Frenchish, Spench & Voice Mail Punctuation

 

shut-up-siriI can no longer leave a voice mail. I am not kidding you. If you have received a voice mail from me in the last two years it probably sounded something like this:

Hi comma this is Deborah period.  Thanks for getting back to me about that project semi-colon there are lots of details to be sorted out period Why don’t we meet for coffee this week to discuss question mark SHIT I did it again oh crap ignore this message!!  jeez ahhhh… SORRY!  I don’t even know how to leave voice mail anymore shit (I hang up red faced).  If YOU have been the bewildered recipient of such a message please comma accept my apologies exclamation mark

Seriously.

Damn you Siri! I have figured out precisely how to tell Siri what to text on my behalf. She and I don’t always speak the same language (even without the enriching cab-sav) but we do okay.  I used to be a medical transcriptionist (data entry of patient notes verbatim from dictation cassettes recorded by doctors not gifted in penmanship), so I am well versed in the need for oral inclusion of punctuation (comma) when dictating (period). Clearly, that advanced skill is not working in my favour when it comes to real life communication.

I can speak Spanish fluently… when I’m drinking. At least I think I am speaking Spanish fluently, but hey… it’s hard to be sure after the third glass of red. It’s the same with French… you should hear my Merlot fuelled Francais… c’est incroyable. No, vraiment, c’est incroyable.  What’s really fun is when I get the languages mixed up… I’ve heard of Franglais and Spanglish… what is a word for a grape infused language blend of the two languages of love? Fromantish? Spench? Frenchish? I like Spench… how about Siri influenced voice mail messaging though… do we need a name for that? Surely I’m not the only one who’s doing this…and now I’m doing it all day every day, dead sober, on voice mails I can’t take back.

So as you can plainly see, I have a gift for languages… for learning and incorporating new languages into my life. I also think maybe me and Siri need to take a break Period. Shit. Sorry.

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Philanthropic Blackmail: Marketing Fail

green giant

Yesterday I posted a rant about marketing, more specifically about BAD marketing…marketing fails. Since I published it, I keep remembering or spotting more of these ridiculously bad ad ideas and marketing schemes.  I’m going to focus on one today, one that has really started to piss me off.

It’s the faux philanthropy bait and switch ploy you see almost daily on Facebook. I saw an awful one today.  Green Giant has graciously agreed to donate “up to 5000 cans of green beans” to Food Banks Canada. That’s great… they should be doing that anyway. That’s good corporate citizenship… hell, it’s also a tax write off. Instead, they have found a way to turn it into some pretty sleazy self promotion.

Here’s the problem: General Mills, Green Giant has a promotion tie in with Food Banks Canada on Facebook: “For every LIKE on Facebook we’ll donate 2 cans of green beans up to 5000 cans”. That’s right. 5000 cans. They needed 2500 likes to trigger this donation, too. So let’s see; 5000 cans which retail at what… $1 per can? So that’s a $5,000 donation. Well, thank you very much.

General Mills had a good year last year; profits were up, shareholders were happy.    What I see, beyond the much needed donation of 5000 cans of  green beans to Canadian Food Banks is a widely shared Facebook marketing campaign with huge reach, great feel good payback and lots of piggyback credibility by pairing with such a reputable charitable organization.  And all for $5000. Wow.  That’s a pretty powerful media buy for only 5K.  Think about it… what else can $5000 buy you if you’re an ad buyer? Nothing. Not 30 seconds on tv, not a 1/4 page ad in a national magazine. Nada.  And you can be sure that most people will forget to “unlike” the page, and will have their newsfeed cluttered with Green Giant marketing from now on. Well played, General Mills.

That’s a lot of reach for not a lot of green… and I see it again and again and again. And you know what? I hit “like”.  I hit like so those damned beans would get to the Food Banks Canada shelves, where they really are needed. But I hate it and I know I’m being manipulated and I think it’s pretty tacky marketing.

I love Food Banks Canada. I’ve served on the board of our local Food Bank and appreciate the powerful advocacy work FBC does, and the way they are able to secure generous food donations from major food producers in Canada year after year. I am thankful that Green Giant  donates food to Canadians in need.  This week is Hunger Awareness Week in Canada, May 6-10, and the message needs to get out and out and out that there are far too many hungry people in our country, and a staggering number of hungry children.

If you want more information on what you can do to help Canadians struggling with food insecurity or to learn more about the true demographics of hunger in this country, visit http://www.foodbankscanada.ca/

If you are in Whitehorse and want to know how to help, please visit http://www.whitehorsefoodbank.ca/

If you live in the US,  Feeding America is a great place to start: http://feedingamerica.org/

Faux Facebook Philanthropy is blackmail – just donate the damned food. Fail.