There’s a famous saying which goes: “The problem with political jokes is they get elected” (Henry Cate, VII). Well a new Swiss political party seem to be testing out that theory.
The Anti-PowerPoint Party (APPP) was established in May (2011) with the aim of raising awareness of the ‘much better alternatives to PowerPoint‘ and getting 33,000+ votes in October’s National Council Elections to become the fourth largest party in Switzerland!
So is this for real? Well it appears as if it’s an elaborate stunt to promote the party’s President, Matthias Poehm’s new book ‘The PowerPoint Fallacy‘. When becoming a member of the APPP “you have the right to acquire the bestseller “The PowerPoint Fallacy” at the preferential member price of 26 CHF (17 €) instead of paying the market price of 43 CHF (27 €).”
When asked about whether this is a marketing ploy Poehm said: “Yes, it is a tool to promote my book. But it doesn’t end there…This issue will be raised in the awareness of the all people who still don’t know that there is an alternative to PowerPoint and with this alternative you, probably, achieve three to five times more effect and excitement with the audience than with the PowerPoint.”
PowerPoint, they say, “is like a disease. For a long time there has been a remedy for this disease around, but nobody knows about it.” So what’s the remedy? Flipcharts. Yes…flipcharts!
Lucky for you, the Swiss party hope to fuel an international movement and anyone can become a member of the APPP. To hear from Poehm, watch the video below:
We all come up with some pretty ‘out there’ ideas from time to time but usually such crazy plans are vetoed by colleagues upon first review before they ever see the light of day! One of the most bizarre promotional stunts I’ve seen in a while took place last week. A parasailing company in the Russian resort of Golubitskaya parasailed a donkey to promote their service. Immediately you’d think…that must be fake. Nobody would harness up and donkey and send them up, up and away over the sea…would they!?
Well apparently this particular Russian outfit did.
Reports state the donkey was put in a harness and catapulted into the air! Braying loudly (wouldn’t you!) the donkey was towed above a boat for about half an hour with onlooking children crying on the beach at the scene. The donkey is said to have landed awkwardly on the sand and was dragged across the beach before being removed from the harness and comforted by locals.
Police have now launched an animal cruelty investigation into the incident. Check out the video footage here:
As in the recent ‘Dr Pepper Facebook Porn‘ debacle, marketers often walk the line between what will grab attention and get people talking and what is socially acceptable. This stunt leapfrogs any imaginable line of reason, moving into the realms of the unbelievable. Animal cruelty will never help to sell a product or service. I mean really…how many people sitting on that beach were likely to go…’huh…parasailing…well if a donkey can do it, be in distress and get dragged along the sand just show me where I sign up’!?
Twitter is about to launch another brand-friendly revenue stream…a shopping twitter channel.
The site had given people raised eyebrows in the past as people wondered how they planned to bring in any money! Earlier this year, Twitter began to answer that question by launching ‘promoted tweets’ and ‘sponsored trending topics’.
Now they’re is upping the ante, according to Read Write Web, and have created a new account – @earlybird – that will carry brand promotional messages and special offers for those brands paying to feature on the channel.
Personally I hate being spammed on Twitter – mention a brand name and before you blink you have twenty spam followers offering you everything from inner peace to a vibrator. Biz Stone, the company’s founder, has said in the past that the company “resisted introducing a traditional web advertising model because we wanted to optimise for value before profit” and they seem to be staying true to this belief. This approach to online advertising ticks all the boxes as it’s an unobtrusive, opt-in service i.e. you have the choice as to whether you follow the channel or not. This allows Twitter to maintain the integrity of the site and avoid irritating loyal users.
It will be interesting to see how Twitter handles this shopping tweet stream. Will they divide the promotional offers by category e.g. sports offers, music offers, etc or create different accounts for different offer types? Will they target promo tweets based on keywords and users tweet history to ensure relevance? Will they present users with deals based on location? Given that there are still relatively few Twitter users in Ireland (recently estimated to be around 150,000), it’s likely that many of these promo tweets will be irrelevant otherwise.
At the time of writing this the @earlybird profile has 256 followers. Definitely one to watch.
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