To Glass or Not to Glass

Since launching Google Glass in April 2012, there has been much debate over the value and ethics of having a smartphone on your head.Google Glass user or Glasshole

The battle between the Glassed and the Glassless officially began in April 2013, when the Google goggles first landed in the hands of eager early adopters. Throughout the launch, Google had their marketing and PR departments in overdrive, coddling these new Glass “Explorers”.

Google Glass banned in some locationsAs non-users began encountering Explorers in real life, they began asking questions. Lots and lots of questions. A privacy debate like no other began to rage and Google even published an embarrassing list of Do’s and Don’ts for Glass wearers.  The Google guide dumbs it down to playtime rules at the park, actually espousing that Explorers not “be creepy or rude”.

Daily Show spoof on Google GlassWhile Google expanded Glass into the UK and Canada, an increasing number of developers began abandoning the Glass ship and the Glasshole sentiment began picking up some serious social media speed.

When Google announced the end of the Glass Explorer program earlier this year, it was a supposed regrouping to improve “appearance, price, and functionality.” Dare I say, I am Glassless for none of those reasons, but I digress.

Google’s spin on the shutdown? Glass has “graduated” from experimental to operational, and will now have its own department at the company.

jerry-seinfeld-wired-cover-google-glassEven at this early stage, I have to wonder if Google’s tireless marketing efforts to promote Glass as mainstream these past few years moved the needle of acceptance even a little. Google’s clever product placement on athletes, television, fashion shows, sporting events, and magazine covers – did it work?

Unfortunately, Jerry Seinfeld sporting Glass on the cover of Wired doesn’t change the fact that Google provides Glassholes a tacit method for covertly peering and recording a non-consenting audience.

Perhaps Google filed that problem under “functionality.”

March Madness Message to Marketers

Kingsford Charcoal burns the NCAA with #PayEd Campaign

Meet Ed O’Bannon, a talented college athlete whose likeness was used in a NCAA-licensed video game without his consent or compensation. Reports claim there are thousands” of student athletes in the same situation. None too pleased, Ed and others filed an antitrust class action lawsuit against the NCAA, challenging the organization’s use of images of former student athletes for commercial purposes. While the group recently won a landmark case last August, the NCAA appealed and litigation continues.

In all this brouhaha, one clever charcoal company fired off a brilliant David + Goliath like marketing campaign, positioning a brave and popular underdog against the big bad NCAA behemoth.

This month Kingsford Charcoal bags tout a picture of Ed O’Bannon and the company’s familiar tagline, with a searing twist:

“Lights 25% faster, doesn’t burn athletes.”

At the hub of the Kingsford Charcoal campaign is notably the hashtag #PayEd, which when tweeted on March 19th paid Ed O’Bannon $1 each time it was used.

I can’t help but consider the brilliance of this campaign. Clearly Kingsford is burning NCAA bridges, but their choice to ride the “right a wrong” rocket on social media during a month of madness is a keen one. And with #PayEd going viral and the limit set at $25,000, the cost of the promotion, including the new printing on all the bags, must have been… darn appealing, to say the least. All in all, a pretty clear smoke signal showing us the red hot marketing trends of tomorrow.

Decision is done. Take the cannoli.

Before you seal that deal, pop that proposal, or make that big career move, leave the cannoli until your task is done.

According to researchers, hunger is associated with advantageous decision making. Participants fasted overnight and in the morning, scientists served some of them breakfast, and others were forced to wait. All of the participants took the Iowa Gambling Task, a psychological test based on gambling that simulates real-life decision making. When the results were in, stomach rumblers performed better overall. You can even take the test yourself, because there’s an app for that.

See our ad in Quirk’s Marketing Research Review

See our ad in Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.

Congratulations! You are both curious and attentive, and for that you shall be rewarded.

A surprise gift has your name on it, where shall we send it?

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