Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I don't celebrate Haloween. It's weird enough I was born on Haloween. Yeah, I know… It's a good day for crazy events… Just try Wikipedia, you'd be amazed.

It's a good thing that I don't feel different. I've survived the operation, it was a success. The doctor has removed the zero, which I will keep as memory, and has replaced it with a 1. Standard procedure, nothing to worry about.

It's just a new age, and this time no dinossaurs died. It can't be that bad.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Shuttle

The Pepsi Shuttle Pack

It bewilders me how marketing works today. I mean you've never seen the end of that thing! Never seen it all, never heard it all and if at one point you think there's nothing they can pull on you, you better watch your back.

I was walking the shop the other evening, looking for the usuals, among which was a bottle Pepsi Twist. (You know, that liquid that runs through my veins, slowly but surely replacing blood. Yeah, that.) I end up at the Pepsi shelf and I see there's a promotion running. Now, for those of you who don't buy fizzy drinks, you should know that in Romania there's a classic promotion where they give 2.5 liters at the (debatable) price of two. But Pepsi got smarter this summer, bundling two bottles of 2 liters at about 75% of the price. I like to call a shuttle package.

So I'm at the shelf see this promotion's running. You can tell by the lovely couples of bottles just staring at you: "Pick us, we're cheaper!" But it was just Tuesday, and I don't pick shuttles on Tuesday… because I drink them. (I'm trying to come to peace with caffeine by not drinking it. No, it doesn't work quite well.) So I'm carefully looking for a lone bottle. Carefully… Looking… Hey, these guys are robbing me! It looks like a promotion has turned into a menace… How do you like that!?

And that just in after this summer's Pepsi campaigns actually grounded the Twist product. Some of the shopkeepers actually told me: "Pepsi told us to keep Twist out of the fridge." What!? Twist Light got a chance in the cooler! I guess Pepsi just went "What the hell, Twist sells anyway, let's help the other fellows…" But Light!? Who even invented Light? What for? It doesn't have any sugar, hello!

Brands with too much equity have the weird tendency to bash around, don't you think? Anyway, I still like Pepsi Twist—It's because of that drop of lemon ju… salt.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jeff Dunham

Cans on sale

Original image courtesy of

I haven't seen many ventriloquists, not even on TV, because the few I did see in the past weren't that funny. If you can speak without having your lips moving, you'd better have some sense of humor, otherwise it's quite a waste. This guy here, however, really has it! Each of his dolls has a unique character, a different style of humor and he puts quite an act of stage. (Thanks to Jacku for pointing this one out!)

Jeff Dunham - Achmed the Dead Terrorist Walter For President

Jeff Dunham and Peanut Jeff Dunham and Peanut part 2 Jeff Dunham and Peanut part 3


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Web Canneries

Cans on sale

Original photographies by SXC members alaasafei and solomon05.

A couple of friends and I were debating business yesterday and stumbled across a interesting topic: "If you're selling web design, what would be the packages, and what price would you put on each?" I felt from the start this isn't a good approach to the subject and questioned it: "But isn't one actually selling services?" Indeed he is! But what if his target audience doesn't understand "services" and rather looks for "priced packages"?

I'm surprised to find out that there are still people who chose their web agency by looking at the price. I choose carrots by comparing the price… There's nothing essetially different when comparing fresh carrots. Things are obviously different in web. First and foremost: packages!? In the past four years since I'm in this business I've learned that we're not selling packages. I actually find the package-sales approach wrong and mediocre! Some time ago, when I was in highschool, I knew a few web agencies who had pricing on their website. It was silly back then, but it's even worse now for a web agency to have this on their website:

  • Website with 5 static pages and 20 images - €100
  • Website with 15 static pages, 50 images and a contact form - €200
  • Website with any presentational pages and a forum - €350
  • Corporate website - €1000
  • E-Commerce website - €2000

I mean, ... really? Why don't you add "Carrots – €2 per kilo"? This reminds me of a scene in a movie, I can't remember which, but it was something like this: "Hey, listen, Angie, you're hired to wash the toilets and cleanup the mess 4 hours a day!", "Yeah, but I finished everything in 2 hours, mrs. Franklin! You can check it if you want!", "I don't care! You did 2 hours, I'm paying 2 hours! If you had done it in 4 hours, I would have paid 4 hours!". Now, we all know that if she had spent 8 hours, she would have been paid 4… Now image some guy wants a website for his company… And he pays for the 15 pages package, but you solve his problem in just 10, and also add a cherry on top. And he goes mad, because you robbing him!

A web agency is not a cannery. I feel sorry for the clients of those people who produce 60 websites a month, earning a horde of money for their packages, but when it comes down to it, those websites score under 100 visitors a monthbarely have goals, we're not even talking about them meeting any. That's because nobody cared what's that website supposed to achieve… They just made it. Fast, as much as paid for, and on time—just like an overdose when all you needed is a Valium pill.

Clients come to web agencies because they have problems they want solved. Web agencies are like hospitals… Your business is ill because it has a problem about the online presence. Web agencies are doctors who can fix that, but the pacient must undergo a series of tests, to identify the disease in order to cure it. This process is nowhere near streamline production.

Will people ever be smart enough to think like that? Most people already are. We're living in a world where the Internet has raised the bar on awarness and education. Now we also need web agencies to understand the job they're actually supposed to do. Most web canneries still work for the people who think they know what they need and shop for website like they shop for tuna fish. For the majority of them, there's agencies like Grapefruit, agencies like the ones I like to work for.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Every week, for the rest of the... season

Prison Break, Heroes, 30 Rock

It all breaks down to 3 TV shows this fall. Also, Marius explained to me who the f*** Earl was, and I might give that a shot. If this show gets me, I promise to start feeling bad about my earlier post on it.

Prisons were made to be broken.

First, it's Prison Break. Already a classic to me, airs Mondays, ships Tuesdays, I watch it Tuesday nights. Wonderful. I've seen the first two episodes, and I like the new plot. It's good they've slipped the run away in season 2, because if Sona was right after Fox River, it would have been cliché: Mario and Luigi switch places, and do world 2. However this way, it fits. I like that.

Some people are born to be extraordinary.

Second, it's Heroes. There's something about this show that makes it unique. I just have a gut feeling. Every episode. To me it ranks as good Prison Break, and the fact that it's SciFi—or is it?—gives it a very good aura. I've seen the season premiere this Tuesday and I plunged in! Also, you shouldn't miss out the special featured comics on NBC's Heroe's website. I usually like to read them Friday or Saturday. It eases the pain of waiting for the next episode.

Work can be such a production.

And third—a new entry—, it's 30 Rock! Yeah, I loved the show. I was 15 episodes into it the first evening. Unfortunately, the episodes are 20 minutes long, and I don't know how waiting a week for it to come on is going to work. It comes next Thursday, on October 4th. I've already finished the first season, so I'm a bit restless...

There's so much TV content these days it makes you wonder if one's entire lifetime is enough to see it all. And I'm only talking about the good TV content produced daily!