Sexy Girls And Hot Cars

Recently I hace stumbled on a conversation that’s about as old as the marketing itself. Someone was complaining that the autoshow in their town wasn’t executed properly. One of the main complaints, among others, was that sexy girls were unfriendly, didn’t quite let visitors take pictures with them, some were even giving cold and disgusted looks to occasional photographers. Overall girls seemed to be tired and uninterested.

Some of the comments were straight to the point, but my attention drew upon definitely off-the-way remark that “you are selling cars, why do you need girls there”. Additionally, the commenter was making a point that men are not the only ones who buy hot expensive cars, women now got the money and can afford same rank of Lexuses, BMWs and Mercedeses without being somebody’s paid “associate”. So the whole idea of girls with cars is outdated and obsolete.

Personally, I am a big proponent of change. The only reasonable excuse from changing that I accept from myself is lazyness, but that’s deeply personal. However, with “cars and chicks” I tend to be on a more conservative side – keep ’em together. There’s a simple rationale behind that (sex sells) but I want it for a bunch of different reasons.

First of all – I like pretty women. The more – the merrier, so a trip to car show is like a free venture to a strip club with camera. Curves of women as well as those of cars are aesthetically pleasing (if we won’t mention the male part of my brain), so watching the show is definitely a positive emotion. Additionally, each car (as most of us, men) believe, posess a personality. By giving a new shiny car to shine next to a good looking pretty lady it has a chance to expand that personality. And it definitely improves the overall image of the brand.

It’s not like BMW or Mercedes or Aston Martin really need to establish their identity. But just think for a moment that one of the most important event in car-making industry – the car show (in NY or LA or Miami or Detroit) is done without girls. Car can’t smile, can’t walk around flowing it’s curvaceous body, can’t flash its cleavage left and right and most importantly – can’t make friends. Now there’s one more little thing to it. Think of all the guys with cameras snapping pictures of girls with cars behind them. These pictures will then be posted on blogs, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook and whatever else you can post your pictures on. A lot more people will see them. Now take that as a FREE VIRAL ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION – imagine how much that many posts, pictures and commentaries would cost if BMW would hire an advertising agency?

Retire Your iPod

Retire Your iPod - Small Business, Marketing and Web Design BlogThere’s a little incentive these days to own an iPod, let alone any other mp3 player. For those crazy about any product Apple releases there’s an iPhone that’s just as good as an iPod plus you can call your friends when you’re not listening to music. If you own any other smart phone device (or PDA phone) than their memory – whether built-in or expandable, like memory cards, is all yours to store your tunes. There’s little – if any – reason to own any mp3 player.

As always, Apple got there first, although many people have been using PDA phone as my ultimate media player couple of years before that. Video looked just as good and you didn’t have to pay for each and every ringtone. But you’d have to use Windows Mobile for that, which is, of course, unacceptable for Apple fans. Admittedly, devices didn’t look half as sexy as iPhone.

But even since early Sony’s attempts to introduce Sony Phone Walkman (I think I have one laying around somewhere given to me by some friend) the idea of merging multimedia device and phone was in the air. As we progress in faster cellular networks, faster mobile processors and better screens (i.e. better video quality) eventually we will see a single device that’s capable of playing stored media files (video, audio), streaming from various sources, like XM satellite radio, YouTube (and its clones), various streaming services like Last.fm and Pandora. The device will be capable of taking down your notes and synchronizing with almost any popular calendar and contact application out there (including online services, like Google Calendar, Yahoo and MSN). Apparently e-mail and web browsing capabilities already in place, they’ll just be more robust and less cumbersome. That includes sync with corporate e-mail services (Exchange, Domino) as well.

The way this future device (or rather a group of devices) will greatly vary depending on the target market. For example, for hip young crowd the device will probably look overly stylish, hyper sleek, uber sexy and totally overpriced. For corporate employees it’s going to be some sort of cross between Blackberry and something that looks nice. For geeks it’ll probably either look like a HTC Shift with a twist and a handle.

Overall, the idea that you will have a unified multimedia device with phone capabilities is upon the big corps like Nokia, HTC, Sony and others. Let’s just hope they finally hire some decent designers and the next wave of such devices won’t look like Blackberry on steroids.

Loosing The View State

LCD Monitor 4:3 ratio - Small Business, Marketing and Web Design blogLast week I started searching for a new LCD monitor. As strange as it may seem I am used to seeing web sites on laptops’ LCD screens. so I was looking for 4:3 ratio monitor with 1600×1200 pixels resolution. I was already aware that not a single laptop manufacturer sells laptops with 4:3 screen ratio less the ultra portables, like my X61s. Problem there is that they are limited to 1024×768 pixels resolution and that’s not nearly enough to see most of the stuff on the web as it is already reformatted to accommodate large wide-screen displays.

So the research showed that similar poor state exists in the LCD monitors market – I was able to find only two or three manufacturers that sell affordable monitors. LaCie and NEC are way over the top with their $800 20″ 1600×1200 screens. Samsung and Planar seem to be the only two players that offer several models that are close to what I was looking for. Unfortunately, almost every single model is severely crippled by some feature that render the use of the monitor pointless. Thanks to user’s feedback on NewEgg and Amazon, these things show up here and there.

Ultimately I was left with no choice except to consider purchasing a wide-screen monitor. The issue with wide-screens, however, is that personally I only see sense in buying 24″ monitor with 1920×1200 pixels resolution, so that I can put two web pages side by side. There are forum discussions here and there that go over the same question: “Why did they stop manufacturing 4:3 LCD panels?”. The answer is that it’s cheaper to produce 16:9 and 16:10 panels, than it is 4:3 (although I don’t quite understand why).

My only hope is that by the time I will be upgrading my trusty T60p it will no longer be the case. From my point of view, having a 1200×800 screen is very inconvenient.