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5 Money Making Gimmicks and Marketing Snafus

Generally, I don’t like to cover current events, but there are so many hilarious, and terrible money-making gimmicks that I see, that I just felt it necessary to highlight some of the more absurd ones that I’ve seen recently.  These range from products, to marketing snafus, but all are equally silly.

1. Kenneth Cole’s Tasteless Tweet

Just yesterday, Kenneth Cole tweeted that the uproar in Cairo was actually about his Spring collection. No wonder why people outside of the US seem to think that we can’t see beyond our borders.

Clearly, Kenneth Cole understands that isn’t the reason for the uproar, but many tend to agree that it’s too soon to make light of the situation; mainly because the unrest is still happening and people are still getting injured and killed.  I’m including a screen-shot below because Kenneth has made it so you can’t link to it.

2. Netflix CEO Inserts American Foot In Mouth

In a dramatic turn of irony, Netflix founder and CEO was speaking with a Canadian magazine and was quoted as saying:

How much has it been your experience that Americans follow what happens in the world? It’s something we’ll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed.”

– Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO

What makes this ironic:

  • He’s an American acting self-absorbed (although I’ve heard good things about his actual character)
  • It was a Canadian paper reporting it, and it caught on in America like wildfire.  Maybe we just can’t see outside of North America?

Now, I love Netflix, but this didn’t stop a fire-storm of criticism which eventually resulted in an apology, and a promise to offer the same service at the same price as Canadian customers.

3. 50 Cent Tries To Hock Pennies

50 Cent got himself into a legal grey area when he started trying to hock a penny stock to his fans on twitter.  Times must be tough if you have to give your fans a haircut just to pay the bills.  Many of 50 Cent’s fans defended his business prowess not understanding that this was more of a pump and dump.

Here is the tweet’s text:

You can double your money right now. Just get what you can afford,”

– 50 Cent, Tweet dated 1/8/2011

I guess he didn’t know that it could be illegal.  He eventually sent out some disclaimer tweets (I think a lawyer let him know).  It’s possible that this may not fail, but that will be left up to the SEC.  Either way, it’s probably going to fail for a lot of his followers.  Gordon Gekko would be proud.

4. The Kardashian Kard

We wrote about the Kardashian Kard Snafu while it was still available, but it didn’t last long (we also wrote about the demise of the Kardashian Kard).  After one month of bad press and taking advantage of people, the Kardashians found themselves on the defensive.  The problems weren’t only PR related, the Kardashians were also sued.

5. You’re In Good Hands If The Stars Are Aligned

I’m usually appreciative when a company tries to be funny, even if they come off as corny, or completely dry.  Allstate definitely missed the mark with their joke when they released a chart (pictured below) that shows which zodiacs get into more crashes.  This brought into question how they design their quotes.

No, this was not another ridiculous step into the politically correct direction, it was a misunderstood joke.  The problem is, people tend to like their insurance companies to be moderately serious (GEICO is exempt).  The confusing part is that this really goes against Allstate’s current marketing philosophies.  They tend to try to scare you with slow motion accident scenes.

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