Tag Archives: disney

Let’s Mess with Starbucks: A Datajacking Primer

Pity poor Starbucks.  Coffee snobs, a demographic that Starbucks all but created, love to hate them.  Whenever the American right wants to take a swipe at liberal values, they try to pull some stunt at Starbucks, such as mixing Berettas and cappuccinos.  Across the pond, British activists use the House of Mermaid as a stand-in for globalization and/or Yankee imperialism.  Since SBUX CEO Howard Schultz proudly supports Israel in his private life, some anti-Zionist organizations have suggested boycotts.

(On a personal note, I suggested a counter-boycott at the time and recommended that my Zionist friends buy multiple espressos in support.  Those were some very hyperactive Jews.)

Now I invite you to jump on the bandwagon and help me turn Starbucks cafes into rattling dens of death metal by messing with Starbucks’s data.

Continue reading

Mobile Marketing Trick from the 20th Century

Poor Kodak.  They invented the digital camera and yet they exist today as little more than a fond memory.  Let me add insult to this injury by positing that they developed a pretty smart mobile marketing trick, way back in 1920. It worked then; I suggest that some app makers try it now:


Alas, there’s an app for that now

Even into the 1980s, film and developing cost quite a bit of money.  Practically everyone owned cameras but they tended to use them sparingly.  So Kodak put these Picture Spot signs in national parks and, most notably, Disney theme parks to remind people to use their cameras.

Let’s put this in 2015 marketing terms.  Most of Kodak’s target consumers had mobile devices (on multiple platforms [i.e. cameras] but mostly running the same software [i.e. film]), so they needed to focus on increasing actual usage.  Thus they placed these ads at key usage locations.

Many of today’s app makers could benefit from the Picture Spot approach.  Obviously, the Instagrams of the app world might benefit from reminding users to post pictures in scenic places.  But couldn’t a travel app posts signs in airports reminding users to check the apps for flight changes?  Couldn’t a recipe app place reminders in supermarkets to see what they could do with, say, a bunch of leeks?

With the focus on mobile increasing even among real-world brands, physical media have begun to fall out of frame (yes, puns intended).  A savvy app publisher taking this approach might see more of what Paul Simon called “the greens of summer.”

Retro Rant: Same as it Ever Was

File this one under la plus la change

Over two years ago, I wrote what became the most-viewed post on my old blog, Translinear: Silicon Valley Hates Children.  I wrote the post in about five minutes after the umpteenth time we got our ears blasted by a video on CNN.com because one of the kids had turned up the volume the last time he or she used it.  I took out my frustration on the tech industry:

These never-stop-working companies favor two types of people, the young or otherwise unencumbered who have no commitments as important as work or those who have commitments such as family but choose to push them aside in pursuit of a career.  In either case, you have a bunch of people designing products for a broad market with little to no understanding of the market’s needs.

Well, it happened again.  Recently, the missus and I decided to limit our kids’ screen time.  It took a few minutes on my son’s iMac, which has parental controls.  It acted a little wonky right after, but it was simple enough.

Then came my daughter’s Chromebook, a device designed as a secondary PC and a popular choice for kids.  You’d think their supervised user feature would have a time limit function.  Nope.

You can block sites.  Since my daughter lives on the Nickelodeon and Disney sites, however, I find that feature relatively useless.

In short, Google markets a device to families with kids without really meeting their needs.

So, my advice to Google’s product teams: go have some kids already.  Sheesh.