Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Fish Story

Has it really been a whole year? It seems so much more recent when we posted our thoughts on companies which play an April Fool's Day hoax on their customers (Gratuitous Not Included). We referred to them as "marketing gestures without expectation of reciprocation" and admired the spirit of offering a momentary morsel of delight unmotivated by financial gain. We believe that such gestures have a significant effect on the relationship between the brand and its fans.

And so today we awoke in anticipation of the gift's that we would find under our April Fool's Day tree. Google did not disappoint us with their launch today of Gmail Autopilot, a service that can automatically create a response to inbound emails.
As more and more everyday communication takes place over email, lots of people have complained about how hard it is to read and respond to every message. This is because they actually read and respond to all their messages.
Autopilot has two great features which will keep it ahead of any competitors. It can "learn" from the emails you actually write and mimic your style of composition. It also offers a control panel that allows you to adjust the brevity, tone, and propensity for typos of your "responses".

Perhaps our favorite new internet service of the day is Yahoo Ideological Search
Until now, many Web search users were offended by the facts, pages, articles, and blogs in their search results that contradicted their own personal beliefs and values.
With Yahoo's solution, users simply indicate their political leanings before searching the internet and the findings are appropriately tuned to reinforce your view of the world. This one could be a money maker.

But our overall favorite of the day goes once again to National Public Radio for this year's coverage of whale farming in central Illinois. What we especially enjoy about NPR's entries are their subtle ability to ratchet up the absurdity of the story as it progresses. In this case we let slip past us the notion of whale farming in Illinois. We became suspicious when a town citizen finished his list of whale farming benefits with his use of whale bone to build a porch. It wasn't until the story side-barred into the the success of a local college in training the whales to sing in three-part harmony that we realized we'd been had. Of course all of this was delivered with the same gravitas and sincerity given to all NPR stories.

We offer here a link to the NPR podcast. Be honest: how long before you begin to doubt the credibility of the story?

Farm-raised whales

And of course the more important question is what can the brands you use do to delight you?
Other hoax linx

Gmail Autopilot

Yahoo Ideological Search

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