Samsung’s website survey arsehattery

This week’s Golden Cow Award for Corporate Arsehattery goes to Samsung for this piece of meaningless bullshit in a survey asking about my experience using their website.

Now as background, I was after the technical specifications of the Samsung Slate Series 7 tablet PC, but couldn’t find them. There was no section or link labelled “specifications”. That’s a fail, I reckon. So I decided I would do the survey.

Like all such surveys, it asked the kind of questions that market research companies think are important, such as how soon I was thinking of buying, what competing brands I was looking at, and my demographic details. But this question caused me, literally, to laugh out loud.

Thinking of today’s website experience, how successful has the Samsung website been in conveying the following concepts of the Samsung brand?

And the concepts listed? Fresh, clean, inspiring, unique, interesting, elegant, contemporary, intelligent, engaging, bright, simple, relevant, upbeat, forward-thinking, charismatic, chic, unexpected, visionary.

WTF? Who the heck thinks in those terms when visiting a website? “Oh, I couldn’t find the technical specifications. This website just doesn’t convey the charismatic or chic brand values.”

I’d like to find whoever was responsible for this idiocy and ask them to define, in concrete web development terms, the three key differences between a brand experience that’s “fresh” rather than “clean” or “simple”.

And then I’d like to bury them in a ditch.

Paris Hilton, branding expert (apparently)

OK, I know that at one level I’m being sucked in by the very cult of celebrity I despise by even mentioning this, but… Paris Hilton has been offered a million dollars to teach a one-hour class on “How to Build Your Brand.”

Bill Zanker, president of The Learning Annex, previously paid Donald Trump $1.5M to lecture his students, so he must reckon Paris is roughly 67% as good:

“She’s a brilliant entrepreneur. I believe she can offer her knowledge and give back to other entrepreneurs. She’s obviously brilliant, and my students would love her.”

Bill, I’ll give you the Paris lessons for free:

  1. Start off rich. If you’re rich, you’ll automatically be invited to parties where paparazzi swarm. And without having to work for a living, you’ll have time for all the parties.
  2. Start off stupid. If people see that you’re rich and stupid, they’ll reckon it’ll be easy to separate the fool from her money. You’ll get a lot of attention. Just ask Rob Mills.
  3. Slut around like there’s no tomorrow. There’ll be plenty of Names at those parties. Pick a few and pork away! It’s all a numbers game anyway, so you’re aiming for quantity, not quality.

Et voila! An instantly-recognisable global brand!

Thanks (well, I guess it’s thanks) to Zern Liew for emailing me this vital information privately.

Alex Balfour wins points for London 2012

Photograph of Alex Balfour London 2012’s head of new media, Alex Balfour (pictured right) has just won points for his organisation! OK, they didn’t publish my comments on the London 2012 blog — for the story so far see parts 1, 2 and 3. But it’s around midnight Saturday night London time, and Alex is emailing me personally.

Thanks for your comment. We’ll have to agree to disagree. For info, we didn’t publish your comment because it used inappropriate language — rather than inappropriate sentiments.

I thanked him for taking the time to reply, and told him he wins points. He replied:

I’ve been fortunate to see where the brand is going which is why I am incredibly confident in it. You may be pleasantly surprised…

I’ll admit I’ll probably take a lot of convincing, but hey… we’ll see!

London 2012 fails to understand

I’ve just come back from Webjam 3, so this may explain my direct language. But I’ve just posted the following at London 2012, which won’t be published either:

You spineless turds! If you’re going to have a blog and ask for comments and pretend to be “with it with the hip young folk on the Internet”, at least have the intestinal fortitude to face the reality of those comments. Particularly when we go to the bother of giving you our names and email addresses and are prepared to stand behind our words. Or even just send a boilerplate email to acknowledge us.

London 2012 didn’t publish either of my comments, and probably won’t publish this one either. Here’s what they said instead:

We have received many comments that reflect the tenor of negative comments found elsewhere on the web. Rather than act as an echo chamber we have published a selection here that say something a little different.

“A little different” as in “Off in some fantasy land where people actually think your branding is good.”

Guys, at this point you really only have two options:

  • Change the brand. “Oh, we didn’t predict that reaction. Sorry, we’ll have another go.” You’re now the Olympics which listened to the public, and you come out of it looking good.
  • Stay with the brand. “Oh, well, we can’t change it now because [insert credible reason].” You’ll still look lame, but at least we’ll understand.

I reckon “credible reasons” could include “We don’t have the budget to re-do it” or “There isn’t time”. Hey, we understand. Time marches on, this is what we’ve got to work with, it’s not ideal, but hey, shit happens… We’ve all been there, and we sympathise. It’s a cop-out and your branding is still shite but, yeah, we know, snafu.

But if you expect us to give you any respect at all, at least be honest. Have someone put their name to this and fix it. One way or the other.

London 2012’s crappy logo

There really isn’t a polite way of putting it, is there? This new branding for London 2012 (formerly known as the Olympic Games) is a shocker. How did they manage to get it so wrong?

Logo for the London 2012 Olympics

The Sydney Morning Herald headlined their story Olympic logo gets the thumbs down and referred to comparisons with “a disfigured swastika”.

But the Wikipedia entry has the best material so far. A reader of free newspaper London Lite pointed out a resemblance to Lisa Simpson performing oral sex.

A segment of animated footage released at the same time as the logo triggered seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. London 2012 removed the offending footage from its website.