for Google Play by using scripts. You could use the credit to buy any of the soft products (i.e., no hardware). In fact it was like printing free money because presumably you could release a “private” app on Google Play that costs thousands of dollars and then buy it with your free credit.


I haven’t blogged about my Free iTunes Downloads blog for a long time, and you might think it’s dead or forgotten, but it’s not – it’s chugging along generating steady AdSense revenue. It hasn’t been on my radar much because there hasn’t been anything new or special about it. It’s like a sporadic job that I’ve been working at for almost 5 years now!

I did get a ping recently about it, from a marketing firm who was looking for the iTunes demographic. They were offering a $10 iTunes GC for me to give away. At first, I ignored their request because I wasn’t getting anything out of it – not that I want or need additional monetary compensation from the site. But it seemed like a rip-off to me since they would be leveraging my blog’s reputation to get free marketing for only $10.

In the end, I changed my mind and decided to hold the contest. Lucky for me, they weren’t too demanding and I was able to operate the contest on my terms; with the goal of growing the number of Twitter followers. I still don’t think it’s worthwhile to run a contest like this because I don’t value the reward (more Twitter followers, Facebook fans, etc) as much as the promotional opportunity I’m giving out. Hopefully there is something that changes my mind.


I use Instapaper to queue articles to read on my phone. Here are some of the articles that I enjoyed reading recently.


I don’t drink coffee at all; not for the caffeine, the taste nor the social aspect. I don’t hate coffee per se, and I don’t have a dependence on it so I would say I am pretty impartial. That might be why I found this series of 3 blogs on coffee interesting, as it covers , where coffee comes from, and how it became linked to productivity.

I found the first article the most interesting because I did not know that in the 70s, coffee was actually very unpopular; kind of like tap water today. In order to trump up interest, the coffee marketing was changed.

For the coffee industry to survive, it needed a new marketing strategy. Kenneth Roman, Jr., the president of Ogilvy and Mather, one of the PR firms that supported Maxwell House, made a suggestion: emphasize quality, value, and image by creating segmented products to increase appeal (Roseberry 1996: 765).

Initial I thought this was a bit dirty since basically the coffee markers manipulated society to like coffee even though the product as a whole was not much different. But now I think it actually makes a lot of sense. It wasn’t really manipulation but rather the coffee markers discovered that they didn’t design the products very well. To fix this, they analyzed their customers and designed their products to fit them!


My mom likes to read media reports and then blow them out of proportion. If she read this interview based on the book Squeezed: What you don’t know about Orange Juice, I think I’d be banned from drinking OJ ever again.

Although I might make that decision myself. If you knew that they put the same thing in “natural orange juice” that makes Orange Crush taste orange-y, would you hesitate to drink it?

It’s a heavily processed product. It’s heavily engineered as well. In the process of pasteurizing, juice is heated and stripped of oxygen, a process called deaeration, so it doesn’t oxidize. Then it’s put in huge storage tanks where it can be kept for upwards of a year. It gets stripped of flavor-providing chemicals, which are volatile. When it’s ready for packaging, companies such as Tropicana hire flavor companies such as Firmenich to engineer flavor packs to make it taste fresh. People think not-from-concentrate is a fresher product, but it also sits in storage for quite a long time.

I have this perception of Tropicana as being a health company producing an organic and natural product. Which you pay a premium for. It’s easy to forget that they’re owned by Pepsi, who is out to make money.

In the ’80s, Tropicana had a hold on ready-to-serve orange juice with full-strength juice. Then this new product, reconstituted orange juice, started appearing in supermarkets. Tropicana had to make decisions. Storing concentrate is much cheaper than full-strength juice. The phrase “not from concentrate” was to try to make consumers pay more for the product because it’s a more expensive product to manufacture. It didn’t have to do with the product being fresher; the product didn’t change, the name simply changed. Tropicana didn’t want to have to switch to concentrate technology.

You might as well drink Aquafina water.


I have a little counter on my Firefox status bar which pulls my AdSense statistics every 20 minutes or so. On Monday while surfing, I noticed that the visit count for the day had hit about 6x the normal rate; so I did some detective work to figure out what was happening.

I pulled up the Technorati search of FiD and only saw two new links. The more interesting of the two was the Blog of Note link which is the “Blog of the Day” blog from the Blogger team! Being Blogger’s blog of the day was unexpected because I had not been marketing FiD recently and I have no idea how they heard of my blog. Nevertheless, being linked was very cool!

The problem with being linked is that you attract a lot of spammers. I already have captcha and login enabled on my comments, but I still had a lot of people leave a short, useless comment and a link to the site they’re promoting. The traffic also wasn’t as much as I thought it would be, and nothing compared to if I were linked from a major news source. At least however, I could post up that screenshot on the right.